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Quotebook: Top Quarterback Prospects
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Here are a handful of quotes from some of the top quarterback prospects here at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Blake Bortles – Central Florida
On if he feels he belongs with the NFL elite…
“100 percent I do. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m invited. I believe that I can compete with any guy here, and that’s why I’m doing everything I’m doing. That’s why I’m throwing, that’s why I’m running, doing all this stuff. Why wait till pro day when you have an opportunity to make your first impression here in Indianapolis. I grew up watching this as a kid and dreamed of competing in it, why would I sit anything out and do any of that kind of stuff? Just excited to be here and honored to be here, but definitely believe I belong here.”
On his skill set…
“I think kind of the skill set I possess is being able to extend plays, being able to handle a lot of offense. Having played at UCF, dealing with a lot of things as far as (the) handling offense, making all the throws (and) being trustworthy. I think making the right decisions on and off the field, not embarrassing the franchise or your last name I think is huge, especially when you’re playing quarterback in the National Football League. I think those things, the competitiveness, I think are all traits that are great to have as a quarterback, and hopefully there are other teams that believe that.”
On what areas he needs to improve…
“I think everything. That’s what I’ve been doing these past two months is being able to really try and polish everything off, making sure everything looks consistent. When you have a proper pocket, everything’s consistent, you’re putting your own platform, you’re throwing the ball with the same mechanics and doing that whole thing and everything’s going the way you want it to go.”
Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville
On if he feels he should be the first overall selection… Read
“Yes, no doubt. I feel that I’m the best quarterback in this draft. I’m not just going to sit up here and say it. There’s obviously actions that have to back up these words, and I’m just confident in myself and my capability to be able to play this position. I’m just going to go out there and prove that I’m the best guy.”
On what seperates him from the other quarterbacks...
“The biggest thing I think is my accuracy. This past season, I was able to complete 71 percent of my passes. My third-down passing completion percentage was pretty much off the charts, my pocket presence, I’m a competitor. Each day I go out there and I’m eager to learn, remain a student of the game, and I think that right there just separates me."
On if playing in a pro style offense in college helps...
"Yes. I just feel that especially that I played at the University of Louisville, it just prepared me for some of the things that an NFL quarterback has to do nowadays with making the checks at the line of scrimmage, sliding the protection, [identifying] the Mike, getting the offense in and out of the right plays, signaling the hot routes to the wide receivers. It shows how much trust that the coach had in me, [offensive coordinator and quarterbacks] coach [Shawn] Watson, and I’m glad that he put that trust in me.” Read
Derek Carr – Fresno St.
On learning from his brother David, a former number one overall selection…
“The No. 1 thing my brother has taught me is, you’re going to be praised a lot, you’re going to be criticized. Ignore both because neither matter. Just work hard, be yourself, trust the people around you that care about you. Listen to them and continue to work hard like you do.”
On feedback he has heard…
“From the evaluations I’ve got and from the meetings I’ve had, I don’t care what those rankings are. I know what I’ve heard and what they’ve said to me. They’re not going to sugarcoat anything for me. I love what people say outside of those circles. It’s fun for me to hear because I know what the teams are saying and what they’re telling me. It’s been really good so far.”
On personal adversities…
“I’ve been through some adversity. For doctors to tell me my son might not live, there is nothing anyone can do or say that can affect me. My priorities in life are my faith, my family and then football. You can say whatever you want about me, but I’m going to give everything I have to whatever team I’m on.”
Jimmy Garoppolo – Eastern Illinois
On gaining exposure in the Senior Bowl…
“The exposure really helps a small school guy like me. It’s tough for us to get our names out there. We’re not always on ESPN and on TV and everything like that, so every little bit of exposure like that helps me and helps get my name out there. Playing well in both the games really helped me too throughout the week and everything and mentally helped me too. Just getting ready for that pro-style offense, that NFL style practice every week and all of that just adds up.”
On being the “CEO” of the franchise that drafts him since he is a quarterback…
“Football is pretty much my job right now. I pretty much wake up at seven in the morning, get to the facility soon after that and I’m there until 5 or 6 o’clock at night just nonstop training for this mainly. Learning the game of football inside and out from my coaches, they’re just teaching me everything that’s different from the NFL compared to college. There’s so much that I need to learn still in order to be a successful CEO like you said. There’s nonstop work that the quarterback has to put in. The quarterback is never done learning no matter how many years you’ve been in the league or anything like that. There are so many more things that you need to learn and that’s really where I’m trying to take my game. I’m just trying to progress smoothly right now.”
On what he’s been doing since the Senior Bowl…
“I have been out in Los Angeles training at the API out there. And I’ve had a couple of different quarterback coaches helping me…both just working on my footwork, working on the release and everything, really just fine tuning everything getting ready for this.”
Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M
On the biggest misconceptions about him…
“I’m looking forward to shoring up all the people that are saying that I’m just an improviser. Feel like I worked extremely hard this year to all-around hone in on my game, so continuing to do that, working out in San Diego, continuing to do that and getting better as a pocket passer and as a quarterback in general.”
On who Johnny Manziel really is…
“I’m from a small town of Kerrville, Texas - 20,000 people. (That) gets lost in kind of the people who make me out to be a big Hollywood guy, really just still a small-town kid. Sometimes you get caught up in certain things, but at the same time continuing to learn and continuing to adapt to everything that’s going on in my life. I’m not saying it’s always easy, but continuing to be who I’ve always been is a big thing for me.”
On what makes him special…
“I’m probably one of the most competitive people on the face of this earth. Whether it’s sitting here playing tic-tac-toe or rock, paper, scissors or whatever it may be, I want to win. It’s something that really dating back all the way to being a kid, I don’t like the taste of losing, leaves a really sour taste in my mouth. I’m an extremely competitive person, at the same time I want to be a great leader as well.”
A.J. McCarron - Alabama
On where he projects to be drafted…
“I don’t try to worry about any of that. If you ask anybody, any GMs or head coaches, nobody knows where anybody is going to fall (in the draft). The draft is just kind of here and there really. One guy could get picked up earlier than expected and it can change the whole draft. I’m just worried about what I can control. And that’s me going out there and performing to the best of my ability. Wherever the chips fall they fall.”
On his best attribute…
“I would think being a winner. Everybody says (I) played behind NFL talent at Alabama. Well, usually in the NFL, what’s in the NFL is NFL talent. So I don’t see how that can be a knock. I’m a leader. First one in, last one out. And I feel like I’ve always put us in a good situation to win the ballgame.”
On what he’s working on improving the most…
“Release point. Everybody tries to, all the experts, try to knock me on my deep ball. (They) try to say my arm’s not strong. My arm’s strong enough. I mean I can throw the ball 65 yards. But I had a bad habit of releasing the ball out wide. Not staying vertical on it. If you go back and watch my film, you can see the film doesn’t lie on that. The times I had to throw the ball deep and I stayed with a vertical release on it, the ball went far. So that was the biggest thing for me (to improve on). Finishing my throws on the deep ball.”Read Read