I have been blessed to be given a really unique perspective on the game. While I was able to go 14-0 during my senior year of high school, set most school records across 40+ starts and play several years in the NFL; I still never qualified for the Elite 11, I only had 1 offer to a school I had never heard of and wasn’t drafted until the 6th round. I’ve experienced the highs and lows that the journey of playing Quarterback brings you down. I love them. Completing my unique perspective, is the experience I got from going on my older brother’s Quarterback Journey as well. Carson was the top recruit in the country out of high school, won a heisman in 2002 and was selected number 1 overall in 2003. Since then he’s set records, gone to Pro Bowl and experienced as many lows as he has highs. We even worked together for a few years as I backed him up in Cincinnati. The combination of seeing the game, both on and off the field, through his and my eyes has been unprecedented. I know what it’s like to have to get passed on, scrape your way in and fight people off. I also know what it’s like to be at the top of the class with a target on your back, and the pressures that come with it. I’ve been blessed to inherit that vantage point on the quarterback position.
Adding to that vantage point is what I’ve seen while playing with, and for, some of the best in the game. It wasn’t until my 2nd year out of college that I learned how to really play the game from Ken Zampese (Bengals Offensive Coordinator). I learned how to take notes from Chad Henne who learned it from Chad Pennington and I learned my weekly film study routine from Josh Mccown, who’s an all-time great at preparing for games. My college coach was among the first to run a spread offense in college which allowed me to learn at it’s origin. I saw the Double Mug Pressure get introduced to the NFL by Mike Zimmer in training camp with the Bengals in 2007. I was fortunate to see how to raise a family the right way from Mark Brunell, how to battle bounce back from injury from my brother and how to overcome the odds from Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’ve also learned how to control personalities by playing with teammates such as Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, Pacman Jones and a slew of others. Marc Trestman was instrumental in me understanding concepts and offensive spacing. The quarterback rooms I’ve been in have been filled with names such as Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler, Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Carson Palmer, EJ Manuel, Josh Mccown, Jimmy Clausen and many others. I’ve lifted with linemen, ran with wideouts and studied with coaches. The experiences I’ve gained over my career have shaped me into the coach I am today.