Today, we published a story updating the progress of former Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith, who declared for the 2014 NFL Draft and will compete at Wyoming's pro day on March 13.
While the story was expansive, a number of interesting nuggets didn't make the cut. So, here's more from my interview with Smith from earlier this week.
On his adjustment from the spread offense to learning pro-style concepts:
“It’s been what I expected so far. I knew it was going to be a grind. I knew it was going to be a lot of information to take in. It’s a great learning opportunity for me, just because I’m coming from a spread offense, and that’s not too common in the NFL. I know it’s growing a little bit. I wanted to learn more universal concepts.”
“I think it’s going well so far. I’ve been able to pick up a lot on it, and I’ve been studying a lot of the information I’ve been exposed to so far. We’ve been going in every single day and learning these things every single day for a couple hours, so being able to learn all this information is great. Obviously, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. You’re in one offense for basically six years for me, because I started learning it my sophomore year in high school. But it’s been good. It’s been really great, and I’m glad I’m learning a lot.”
On training at EXOS alongside Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles and Washington quarterback Keith Price:
“It’s great from a competitive standpoint, but you also become friends with these guys and you want the best for them. It’s been a lot of fun getting to know them and getting to work alongside them and develop those relationships.”
On overcoming adversity and not being invited to the NFL Combine:
“The things is, I’ve always been in situations where people thought I wasn’t a good quarterback. I had 30, 40 schools tell me I couldn’t play Division I football. This is really familiar territory. I understand it, because it’s what’s always happened to me.”
On not being given the opportunity at the NFL Combine to compete alongside more highly-touted quarterbacks:
“That was the hardest part. That was finally my opportunity to go head-to-head with all of those guys that were picked above me, even in high school. The ones that you hear about, that you see at camps that everybody’s around, the ones that everybody talks about as the highly touted prospects – I wanted to go up against all of them. I thought that’d be a really great experience. But the bottom line is that’s not going to happen, and I can’t dwell on it. I’m not going to dwell on it. I have the opportunity to go to pro day and throw there and do every single event, and I’m excited to do that with my buddies back at Wyoming. That’s how I’m looking at it.”
On quarterbacks at the NFL Combine who refuse to throw or compete in all events:
“I understand it’s a strategic move. But at the same time, no matter where I was being projected, if I was projected to be undrafted or the No. 1 pick in the draft, I would have thrown just because it’s what I want to do. It’s the type of person I am. It’s the type of player I want to be.”
On training for Wyoming's pro day on March 13:
“That’s everything. That’s kind of my shot to get in front of NFL teams now, so it’s definitely the most important thing. Everything I do since I was told I’m not going to the combine has been centered around what I can do to put myself in the best position to succeed at pro day.”
On his footwork suffering at the end of the 2013 season:
“Towards the end of the year we were doing a lot of east/west concepts where I’d throw bubbles or really short two-yard passes, so I was just getting it out and throwing it as fast as I can. I wasn’t worrying about my feet, so my footwork got really, really bad. I was just catching and throwing, because that’s what the coaches were telling me to do."
On the process of preparing for the NFL Draft:
“I’m not really itching for the draft to get here yet. I’ve always been a guy that enjoys working anyway. But the road to getting better and the road to the draft is something I think you need to embrace and enjoy, so I’m embracing it right now.”
On what he's heard from his Wyoming teammates about the new UW coaching staff:
“To be honest, all the guys I’ve talked to, I’ve never heard the guys this happy. It’s really amazing just to hear their optimism and how much they love the staff. I’m really, really happy for them, because I’ve never heard or seen the team so excited and so happy to be working and playing for those coaches. So it’s really neat to hear that.”