December 13, 2008

Phillips continues to improve

MADISON, Wis. - When Curt Phillips signed to play football with Wisconsin last spring, the Badger quarterback future turned bright. As a four star player from Tennessee, Philips arrived on campus early and benefited from both spring practice and a redshirt fall.

As UW prepares for its bowl game against Florida State, caught up with the young quarterback. The following is a question and answer with Phillips following Saturday's practice:

You were named offensive scout team player of the year, how exciting is that for you?

Phillips: It was real exciting just to have an opportunity to try to get adjusted to the speed of the college game and everything else that comes with that by getting to play against such a good defense like that every week. It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed getting to play all these other quarterbacks in the Big Ten. That was kind of fun, doing something different every week. I enjoyed it.

How would you say, because you came in early during the spring, how would you say you've progressed from the time you set foot on campus to today?

Phillips: I'd say I've definitely progressed. Whenever I first came in, I'd say my head was definitely spinning, wide-eyed, I didn't know what was going on. Just getting used to the speed of it and just the size of everybody. I never played against athletes like this and just getting to do that and trying to progress every week have been the real big things.

What's been the toughest part for you when you're dropping back and trying to throw balls? Is it trying to see over the big linemen on both sides or reading routes, etc.?

Phillips: Yeah, that's part of it. I was always taller than my offensive line so that's not like that now. Just the way everyone is moving and disguising coverage's, in high school you can look and see if they have one or two safeties, but now you're rolling coverage's, man, all that stuff. I'm just adjusting to the defense and the way they disguise things.

I don't know if its going to be an open competition again for the quarterback spot, but where do you feel you stand in the quarterback ranks right now?

Phillips: I'm not really worried about that to be honest with you. Dustin Sherer is our quarterback and he's doing a great job. So I just try to come in, try to learn, and watch what he does because he's doing a whole lot of things right. So I just kind of watch what he does and try to add that to my game.

How has the redshirt season helped you, just going through the motions? You hit on it a little bit already, but just traveling, all that stuff, how has this season gone for you so far?

Phillips: It was nice because I didn't have any pressure on me, I could just take things as they came and really try to dig in and learn the offense. I didn't really have to cram that much and it also allowed me to take care of academics too. It was really nice just to be around the guys, watch how everything works and just kind of pick up on stuff.

Moving along, next week is finals week, how tough is it to practice and get ready for exams at the same time?

Phillips: It's tough, but this whole season, this is what we worked for to go down and play a team like Florida State, especially in Florida. It will be a whole lot of fun, we got to take care of our academics, but at the same time, we're really fired up to be playing.

Is that about the best case scenario playing a team like Florida State with the way the season played out?

Phillips: Yeah, I'd say it's an awesome situation, especially for some of these guys from Florida who get to go home and play a team like that can be really exciting.

Have you bulked up at all this year?

Phillips: I actually lost a little bit of weight since the summer whatever I came in. I picked up about 15 pounds this summer just through all the strength programs. But now, running so much with the scout team, I've kind of slimmed back down a little bit.

Throughout the year, I've seen you throwing the ball to former Badger Luke Swan after practice. How has that helped you?

Phillips: That's really nice, just to watch somebody like him. His routes are the exact same every time, they are picture perfect. So, just to throw to him and he'll throw out a couple little pointers to me every time I do, just the ball needs to come out quicker and put it here. To work for somebody with the experience like him, it's awesome.

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