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Miami Hurricanes Football: Post-practice interviews 8/22

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All about Malik Rosier today

Malik Rosier (12) was named the Canes’ starting QB on Tuesday.
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On Tuesday morning, Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt named Malik Rosier the Canes’ starting QB

After practice, Richt and a couple players had media interviews, which were heavy on Malik Rosier and QB talk. Here are the videos and transcripts for you

Head Coach Mark Richt

On why Malik Rosier was named the team’s starting quarterback Tuesday…

“Focus, discipline and accuracy. He showed up focused every day on his job. He was disciplined in his fundamentals, his footwork, his reads, his passing fundamentals. And he was hitting his target. He did a very good job.”

On whether or not Malik Rosier made the decision a difficult one for him…

“He did stand out above the rest. It wasn’t an unbelievable amount, but it was apparent that he was having the best camp. Evan [Shirreffs] did extremely well. I felt like there was enough of a difference to feel comfortable that Malik is the guy. The young guys…they got to know what to do and own it for a while before they can really compete at a high level at that position.”

On how he shared the news with the team…

“I grabbed Evan [Shirreffs], [Cade] Weldon and N’Kosi [Perry] individually, because they were wandering into the segment meeting room. I didn’t feel like I had to tell Malik [Rosier] anything prior to, and I was running out of time, anyway, for the meeting to start. I actually grabbed Malik as well. I had a little talk with him afterwards. Evan is a great competitor. Anytime you don’t get what you’re fighting for, it’s tough. I thought he handled it like a champion. He practiced like a champion. That’s the thing that I tell him – you keep competing. You keep playing. Last year, trying to decide who number two was, that thing changed about three times throughout the season. Who’s number two? There were times it was [Vincent] Testaverde. There were times it was Evan. I don’t know if it was Jack [Allison] at any one time or not, but that thing changed a little bit based on what you do on a daily basis. We watch everything they do. I loved the competition. They all gave their best. They all did it like gentlemen. I think they all showed they’re capable of running the system and being the starting quarterback here.”

On when he knew Malik Rosier would be the starting quarterback…

“I don’t know. First of all, you have all summer to think about it. You run through all these scenarios, and I kept saying to myself, ‘You have to practice. Let’s practice. Let’s see.’ Evan [Shirreffs] and Malik [Rosier], the whole time, they know the system. They know our defense. They know how our system reacts to our defense. Certainly that was an advantage, but you can see the skillset of N’Kosi [Perry] and [Cade] Weldon. You can see them making plays that you’re like, ‘Okay, not only is this guy smart and all that, but he has the ability to make plays’ – whether with his wheels or arm. When they get it right, it looks really good. But on a consistent basis, over and over…even if it’s just one of five plays you’re just not certain, that’s way too many. Like I told N’Kosi and like I told Cade, just keep competing every day. Because you just never know what can happen.”

On whether he’s open to the possibility of playing multiple quarterbacks this season..

“Not as a, ‘two series [for one quarterback], two series [for another quarterback]’ like that – I won’t do that. Could a guy get in a game, maybe a series in the first half or something like that? I would consider that, because I think guys are capable of that, but I’m not sure yet. I haven’t gotten that far yet.”

On how important it is for the team to know who its starting quarterback is, looking ahead to the season…

“I think they were fine with just about any name that would have come out of my mouth. I think most of them are just trying to compete themselves, trying to play defense and all that kind of thing. But I don’t think anybody can say that was a bad choice, because people saw him perform the way he did every day in practice, scrimmages…he practiced at a high level. If guys were paying attention at all, they could see not only he did a good job, but the rest of them too. He certainly did a good job and gained the confidence of his teammates.”

On the redshirt decision-making process…

“You don’t have to decide until Game 4 or so. Sometimes you may say, ‘I think I’m going to redshirt a guy,’ and then two quarterbacks go down, God forbid, and you’re not redshirting anymore. So I’ll say this – [Cade] Weldon, N’Kosi [Perry], Evan [Shirreffs] and Malik [Rosier], they’ll always be in the quarterback room. They’ll always be in the game-planning room. In other words, when the scout team needs to get a look right, they will not be with the scout team. They might do some scout-team work here and there – just jump over there and help them out – but they’re going to be in our meetings, because I want them to continue to grow and progress as a player.”

On being part of a quarterback competition as a player…

“It wasn’t really that big of a competition. Jim [Kelly], I always used to call him ‘Lucky Jim,’ because the guy was lucky. I can probably truthfully say he was better than I was. My mom still will not admit that. It’s not easy being number two. There was a moment where I was like, ‘I’m leaving.’ I left the team for like a week. I didn’t like how it felt. I felt like a quitter, and I didn’t want to be a quitter. I groveled and went back to Coach Schnellenberger and asked him if I could come back on the team. When I said I was leaving, it was after spring or the spring game, and he said, ‘If you change your mind, let me know.’ He did open the door for me. Within a few days, I was like, ‘This doesn’t feel right. I love this place. I love my teammates. I’m not leaving.’ Did I play a lot of ball here? No. But God blessed my decision to stick it out and try to do what was in the best interest of the team.”

On the competition when he was a player and the competition being more public…

“I don’t even remember what was happening. I’m sure that was part of the method to his madness. He would be kind enough to say I’d probably start on 50 percent of the other teams in America. He would make grand statements like that until I threw a pick-six here and there. It was a great experience for me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

On if he is concerned that his decision to briefly quit the team as a player would cross the mind of his current QBs…

“I don’t know. Everybody has to make choices in life. But I’d be shocked if Evan [Shirreffs] did that, or any of them. I’d be shocked. They all know they’re learning, they all know they’re growing, they all know they’re getting better. They understand there’s competition everywhere you go. You can go somewhere for greener grass, well guess what? They got a bunch of dudes there too. They know the system. You’re going to be behind the 8-ball if you go somewhere else. I’d be very surprised.”

Running Back Mark Walton

On how the team learned of the quarterback decision…

“Coach Richt brought everybody up after stretch today when we were on the field. It was news to everybody. The offense, we feel great about it. Like I’ve said before, whoever Coach announced the starting job for, any quarterback in the room, I would have been excited for them. I think Malik did a great job in this camp. I think he’s going to lead us in the right direction as a quarterback. I’m looking forward to him starting.”

On how quarterback Malik Rosier has improved…

I like the way his game developed from last year. He’s more calm in the pocket now and he also can run and make it more complex for the defense. That makes it easier for me, too.”

On the team’s reaction when they learned who the starting quarterback is…

“Everybody was excited for Malik. Everybody was rooting him on and saying, ‘We’ve got a new quarterback.’ We started chanting, ‘Malik, Malik, Malik!’ It was great.”

On what Malik Rosier has done in practice to impress him…

“He’s more calm. He lets the plays develop. When he throws the ball, it’s on the money for receivers to catch it and also, he puts the balls in tight windows to make it difficult for the defense to intercept balls. I just liked his camp all-around in this camp and I’m waiting to see what he does in the fall for us.”

Wide Receiver Braxton Berrios

On how Coach Richt told the team about quarterback decision…

“We were out here before practice and we [the receivers] figured that he would tell us before he told everyone else. We are happy for [Malik]. Like I’ve said before, we wanted the best man to win the job. We are good friends with all the QBs, so it’s a bittersweet feeling on some ends for a lot of people. At the end of the day, he won the job – fair and square.”

On if he feels relieved after learning who the starting quarterback is…

“Yes, very much so. It’s one question mark – a big question mark – out of the way. Especially for my guys – the tight ends and the running backs – we got asked about it every time we talked. We can turn that page now.”

On where quarterback Malik Rosier has shown the most growth since their first day…

“His maturity, his decision making…he’s always had great athleticism, but in his younger years when he flustered or got rushed he would make bad decisions. In that aspect, he has grown tremendously.”

On how surprised the receivers were by the decision…

“We figured that it was going to be either [Malik Rosier] or Evan [Shirreffs], especially towards the end of camp. They were getting the most reps with the 1’s, they were doing the best on consistent basis, so it wasn’t a surprise. It was just nice to hear, nice to get it over with.”