Third-string quarterback Ryan Mallett still generates a buzz in Arkansas, as his presence at the Razorbacks' annual Red-White game last month showed. That appearance laid the groundwork for Chris Bahn of Arkansassports360.com to chat with Mallett on his mindset entering his second NFL season with the Patriots.
The Q&A touches (link here) touches on a variety of topics, and here are a few highlights:
Life as a backup quarterback to Tom Brady in New England. "Going to the Super Bowl was a learning experience. It showed me how much work you have to put in to get there. I had one of the best guys in the world in front of me [Tom Brady] to learn from. So I’m soaking up as much as I can. When my number is called I’ll be ready. I learned a lot. I’m learning even more now. We’ve got a new offensive coordinator, but the same system. This past year was a grind. You learn to go to work every day. It’s not like college where you have class and other things to work around to get to football. It’s all football every day."
Playing for coach Bill Belichick. "Man, I love Coach. He’s really honest and that’s the best part about it. Being part of one of his teams is an honor and a privilege. He tells you every day, 'Do your job. Do your job.' If everybody does his job, we’re successful. We did our jobs enough that it got us to the Super Bowl. We didn’t finish it last year, but hopefully we’ll get a chance to finish it this year."
On his physical condition. "I lost 5-percent body fat from the beginning of last year. I’m still the same weight (247), so it just means I’ve put on more muscle. I needed to do it. I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in ever. I’m just ready to get going."