Sean Merriman, BTN.com web editor, April 11, 2014
Adam Weber enjoyed a standout career during his time at Minnesota. The former Gopher signal caller holds school records for career passing yards with 10.917 and career touchdown passes with 72. Currently an NFL free agent, Weber will be taking on a new role and spending his time in the booth on Saturday to call the Gophers' annual spring football game. I recently caught up with Weber and asked him about Jerry Kill, Big Ten expansion and a number of other fun-filled topics.
Watch Minnesota's spring game live on BTN2Go this Saturday.
BTN.com: What are you looking forward to in this upcoming season of Minnesota Gophers football?
Weber: The team under Jerry Kill has only continued to raise the bar, making great improvements year-to-year. I'm excited about the talent they have returning on offense and defense, as well as seeing some promising young players who have been training hard for their chance to play.
BTN.com: What will be this team's calling card in 2014? What will they rely on most to win them football games?
Weber: The Gophers are returning almost their entire starting O-line. That cohesiveness should prove to be a great strength going into the 2014 season. Behind the starting five there is great depth. The Offensive line should be a great strength for the Gophers for years to come.
BTN.com: Where do they need to get better?
Weber: A position that will always be at the forefront of a teams success is the QB. If the Gophers want to make the jump into being a dominant team in the BigTen there needs to be more consistent play out of the QB. Last year the Gophers used two QB's in Philip Nelson, who has now transferred out of school and enrolled at Rutgers, and Mitch Leidner, who has taken all of the first team snaps this spring. I am excited to watch Mitch play with more confidence and a greater understanding of the offense.
BTN.com: You mentioned Mitch Leidner as being the likely candidate to be the starter at quarterback in the upcoming season. Do you see any similarities between Mitch and yourself?
Weber: Mitch is physically much more gifted. He is 6-4, 235 lbs with as strong of an arm as you'll find in the nation. He plays hard and isn't afraid of contact. The team looks to Mitch as their leader and he is very comfortable in that role. I look at Mitch and feel he has all the tools to be an all-time Gopher great.
BTN.com: Have you gotten to know Jerry Kill since he took over the head coaching position at Minnesota? What are some of the top qualities that you see in him as a coach?
Weber: Yes, Coach Kill has been great with alumni. His door is always open, and I've enjoyed getting to know him on a personal level. Coach Kill and his staff have great chemistry, they work well together. As history has shown, they win wherever they are at. Coach Kill has a clear mission for his players and that doesn't change from the first day they walk into the building to their last game as a senior. That type of consistency creates an environment of success for players.
BTN.com: What should fans be looking for in this weekend's spring game?
Weber: What makes the spring game exciting for fans is that chance to see how their favorite players are developing as well as seeing some new faces who will be filling in spots of graduated seniors. Both sides of the ball will be improved and will make for a competitive game.
BTN.com: What are your thoughts on Big Ten expansion and what are you looking forward to with Maryland and Rutgers joining the conference?
Weber: The Big Ten is keeping up with the times. As other conferences have made changes, the BigTen is also adapting. New teams in the conference allow for new rivalries and will make for some exciting games. I welcome Maryland and Rutgers and am excited for what they can bring to the conference.
|About Sean Merriman||BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman covers football and men's basketball and provides original content for BTN.com. You can follow him on Twitter @BTNSean.|