While Curtis Painter waited anxiously today to find out if he had made the 2009 Indianapolis Colts roster, he took a few minutes to talk football with FirstandBigTen.com.
What's your favorite memory from your time at Purdue? Is there a specific game or moment that stands out to you?
I would say my first and last game. My first game was a little nerve-wracking, getting the first start at Wisconsin, but at the same time it was exciting: finally getting to play, because that's what you shoot for. And then our last game, the Indiana game last year. That's a fun game to play in, it's a great rivalry. Just ending a career and Coach Tiller's last game—a lot of good things out of that game.
What advice would you give Joey Elliott and the other Purdue quarterbacks?
I think he'll be alright—I don't think he needs a whole lot of advice. He's been around for awhile, and we're pretty good friends. I think he'll do a good job. I guess if I had to tell him one thing, it's just "enjoy it." Just enjoy the game and have fun.
What's the biggest difference between college and the NFL?
I'd say the biggest challenge for me is just going into a new system and getting that down: everything that comes along with it. You hear people talking about the speed of the game and of course, the players are just that much better, but I think the biggest challenge is learning the playbook.
When you finally found out your NFL destination, what was your reaction to being drafted by the Colts franchise?
I think just location-wise, to be able to start out a career here would be great. Close to home, close to where I grew up, and I'm pretty familiar with it, so that was a great opportunity. And then just being with Peyton Manning—there's not really a better guy to sit behind and mimic and learn from. It's really been a great opportunity so far and I hope that continues—I think it'll be a great thing for me.
So let's talk about Peyton. What are sideline discussions like? I mean, what is there to say? "Hey Peyton, that was another great touchdown pass?" What have you learned from him?
No matter what the game, whether it's preseason or even practice, he's very intense at practice. Very intense when he's playing. He takes everything very seriously. It doesn't matter what the situation, he's always trying to get better. I think that's what makes him the type of player he is—his work ethic, always coming to the sideline, asking about what we saw, what he could have done, what he shouldn't have done. I think that's one thing, when you look at him, that you really learn to respect.
Back to Purdue for our last question: how would you compare Joe Tiller and Danny Hope?
I think that Coach Tiller's a little laid back, and I think that Coach Hope's a guy with a lot of energy. He's an intense guy—I think that will be good for the team. Starting a new program and a new system and everything, I think that's kind of what you need. I think he will do well, and it seems like the guys have really responded to Coach Hope (just hearing some things from the players), so hopefully that means well for the season.
This interview was originally published on FirstandBigTen.com, a Bleacher Report blog dedicated to Big Ten football. And yes, in case you wondered, Painter did make the Colts' opening-day roster. Congratulations to the Indianapolis rookie!