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What He Said: Nathan Peterman on being named starting QB

Quarterback Nathan Peterman

Monday, September 3, 2018

Q: Why don’t you just share your reaction with us to the news.

A: Yeah, obviously I’m excited, very thankful. It’s a great opportunity. [I] definitely worked really hard to try and get myself in this position and I think a lot of work is still in front of me. We’ve got a big challenge in front of us this week and that’s what I’m focused on.

Q: Back in the spring, they sign AJ [McCarron] with a free agent deal and they draft Josh [Allen], which you knew was coming. You look at your position amongst those two guys and the status that they had, what were you thinking back in the spring with the mountain you had to climb to get to where you are now?

A: Yeah, I mean it was a challenge [that was] ahead of me. Again, my focus, and what I’ve got to continue to do, is focus on myself and focus on being the best I can be, no matter what. No matter what outside circumstances happen, I’ve got to focus on myself and continue to do that.

Q: Nate, what was it like hearing the news? Just initially hearing the news of Sean saying that you were the starter?

A: It was great. It was a goal accomplished for sure. [I] definitely set some high goals this year, this was one of them, and I want to keep accomplishing those.

Q: Having been part of quarterback competitions before, were you able to keep this thing at a relatively manageable stress level? This thing can kind of get the best of people at times and your mind can wander when you’re laying in bed at night. How were you in terms of that?

A: I think I just took a day-by-day approach, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do. This league is a tough one, and that’s what it takes; a day-by-day, hour-by-hour [approach] with your film study, your preparation. [We] have a lot of challenges ahead of us.

Q: What makes you a better quarterback today than you were a year ago?

A: [I’ve] learned a lot, went through a lot, studied a lot this offseason, worked really hard fundamentally, as well. I don’t think time is necessarily just- as long as you spend some time [into it]. I think I put a lot of work in to try and get leaps and bounds better, and I’ve got to continue to do that. Like I said, there’s a lot of challenges and I’ve got to keep making steps.

Q: Your yards per attempt was a fat number in the preseason, 10.5 that’s a big number, I don’t need to tell you that. I know you went out west in the offseason to work on arm strength. Do you feel like you’re driving the ball down the field more effectively?

A: Comparison wise, I don’t know. For me, it’s just about hitting the right spot on time and anticipating it and getting it to the right guy. I’ve got to continue to do that. I think the work I did this offseason definitely helped, and I’ve just got to continue with that. You can’t stop now.

Q: How much of an adjustment is it going from that very first offensive [mindset] with Rick [Dennison] as coordinator to what Brian [Daboll] is running which seems to have a lot of different concepts [and is] very Patriot-like [concepts]? How has that been for you and how do you think you’re grasping it?

A: It’s been great; I think he’s done a great job coming in here and really challenging us. Back in OTAs, we were challenged a lot with how much we put it. I think it’s paying dividends right now because I think guys feel very comfortable with what we’re doing. You’ve seen it in preseason; it’s successful when we run it right and we just need to focus on executing it.

Q: What makes it more challenging versus what you had last year?

A: I mean, I don’t want to get into comparisons, but I think any new offense, you’ve got to learn new terminology, new things, and every coordinator has their own fingerprint. You’ve just got to dive into it.

Q: What was the feedback that you got from your teammates today when you got back in the building once everyone was made aware of the news?

A: It was great. [There were] a lot of guys saying congratulations and ‘you earned it’ and it feels good. I feel like I went out and worked hard this camp and I want to keep proving it to them, my teammates and myself every day.

Q: Sean [McDermott] talked about your resiliency with all the things that you’ve gone through even going back to college. How much do you think that character trait helped when it came to [you] winning this quarterback battle?

A: A lot; I think it’s helped in my entire career. I think as a quarterback, you go through ups and downs. It’s the way the position goes. Again, nothing’s over. This is just a start to a long journey, and I’ve got to keep doing that.

Q: Did you and Josh talk at all when you found out about the situation and how things shook out?

A: Just this morning and I think for both of us, when I was the backup, just even the third preseason game, it was the same approach - we’re going to help each other and move forward trying to get better [and] help the team win as much as possible.

Q: There are people out there who thought you might never get a shot after what happened last year. How do you look at that [knowing] there were Bills fans that didn’t want you to even have a sniff at this competition? The fact that you’re here, what does that mean to you in a sense of accomplishment up to this point before you start on Sunday?

A: It means a lot. I’m thankful for the people that have stood by my side through hard times. There are more challenges ahead and I’m ready to take them on. I’ve learned a lot and I’m ready to prove it every day.

Q: When you left the field [against Florida in college] did you ever think you were going to go from there to this point where you are now?

A: Yeah, absolutely. Like I said about the goal of this camp, it’s been the same for my whole life. I’ve had the goal to play in the NFL, be a starter, and maybe that’s what people don’t understand sometimes. When you have obstacles, hard things in your life, that doesn’t mean you should quit. Maybe that’s the way some people think, but that’s not the way I think. For me, it just amps me up even more and gives me a lot of desire and drive to accomplish those goals.

Q: You referenced earning it, Sean [McDermott] said that, too. Compared to a year ago when you went in for Tyrod [Taylor], do you feel in a way you earned it more this year and it’s more satisfying, or maybe you don’t look at it that way?

A: Yeah, there’s a little sense of that for sure. I feel like I’ve gone through so much. I have been perfect by any means this whole camp, but I think I’ve made steps. Like I said, I’ve got to continue to do that. I want to keep earning it, like I said.

Q: You’re the starter now, but how do you manage not necessarily looking over your shoulder knowing the number seven overall pick is right behind you?

A: Just the same as I have been: approaching it day-by-day, trying to earn it every day. That’s what this league is, that’s what football is. It’s a ‘earn it every day’ type of sport, and that’s what I want to go do.

Q: Did you really help Brian Daboll unpack his office when he got here?

A: Is that what someone said?

Q: That’s what [Brandon] Beane said.

A: It might’ve been a hyperbole or something. I did. I was up there for sure trying to get to know him and I think it was great [for] the relationship that we’ve had. How he’s taught us this offense has been great.

Q: Now that you’re going to settle into this number one spot and get all the one reps, how much continued growth do you expect of yourself now that it’s just going to be you [and] you’re the guy now?

A: [I expect] a lot. I think that always comes with reps. I’m going to continue to put my best foot forward, study as hard as I can and try to develop.

Q: Do you look at this as your first real opportunity to bounce back in a game action from your start in LA? The [Indianapolis] game was extreme conditions outside. Do you look at this as your first real opportunity to move on [from the Chargers game] on the field?

A: I wouldn’t say that. I think every time I’ve gotten on the field, it’s a new opportunity that you’re not tied to your past failures. I know some people might think that, because that’s all that they’ve seen. For me, it’s every time I step on the field, there’s a new opportunity no matter the good things or bad things that happen in the past. That’s how I’m approaching it.

Q: It’s not lost on some people that the Chargers are a little under two weeks away. Are you aware that the Chargers are two weeks away? It was against that same team where not so many good things happened.

A: Yeah, again, that’s two weeks away. Like I said, it’s day-by-day and it’s about the Ravens. It’s an unbelievable challenge ahead of us. They’re a great team with a storied franchise and talented players. I’ve got a lot to focus on with them.


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