Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden was on a media blitz Thursday afternoon, doing a live interview on SportsCenter before a Twitter chat with fans and a national media teleconference. Weeden talked about the attention he and the No. 4 Cowboys are getting, working with Todd Monken and his confidence playing on the road during the teleconference.
The last year-and-a-half, you've probably done 100 times more media than you've ever done in your life. Were you immediately comfortable with it?
I've always really, really enjoyed doing media and never really had a problem with it. I've always just kind of embraced it. Even in baseball, I really didn't do a whole bunch of media. Right when I got drafted, I did some, and maybe a little bit throughout my rookie year. But after that, no one wants to talk to a guy that's in A ball. That's just not really too exciting. It was one of those deals that (started) when I came to Oklahoma State. It's part of playing the position of quarterback. Everybody wants to get your opinion on things, so you gotta to learn and you gotta learn real quick.
What do you see from Missouri's defense that presents the biggest challenge to OSU's offense on Saturday?
They give you a lot of looks as far as coverages. They're guys that don't make a lot of mistakes (and) they're very well-coached. They're always in their gaps, they're real sound, they're never really out of position. That was the first thing I noticed when I flipped on the tape.
OSU is a popular pick to get upset this Saturday. Why do you think people still doubt OSU?
I don't have the answer to it, to be honest with you. It's one of those things where I could sit here and tell you why, but I'd probably get myself in trouble. I don't agree with it. I really don't. I think we've consistently been a good football team for a long time. If people want to doubt us and question where we're ranked, that's fine. We're not wrapped up in the whole BCS and being No. 4 in the country, because it's basically the first poll. We're at the halfway point, and it doesn't really mean anything. There's no extra pressure on us to go out and play any better. Just go out there and take care of business and win games and the rest will just kind of fall in place.
Do you use that as motivation?
If you listen to it, I guess you could. I don't think a lot of guys in the locker room listen to it. It's just one of those things that people are going to say what they want to say. It's nature of college football these days. I don't think guys, one way or the other, use it as motivation or let it get to them.
Has anything surprised you so far this season about this team?
Even when we had all the players intact and all the pieces intact, I think the success and smooth transition everything's been with Coach Monken and him adapting (and) us adapting and not missing a beat I think has been really surprising. I think we've had a lot of guys step up and make some big-time plays. Hubert (Anyiam) has played great. He's been healthy. Unfortunately, he's battled injuries his whole time here, but he would be a player that I'm just really pleasantly surprised with, just the way he plays. He catches the ball, he's good after the catch and he blocks his tail off all the time. He plays hard every snap. There's a lot of things. I think what Joe (Randle) and Jeremy (Smith) have been able to do in the run is definitely extremely impressive.
How has Monken's NFL experience made you a better quarterback?
It's just really the X's and O's in the film room. He really dissects tape, he really dissects coverages, and just the mental aspect of playing quarterback. He'll use NFL comparisons as far as what they did in the NFL versus what we do, their differences and why they do certain things in different coverages. He is an extremely, extremely smart football coach. He's got a really good knack for the game and really can teach it. Even after the season, when I'm preparing for the Combine and the workouts, he's going to be a guy that I'm going to call and want to kind of pick his brain and sit down and talk ball with, because he's extremely sharp.
Do you think playing in Monken's spread system will benefit you in the NFL?
It's funny, because everybody gets the perception that this offense is a “system” and you're a product of the system. I think that is the furthest thing of the truth. If you look at the tape, sure, we run a couple screens here and there, but we don't just dink and dunk it. We're throwing the ball down the field. We're throwing posts and we're throwing digs and we're throwing comebacks. We're throwing all the throws they make on Sundays, and he understands that. He wants to throw the ball down the field, and that's what it takes to play in the NFL. You've got to be able to make all the throws, and I think he'll help me as far as that aspect of it. The biggest misconception about this offense is the “product of the system.” That's the old-school saying, and I think it's completely false.
What is at the top of the list of goals for this team? Is it winning the Big 12?
We haven't been able to accomplish that yet as a program. I think you have to start there. Ultimately, with the Big 12 as strong as it is and the way everything's shaping out, if you take care of that goal and win the Big 12, you'll probably have to win every game, which will ultimately put you in the big one (the national championship game). I think you've got to take it one step at a game. I think (winning the) Big 12 is obviously at the forefront, but we want to go to a BCS game. And I think in order to do that, you've got to win them all and you've got to hopefully get past the Big 12 first.
You've never lost a game away from Stillwater. Was there ever a game where you went to the opposing stadium just hoping to win, or have you really felt genuinely confident going into every one of them?
I go into every game genuinely confident that we're going to win the game. I really do. I think that's just (because of) the guys we have in the locker room and the players we have. If you take the mindset where you play not to lose, I guess, and you're so wrapped up in not losing the game, that's hard to play any sport, especially on the road. That's tough to do. We have a confident outlook on every game. We feel like we can win every game if we play well. We've got some great players on this football team. If we all take care of business and worry about our own individual assignment, we like our chances.