Sunday, April 19, 2009

Q&A: Stephen McGee, QB, Texas A&M

Stephen McGee, Texas A&M QB, was interviewed on The All Access Football Show by Daniel Mogollon, Ralph Mancini and Rodney Towe on April 3, 2009

We're 22 days away from the Draft. What’s going through your mind, and what type of preparations are you making at this time?

Just enjoying the whole process right now, just doing the same things I’ve always done, continuing to workout and get in shape as if I’m preparing for spring ball or football camp. I think most importantly, just trying to get ready for those five days after, when we go to our first mini-camp.

Any meetings or private workouts with an NFL teams for you?

Yeah, I’ve had a couple. I had a couple here in College Station in addition to the Pro Day. We had some quarterback coaches and offensive coordinators here for that. So far it’s been pretty good and I’m just excited about the future.

You want to mention any of those teams that you had the workout with?

I would mention them, but they all threatened to not to draft me if I told everybody who I worked out with.(laughs)

Well that’s a good reason not to mention that! So you’ve been through a number of post season practices, you’ve been to the Combine. How do you feel you stack up against the top quarterbacks in the country right now?

I’ll match myself up with any quarterback in the nation. I’m not afraid to say that. Obviously I’ve had some things happen to me in my career that were things I couldn’t control and if you want to knock for me those, that’s fine. But when you look at what it takes to be a great quarterback in the NFL—size, strength, arm, quick release, and most importantly accuracy and the intangibles that it takes to be successful—I know I have all of those. Wherever I go, I know I’ll be happy and it’ll work out.

Aside from your physical gifts, the one thing that people all say about you is that you are the ultimate team leader. Tell us, what does it take to be a leader on the field? What does it take to gain the respect of your teammates?

I think the most important thing about it is my teammates see me prepare every week. They see me workout. There’s not going to be anybody who works any harder, nobody who’s gonna prepare any more than I will to be successful and I want to win at everything that I do. I’m extremely competitive and because of that the guys respect me and they’ll follow me because they see me do it first. Moving onto the field I want to be a guy who’s an encourager and there are obviously times as a quarterback and a leader when you have to get in a guy’s face, but those are few and far between. Hopefully I can be the guy that encourages guys and makes people better.

One of the things we often talk about here on the show is player interviews. Earlier this week there was a story out where one of the NFL coaches, Mike Singletary from the San Francisco 49ers, was somewhat critical of Matthew Stafford because he was sort of uncomfortable in answering some personal questions, some family questions. You’ve been through the interview process a number of times already. Did you encounter any situations where you felt uncomfortable answering questions that you thought were too personal?

Oh no, not at all. I think when these guys are investing a lot of money in you, you want to let them know what they’re investing their money in and they have good reasons to ask those questions. They need to know what kind of person you are and what you’re all about. I have nothing to hide. I’ve tried to do things the best way I possibly could up to this point, on the field and off the field. I’m not scared to tell people what I am and what I believe in and the kind of person I want to be.

Let me ask you a little bit about your playing days as an Aggie. From my perspective, sometimes it seemed like you were kind of being forced into the coach's system or the coordinator's system rather than people trying to devise a system best suited to your skills. Am I way off base with that, or is that something you were talking about in terms of things that were out of your control to some extent?

That’s certainly one of them. I can’t control what plays that we do and what we run. My biggest thing is not what plays we run, whether I run the ball 50 times a game or throw the ball 50 times a game. I think most importantly, the goal of any great quarterback is to win the ball game. Whatever it takes to be successful, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Obviously I am more of a throwing quarterback and I was put into a lot of running situations as a quarterback, and that’s fine. I’m willing to sacrifice my own individual success for the team’s success and I’ve always viewed that as the role of a quarterback, to be unselfish, to be the leader that guys can rally behind. Certainly the offense we ran last season is probably not the best offense to be in as far as preparing for the NFL, but it’s going to work out in the end. I’m glad I got to go through the things that I did.

Tell us a little bit about what it’s like to go on that field with the 12th Man and the crowd going nuts there at Texas A&M, one of the best scenes in college football.

There’s no doubt about it. The tradition and the spirit that the 12th Man embodies is unmatched, I feel, in all of college sports. It’s an amazing thing to witness and to be a part of it is even more special. There’s nowhere else in all of America that I would rather play football than at Texas A&M. If I could do it all over, I’d go right back to Texas A&M and people ask that all the time. Of all the schools that I could have gone to and all the success those schools have had, would I change my mind? Without a doubt I would be right back here at Texas A&M. It’s an amazing place and the people who go here are special. There’s something different there. It’s very unique.

One more before we move on. After you guys score, the cadets get to kiss the girls. Do you ever think to yourself, “Hey, I’m the one that threw the touchdown, how come the guys in the stands get to kiss the girl?”

(laughs) That’s a good point, but I think we can make up for that after the game, I guess (laughs).

Three and out...First down...your favorite movie is?

Dumb and Dumber.

Second down...your favorite female artist—Beyonce, Madonna, Britney Spears or Gwen Stefani?

Britney Spears.

Third down...growing up, who was your favorite superhero?

The Mutant Ninja Turtles, Donatello.

(Laughs) Now you made feel old because I remember buying them for my kid brother when I was in college.

Photo Credit: Texas A&M Media Relations Office, College Press Box