Thursday, April 9, 2009

Q&A: Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue

Interviewed by Daniel Mogollon, Ralph Mancini and Rodney Towe on the All Access Football Friday Show on All Access Football Radio from April 3, 2009.

The Draft is now 22 days away—do you have a feel for which teams are really interested in you?

You know it’s tough. At this point you see some teams that maybe, you think, are going to draft a quarterback, but I think it’s so hard to tell. With the recent action that is going on, even between Denver and Chicago, there are always things that are going on out there, so you never even know. Things can happen from now up until the Draft, so like I said, you get some ideas but I think it’s tough to really pinpoint the teams that are really interested or what might happen.

I know you told us about the Denver thing awhile back and I was joking with you when the deal went down. You haven’t started shopping for houses in Denver just yet, then?

(Laughs) No, not quite. It’s like what we talked about—there might be a team there that is looking to draft someone for a back-up type role or anything related to that. That type of thing is obviously a great opportunity. That would be something I would look forward to if that opportunity came about, certainly.

Tell us what you do with all this media information that’s out there, a couple of days ago I was able to sit down in person with Ian Johnson out of Boise State and Jarret Dillard out of Rice and one guy was telling me how they can’t help it, they are on the internet looking at sites seeing where they’re ranked and seeing what the rumors are. That was Jarret Dillard. Ian Johnson said if people even tell him anything he just walks away, he doesn’t want to hear anything. Where do you fall on that spectrum?

I’m kind of like the second way. I don’t really like to get involved in it and look at too many things or even hear too many things. I just kind of sit and wait at this point; I guess, and hopefully get that call here in the next couple of weeks and go from there. I think you start worrying yourself and thinking too many things if you look at all the predictions. I think it’s better for me to just sit and wait.

Your quick release has always been one of your assets. Tell us what you can offer an NFL team in terms of your physical strengths and abilities?

I think that along with having a fairly strong arm, I think my physical size would allow me to be successful. I’m fairly tall and weight wise, I think I’m at the right weight where I could take a couple of hits, but at the same time I can move around the pocket. I am not a speed guy, so I’m not going to do much once I break the pocket, but I think just being able to be quick in the pocket, whether it be moving and trying to avoid tackles, is a positive I bring to the table. I think that and my arm would be the biggest things, physically.

Talk to us about your senior year. We all know that Purdue had a disappointing season, but what type of progress did you make individually and what did you learn as a person from the season?

I think when you look at the type of season we had, you get more of a mental game from it then you do a physical one . You look at the type of season we had, it certainly wasn’t what we expected or hoped for but you go through the season, you face a lot of difficult times, you go through it as a team and I think the biggest thing is as a team, we grew, we kept grinding throughout the entire season and our last two games were the best two games of the season. We lost in Iowa, but we kept fighting. I think it shows a kind of fight in our team, to never give up, and I think that I took that personally as well. When you’re down and it’s a tough season, you just continue to push and to strive to get better. I think that’s where it helped me the most.

One of the things we often talk about on our show is the interview process that the players have to go through with a lot of NFL types. Just this past week, as a matter of fact, there was a story out where coach Mike Singletary was kind of critical of Matthew Stafford because he wouldn’t answer some of the more personal, family-type questions that were asked of him. Have you ever encountered that type of situation, where you felt sort of uncomfortable with some of the questions that were thrown at you?

Not really. Fortunately my family’s been great. I don’t have any problems there. I think the interview process is just a chance for me to, football wise, show what I know and you get to talk to the coaches about the x’s and o’s. I think that’s a chance for me to express my knowledge. I feel like I’m a pretty experienced quarterback in that respect and I knew our offense very well, so I think that only helps me. I think outside of football it just gives the team a little chance to see where I’m coming from, my background, what kind of family you have and the type of person you are. I guess it is all part of it and I’ve never really shied away from any comments, questions or answering any questions.

How about any oddball questions like; if you were an animal, what type of animal would you be?

There were a few tests that were very difficult like that, whether you’d be a dog or a cat. You get some interesting ones, but nothing that was too difficult, I guess.

What would you be, a dog or a cat?

Painter: (Laughs) I said a dog. There’s really no rhyme or reason to that. I guess cats lie around all day and are supposed to be lazy and I guess I wouldn’t really like doing that.

Let me ask you a little bit about Purdue Boilermaker football. When I was talking to Coach Danny Hope, we talked about who might be your replacement at quarterback in the “cradle of quarterbacks”. Obviously Justin Siller (since dismissed for the 2009 season due to academics) had that great game against Michigan where he threw for 266 yards, three touchdowns and ran for 77 yards as a freshman. Coach Hope reminded me not to forget about Joey Elliot. What are your thoughts on the two guys battling for that QB position?

I think Justin is a guy that has all kinds of ability. He’s the type of player that you really want on the field to make plays, whatever position that may be. He was playing running back a little bit and kind of moving around. He’s just a terrific athlete and I think that’s what really helps him succeed. I think Joey Elliot is the more prototypical Purdue quarterback. He’s a guy that’s been in the system a long time with me, he's a very intelligent guy. I think that when you have a program like Coach Hope has, you’re coming in and you change a few things. You need a guy that’s a little more experienced. He may not have game time experience, but he’s the type of guy that knows his stuff and will be able to pick up a system very easily. I think at the transition phase that Purdue is in right now, Joey will be able to come in and be that guy, the senior leader, and lead that offense this year.

You mentioned the “Purdue quarterback” like it was in quotes. When you’re there, is there any pressure at all to succeed and do well at this position because the school has developed a reputation for doing so well and all the guys in front of you are doing well?

I think it is kind of the nature of people who follow Purdue to compare quarterbacks. I got compared a lot to (Drew) Brees and (Kyle) Orton. I think a guy could get caught up in it if he really started listening to everything. I really tried not to think about any of that or compare myself. I know if I did that there would be a lot of pressure. I think that things are so different from year to year. Things are a lot different from when Drew Brees played than when Kyle played and now when I played. It’s hard for me, with my personality, to get into those comparisons, so I try not to put too much pressure on myself.

Time for thee-and-out...First down: Your favorite sport outside of football?


Second down: Favorite baseball player of all time?

Albert Pujols.

Third down: Which competition would you do better in, “Dancing with the Stars” or “American Idol”?

Dancing with the Stars.

You’ve got some moves there?

No, I don’t have moves, but I definitely don’t have a voice.

Basically, less damage there?


Photo Credit: Purdue University Sports Information