August 7, 2011

Derby comfortable at QB

Last year at his first media day, A.J. Derby answered quite a few questions about whether he would be staying at quarterback. This year with his name in the two deeps, the position switch rumor mill has slowed down. He talks about his increased level of comfort under center, his time in the film room, and much more.

Q: Have you heard any good rumors about you switching positions lately?

DERBY: I really haven't heard any lately. I haven't really been listening to them or anything like that. (laugh)

Q: Do you think it's finally sinking in with the people out there that think you should be moving positions?

DERBY: I don't know. They can keep thinking whatever they want. I guess they are just going to have to get used to this.

Q: How big of an improvement from that first pass last spring to now?

DERBY: I don't even know if I remember that first pass, but probably a lot.

Q: What is your biggest area of improvement?

DERBY: Probably just knowledge. I think my comfort level has also improved and that helps my footwork and everything else that goes with playing quarterback. Once you get comfortable, you know what to expect and what you are expected to do.

Q: It looks like you are in the mix for the backup spot at quarterback. Talk about that competition.

DERBY: Well, it's one practice in and I think we both had good practices today. We both just have to keep working and see what happens.

Q: What are your thoughts on James Vandenberg?

DERBY: He's a really good quarterback. He has a really live arm and a strong arm and he is a very knowledgeable quarterback.

Q: Tight end with the best hands on the team is?

DERBY: My brother. (laugh)

Q: Is it fun throwing passes to him in practice, like you guys probably did in the backyard at home?

DERBY: Yeah it is. We grew up playing catch all the time, so it's exciting and fun.

Q: Have you progressed at the rate you would have thought you would so far?

DERBY: I really don't think of it in those terms. I just come in every day and try to work hard and things will happen the way they are supposed to.

Q: How much time do you spend looking at film?

DERBY: As much as I can. I do it anytime I have free time.

Q: Is that something you have to learn to do and adjust to as a quarterback, putting in that time?

DERBY: Yeah it is. It's a big time adjustment. In high school I really didn't watch much film. I sort of just went out and played. When you get here, that's all you do. All my friends were texting me all summer saying they hadn't seen me at all and I always say, yeah that's because I'm watching film every day and then I go to bed early. (laugh)

Q: Is that an adjustment because I'm sure as a college kid you want to go out and hang out with your friends.

DERBY: Yeah it is an adjustment. I try to take weekend time off during the summer, but it will be worth it in the end.

Q: How many hours a day are you watching film during the summer?

DERBY: It depends, but usually at least two or three hours every day.

Q: Stanzi was a big film guy. Did you ever sit down and watch film with him last year?

DERBY: Last year we were on totally different games that we were watching. He was studying for games and I was trying to study to learn it.

Q: Do you feel like you have a complete grasp of the playbook now?

DERBY: I don't think anyone ever has a full grasp of it. It's always a learning process that I am working on every day.

Q: Do you feel like you are ready if opportunity knocks this year to get into a game?

DERBY: Yeah, I think so. If they want me to go in, I'm ready for it.

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