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Quotes from Byron Leftwich's press conference

POSTED: October 21, 2007 5:07 a.m.
QB Byron Leftwich Press Conference 10.17.07 Q: How ready are you to move forward and start for this team? 

A: “As a football player, my first thoughts were that I was happy to have the opportunity to get on the football field and help this team win games. That was the first thing that hit my mind. It’s time to go and it’s time to prepare. You want to have that week where you can prepare and you are the guy in the huddle. That gives you the opportunity to be successful. When I got the news I was happy. That’s why I stayed patient the entire time I was here. I was trying to learn (the offense) as quickly as I could. I think coach Petrino got to the point where he had enough confidence in me. He gave me this opportunity to lead this football team.”

 Q: On the ankle he tweaked in practice last week. 

A: “It was tough knowing that I was going to get some reps that day (in practice). It was tough to have a minor setback like that, but everything happens for a reason. (My ankle) is pain free and it’s feeling good right now. I have all week to prepare and I’m going to make sure I’m ready to play on Sunday.”

 Q: What do you think you can do to bring a spark to this offense? 

A: “We’ll see on Sunday. In my four years in this league, I’ve been in a lot of different situations. I’ve been in a situation where my team was 1-5, but I’ve also been in a situation where I’ve been 5-1. When you have a young football team like us, I try to share my experiences with the guys who haven’t been through everything I have in this league. I’m just going to be me, lead this football team, make plays and score some points.”

 Q: On coming in early and watching film? 

A: “That’s my normal schedule. I get over here really early and I like to give myself a chance. The worst thing in the world is to be on that football field on Sunday and not be prepared. I try my best to be as prepared as I can be not only to help myself, but to help the others guys as well. When I’m talking to those guys and I give them information, they can believe it. They can know it’s 100 percent true because they know I’m over here putting this work in. It’s part of being a quarterback in this league. You have to be the guy and you also have to be the guy people look to when they want answers. It’s the way I go about playing quarterback in this league and I don’t know any other way to do it.”

 Q: How was it being in the huddle today with the first unit? 

A: “It was great. It was like old times. It was special for those guys to welcome me with open arms. They treated me like they wanted me to be there and that’s a good feeling for any player. I know I haven’t been here a long time. I’ve known a few of these guys before I came to the team, but at the same time, I respect all of the guys on this team and they respect me too. It’s exciting to have this opportunity to be out there playing with those guys.”

 Q: How does it feel to come here with a fresh start? 

A: “It’s a great feeling. Like I said, football has really been taken from me in the past month and a half. It has a new feeling now and it’s fun again. Any football player will tell you that it’s tough not being on that football field. I knew my situation. It’s not like I play wide receiver or running back. When you play the quarterback position, you have to learn the whole offense. You have to know what everyone is doing on the field. It takes time to get all of that. I think coach Petrino sees that I can go out there and help this football team. I’m going to try to do what I can.”

 Q: Have you had a chance to look at the Saints? 

A: “I know there record doesn’t speak for them, but if you watch our games, you can see that we were close too. Week in and week out, they’ve always had an opportunity to win. Winning in this league is slim. There are only about two or three plays you can make that decides whether or not you win a football game. Every team in this league is good, especially the Saints. They have a lot of players there making plays and they beat a good Seattle Seahawks team last week. You know they are going to be fired up and ready to play. We have to match their intensity.”

 Q: How different is coach Petrino’s offense from the one you played in at Jacksonville? 

A: “It’s not different, it’s just learning his system. Some of the plays are very similar, it’s just how you call it. It could be a totally different language.”

 Q: Coach Petrino used the word “permanent” when he described the change. What does that do for you? 

A: “It says that coach Petrino has the confidence in me to lead this football team. As a player, you respect that and you love that your coach has that confidence in you. It’s not like he had a lot of time to get to know me. We’ve known each other for three and a half weeks and for him to have that confidence in me is an exciting thing. You never want to let your coach down when he has that confidence in you. You want to go out there and bust your tail for him because he gave you the opportunity.


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