I had the pleasure of attending Big Ten Media Day last month in Chicago. Here are some quotes from David Blough and Elijah Sindelar discussing why the battle to be the starting quarterback has been a great challenge for both players.
The video is courtesy of Athletes Unfiltered.
Reporter: How does it work from the inside? Because you want to play every play.
David Blough: “Yeah, I would tell you that and I think Elijah (Sindelar) would tell you that, too. I want to be the starter. Elijah wants to be the starter. We have freshmen in our QB room who are working to be the starter. But, at the end of the day, only one quarterback can be on the field. That’s why you have to perform every single day at practice. I think that’s when you grow. Because if I’m sitting there at practice, and I’m not having a great day, but if somebody behind me is having a great day, you better bring it now. You’ve got to turn it on. It works the same in any and every other quarterback room.”
Sindelar asked about the quarterback competition.
Elijah Sindelar: “You’re going to expect some really high competition. The competition between David (Blough) and I really elevates our play, because whenever I see him making a good throw, I have to make a good throw. I can’t let him get too far ahead of me. It’s really cool because we’ve never let this get in the way of our friendship. It really just excels us on the field and we still get to be close and talk outside of football.”
Reporter: Why doesn’t the quarterback competition cause friction between the two or your or within players in the locker room?
Sindelar: “It starts with our leadership. Because Jeff Brohm is such a good offensive coach, and because Brian trusts us, we embrace this. We believe that they know what’s best for us so we are going to do whatever they tell us. When they feel like David (Blough) is the better player then I’m going to support that and I’m going to try to help him as much as I can. Whenever they feel like I’m the better player for that game? We are going to trust our coaches. It’s been a cool dynamic to be a part of. The fact David and I are always talking when we’re on the football, when we’re in the locker room, when we’re working out, we are constantly around each other, and showing the guys we are both in this for Purdue football. It’s not about me. It’s not about David. It’s not about who starts. It’s not about Purdue football winning games and I think we both understand that. We really try to instill that in our teammates.”
Reporter: You could have gone to a place that was in desperate need of a quarterback and insured you would have started every game this upcoming season. Why did you decide to stay with Purdue?
Blough: “As great as going somewhere, transferring, and starting right away sounds, I’ve seen it not work out for some guys around the country. Guys I’ve played with I’ve seen it not work out for. I’ve seen guys come to our team as grad transfers and it does not work out for. Most importantly, I wasn’t about to get up and leave the guys that I’ve gone into battle with for the last four years. Sweat. Pride. Bleed with. We’ve gone through tough times and some of the roughest stretches of Purdue football together. As we were turning this thing around and pointing it in the right direction, I wasn’t about to get up and leave guys I’ve been here with for five years. They look to me as a leader. I think I’ve made an impact on their lives a little and I wanted to be there for the last six months that we’ve got together.”