We don't hear from Ryan Mallet often. In the NFL world, interview requests have a direct correlation with on-field contributions; you can imagine what that means for the backup to Tom Brady's backup.
But Mallet recently had a quality conversation with Chris Bahn of ArkansasSports360.com. The former Razorback QB spoke to Bahn (via phone, while golfing) about Mallett's opinion on Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, his aspirations as a starter, and that arm of his.
Here's part of the transcript.
Chris Bahn: As a guy that wants to be a coach, is there a better person to be around than Bill Belichick?
Ryan Mallett: Man, I love Coach. Hes really honest and thats the best part about it. Being part of one of his teams is an honor and a privilege. He tells you every day, "Do your job. Do your job." If everybody does his job, were successful. We did our jobs enough that it got us to the Super Bowl. We didnt finish it last year, but hopefully well get a chance to finish it this year.
CB: I know how competitive you are. Youd have liked it to be you leading the team to a Super Bowl or making the Pro Bowl as a rookie. But was this the best-case scenario for your situation as a back-up?
RM: Anytime you get to the Super Bowl is nice. There are guys who have been in the league 16 years and never done it. I didnt play a snap, but I can say I got to go. One day, hopefully Ill get a chance to go back. Thats what Im working towards now. Getting there was awesome, but the feeling of losing in the biggest game in the world is awful. Its the game everybody works toward. I'm working toward getting back there, leading a team there someday.
CB: So this just whetted your appetite? Sort of the appetizer before a big meal?
RM: Sort of like that. Look, if I had went out there and, you know, had a Cam Newton year, I wouldnt have got complacent, but I probably wouldnt have been working as hard as Ive been working. Not that it would have been easy, but it would have been different. I'm working hard.
CB: So is the arm even stronger now? Has your velocity improved? That was the talk after you threw to Jarius Wright and those guys at Pro Day.
RM: I dont know if its stronger. People that dont see me every day, there is probably a little bit of an awe factor. Like Ive told you before, thats not the only thing I want to be known for. My knowledge of the game, my knowledge of defenses is what I want to go down for. I want to be a player that goes to multiple Super Bowls. I want to be known as a leader.
People dont understand I know the game. Its what I do. As a quarterback you have to know the game. Well, not all of them do laughing, but I know the game. And I'm learning more all the time.
CB: So it's safe to say you're more comfortable now? Do you feel more confident entering this season?
RM: I feel more confident with the playbook. Ive always felt good about my abilities laughing. This has been my life. Football is what I do. But, to me, its like the jump from year one to year two at Arkansas. Once I get it down, I feel so much more comfortable and so much more ready to go. ... We get to jump right into it and I cant wait.