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September 4, 2012

Andrew Maxwell

Q.  I was curious how you deal with maybe the mental aspect of the game when you obviously are saddled with three interceptions in the first half.  Coach was saying two of them weren't your fault.  Going back on film and reviewing things in your mind, how do you think some of those plays ended up?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  How the interceptions happened?

Q.  Yeah.
ANDREW MAXWELL:  The first two were just kind of unfortunate.  Deflections that they came up with, that are fixable mistakes, which is something as a quarterback or as in Tony's case, something that you just have to mark it off as unfortunate and let it go and move on to the next play.
The third one just an inaccurate throw.  If I throw a yard out in front of him, it's probably a touchdown, and we go into halftime with all the momentum in the world.  Instead, it fell behind him, it gets intercepted, and you're at a cross roads as a player.  Not the first half that you hoped for.  Not the first half that you prepared for.
Then going into the locker room, you can decide to go one of two ways.  You can either tank and feel bad about it, feel bad for yourself and just kind of hang it up.  Or you can press on and realize there is still a game to be won, and we have to make the plays and go do that.

Q.  Can you evaluate your performance on a 1 to 10 scale?  Is it better or worse than you thought it was after the game Friday night?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  You love the 1 to 10 scale questions, love them, and I hate answering them.

Q.  You can do halves.
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Halves?  I'll say this: we get a goal card every week.  And the first thing, there are five goals.  Can you write up to five goals on it?  The first thing I write every week is be a great decision maker.  I thought I did a good job of making good decisions.  With the interceptions, they weren't bad decisions.  In some cases they were just unfortunate, and in a case, it was inaccuracy.  There were one or two plays where a decision was probably poor, so for that I thought I did a good job making good decisions.

Q.  Which is better or worse than you thought after the game?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  After watching the film?  Probably better.

Q.¬† On a scale of 1 to 10‑‑ no, just kidding.¬† I was interested in your comment after the game that said you were more relaxed almost than you've been in a long time.¬† I know you said that was about preparation, but did that surprise you?¬† Do you think that's going to be your MO all season?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  It kind of did surprise me because that was something that I've been wondering about was what am I going to feel when it's 20 minutes before kickoff and we're sitting in the locker room and getting ready to go out there.  I was surprised I was calm and my nerves weren't really running that high.
I was excited and ready to play, and hopefully that can be my MO, and it hopefully can be my mindset wave every game, because I think it's just easier to relax and play the game that way.
If you're too busy trying to get your emotions in check and trying to calm yourself back down, then you're taking away from your preparation and taking away from executing on the field.  That just puts all the importance on the film during the week, the practice reps, and just making 100% sure that you're ready to go on Saturday so when that time comes, you're not nervous, but just excited to play.

Q.  Do you have a Twitter account, and if so, do you restrict yourself from using it in certain ways?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I do have a Twitter.  I don't tweet that much.  Frankly, because I can never really think of anything that interesting to say.  It can be used in good ways and it can be used in bad ways.

Q.  Following up on that, you're a leader on this team.  You probably saw what was said about Denard by some of your teammates.  Have you talked to your teammates at all about that sort of thing?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Not personally.  I'm sure Coach Dantonio will address it today, but we have had a lot of training on that.  Guys know the ramifications of it.  On Saturday night there were a couple instances of poor judgment.  I didn't see exactly what was said, so I can't really comment on what was said or why they said it.  But we know the ramifications and the responsibility as players that what we see will be seen by a lot of people and we need to exercise better judgment.

Q.¬† You talked about the decisions made.¬† A lot of seven‑yard gains on 3rd and 5 and those kinds of things.¬† Can you guys win without explosive games in the passing game or is that something that needs to happen?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Obviously, explosive games are a huge part of the game.  There are NFL studies from years that show the importance of explosive games and how it can nullify the effects of turnovers and jump start a team or this and that.
But when those things aren't happening, it is important that when those third downs arrive, if you don't have explosive games and you're not converting third downs, you really don't have a chance.  But we didn't have the explosive games that we were looking for.
But because we were able to convert those 3rd and 5s and 3rd and 4s, we made up for it.  Those were the times in the game that put us in position to score.

Q.  What's it going to be like to be playing 30 minutes from home?  What are you looking forward to in this game?  Do you have a lot of friends at Central?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Yeah, it's going to be a cool experience.  I'm excited for it.  Like you said, that's 35 minutes from my house.  I grew up going to games there.  As you know and I've said before, my dad and I would go there almost every weekend that they had a game.
A lot of my good friends go to Central, so they'll be in the student section, and that's going to be fun.  It's going to be a cool atmosphere, and a lot of Michigan State fans will make the trip.  I think that stadium will be about as full as it's ever been, so it will be a cool experience for both teams.

Q.  You have a high school teammate who is on Central.  I think I read you're pretty close friends with him as well.  Can you talk about is there a texting relationship going on this week?  Do you guys go back and forth?  How close are you with him?
ANDREW MAXWELL:¬† Yeah, Connor is one of my best friends.¬† Connor Gagnon, number 37, he does their kickoffs for them.¬† Connor and I got to become really good friends when we played All‑Star little league baseball together when we were 12.¬† So we've been friends for a while now.¬† Really just happy to see him doing so well and getting an opportunity to play.¬† I know that playing this game at this level was a dream of his.¬† So for him to be doing that and at a high level is exciting for me to see.
We texted yesterday.  No trash or anything.  He just said he was excited to see me, and I said likewise, and we're looking forward to playing against each other.

Q.  (No microphone)?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I don't know how many secrets he knows.  No, hopefully he doesn't spill too many beans.  I don't think he has any.

Q.  Obviously, it was a tough night for Tony.  He makes the first interception and the fumble.  Did you go out of your way at all to talk to him?  What did you see from him other than the mistakes in terms of first off the line, getting open, things like that?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  The plays that resulted in turnovers, he actually ran perfect routes.  The first one we call it a glance route.  Against that coverage, that is something we've been talking about, and he ran it perfectly.  He got open, and unfortunately it bounced off his hands.
The last one on the seam route, he made a great read and hit his landmark perfectly, but unfortunately ended up in a drop.  I saw him Saturday after the game.  I told him keep his head up, keep working, they're all fixable mistakes.
We know what kind of player he is.  He showed it time and time again in practice and camp.  Those are uncharacteristic mistakes that he'll learn from and correct this week in practice, and hopefully it won't happen again.

Q.  If I remember, Michigan State was one of your early offers.  Did you have an offer from Central?

Q.  Had you gotten one, might you have gone there if that had been the first offer?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Might I have gone to Central Michigan?

Q.  Yeah, if that had been the early offer.
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I don't think so.

Q.  You talk about the adversity you personally overcame in the second half.  Is there something over the last few years that have helped you with that or is it something innate in you as a person?
ANDREW MAXWELL:¬† I think it kind of happens‑‑ you kind of grow as a person and you grow as a player.¬† The longer you play this game, the longer you're around it you can see how games can be affected by your mindset either way.¬† I've seen games where people have chosen not to respond positively to adversity and how that's acted negatively.¬† And I've seen our team battle back.
Like last year's Mississippi team, we were down and ran one play offensively.  But the character of our team then, we kept battling and battling and came out on top.  This is the same kind of deal.  If we keep battling, keep battling, keep our heads up and stay positive, it's a long game, a lot of things can happen.  We know if we hang around, we'll have an opportunity to win it.

Q.  There are going to be some of your friends from Central in the cheering section.  Will they be cheering for you or Central?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I'm not sure.  They'll probably be cheering for me personally, but Central to win the game, I would imagine.

Q.  There were a couple of plays, including the pass to Sims on the sideline where it looked like he could have gotten clocked from the back side on the blitz and Le'Veon came over and picked him up.  When you see that developing, are you saying anything to him or just glad that he's able to pick that stuff up?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  That is another part of Le'Veon's game is that he's a tremendous pass protector with great vision to see blitzers coming from the back field.  I don't know how he does it.  I've seen on film during camp where he's been looking this way, and they bring a guy backside, and he darts across and goes to pick him up.  So that just makes him all that more valuable to us.  Not only can he make the great runs and catches, maybe even more valuable to me as a quarterback is he can see those blitzes and he's not afraid to be physical, step up and take him on.

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