Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden took some time out this week to talk to a variety of media on a Thursday conference call.
Here are a few excerpted selections from Weeden's session with reporters.
It seems like you guys are the pick this week to be upset, and a lot of people have questioned your No. 4 ranking. Why do you think people still doubt Oklahoma State?
That is a great question. It's probably easier for you to answer instead of me. I don't have the answer to it, to be honest with you. It's one of those things where I could sit here and tell you why, but I'd probably get myself in trouble. I don't agree with it. I really don't. I think we've consistently been a good football team for a long time. If people want to doubt us and people want to question where we're ranked, that's fine. I told the media on Monday that we're not wrapped up in the whole BCS and being No. 4 in the country, because it's basically the first poll. We're at the halfway point, and it doesn't really mean anything. So, there's no extra pressure on us to go out and play any better. Just go out and take care of business, win games and the rest of it will just kind of fall in place.
Do you use it as motivation?
If you listen to it, I guess you could. I don't think a lot of guys in the locker room listen to it. I think it's just one of those things that people are going to say what they want to say. It's the nature of college football these days. So, I don't think guys, one way or the other, use it as motivation or let it get to them one way or the other. I think it's just one of those things that let's let it all go on Saturdays and go from there.
You've talked about [Offensive coordinator Todd] Monken a bit, but how has he, with his NFL experience, made you a better quarterback?
I think it's just really the X's and O's in the film room. He really dissects tape, he really dissects coverages, and just the mental aspect of playing quarterback. He'll use NFL comparisons as far as what they did in the NFL vs. what we do, their differences and why they do certain things in different coverages. He is an extremely, extremely, extremely smart football coach. He's got a real good knack for the game and really can teach it. Even after the season, when I'm preparing for the combine and the workouts and the Xs and Os stuff, he's going to be a guy that I'm going to call and want to kind of pick his brain and sit down and talk ball with, because he's extremely sharp.
Do you think that'll be something you'll be able to translate to the NFL next year?
Yeah, I think so, as far as what we do offensively. It's funny, because everybody gets the perception that this offense is a "system" and you're a product of the "system." I think that is the furthest thing from the truth. If you look at the tape, sure, we run a couple screens here and there, but we don't just dink and dunk it. We're throwing the ball down the field. We're throwing posts, we're throwing digs and we're throwing comebacks. We're throwing all the throws they make on Sundays, and he understands that. He wants to throw the ball down the field, and that's what it takes to play in the NFL. You have to be able to make all the throws, and I think he'll help me as far as that aspect of it. I think the biggest misconception about this offense is the “product of the system.” That's the old-school saying, and I think it's completely false.
What is at the top of the list of the goals for this team? I don't know if it was winning the Big 12 going into the season, but if it was, is that still what it is? If not, what is it?
I think you've gotta start there. We haven't been able to accomplish that yet as a program, so I think you have to start there. Ultimately, the way it shapes out, with the Big 12 as strong as it is and the way everything's shaping out, if you take care of that goal and win the Big 12, you'll probably have to win every game, which will ultimately put you in the big one. I think you've got to take it one step at a time. I think Big 12 is obviously at the forefront, but we want to go to a BCS game. And I think in order to do that, you've got to win them all and you've got to hopefully get past the Big 12 first.
The defense is still something that people on the outside maybe don't look at as good enough to win the national title, because you look at the yards, but then you look at all the turnovers they've gotten. What do you see during practice maybe, going back last year to this year, how have you seen the defense grow during your time going up against them in practice?
First and foremost, you can look at the numbers, but I think they're kind of skewed. Because if you look back at every game we've played, there's been three, four, five games that our twos have played and even some threes against teams that have scored late touchdowns. So, the numbers are a little bit skewed as far as our defense goes. But I think the numbers you look at is takeaways and turnovers. I think our defense really takes a lot of pride in that and stresses that in practice. In practice, you can see, they're just playing extremely hard. What they do is not overly, overly confusing. It's pretty simple, but they're really good at what they do.