SAN FRANCISCO – Scott Tolzien was on the side of the field at Candlestick Park signing autographs today when Donte Whitner officially dubbed him “Baby Drew Brees.” A few writers walked over to Tolzien afterward and he was happy to talk. He had a big smile on his face and he answered each question with earnest humbleness. Here’s what he said.
Q: How do you think you did against the Vikings on Friday night?
TOLZIEN: The bottom line is it’s still early. It was the first (preseason) game of four. It’s a good start, but at the same time it’s not everything. In this league, you’re only as good as your last play. You have to get better every day.
Q: Donte Whitner just talked to us about your leadership skills. Do you feel more comfortable this year taking that role?
TOLZIEN: Absolutely. A year under your belt makes all the difference in the world. You have confidence in what you know in the playbook, so if someone is off you can help them out and ultimately get everyone on the same page.
Q: Whitner said his nickname for you is “Baby Drew Brees” (Tolzien laughs and says “Wow.”)
ME: Have you heard him call you that?
TOLZIEN: No, I have not.
ME: How does that make you feel?
TOLZIEN: It’s a humbling thing. Brees is someone I look up to and admire like a lot of the quarterbacks in the league do. I’m happy for it, but I’ve got a long ways to go before I’m Drew Brees.
Q: You said that you’re only as good as your last throw. Your last throw was an interception. Does that help you keep grinding?
TOLZIEN: What I took from that is yeah, I was hit when I threw it, but bottom line we’re in field goal range. You go under center with no one in (the backfield), you’re in field goal range – you’ve got to take care of the football at all costs.
ME: You said you’re not Drew Brees yet. When will you be Drew Brees?
TOLZIEN: Man, I’ve got a ways to go, but you try to make the most of each day. I’m not big into setting real specific goals. I think really if you just focus on every day – and I know that’s the oldest cliché in the book, but it really is true – Day 1 of camp means just as much as Day 17 of camp. If you really try to focus on each and every one of those days, longterm…
ME: You’ll be Drew Brees.
TOLZIEN: No, I’m not going to say that. I’m nowhere near Drew Brees.
Before he left he grinned and shook my hand and said, “Hey, nice safari hat.”