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TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL: STANFORD v OKLAHOMA STATE


December 29, 2011


Brandon Weeden


GLENDALE, ARIZONA

BRANDON WEEDEN:  We have had great practices so far.

Q.  Is there room for the sticks?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  I was able to get 9 holes in.  Actually I got 11 in, but the last two were in the dark.  It was a lot of fun.

Q.  Is that the only golf you have played?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  That's it.  That's probably the last time we will get to play.  We have team functions from here on out.
That was it.  I made the most of it.  I played well.

Q.  When you look at the Stanford defense and see the different coverages, golly, is that something new for you?  I haven't seen that out of any defense this season.
BRANDON WEEDEN:¬† You know, I think the team‑‑ we just played Oklahoma and they are probably the closest thing to it.¬† They played everything in the book.¬† They play everything.¬† It will take a lot of preparations for our film study and all that stuff leading up to it.¬† And kind of getting ourselves in good plays.
Our main goal is to get good plays.  They got good players and they are very well coached.  It will be a challenge.

Q.  You are saying the Oklahoma game was a good game to play, last game of the season leading toward this?
BRANDON WEEDEN:¬† I would say so, from a personnel standpoint.¬† They are very similar.¬† They have 11 great athletes on that side of the ball and try to confuse as far as coverage.¬† I think that is kind of a good tune‑up, I guess you could say.

Q.  24 this deep in the season, 13 games, is there more to the offense we haven't seen?  I'm sure they have pored through your games.  Are there things you haven't done?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  There is some.  The thing with the offense, you can run the same plays by doing it with different looks, whether it is formations or whatever it may be, motions, whatever it may be.  There is a lot of things that we feel like we can show that we haven't done throughout the year.
At the same time, we are going to run the same plays we feel comfortable running and same stuff we have been doing all year.

Q.  For a game like this, are you more likely to add something different or just do what you do and do it really well?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  I think pretty much do what you do and do it pretty well.  Just add wrinkles to different looks to offset them.
You got to focus on what you are doing and do it well.¬† I think the basics are taking care of the football.¬† Blocking, all the stuff‑‑ we have so much time to prepare.¬† Those are the things we focus the on the last two, three weeks.

Q.  So much time, do you worry about rust?
BRANDON WEEDEN:¬† It has been good.¬† We have done a lot of two‑minute stuff, with our defense one speed, ones versus ones, twos versus twos.¬† It is more of a game situation.¬† If you go against the scouts, yeah, you worry about having rust and not playing full speed.¬† We have been going full speed against our own defense.¬† The coaches have done a great job as far as that goes.

Q.  You have a lot of things ahead of you.  But this season, there were a lot of things on the field and off.  Have you reflected on the journey of getting here?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  Yeah, a little bit.  After that Oklahoma team, me and Blackmon talked and talked about how satisfying it was.  Especially more for him, coming back, I think he wanted to beat Oklahoma and get a Big 12 championship.  That was just one piece of the puzzle we thought was pretty special.
Yeah, it has been a pretty fun year for us and a lot of hard work that has gone into it.
It has been a joy.  Been a lot of fun to be around these guys and experience some stuff we experienced.

Q.¬† When you decided to come back, you and he had the news conference, that day, is that what you pictured?¬† Not many people have picture‑perfect years.¬† I know you can look at the Iowa State game for whatever.¬† But this is really kind of what you guys wanted?
BRANDON WEEDEN:¬† Absolutely.¬† I think‑‑ I said it that day.¬† We wanted to go to a BCS game.¬† That was one of the things we talked about, and we were able to accomplish it.
Sometimes when you go through those situations and you come back, you never know how it is going to turn out.  You might get injured or not have the year you want to have or whatever it is.
I think we both have pretty solid years and we put our team in a position to play in a BCS game.  Everything we were able to set aside, we were able to accomplish.

Q.¬† You are in a BCS game but not the big one.¬† Is that a let‑down?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  This is as good as it gets, being in Scottsdale and playing in the Fiesta Bowl.  I think every team's goal is to play in the championship.  I don't think there is any guy in the locker room let down about it.
We are all excited to be here.  This is a great venue, and pretty sure everybody in the country will be watching Monday night.

Q.  You have something to prove?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  I think so.  That's any time you step on the field.  You want to prove you are one of the best teams in the country.  When you are going up against a team like Stanford that has been solid all year long, it is good for us to show where we fit in the country.

Q.  Should the winner of this game be No. 2 in the country?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  It is hard to say.  It really is hard to say.  I don't know.  Depending on the outcome, what happens in the Alabama game.
There is a lot of things that could still happen.  I'm not worried about it.  There is not another game to play.

Q.  Do you look draw from old Weinke?  What do draw from an older guy going into the NFL?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  He set the standard.  I looked at what he did.  He had a long career in the NFL and pretty successful quarterback and also the backup.  So you can use a comparison.
I don't think about it that way.  Once you are in the draft, it is a positive my age will help me immediately.  I don't have to worry about maturing.  I have already played a professional sport.  I have been fortunate to have some money in my pocket.  That's not an issue.  I think it is all positive.

Q.  Speaking of your previous sport, what was that year like with Jordan Pratt back in Columbus, Georgia?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  It is good.  We are creatures of habit.  We do everything together.  I got to know Jordan well.  He had great stuff.  He can really throw it.  He had really good stuff.  Great guy.  Fun to be around.
I didn't even know‑‑ my wife was reading something on the Internet.¬† She told me he was back at Stanford.¬† I had no idea until after that Sunday night when we saw we were playing Stanford.¬† Pretty neat.¬† I shot him a message on Twitter and communicated back and forth here.¬† I haven't seen him since we have been out here.

Q.  Is it true that year that you guys were saying if this didn't work out we are going to try football, and the other players on the team said no, you won't, you're crazy?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  We talked about it.  I talk about it all the time.  My deal was when I was 18 and I signed originally, if baseball didn't work out, I would play football.  I always talked about it.  I was thinking I would pitch in the Big Leagues.
Later in my career, I would bring the football to the field and I used that as part of my program.  Wasn't until later in my career I said I would give football a shot.  People thought I was crazy.  And I said we'll see.  I guess it is funny how it worked out.

Q.  Did you ever think your baseball injury would prevent you from having this kind of success?
BRANDON WEEDEN:¬† Even when I was playing baseball in '05‑6 in the off‑season, when I would throw a football, never had any issues.¬† If I were to throw a baseball, I probably would have issues.
My arm has been great.  I haven't had any injury, any soreness, anything with my shoulder.  So it is amazing.  It is funny how two different motions are completely different.
In baseball, I had a hard time sleeping at night.  Now I'm never sore.  Thank God for that.

Q.  It was the shoulder injury that you had?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  Rotator cuff tendonitis.  Never had surgery.  Normal wear and tear of being a starting pitcher that plays 140 games.

Q.  But the motion is that different?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  Completely different.  With a pitcher you are throwing every pitch at 100 percent, changeup, curve ball, throwing everything as hard as you can.  I think the torque, the ball is lighter, more of a whipping motion, really turning balls as far as changeup and curve balls.  There is a lot more stress on your football.
In football, you don't throw 100 percent.  You do but you are dumping it down.

Q.¬† How do you describe the off‑field relationship with Justin and how well you two read each other?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  We have an unbelievable relationship, not only on the field but off the field.  We are close friends.  We hang out.  We have a good time.  He is one of my favorite guys in the locker room.
It is amazing how smart he is.  That's the thing.  On the field there are not many guys that understand football and coverages and route running and stuff like that.  That's why he is going to be a really high draft pick.
So I think it is fun just to be a part of it.  I look back on all those, and I said I would be able to be the guy to throw the ball to Justin.  He has a bright future in front of him.

Q.  Why do you think Oklahoma State has had great success recruiting great receivers?
BRANDON WEEDEN:¬† We have always been a team‑‑ our old defense, we throw the ball around.¬† I think that's attractive.
I think we have really good wide receiver coaches.¬† So I think they want to be around good, solid coaches.¬† And I think the success‑‑ I think you look at‑‑ it starts with Bowman which had a chance to be a high draft pick and then Dez and now Blackmon.¬† Other guys throughout the country see that; that will be fun to be in that offense and catch 100 balls a year.

Q.  We heard Coach Gundy is more comfortable now than he was three, four years ago.  Do you see that?  Does that manifest in how he deals with the team?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  No question.  When I got here five years ago, he was young.  He still is a young coach.  He was learning how to deal with the ins and outs of becoming head coach.
He has done an unbelievable job.¬† He understands his players.¬† Got a great relationship with all his players.¬† He gets it.¬† And I think he understands‑‑ I think the biggest thing is he has hired great coaches around him to put a good program and good thing going.
So I think it's amazing.  He has done a lot of good things for this university.  He wants to be here for a long time.

Q.  Grant was saying he was more of a drill sergeant four or five years ago balls he wasn't comfortable yet as a head coach.  Has he changed in how he deals with you guys, lightened up?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  No doubt.  He was a position coach that called plays and real hands on.  That's the way he went about it his first few years.  Once he realized he has a lot on his plate outside of football, he said he would hire assistant coaches and throw his two cents in.
He has done a great job of that.  He is hands on.  He wants to help coach my footwork or route running.  He still throws tips out there.  He is a lot more in the background and he does a great job and a lot of fun to play with him.

Q.  How bad is his dancing?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  Pretty bad.  But some of those moves, if I can do that at 43, 44, I will be pretty excited.

Q.  Receivers, who is the next great one?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  I think Mike Harrison has the chance to be really, really good.  I tell him all this time, if he learned to quit doing his own thing and do it the way the coaches teach him how to do it, he has great hands.  Like Blackmon, he has a chance to be special.
Tracy Moore coming back, has another year, will be a great player.
I think Torrance Carr, I think if he can continue to get better, stay focused, buy in to what we are doing, I think he has a chance to be special.

Q.  How much contact did you have with Andrew Luck at camps?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  A lot.  Quite a bit.
It was neat how it all worked.  There were a lot of quarterbacks there.  We had dinner all together and there is a local bar we go to and hang out.  We were around each other all day.  He was one of my good buddies there and spent a lot of time with.

Q.  What struck you most about him?  His teammates say he is a goofy guy.
BRANDON WEEDEN:  Completely.  He is goofy.  But I think he is not cocky.  He is extremely humble.  He obviously has a bright future ahead of it.  He is an extremely humble guy.

Q.  From a quarterback standpoint, what are some of the challenges you think are hardest facing Stanford?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  Going back to the coverages, they play so many different coverages.  They are doing a good job of that.  They are well coached, play hard.  They are a really good football team.
Any time you play a team with the talent they have, it is a challenge.  It is about us taking care of the football there will be mistakes.

Q.  (Question about the title game)?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  The system is in place.  It worked out.  We came up little bit short.  If you looked back and you said before the year started we wanted to go to the national championship, you probably thought we were crazy.  But our goal was to go to a BCS game.
We are extremely excited about it.  I'm extremely excited to be here.  It is a great venue.  I think this will be one of the games that people will sit down and watch.
I can speak for all 120 guys, we are really excited to be here.

Q.  You have been married for a couple years.  Can you talk about how this helped you making the transition from baseball back to college up to where you are right now?
BRANDON WEEDEN:  First of all, my wife is extremely supportive.  She is never discouraged me from doing anything.  She is always supporting me 100 percent.  That makes it easy right there.
She understands I'm busy and an I am working out and doing stuff.  She understands it.  She gets it.  She is ready for me to be completely done with it and spend some more time with her, yeah.
She understands this is what I wanted to do.  Even when I played baseball, she was really supportive back then.  It has made the transition very easy.  When you have somebody at home that was nagging all the time because you were gone, it would be tough.  She is not like that.  She is really supportive of what I do.

Q.¬† She wasn't exactly a football‑‑
BRANDON WEEDEN:  She was more of a baseball nut.  And her dad coached basketball.  So football is kind of foreign to her.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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