Renner is ready to go
Although he played with bone spurs in his left ankle, the redshirt junior still passed for more than 3,000 yards and set a single-season school record with 26 touchdowns.
Now completely healthy, the Virginia native explained that he's transitioning to a role as a game-manager instead of a gunslinger as head coach Larry Fedora has emphasized cutting down on Renner's 13 interceptions from 2011.
On the differences from last season to this:
“I’m happy to be healthy as last year I wasn’t with my ankle. It was tough bouncing back as a quarterback. I think I make smarter decisions with the ball. I’ve had a reputation as a gunslinger and trying to put it in tight spaces. I’ve tried to mature and grow out of that mold and be more of a game-manager. Coach Fedora has really challenged me in that area. I threw 13 interceptions last year and that’s unacceptable.”
Expectations as leader of offense?
“I welcome it and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I have to be a game-manager and protect the football first and foremost. If I do that I think we have enough talent around me to be a good football team.”
How have you evolved in the offense?
“I think I was trying to impress people during the spring and until the spring game, I think I practiced like crap. Just health wise I was trying to get the playbook down and it was a transition for me. I thought I had a really good camp but I could say that for the whole offense. The more we run plays with the tempo we want the better we’ll be.
“You just want to go out and impress the new boss. Make sure they know you’re the right guy for the job. I think I put a little too much pressure on myself and didn’t play my game. But I feel I’ve made the evolution this spring until now and have grown up a little bit.”
Do you need a real game to take the next step?
“When you’ve had two scrimmages and a mock game the past three Saturdays we’ve been preparing like they were preseason games. We’ve really been preparing for the last three Saturdays to perform.”
Can you get anything more from practice without a game?
“I’ve been thankful that I haven’t gotten hit the past three Saturdays but that will change this Saturday. But I do guess I’m like everyone else as we’re tired of hitting each other and want to hit someone else.”
What will it be like running out for the first time with Coach Fedora on the sidelines?
“I think there will be a lot of excitement. It’s a whole new transition for the fans included. I think they’ll be excited to come out and see us play. We’re going to run a lot of plays on offense and there’s going to be a lot of energy. I know that I’ll have a lot of energy for this Saturday so I’m looking forward to it.”