- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
As most Big Ten blog readers know, I'm a pretty big Adam Weber fan. He has been put under some pretty tough circumstances at Minnesota and performed well, passing for 5,656 yards and 39 touchdowns in his first two seasons as the starter. Though Minnesota's program remains a work in progress, Weber has proven himself as a leader and shown his toughness, leading the Gophers past Illinois last October just six days after undergoing knee surgery.
After operating in the spread offense for two years, Weber will run a new system this fall under coordinator Jedd Fisch. He was limited this spring following left shoulder (non-throwing) surgery, but he's 100 percent entering camp, which began Monday.
Check out some of Weber's thoughts on the upcoming season:
How does it feel to be back on the field again?
Adam Weber: It felt great. We're all a little anxious after spring ball because we left a lot of plays out there. Watching tape, we didn't really execute to our abilities. We took a lot of time this offseason to watch tape and really put things together so we could come out here in this practice and hit the ground running, which I believe we did.
You have the most experienced team in the Big Ten and you're probably dealing with the most change as far as new coaches and scheme. Does it help with the learning curve that you guys are older?
AW: If we were a very young team, we'd be hurting pretty bad right now. But with the amount of veterans we have on the team, we can really throw anything at them because we're all kind of used to it at this point. With the veteran group, there's a commitment level they understand. It's not easy learning a new offense and trying to get used to a new coordinator, but all it takes is time. It's just a matter of how much time do you want to put in. We all sacrificed this summer to give time up here at the complex so we can be really explosive.
Do you feel that you have the offense down at this point, or is it not quite there?
AW: It's not quite there. If we were ready to go, I couldn't wait for the season to start. But I'm glad we still have  more practices before our game because we're going to need all of them. But it's exciting to see how we came out with an expectation and a sense of urgency. There weren't a lot of mistakes out there that you'd typically see on the first day [of practice]. It's exciting to know we're moving in the right direction. After the seventh or eighth practice, we'll have 100 percent of our offense [installed]. And then it's to the quarterback's comfort level, what I want to do out there. Coach Fisch has given the freedom to the quarterback. He wants it to be where you're almost an offensive coordinator out there, so if you're seeing a look and we want to change the play, just go ahead. 'Just be right,' is all Coach Fisch has to say.
And are you 100 percent physically?
AW: I'm 100 percent. Shoulder feels great, body feels very, very good. It was a good offseason. It was frustrating how out of shape I got with this surgery, but I put in the time, put in the effort. I feel very, very good right now.
You attended the Manning [Passing Academy] this summer. How did it go?
AW: A lot of fun. Getting to meet the best quarterbacks in the country, guys who have their names on the national level, it was nice to go out there and meet them. With Peyton and Eli, it was great to pick their brains. It was a great experience. There was one time where Peyton and Eli had a little conference of all the college quarterbacks. They sat us down and said, 'Whatever questions you have, shoot 'em at us.' It was neat to pick their brains and ask them questions about their daily life and how they communicate with receivers and how they look at tape.
What did you ask them?
AW: I wanted to know how they go about preparation going into a week, how much tape they look at. Peyton was talking about how he'll spend just about the same amount of time watching other teams' defenses as he does watching himself. Peyton stresses fundamentals and he's a perfectionist. That's why he's one of the greatest quarterbacks. I'd never guess he'd spend that much time watching yourself and making adjustments on your own form.
Everyone is interested in how your offensive line is coming along. They might have the most changes to deal with as far as the new offense. What are you seeing from that group?
AW: Just from being up here in the offseason, they have been one of the hardest-working position groups on the team. They were challenged by coach [Tim] Brewster and challenged by coach [Tim] Davis and Coach Fisch to establish an attitude, establish a sense of aggressiveness. They definitely have put in the time and effort in the offseason. They did all the extra work that wasn't even asked of them. It was great to see that. They have that commitment level to this program and to themselves getting better. Just looking at them today, it looks like things are going to be very, very good for our running game and for our offense. The attitude has changed, so it's nice to see.
Is [wide receiver] Hayo Carpenter the real deal?
AW: It might be too early to tell, but he's definitely a talented, talented athlete who has the knack for going up and getting the ball. He's done many good things in his career so far. Now it's just a matter of him getting comfortable in this offense. He'll be a big part of this offense, and he'll be able to make plays for us. It's just a matter of him putting in the time, learning this offense and getting comfortable with his role on the team.