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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE


October 9, 2012


Andrew Maxwell


Q.  How will you guys adjust to that?  Mark talked a little bit about possible things that you can do.  Do you think that Lawrence Thomas might be a little bit bigger factor for you this week?
ANDREW MAXWELL:¬† Well, he certainly could be.¬† That's going to be determined throughout this week in practice.¬† I think we're going to try‑‑ I don't know if it's for sure, but I would imagine we'd try a number of different remedies, be it formationally, be it personnel groupings, working different guys in different spots.¬† But LT could be a guy who plays but we'll see what goes on.

Q.  With so many different names in the offense now and either through injury or promotion, has that flux kind of become the new normal or is there a continuity issue there?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Well, I think that's something that you have to be prepared for in this game is that it's no secret that injuries happen.  It's no secret that sometimes people lose their spots and people get shuffled around.  When you've been playing the game as long as we have, that's something you grow accustomed to.
You never hope for these things to happen or plan on these things happening, but everybody has been a part of the season where these things have happened and you have to adjust.  So that's what we're in the process of doing right now.

Q.  The flip side of being able to make comebacks is that you're behind when you need to make them.  What is the problem with the slow starts?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Well, I wish there was a magic pill or magic solution to the slow starts, but there's really not.  It just comes down to execution in football and in offensive football specifically is all about execution.
We really need to make that a point of emphasis.  We obviously don't want to fall behind like we did on Saturday.  We don't want to keep having these slow starts like we've had.  But football, like a lot of things, is always about how you finish though.  So if we can clean that up as well as keep finishing like we have been, then I think we're going to have a real recipe for success.

Q.  Going back to fall camp, you talked about Paul Lang and his emergence, and now that he's moved and going to get a lot more play, can you talk about what he brings to the table that makes Michigan State better?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Paul's a worker.  Paul's a guy that's going to do whatever this team needs him to do and whatever he's asked.  So just look at him.  Look at his physical size.  He's a big kid, a physical kid, and he's been getting more physical as the season is going on.  Can you see that in the way he practices, and he catches the ball well and runs his routes well.  With the extra load being put on his shoulders, Andrew Gleichert and Derek Hoebing, all three will be able to rise to the challenge and be excited to do it.

Q.  Wonder if you can give us a state of Andrew Maxwell halfway through your season.  I don't mean evaluation, that's for your coaches and maybe us to do.  But your comfort level as the game slowed down, how would you update this six games into this season now?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I feel comfortable.  I really do.  I feel comfortable out there.  It doesn't feel overwhelming.  It doesn't feel like I'm out of place.  It feels like I'm where I'm supposed to be, and that comes from being comfortable in a system and being comfortable with the guys around me, being comfortable with the coaches.  When you're playing a game, you're playing with the people that are close to you.  You're playing with your best friends, and if you go out and enjoy it and play for each other, that will be a more enjoyable experience for everybody, including myself.

Q.  You're one of several guys in the offense that came in today without a lot of experience.  Now that it's the midpoint of the year, six games in, is there a sense of urgency that you feel for that group to sort of realize that we're not inexperienced down players anymore.  The season is coming to a critical point and we have to have a high level at this point?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I think we can be excited that we don't have that inexperience anymore.  We can be excited that we have gotten that experience and we can grow.  Every game we can build on something we learned from the last one and we can focus on something new in practice, and just keep building and building and building and growing, and gaining steam as we go throughout the year.

Q.  Does that add pressure?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  No, I don't think it adds any pressure.  I think at this point, like I mentioned myself being comfortable, I think everybody who came into the year with little or no experience, they're at the same point now too where they feel hey, I'm the starter.  I've been here for a while.  I'm getting the hang of this, and now we can progress and feel comfortable in that role.

Q.  Last week we basically informed you that Burbridge was going to be starting and a week later he's freshman of the week.  What did you see when you watched him of his eight catches and all the plays he made against Indiana?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  They were tough plays.  You think back to the 3rd and 10 he caught in double coverage, and that is a critical point in the game.  For him to go up and make a play like that when we really needed it, and that's what we were expecting for him.  That's what we had him out there for.  So, what a great way for him to start.  That's just going to boost his confidence.
When you're a young player and you have all the talent in the world, you need to experience the confidence.  So to have the game like he did and have the confidence that he now has, he just kind of rolls that over.  It will be exciting to see what he can do for us in the coming weeks.

Q.¬† You've been here as the program built to get to the top and the 11‑win seasons.¬† But I know it's not all the way where you want it to be.¬† Talk about is it more difficult to stay there or get there?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I think it's a lot more difficult to stay there.  There is a quote that says for every ten team that can handle adversity, there is only one that can handle success.  I think you have to really guard against complacency.  You have to remember how hard it was to get there, everything that goes into the season, everything that goes into getting 11 wins.  You can never take that for granted.  You can never think because you did it in the past you can do it in the future.
I think we have to take the exact same mindset we've taken the last couple of years and that is to be workers and to approach every week with that mentality.  You can't get lax.  You can't get complacent.  You have to constantly be working and improving.

Q.  You were prophetic last week when you talked about Bennie Fowler.  Now that you've had a chance to think about what he went through and the huge play that he made, you've got to be even happier for him than you were at the time, huh?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Yeah, I told you guys don't expect this to be the last one, and sure enough, he catches the touchdown and puts us ahead.  Even more than that he made a huge third down catch.  Might have been the drive before the midfield.  We were third down, and then he got us to 4th and 1.
There were three plays right there where we needed a play to be made and Benny was the guy to step up and do that.  I told you that was Benny's character.  I told you he wasn't going to take a lane down.  But it was going to be fuel to his fire to keep working.
So if he can keep improving and taking that same mindset and making those plays for us, we'll have a good chance of making some plays.

Q.  What will Aaron see now that he's had that performance on tape for people.  What will defenses do to him?  What does having a guy like that change defenses for Bennie and other wideouts?
ANDREW MAXWELL:¬† It's tough to say how defenses are going to account for that.¬† You may need more than one eight‑catch, 134‑yard game for defenses to really start game planning to stop you.¬† But he definitely brings another dimension to the offense.¬† He definitely brings something that is going to raise some eyebrows to defensive coordinators.¬† If he does start drawing a little extra attention, that's going to leave some room open in the running game, passing game and other areas.

Q.  Do you feel the receiving corps has finally settled itself out a little bit?  There is a little separation now and you have somewhat of a sense of who the top three, four guys are, or is it still in flux for you?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Well, I think as is apparent in Bennie's performance last week, Bennie didn't start and wasn't in the top three.  But he said, hey, don't count me out.  Here are three big plays I can make.  So we still have four or five guys who when their number is called, they have that ability to go make a play.  I've been saying all along that is a good problem to have.  You want to have too many guys and not enough spots.

Q.¬† Go back to what you were talking about earlier with the complacency versus remembering how you got there.¬† Do you think earlier in the year that was a bit of an issue?¬† Do you feel there's been a wake‑up call or humbling with this team compared to the preseason?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I don't think it was an issue.  But when you lose two of your first five games, I think that's a reminder that it's not easy.  No one said it would be easy.  No one ever said we could throw our helmets out there and win 11 games.  I don't think consciously we were complacent.  I don't think that was the attitude of the team.
But when you lose two of your first five games, whether you need it or not, that is a reminder that nothing is promised in this game and you have to work for everything you get.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I think if you look at the way we pulled together in the second half on Saturday, you know, that was a product of everybody in that locker room pulling together as one team and one family and doing it together.  If we can approach the whole season, that way and look at it as focusing on just the people inside the walls of the building, just the people in that locker room plus the coaches and plus the people immediately connected to the program.  If we can go say, hey, it's just us and it's all about us and we can move forward in that respect, then we're going to be successful, I think.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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