Thad Lewis: "No nerves at all ... I'm still playing football"

Posted Oct 9, 2013

The Bills quarterback talks about drawing off his experience from starting for the Browns last season, not worrying about outside critics, and how he was helped by his college coach.

QB Thad Lewis

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Q: What do you think might be the most difficult thing for you to nail down this week?

A: I can’t say what’s going to be difficult, I just know the task. The task at hand is to go in there, prepare, go out there, let the play makers around me make plays and play mistake free football.

Q: Thinking from the outside, you have a lot of guys you have to get use to in the passing game that you really haven’t been throwing to a whole lot.

A: It’s easy when you practice now, I’ve already came in three days ahead along with the preseason and just had to play and didn’t get any full speed reps, it will be difficult. With three days of practice you pretty much get the time in with the guys and today we had a good day.

Q: Last year you went up against the number one defense in the league, Pittsburgh, do you take some confidence that you’re not going to get anything much more taunting than that?

A: Anytime you play football at this level you have to be confident. If you second guess yourself those guys will take advantage of that. So going into the game, definitely going to be confident. Being home definitely plays a part, the crowd will be on my side this time so I’m looking forward to that.

Q: Do you get any motivation knowing a lot of people outside of this room are saying “He’s going against the Bengals, and it’s a guy who was just on the practice squad.”

A: You can’t worry about things you can’t control. I can’t worry about what people say. I don’t even listen to the radio, I barely watch TV, so what they say is irrelevant. It’s just about the guys in this building and as long as we believe and trust in each other and go out there and play to our best, we will be alright.

Q: Your Coach at Duke said some positive things about you yesterday and Matt Stafford also was excited about that, have you heard from those guys?

A: I always talk to my coaches back at Duke. I haven’t talked to Matthew, but just being with a great guy like him and being able to learn with him the little bit of time I was in Detroit, because he is a veteran, even though we are the same age. Just being around people and creating relationships helps in this business.

Q: Have you talked to Coach Cutcliffe in the few days?

A: Yes, I talked to Coach Cutcliffe. I always interact with him and talk to him and let him know. He actually texted me before I could text him and told me congratulations, so that was good. 

Q: What do you think he did for you from a football stance?

A: He helped me out a lot, coming in and basically showing me the way. Two years under him, I wish I would have had more, but those two years actually paid off and helped me transition to this level.

Q: Were you part of the “Cameron Crazies”? Did you sit in that section? 

A: No, no. It’s a little crazy over there, but I did go to the games.

Q: Did you go to the Duke-Butler basketball game?

A: No I didn’t, but I made sure I caught a Duke and UNC game. That’s the craziest one every year, so you want to be in there for one of the greatest rivalries on earth.

Q: What was the best Duke game you ever went to?

A: When I was recruited, I saw J.J. Redick play and I saw him drop 38. He might have only missed two shots, so that was pretty impressive.

Q: Are there any nerves going from practice squad to starting quarterback?

A: No nerves at all. I’ve done it before but I’m still playing football, it’s not like anything changed. I'm doing the same thing I was doing; I am just able to play this Sunday.

Q: Do you have the voice inside the huddle, a lot of times the quarterback has to be the guy to speak up?

A: That’s different. The guys joke and tell you to speak up and put some bass in your voice, just joking, but it’s fun. That’s something you work on right before practice and once you get that down, it’s easy to go.

Q: What did you learn from watching these games from the press box angle?

A: Just seeing how Coach Hackett views the game and what he’s looking at to call the plays, basically to be on the same page with him. Also, looking at the coverages is a big thing. That’s what I was doing up there, helping out with coverages so seeing it from a bird’s eye view helps me out on the field.

Q: Describe your level of command on this offense.

A: It’s great, it’s high. My command of offense is high, it’s not like I’m going in there saying, ‘Coach we can’t run this because we can’t do it.’ I’m putting in the game plan, I’m putting in the time I need to in order to prepare to run this game plan and we’re going to run it.

Q: How far along were you for your degree at Duke?

A: I finished, I graduated in three and a half years with a degree in sociology.

Q: What’s the level of excitement?

A: Very excited. Any time you get an opportunity to start in the NFL, it’s exciting. It’s a childhood dream and a blessing. A lot of people wish they can do that, so I have the opportunities too.