Player Quotes from Football Media Day

Aug. 4, 2007

Tempe, Ariz. - Quarterback Rudy Carpenter

On practicing:'I think perfect in practice is a lot different than in games. Right now in practice I'm able to go out there and pick a few things out a day and work on them. I'm not worried about completions. I'm more worried about getting the types of looks I want to see. Yesterday I picked out working on all wide side of the field throws because they are a lot different than short side of the field throws. Today I'll do the opposite and throw all short side of the field throws. I just have to work on some things and get looks at everything, which I think last year I couldn't do because I was trying to win a job. I had to try to make a big play every time.'

On his frame of mind:'For my success this year, I have to get in the right frame of mind. I have to really work on letting bad things go. Even letting the good things go and move on to the next play and being confident in myself. That's the biggest thing. I'm not trying to win a job. I have to play well and do well to keep my job, but I get a change to work on things. My mind frame is a lot better, a lot more positive than it was last year.'

On leadership:'Last year, you wanted to watch what you say because you wanted everyone to be with you. This year it is not like that. I'm not trying to be friends with everybody. I'm trying to win games. I realize that it's my turn to be the leader and go out there and say good things when they need to be said and negative things when things are negative. I think the team has responded real well to that.'

On the new offense:'I think this year we are going to run the ball a lot because we have some good backs. The biggest thing is I'm going to try to get the ball out faster. Hopefully that will save my body more and I won't take as many hits. More importantly, these guys who are wide receivers make their money making plays. We're going to allow them to do that this year instead of having them win their route. I think that is going to help because it's less thinking for those guys. It will help them play faster. The offense is a little more simplified. Coach Koetter's offense was a lot more complicated and it changed every week. Where as with Coach Erickson, we have our base plays and we are going to run them no matter what. We aren't going to be changing so much every week. I think it is going to allow our receivers to feel comfortable with what they are doing and get better as the season goes on.'

On thinking positive:'I've been trying to take a lot of positive things out of last year. Last year was my first full year as a starter. Experience is a big thing for anybody. I feel like I have some experience now. All the young guys who had a change to play, I think they have a lot of experience now. Last year we didn't play as well on offense. I think that experience is going to be very valuable for those guys this year. I think it paid off over the summer and now they've been playing well. I'm looking to keep it up.'

On the differences in the passing game:'It is not really about winning their routes. In Coach Koetter's offense it changed based on coverage. They had to see coverage, convert routes, run different routes. When you are a young guy, you are going to get confused by coverage some times. They are going to disguise coverage some times. You are going to forget coverage sometimes. Where as now, there is a lot less of that. There are routes against any coverage. You are safe against any coverage, which is fine because they can go out there and run their route and be confident in it. And when their confident and they know what they are doing they can play faster. We didn't play fast because we were thinking so much, including myself.'

On scrimmaging:'It is a little bit hard in the first couple days. I felt the offense won in the first game. Yesterday, I think the defense so called won, but we didn't put in anything new yesterday so the defense knows what we are doing. I'm not too worried about the actual success of each play. I'm more worried about whether the assignments are right. If the assignments are right and guys are doing the right things, we've been successful. I've been happy so far.'

On keeping an even mood:'Last year was a tough year for me. I think people forget that I was still second or third in the Pac-10 in overall efficiency. I think more importantly, you have to learn how to be on an even kill. If times are good, stay even. If times are bad, stay even. Some times I got to high when times were good and too low when times are bad. I just have to learn to keep it all at the same level. I think that's what being a leader is. I think that's what I have to do a better job of this year.'

On letting guys make plays:'My whole life is football. Football is what I do. It's what I love. I wanted to show everyone I am the quarterback they think I am. I am going to help them win all these games. I'm going to show them that they made all the right decisions. My job is to get the ball to the guys and let them win the games for us. I didn't that last year. I didn't trust them as much as I do this year. This year is going to be a lot different. I'm going to worry about putting the ball where it needs to be and let those guys do the rest. That's what a quarterback is supposed to do.'

On the new coaching staff:'It's definitely not all on my shoulders to win the game. I'm used to that anyways, so I wouldn't necessarily mind that. I think the biggest thing is the way the coaches have been. They have made me feel very comfortable in the fact that throw aways are ok. Take it in the sack every once in a while is ok. More importantly, making the right decision is what we are looking for. It doesn't always have to be the big play. The way the coaches have made me feel so far has changed me mentally and I think physically too.'

On Coach Erickson:'His big thing is discipline, accountability and confidence. He tells us every day we are going to win. It is not a matter if we are going to win or lose. You have to do these things to win. It is easy to trust him and believe in him because has won two national championship titles. He has played in every BCS game except the Rose Bowl. He has won a lot of big games, there for the credibility is there right away. We trust and believe in him.'

On the offensive line:'The front seven on offense and defense always sets up the game, how to set a tempo. Zach Krula, Mike Pollak, Brandon Rodd, Robert Gustavis and all those guys, if they can establish what we are trying to do in the run game and the pass game and play physical, I think the rest of the team will take their lead and see that. I can't throw it with out protection. We can't run it with out them blocking up front. It is good that we have seniors like Krula and Mike Pollak and Robert Gustavis and Brandon Rodd. That is a huge plus for us this year.'

More players to come

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