MSU Football Practice No. 1 Report: Player Quotes
Player quotes following first day of preseason practice.
Sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke:
Q. Coach Dantonio said that the message was you have something to prove, would you say you have something to prove?
Yeah, I'd say especially after last season you always have something to prove. After a 3-9 year you can almost improve in any aspect of the game. I think we've definitely emphasized that and I think we've done a pretty good job so far today of doing that.
Q. How do you turn the page on that season, kind of just move forward and put it past?
Personally I think it's already been turned. I mean, with the start of today, with spring ball that's already passed, and the start of fall camp I think the page has been turned.
Q. Coach said you're a cut above, do you walk into this thinking that it's your job to lose or do you see this as an actual competition where you're going to be pushed between now and the first game?
I think I'm very confident in my abilities. I think I'm very confident in the position I'm in. I'm just trying to come out here and work as hard as I can.
Sophomore offensive tackle Cole Chewins:
Q. What are you trying to really lock down coming into camp?
Our whole offseason was all about bouncing back and focusing a lot on fundamentals and kind of re-amping what we do and really focusing on hard work and putting in new technique, little nuances that you pick up with experience. Obviously, we have a lot of young guys so we're just trying to bring them along and just do the best that we can.
Q. Did you feel there were some stuff lost in that area, as far as attitude and swagger, because I guess that was one of the things that everyone talked about, getting back to swagger?
Everyone gets knocked down but that's why we just try to stay confident and we try to keep bringing the table. You have to bring that edge. We have to come out with every play and you still have to play with that same attitude. We're just trying to keep that and we're trying to keep that positive and keep rolling with that.
Q. Where are you at weight-wise?
288 currently. Still always looking for more for me, I feel like I'm always going to be on the light side no matter what so I'm just going to continue to eat as much as I can and that's just how it goes.
Q. Do you feel like you fully made that transition? Do you feel like an offensive lineman out there fully?
Yeah, I'm definitely becoming more comfortable with the position and starting to learn all of the technique and different things like that. Just playing there for a couple years now, it's starting to set in.
Q. This will be Brian Lewerke's first year as a starting quarterback. It sounds like he's a natural leader and that people want to follow him. What qualities do you see that allows that to happen?
I mean he's a very smart player. He spends countless hours in film sessions doing all of the right things. He's just a guy that brings people together, brings positive energy and also is able to get younger guys on the same page with him, help them out and continue to grow them as we move forward.
Q. How does he (Brian Lewerke) do that?
Just getting guys to do extra stuff on their own. Take an extra 20 minutes in the film room when no one's there. Just having the presence and the confidence of being a leader, he brings that.
Q. What's he (Brian Lewerke) like in the huddle?
Calm, cool, collective. That's all I can say about that.
Q. You talked about technique, and getting some nuances down. What did that entail?
A lot of it is just re-establishing your posts. Learning about depth and setting on midpoints, all of this different stuff.
Junior linebacker Andrew Dowell:
Q: You got on the field early because you were a physical specimen. You were just bigger, faster stronger. Now when you're in the starting lineup it has to become mental as well. I've heard you've been spending more time watching film. Is that accurate?
Yes, sir. That's one of my biggest focuses this year. I've been up and down in my playing career so far. I've had some really good moments but also some bad moments as well, so my main focus this year is consistency across the board, game in and game out.
Q. Do you feel like redemption is a big part of your motivation?
Yes sir. Redemption. The word Coach Mannie used is "reaffirmation." To reaffirm what the Spartan brand is and who we truly are.
Q. You must feel especially that way defensively, right? Because people were moving the ball on you like they haven't done on Michigan State in 10 years.
Yes sir, we want to get back to the true Spartan defense. Shutting things down. That's what we're looking forward to this year.
Q. Do you notice Coach Dantonio's approach is any different this year?
Coach D comes every year, Coach D brings it every year. His approach is the same. We tweaked things in house and we're looking forward to getting after it.
Q. What was the offseason like?
Offseason was Coach Mannie's baby so he was putting us through it all offseason. Like I said, it's been a really long offseason not having a bowl game. We've used that time to get better and get a step ahead of where we were last year.