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Football Media Day: Offense
 
 
 
Andrew Maxwell speaks to reporters at MSU's media day in the Huntington Club at Spartan Stadium.
 
Andrew Maxwell speaks to reporters at MSU's media day in the Huntington Club at Spartan Stadium.
 
 

Aug. 5, 2013

Video Interviews: Offense | Complete Media Day Coverage

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

Below are quotes from the offensive players that spoke at media day.

Sophomore offensive lineman Jack Allen

On the emotions of the team heading into the season...
I think everyone is coming in running and ready to get the season going. We just want to get better every day and compete.

On something he wants to improve on this season...
I want to personally work on some of my pass set stuff so I can get better on pass protection. I want this team to win the Rose Bowl and to win a Big Ten Championship.

Junior wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett

On the differences between this year and last year...
This year this offseason I put in a lot of work. I grew up. I was 20 years old last year. I'm a grown man. I had to come in and learn a system and a lot of things. The way you do things around here has to be the Michigan State way. Last year I was very immature. As a competitor you want to play, but at the end of the day you have to do whatever your role is. My role at the time was to try and help my guys, cheer on, and make sure they were doing everything right. As a group we were all struggling and getting a lot of negative attention with the drop thing. We don't want that to happen again this year. Last year my role was to pick the guys up and make sure they were keeping a straight head.

Changes and improvements from last year...
Definitely been in the weight room a lot this summer. I worked on my speed. I've been able to work with some guys to help improve myself. Every year in the offseason you have to put in a lot of work to come back the next year even stronger. I came into this offseason with my main thing being speed and catching the ball. I worked on everything, not just one particular thing. There is a chance for us as a group to step up. Everybody will be keying in on us, and we all want that attention. We want to win. We want to make big plays. We know our defense is one of the best in the country. As an offense, we know we can keep the positive attitude even when things are breaking down.

Personal goals...
I set my standards high. As a group we have to come out balling this year. We don't want to go through what we went through last year at all. Everybody wants to be All-Big Ten and All-American, but at the end of the day we have to win. That is what it's about.

Red-shirt freshman tailback Riley Bullough

On making the switch to running back...
The best way to describe it was surprised. I'm learning and trying to do the best I can. This camp is going to help me. It is all fresh and new, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can. I love offense and always have. I also love defense but love where I am right now. The game is really fast and adjusting to that is what I've been working on most.

On replacing Le'Veon Bell...
Le'Veon Bell was a great player. Filling in his shoes is hard to do. You can't get another guy like him since he was so talented. We are all different and bring different things to the table.

On what he is looking forward to most...
Getting on the field for the first time with Spartan nation going crazy like they always are. It's what I've looked forward to since I got on campus last year. I'm excited to be able to score some touchdowns. Growing up I always thought of myself offensively. Playing quarterback obviously helped, but I still ran the ball a little bit. I think having that offensive experience will help me playing tailback.

On instincts offensively...
I think you have to be instinctive, especially in college and the Big Ten. The game is so much faster, you have to in your head know where the flow is going and where your next cut is. I think Coach Dantonio thought I had some instincts running the ball because of high school.

On being first on the depth chart...
I was a little surprised based on my inexperience at tailback. Nick Hill and Jeremy Langford are great backs. The fact that Coach D thinks that highly of me is awesome.

Sophomore wide receiver Aaron Burbridge

On changes made in the offseason...
I worked hard this offseason. I know what we have to do to get where we want to be. I'm trying to be great and be a college receiver.

On how to fix the drops from last season...
We have been with the quarterbacks more trying to get the timing and chemistry all right. We need to be on the same page.

On his biggest strength this season...
Catching the ball. Catching everything. I think we are going to be good offensively. We are going to be throwing the ball more. We have guys with a little more experience and know what they are doing a little bit more. It should be better and we should be able to make plays.

On the emotions of the team heading into the season...
We all have a great attitude. We know what we have to do to get where we want to be, and we're working hard at that to accomplish our goal.

On something he wants to improve on this season...
I wasn't good at running routes and gaining my depth, so I've been working really hard at that this summer. I've been watching film, getting with Bennie and those guys in the film room, and getting with the quarterbacks, running routes, doing 7 on 7's.

Sophomore offensive lineman Donavon Clark

On how practice has been going...
It's been going good. Everyone is just trying to get back into things, whether that be just working on specific things or not. But it's been going good so far.

On what he's looking forward to about the season...
I just want to get to the first game. Like everybody, I'm just hyped and ready to go.

On opening up at Spartan Stadium...
I'm just looking forward to all of the fans out there supporting us. Spartan nation is so huge, so just having the fans there will be pretty awesome.

Sophomore quarterback Connor Cook

On decision making...
You can't be too conservative, you know, if you're scrambling around and you think your guy's open, you're anticipating him being open, you've just got to trust your teammate, trust yourself. Then again, if he's not open don't try and force it.

On progress since he was a freshman...
It's so much easier. This is going to be my third year and you just feel so much more comfortable with the reads, the protections, being in the huddle, the signals, all that stuff.

You feel more confident. The longer you've been here, the longer you like being in the system, you're obviously going to feel more confident, you'll have a different swagger, you're going to believe in yourself, and you're going to take chances that you wouldn't usually take. It's just a whole learning process, being a quarterback. Guys can come in at different positions, and it's still a learning process for them, but the stuff you have to grasp as a quarterback is an astronomical. It's crazy.

On getting a chance at the starting position...
The job's open right now and every quarterback is fighting, clawing, scratching, trying to win the day every single day at practice, trying to be the best quarterback they can be, and the competition is bringing out the best in all four of the quarterbacks.

On working out with George Whitfield...
There were some things that I needed to brush up on fundamentally, in my footwork, placement of the ball and quicker release. We never really worked on anything like recognizing defenses and coverages, like the mental part. It was just straight fundamentals...because watching myself in the spring, my footwork was not very good at times, I would just kind of rely on just raw talent. I just kind of brushed up on all of my fundamentals out in California. It was very worthwhile.

We worked out in the ocean and you have water resistance when you're dropping back. Then, all of a sudden you have a wave crashes in behind you, simulating like a defensive lineman falling into your leg. They'd throw bean bags at you. They'd throw a giant yoga ball at you. They'd swipe at you with broom sticks. ... Nearly every play involves some type of movement, that's the main thing that he does with every QB that he trains.

Senior offensive lineman Dan France

On Coach Jim Bollman...
Everybody has their own coaching style. He is a great coach who knows what he is talking about, and we all respect him. He brings in a fresh set of eyes and a new way of thinking. It is always nice getting a new perspective from someone. One of our strong points is we have a lot of depth. We have anywhere from seven to nine guys that can start. I'm just trying to enjoy it. These are all my best friends. I want to enjoy this before I have to get out into the real world.

On creating plays...
You know, I just try to crush the guy in front of me, try to make the biggest hole possible and hope they can find the hole.

On some defensive strengths...
Well, Max (Bullough) is arguably the biggest middle linebacker in the country so whenever he comes up the middle, it's always a treat.

On changes with defensive line coach Ron Burton...
I feel like they're really using their hands a lot better. You can definitely tell, over the summer, he's really forcing that and they're getting better. You have to make sure your technique is perfect because they're doing everything. It definitely makes us better.

On a standout defensive player...
I'd say Micajah Reynolds. Probably because I go against him every day, he's looking pretty good. He's almost a 500-pound bencher, a 600-pound squatter, so he's really powerful. He's putting that all together; he's going to have a good year.

Senior offensive tackle Fou Fonoti

On what he's feeling going into this season...
I have a sense of urgency coming off of my injury. This is my last year so there's no holding back. I'm more hungry than ever to do everything I can do put our team in the best situation. There's no time for me to be hesitant. What happened to me happened and that was a blessing in disguise, but not it's definitely all gas, no brakes.

Senior wide receiver Bennie Fowler

On offseason changes...
We knew we had to make plays. One of our biggest goals is focus and to be consistently catching the ball every day. We placed an emphasis on that and that's what we're going to focus on.

On summer workouts...
Every single day there is an emphasis on getting better no matter how long it is. We were with each other every single day to improve on something. I went back and re-watched a lot of film. I went back and watched a lot of the drops from early last season. I learned a lot from that, like hand placement or separation. As the season went on, drops were eliminated when we were focused. You want to be able to start fast and finish strong.

Junior tight end Andrew Gleichert

On competing for playing time...
I think it's just every rep I get, you've got to make sure it's the most important rep at that time. Every rep, just stay focused and make it mean the world because I'm not sure if I'm going to get that next rep.

On working with the coaches...
My direct position coach is Coach Bollman but the tight end, during our individual, we're with o-line so Coach Staten is helping me out with my technique. He also coached me my freshman year. He's the guy who partially got me here besides Coach D, so he's a big factor in my life and where I am right now.

Junior tailback Nick Hill

On the return game...
We haven't worked much on that yet, but as of right now I'm still seeded first at kick return and second on the depth chart for the punt return spot.

On what he's most looking forward to for the season...
I'm looking forward to redeeming ourselves from last year, coming back from a 7-6 season which is unacceptable for us. We need to get back to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship. That's what I'm most excited about. This team's chemistry and work ethic has been outstanding this summer; the best since I've been on this team. So I'm very excited to see what we can do. Our receivers are making plays consistently. All of our quarterbacks are making plays. Our defense is unbelievable, which they have always been each and every year. It seems like these first three days, we haven't missed a step. I'm just really excited to see what we can do this year.

On preparing for the season...
We've just been watching film and practicing. We watch film in the morning before practice, after practice, just studying every practice that we do to see what mistakes have been made and correct them. The conditioning this summer has carried over, so everyone is in good shape and ready to go.

Junior center Travis Jackson

On being on a deep and experienced offensive line...
We have a lot of guys that I feel confidently with, not just the starting five but past that. These guys can play in Big Ten competition. So it's awesome to have that experience.

On having an edge or sense of anger to help them win...
You look back on the close games we lost, and it's tough because you think you could have done a little bit more. I think you do that with anything you didn't do well with. But this year we realize we need to win those close games and doing that extra thing that gets us there. You want to make sure you're doing something to make a difference.

Sophomore tight end Paul Lang

On Dylan Chmura...
He has a great future ahead of him. He's really strong in the weight room and overall, his fundamentals have been really good for a freshman. I think his future is very bright and he'll continue to get even better.

On not dealing with injuries...
It's definitely important and the way I feel now, I'm really happy about it. I'm 100 percent. Now I'm just moving forward and putting everything in the past. This season will be even better so I'm happy about that.

On the strengths of the tight end position...
I'd say we're all hard working as a unit and we've gotten a lot better at the blocking game. As for everyone else, they're very good and consistent. The main thing is to be a consistent blocker because the run game wouldn't be successful without the tight end.

Junior tailback Jeremy Langford

On competing for the starting position...
You've got to compete; it's D1 college football. You come ready to compete. The best man, Coach D said, is going to carry plays. So the best man plays. He's got to make every rep and take advantage of it.

I feel like I'm running with purpose. I'm trying to work hard. I'm trying to help the younger guys as well to learn to play the position. I'm doing my best to compete and stay focused.

On his progress since last preseason...
Just hitting the hole, running harder, that's my main focus right now going to camp is hitting the hole, run harder.

On going into his fourth year in the program...
I feel like it's my time and it's up to me to do what I can control. I've got to take advantage of every rep I get. We've got to do everything perfect as a group or as individuals. Everything counts. I think it's a close race and you've got to compete in every aspect of it, passing, blocking, and running.

On Riley Bullough...
He's starting to know the plays better, knowing what to do. Playing linebacker helps too so I think he's getting more comfortable.

On losing Le'Veon Bell...
I want to be the guy, but I want to play and get carries. I don't care if I'm the one; I want to have an impact on the season.

On having an edge...
I think I have an edge because I've been out there for awhile and have played. I want to be on the field more and have a bigger helping hand in it.

Senior wide receiver Tony Lippett

On having an edge...
I feel pretty good. I put in a lot of work this offseason as far as catching the ball, route running, blocking, or whatever. I put in a lot of work so it built confidence up and I feel like I'm ready for this season. Day in and day out we got out there, no matter what. We worked hard, not just the scheduled stuff we had. We put in work outside of that. Even on our days off we were putting in work.

Senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell

On the advantages of a quarterback's coach calling plays...
It brings a quarterbacks perspective to the play calling. As a guy who not only coaches quarterbacks, but one who played the position in college, he is a guy who kind of has a quarterback's mindset. He has a feel for what a quarterback would call or what a quarterback is seeing in a series. He is a guy who has been around our offense so has seen us in the good times and bad. We have an open door of communication and ideas so I think that will do nothing but help us.

On replacing players...
It isn't easy but it's exciting. There are a lot of talented guys fighting for positions. Competition does nothing but bring the best out of your guys. When you have guys bringing their best every single day that is huge. Versatility at positions like tight end is exciting for us as an offense because it is going to give us a chance to get our best players on the field.

Where improvements have been made...
I think my accuracy is better and I'm throwing the ball more consistently than I have. I think going live in the spring helped with that. A lot of the pass concepts we put in, a lot of the time you only get to rep them during seven on seven, which helps you get a feel for how the plays develop, but it's a different story with linemen in your face. Live throws in the spring were more like game throws. The box gets shorter and you have to adjust your release and look for windows, and that is something you don't get in seven on seven and drills. I think that helped with my accuracy when under fire and I'm really looking for that to carry over.

On the quarterback competition...
I don't think competition ever hurts you. It does nothing but bring the best out of people. I think it adds an element of excitement and competitiveness. I think that is what you can expect out of a place like Michigan State. You don't expect anything to be handed to you; you want to earn everything you get. At the end of the day we all have Michigan State across our chest. We didn't come here for individual awards or to have our names on billboards. We came here to help Michigan State win and help Michigan State get back to the Rose Bowl. Everybody has bought into that.

Junior wide receiver Keith Mumphery

On difference between last year and this year with his position group...
We're humble. We've turned it up, we're working a little harder and we're just excited for the season.

On what to he hopes to improve on this season...
I want to improve on being consistent in the mental part of the game, not thinking too much and just going out there and making plays. We just want to take one day at a time and know that we have to win today before we can worry about tomorrow.

On the focus of the position...
We've just been focusing on being technically sound. We just want to make sure we're doing everything right. We want to make sure we are correcting everything we need to on every route and not just here and there.

On opening up at Spartan Stadium...
I'm just looking forward to running out of the tunnel with my teammates and all of the Spartan fans going crazy. It's just the excitement that you get and the love from the fans.

Junior punter Mike Sadler

On the emotions of the team heading into the season...
We're excited and hungry and ready to get out there. Camp is tough. You can only hit the same people so long...We already have that feeling three days in and the pads aren't even on yet. That's a good sign moving forward that we're ready to go and get to a better pace.

On getting going with practices this season...
We're excited to see what the new players can do in the next couple weeks. The competition is healthy and we can wait to see what happens in the next couple weeks. Pads change everything.

 

 

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