Number 15 talks to the Carillon
Article: John Loeppky – Contributor
Earlier this week, Ram’s starting QB Cayman Shutter spoke with the Carillon about the upcoming season, Frank McCrystal, and more.
Having completed your first season behind centre for the Rams, what are your primary goals for the upcoming year?
Obviously we weren’t satisfied with the record [last year,] but this year our goals are definitely to make the playoffs and pursue a championship. I think we will be very disappointed if we fall short of those goals.
With fall camp wrapping up, what do you see as some of the team’s strengths?
Offensively, we have tons of weapons at wide receiver and at running back. I think we have talent and depth, which is what you strive for. On defense, we have a lot of guys who can attack the ball and play aggressively.
How does it feel to have your cousin, Mitch Thompson, with you on the field this season?
It’s a dream come true that he is now playing for us. He had a fantastic game in the first preseason game and it’s just a flash of the potential he has as a player. Obviously, it’s a special connection for me because he is a wide receiver and I get to throw him the ball and we’ve been doing things together since we were young. It’s something that I’ve been grateful to share with him.
Coach McCrystal has recently announced that he will retire at season’s end. Do you have any good stories or anecdotes that you have picked up from him in your time on the squad?
Coach McCrystal is one of the better head coaches I’ve had. He’s led the program to great heights and I think he doesn’t ever lose sight of big picture, which is something that I really admire. He’s a guy that can go down the line and talk about every player individually: who they are, how they contribute, where they’re from, and little stories about each person. He really shows that he cares about you.
Do you have any advice for young QBs looking to succeed in the CIS?
Obviously, you want to develop your mechanics as much as you can. I think if you are flawed in your mechanics, whether it be in your footwork or your motion or body position, you are not going to be consistently successful. Get as much experience as you can. What’s going to win you games as a quarterback is the unsexy side of the quarterback: the side where you factor in how many rushers are coming to your side that are unblocked and how to get yourself out of a bad play and not make a bad play worse. You just have to enjoy those moments where the highest pressures raise your game to the highest levels.
Lastly, do you have anything you want to say to any U of R student who has never attended a game and are looking for a reason to?
I would say our team is one of the most exciting football teams to watch, at any level. Every side of the ball has got athletes, and characters, and guys that I love and I would die for. I think something that gets lost in translation between fans and players is that it’s a joint venture to create an atmosphere in that stadium that is memorable. The last thing I’ll say is, if you want to get to know us, there’s no better way to do that than to come and watch us on the field. It’s an emotional game, it’s a mental game, it’s physical game, it’s a strategic game, anything that you can think of is involved in football.