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Georgia Tech Football Media Day -- Reggie Ball

Aug. 3, 2006

How differently are you approaching this season, with it being your last?

You have to approach it differently, because it’s a different team, different season, and different day. You just have to know that, going into your senior season, there is no tomorrow. We have to work harder to get everything down before that first game.

Is it an extra special season to you?

Not really. It is winding down, and I can feel it now. I couldn’t sense it before, but reporting to camp for the last time, I can kind of feel it. It’s just a little more motivation to finish out with a bang. I’m getting a little excited, and a little more anxious.

Is it a fair assessment to say that you put too much pressure on yourself?

No. I can’t say I have put too much pressure on myself because I expect the best out of me and I expect the best out of my team. I will never say that I or anyone else can do too much, because too much is never enough.

Georgia Tech has shown in the past that it has the ability to start fast in the season opener. Why is that?

The last couple of years, we have just been going on all cylinders for the first game. But this is another year, another team, and another opponent. The success that we’ve had in the first game the last couple of years isn’t going to have any affect on how we do in the first game this season. We’re going to prepare and go at it like it’s another first game.

All I know is that we put our hearts and our hard work into our summer program. A lot of the guys are here year-around, and I think that the first game is sort of a way for those guys to let out that frustration of being here for so long, working so hard.

How much does it motivate you to get through practice to face a team like Notre Dame in the season opener?

We know that Notre Dame is a great opponent and a great challenge for us, but even if we were playing a high school football team or a volleyball team, we’d prepare the same way.

Can you remember a bigger game in your career than this Notre Dame game is going to be to open the season?

I don’t know. It doesn’t get much bigger than the Georgia game, but this is a big one. They (Notre Dame) are probably going to be the No. 1 team in the nation, so it doesn’t get much bigger than that, but I don’t think there is anything bigger than the Georgia game.

Talk about the offense.

I feel really good about the offense. We have a lot of old guys, and a lot of camaraderie on the offensive side of the ball. We’re a team, period. A lot of guys have been around each other a long time so we’re experienced. We just have to put in the work, put in the film study, and put the preparation all together to have a great season.

Do you think you have more weapons around you than you’ve ever had?

Yeah, just because of the knowledge that we have. We have a lot of seniors, a lot of returning players on the offensive side of the ball, and that 6-4 guy doesn’t hurt either. No. 21 (Calvin Johnson)… it’s just good to have him on the team.

On playing with Calvin Johnson.

We’re expecting big things out of everybody, but we know that Calvin is going to make some plays. We’re going to look for him to make some big plays, because we have arguably the best receiver in the nation. We’re not going to shy away from that. We’re going to look for him. His going to make plays, everybody is going to make plays, and we’re going to hopefully have a really good season.

I said a long time ago that Calvin would be one of the best players to put on a uniform here at Georgia Tech, let alone in the country, and it’s just good to have a guy like that on your team.

Goals.

The main thing that we want to do is win. Goals can be set, and goals can be met, but what it all boils down to is that everyone wants to win every game. We’ve still got to prepare like everyone else and get ready for the season.

How is Patrick Nix now making the offensive calls going to change things?

I guess we’ll see September 2nd. But you can draw up plays all day and all night, but you still have to go out and execute those plays on game day. Hopefully we will do that on September 2nd.

Do you expect it to be more shotgun formation/which would you prefer?

I don’t really know, you’d have to ask Coach Nix. But I don’t care about which formation we’re in as long as I’m on the field. I don’t care if it’s in punt formation or holding for field goals, I just want to be on the field.

Fans see a quarterback in shotgun formation and they think that you can see the field better and you have a little more time. What do you think?

(Laughing)You know as well as I do that the fans are always right, so I’d have to say ‘yeah’ to that. I think a lot more quarterbacks feel a lot more comfortable in the shotgun formation because they don’t have to take that drop. It’s a lot easier on your legs, and a lot easier period. But with me, it really doesn’t matter, because I just want to be on the field.

Is camp something that you dread?

No, I never dread it. It’s the start of a new season. Everybody is anxious and ready to get back on the field.

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