Football Media Day: Offense
 
 
 
New starting quarterback Andrew Maxwell was the center of attention at media day on Monday. (Photo by Robert Hendricks)
 
New starting quarterback Andrew Maxwell was the center of attention at media day on Monday. (Photo by Robert Hendricks)
 
 

Aug. 6, 2012

Video Interviews

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State held its annual media day Monday morning in the Huntington Club at Spartan Stadium.

Among the 13 players on offense that attended media day, perhaps the most crowded interview roundtable belonged to new starting quarterback Andrew Maxwell, who is taking over for three-year starter Kirk Cousins.

In addition, junior running back Le'Veon Bell discussed what he wants to improve on this season, while junior wide receiver Bennie Fowler talked about the potential of the young wide receivers.

Junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell

On this preseason camp being different than his previous three...
"I think there is definitely a little extra weight to this camp being the starter and knowing you do open up with a team like Boise State. Not only for myself but for the whole team, we know that we are not opening it up with a cupcake, it is going to be a battle and a challenge right off the bat. We know that every day we come to practice we have to come with a mindset to work and get ready for the game."

On the receivers...
"We just need more reps and we need more reps in live, high pressure situations. Seven-on-seven through summer is great, one-on-ones are great, but there is no substitution for a two-minute drill, or for a red zone, or for a third and long period. Those are going to come in training camp we are going to build that repetition and build that chemistry. Those guys are going to get more comfortable in their spots and be able to make plays for us."

On going against the defense in practice every day...
"You can't get a better look then what our defense gives us. Obviously you can't simulate exactly what a game is going to be like, but going against our guys in practice every day, and just the schemes that Coach Narduzzi brings to it and the explosiveness and the strength and the speed that they play with is something that is going to be really beneficial to us."

On the offensive line...
"I don't think we have ever had this much experience or this much depth coming back. Good offense is going to start with a good offensive line and we definitely have that. It's going to allow us to run the ball first and foremost, and if we can run it effectively, we can throw it effectively. And when we are two dimensional like that, that's when we have the opportunity to make plays and we can really put some points on the board."

Senior right guard Chris McDonald

On entering his last season...
"I'm excited. It's bittersweet, I'm going to miss it. I'm ready for the next step in my life, Michigan State has been a true blessing for me. But I'm really excited for this offensive line. I got taught a lot by Joel Foreman; he was tremendous leader and I've just been trying to use his principles that he laid on me out on these young guys. Fou Fonoti and I are just trying to lead the offensive line. We have a lot of guys like Travis Jackson, we are doing a really good job and we are just trying to have fun this year."

On the strength of the offensive line...
"It's very competitive and that is just going to make us better. We always have to out-compete each other and we don't know who is going to step up. I always have to know whoever is my backup has a really good chance of playing. I think that helps us out a lot, especially when someone goes down or gets injured, the next person will just get up and get out there and we won't miss a beat."

On protecting the quarterback...
"Andrew Maxwell is a tremendous leader and he is a great quarterback. I think he will do a great job back there. Obviously in the beginning you just have to feel what kind of quarterback he is. I think he is going to do a great job, we are going to be blocking like we normally do and if we do that we will be fine."

On the potential of the offense...
"Going into the fall, we go against our defense and our defense is one of the top in the nation. That is going to help us out and with our offensive line and our running back and quarterback and I even think our wide receivers, we've always had good receivers. The young wide receivers have learned from B.J. Cunningham, Keshawn Martin, and Keith Nichol. Bennie Fowler is one of the guys who is stepping up right now and he's going to do fine."

On goal for a championship...
"We are hungry, we want it. We have been working hard over the summer. Just all of us we really want it. Especially the seniors, it's our last year, for me personally I am going to be trying a little harder and pushing a little more every time for each other. We are very hungry."

Junior running back Le'Veon Bell

On going into camp his third year...
"I'm getting a full grasp of the offense; I know everything I have to do. I'm trying to learn different positions and know everything the offensive line has to do. I'm trying to take on a bigger role and help the young guys on the offensive line too."

On having a veteran group...
"We have an experienced offensive line and we haven't had that in a long time here. It's my first time knowing all my lineman for the whole season and they are just going to keep getting better throughout practice."

On motivation during preseason camp...
"I'm just trying to get out here and get better. Of course as a running back we are all going to compete but it's a great competition and we are going to make each other better at the same time. And I have two other backs that are prepared to carry the ball with me. And we have the offensive line in front us so we should do a great job. We got a long way to go."

On the receivers...
"Once the receivers get a lot more reps - we still have a lot more time - but those guys showed great improvement all ready. We still have a long way to go but by the time the 31st comes around those guys are going to be ready and (Andrew) Maxwell is going to be ready too."

On improving his game...
"I just want to make sure I'm more durable and in better shape. There is always room for improvement. That is one thing I want to get better at, as the season wears on I want to make sure I am still healthy at the end of the season and still strong."

Junior wide receiver Bennie Fowler

On confidence in the offense...
"I feel good about where we are as the offense. Starting with the offensive line returning, besides Foreman, then we got Le'Veon Bell, Larry Caper, Nick Hill, in the backfield. Then we have this young receiver group and Maxwell. Yes we are young, a little inexperienced in game experience, but we have played in games. We go against a great defense every day and as for the receivers going against Darqueze (Dennard) and Johnny (Adams) everyday, I mean that's great so we are going to be ready to go."

On Andrew Maxwell...
"He brings a swagger and confidence to the table. He's very poised; not much gets him rattled. It is going to feel like he's very experienced and you have seen him before, almost like it's Kirk out there. Playing with Kirk and being in the huddle at the same time, they command the huddle the same way. They are very calm, very cool, very collected."

On new starting receivers and their talent...
"Andre Sims Jr. has been doing well in camp as well as DeAnthony Arnett and Juwan Caesar they all have been making strides and improvements. Also, Jeremy Langford has been making strides and improvements. Getting in and out of breaks, understanding the offense, making the big plays that the offense needs. We have to show the coaches that we have confidence."

On being out last year...
"Being out last year I thought was a negative a little bit since I couldn't be out there with my teammates. But at the same time it was a positive, I learned from great receivers that are in the NFL now from Keshawn (Martin) and B.J. (Cunningham), so I learned a lot. I also see the offense differently since I understand the whole offense, I understand the concepts, I understand where to be, certain weaves, certain coverage. I'm ready to go."

Sophomore center Travis Jackson

On being able to pick right back up from last year...
"We are definitely excited about the continuity in the experience. Blake Treadwell and Jack Allen can both play left guard. Both are really hard workers and great players. Treadwell has starting experience which is awesome, so we are excited about that. We have a lot of work to do before Boise State. But if we come together and play well, I know we will be able to run the ball."

On competition within the team...
"There is great talent all across the board here, especially when you come to a school like Michigan State. You are always striving to get better and I think everyone is hungry and I think it adds a little more motivation when there is a guy behind you nipping at your ankles."

On the offensive line...
"We have a great stable backfield, Le'Veon Bell, Larry Caper, and Nick Hill. We have a couple great young wide receivers that are ready to make a name for themselves and we are excited about that. Andrew Maxwell is such a natural leader and his knowledge about our playback is amazing."

On motivation going into the season...
"All of us are very competitive and I think as every season starts we want to reach our goals. Last year going to the Big Ten Championship game and losing it, we got a taste of it and got so close. We now know what it takes to get there and know what it takes to win. We are definitely excited about hopefully getting back there, win the division and win the Big Ten Championship. Those are our goals right there. I think we have a good team and a great defense so we are excited to get the offense going."

On preseason camp...
"When you come in freshman year they throw so many plays at you, your head is spinning. Now I've been out there, I have been able to play this season which gives you great experience. Camp changes every year for you with what you want to work on and what you want to get better at. It's definitely a different camp every year and getting easier with experience."

On the cohesiveness of the offensive line...
"We are tight in the offensive line room from the freshman up to the seniors. It's a great group of guys with Fou Fonoti, Chris McDonald, and Ethan Ruhland, all as seniors and great leaders. We are going to follow them."

Sophomore wide receiver Keith Mumphery

On possibly being a starter...
"I just have to stay humble, work harder, and continue to get better each and every day."

On the receiving group...
"They are great guys and hard workers. They are going to do whatever it takes to get better."

On Andrew Maxwell...
"He is a great decision maker. He has a strong arm and he is ready. It's his time. He's a leader, every time he comes into the huddle we all know it's time to pay attention to him."

Junior left tackle Dan France

On entering his second year as a starting left tackle...
"I'm used to it now. I have a year under my belt. I know all the plays and have the technique down. It's definitely a lot easier this year."

On the offensive line...
"I feel like it starts off the field, we are a close knit group. We have our leaders with Fou Fonoti, Chris McDonald, and Travis Jackson; we have some great leadership and we should do very well this year."