Question: What have you seen on the line so far; how are you guys coming together?
Steve Schilling: “I think the intensity we have has been pretty good the first few days. Obviously you only have pads on one day. It’s been good so far. I think people are ready to hit. I think we have a lot of depth. Definitely a lot of the young guys are ready to play. They’ve been working hard all season and they want to prove themselves this year.”
Question: Can you talk about some of the young offensive lineman, guys that we haven't seen?
Steve Schilling: “Yeah, Taylor (Lewan), Michael (Schofield) and Quinton (Washington), all three of them are three of the hardest workers we actually have on the line now. In the offseason they’ve been in there getting extra work in on their own – all offseason. Taylor and Quinton really want to play, Michael as well. I think they had really good redshirt years, getting a lot of experience on the scout team and they’re coming into spring this year hoping they can push for some playing time.”
Question: What about the other side, any defensive guys that you’re going against that have caught your eye?
Steve Schilling: “The odd, 3-3-5, I do not have anybody against me, but Will Campbell at nose has been playing really well. He’s definitely gotten in a lot better shape from last year and he’s strong and quick and I think he’s going to be real good this year.”
Question: What about Patrick Omameh and his progression a little bit?
Steve Schilling: “I think he is settling in pretty comfortable at guard now. I think he feels pretty good there. He’s a guy that likes to get after it and hits. He’s one of those guys who will play to the whistle all the time. He’ll play hard for you no matter. If he misses a block, get up quick and run after someone else. He’s getting real comfortable now at guard. The shift was good for him last year and I think with me and him at guard kind of settled in there, I think it is going to be pretty good, especially when (David) Molk comes back, we’ll have a little more depth at center.”
Question: What do you think of the changes of the 3-3-5 so far; how has it looked?
Steve Schilling: “I like it. There is a lot of things that they can do out of it. It is good for us to as an offensive line to be able to go against that every day in practice. We see more of a 4-3 look in games a lot of time, you usually see the odd in long yardage situations, so to be able to go against that and work our run game against an odd defense, which we do not get to see that often is going to be good for us, when it comes down to game planning for us.”
Question: What was the player’s reaction when you guys found out you would be playing a night game?
Steve Schilling: “I found out last week during an interview somebody told me, said I want to ask you about that I did not know about it. I think everybody is pretty excited. It’s a pretty cool thing. My whole time here, we’ve been talking about how cool it would be to have a night game here, so it kind of sucks that it is going to happen the year after I’m gone. I’m looking forward to it and if I can get an opportunity to come back, it’s going to be a great experience for us, especially Notre Dame, such a good rival – I think it’s awesome.”
Question: Are you feeling like more of the veteran the leader on this team, the offensive line in particular?
Steve Schilling: “Yeah I think so. Coming into my fourth year, I’ve got a lot of experience, a lot of games under my belt. There are quite a few guys actually now that have some experience, but I think it is going to help bring along some of those young guys that are going to take over the helm next year when we leave. I enjoy helping them out and seeing them grow and seeing them get better and work hard each day.”
Question: Have you gotten bigger?
Steve Schilling: “A little bit, yeah.”
Question: How much?
Steve Schilling: “About 303, 305.”
Question: What were you last year?
Steve Schilling: “Right around 295-300. I got stronger.”
Question: Is it odd not having Molk next to you right now?
Steve Schilling: “A little bit, but he’s been able to get out there and snap a little bit. Obviously not having any contact or anything. He’s helping Rocko (Khoury) and Elliot (Mealer) along. He still has influence out there, but I’m excited to get back to playing with him.”
Question: The interior of the line seems pretty solid this year?
Steve Schilling: “Yeah I’m excited for us especially the way Patrick finished the season this year and what Molk and I were able to do at the beginning of the year and see Patrick sprinkled in there too. I’m definitely excited to see when everybody is healthy and everybody comes together.”
Question: Talk about Taylor Lewan nasty streak in high school; do you see that on the field?
Steve Schilling: “Definitely, definitely. Sometimes he gets into trouble because he holds a little bit, but he’s one of those guys that plays real hard too. He wants to prove himself. He played offensive line one year in high school and he wants to prove himself that he can play his position and do well at the college level. He has been gaining a lot of weight and I think it is helping him, and he’s maintained his quickness. He ran the fastest 40 time out of all of the linemen when we tested. He’s one of those guys that I’m excited to see when he’s out there and watch him, because he can finish some blocks for sure.”
Question: Obvious Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown have moved on; are you starting to develop a confidence in any of those running back behind you?
Steve Schilling: “Yeah. We got a lot of good reps with them last year in practice. We have great depth at that position. I think there are a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. (Mike) Shaw is a speed/slasher back. You got guys like (Mike) Cox and Fitzgerald Toussaint and can pound it a little bit. When we get Vincent (Smith) back, he does kind of a little duo back and he can catch the ball out of the backfield too. So I’m excited to be out there to block for them and hopefully help them make some big plays for us.”