Dear NFL Coaches and General Managers,
For months now, I’ve been answering your questions to the best of my ability. Walking you through my game tape, reciting plays back to you and breaking down my decision-making process, from what time I go to bed to what I eat for breakfast every morning.
You’ve watched me run and jump and lift weights and throw the ball as far as I can. You’ve wondered aloud if I can adjust to the speed of the pro game and adapt to the complexity of an NFL offense.
All of those things are important and, for the most part, they all involve football in some way. But they’re still not quite football. They’re not the same as being out there in a game, in the huddle with my team.
Football is under the lights, facing the elements in front of 60,000 people. It’s keeping your guys motivated, whatever the circumstances, and having the determination to bring your team back from seemingly certain defeat in the fourth quarter.
It’s doing everything you can to make a play in the redzone. Sometimes the play breaks down and you have to get creative.
I’m not perfect. But football isn’t always perfect. It doesn’t always go the way you expect. I know that I might not have given the perfect answer for every one of your questions. You saw some mistakes on my tape, and I missed a couple of throws on pro day.
But I hope you noticed that every answer I gave was sincere. And that when I made a mistake on the field, I always held myself accountable. I hope you realized that I can do a lot more than just throw the ball far. I don’t want you to think that a big arm is the only thing that got me here. I’m a football player. And I’m ready to do the job as your quarterback.
The only thing on my mind is helping you win games, whatever it takes. I’ve been thinking about playing in this league since I was a little kid. And now here we are on the eve of the NFL draft.
I’m ready to show the world what I’m capable of.
I grew up watching my dad compete against the best in the world during his career as a major league pitcher. I saw him do that for 11 years. I witnessed firsthand the amount of work it is going to take every day if I want to achieve lasting success in the National Football League.
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I saw the focus in my dad’s eyes before every game, and the amount of time he put into his craft, constantly training and trying to figure out opponents. He would grind every day trying to improve at even the smallest things. And if he saw commentators talking about his stats negatively on television, he didn’t let it affect his game. He only used it for one thing: motivation.
Right now, I’m motivated in a similar way. I’ve heard all the pundits raising doubts as to what I can do.
“He plays in the Air Raid offense. Can he take snaps under center? What about audibles?”
“Does he really have the discipline to make it as a quarterback in the NFL?”
Everything that critics want to knock me on, I know I can fix with hard work. I am not a project quarterback. People who say that aren’t really watching my tape. I know that I can make any throw, especially when my team needs a big play.
In three years at Texas Tech, I learned a lot about leading an offense. So much of that has to do with earning respect in the locker room. Leaders set an example for others. I don’t expect to walk in and know everything on the first day of training camp, but I am ready to get started on that process. Right away you’ll see the type of player I am and, more important, the type of player I want to be in the huddle.
I hope the main thing you noticed when you were looking at my college stats was that I improved in every major category each season. That’s what I’m most proud of. I won’t try to predict the future, but I guarantee you that if there’s one thing I do know, it’s how to get better.
And I know that if I want to walk in and make an immediate impact, my mindset has to be that I have to continue to improve every day, every practice, every snap. I’m determined to do that.
I will not whine or complain during the process. I won’t be a distraction, on or off the field.
I will put in the hours to master your playbook. I won’t stop until I get everything right, down to the smallest detail.
I may make mistakes along the way. And I won’t win every single game I play during my career. I won’t retire with a perfect passer rating or zero career interceptions. But I’ll try as hard as anybody.
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I’m ready to start the journey to a championship. And, more than anything else in the world, I’m ready to suit up and play some football. The sooner we can get to it, the better.
Just wait until you see me in the huddle.