Spurs Up caught up with quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus after a recent practice at the Bluff Road Proving Grounds:
From the end of last season to now, in what area has Stephen Garcia improved the most?
Well, he seems a little more comfortable with everything. He is confident in terms of his knowledge. Of course his body looks the best it ever has physically. He also seems to be a little more comfortable accepting a leadership role, which makes me really happy. I really want to see that to grow while we are here in fall camp.
What has allowed Connor Shaw to ascend the depth chart as quickly as he has?
Well, first and foremost, it is how quickly he got into the playbook and learned. He is smart and he was well coached in high school playing for his father. The earlier you get a grasp on things, the earlier you can have success. I believe that is what you saw with him coming in a semester early. He is athletic and a very, very accurate passer. Those things showed, very early on with him.
When you are looking for when evaluating a quarterback in the recruiting process? What attributes are you looking for in a prospective player?
Intangibles. I want a smart player, who has an 'it' factor to him. That shows up in his personality. I can't define 'it', and if I could I would try to write a book on it. It is definitely there if a kid has 'it.' I want kid who has a winner's quality. When you meet kids you can't perfectly find that out, but you can get a pretty good idea if there is an 'it' quality there. Then you look for accuracy and arm strength, and all those kind of things. First and foremost though, I want a kid who has the intangibles and toughness. If they have an 'it' factor, and they're tough, they can succeed in the SEC.
How would you describe your coaching style?
I try to be as detailed orientated as possible. I try to teach as much as possible. I am not a big yeller and screamer all the time, although, I do try to coach all of my players hard. I have high expectations, and I am sort of a perfectionist. I try to get my players to play perfect. My goal is always to try to get someone to play a perfect game. A perfect game is hard to do, and maybe that is impossible to do. I come out with the goal every day to try to teach someone to play a perfect game, and perform perfectly. I am going to continue to try to do that, and maybe someday I can have that happen.
From a quarterback coach's perspective, what needs to happen for this to be a successful season?
Well, we have to play better offensively. You also have to have a couple bounces go you're way each season, but I am a believer that you make your own luck too. I think we have a great attitude on our team, and I believe that attitude is going to carry us a long way. The early attitude I see is wonderful. It is still early on in the process though. To truly compete for the championship we have to get our offense moving at the same pace we have been playing defensively. If we can do that, then we are going to have a heck of a chance to get there. We have to play a little bit better at the quarterback position, and a little bit better on the offensive line. We need to run the ball, and be balanced on offense. I think our defense is poised to have a big year, and from watching them out there each night, I know they are tough. If we do all those things, and we stay together as a team then who knows what will happen. Maybe we can be playing in that big game in December that I know we would all love to have happen.