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Arizona football: Scott makes 15 snaps count at Shrine game

2013-01-22T00:00:00Z Arizona football: Scott makes 15 snaps count at Shrine gameDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Matt Scott's formal introduction to a pro-style offense came a week ago Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The former Arizona Wildcats quarterback was handed a playbook on the first day of practice for the East-West Shrine Game and was expected to know every inch of it in a matter of days, not weeks.

"The offense we ran at Arizona was a lot different," Scott said Monday of the Wildcats' spread-option. "That was one of the hardest things for me - picking up the new offense."

Scott's intense study sessions paid off.

He was given 15 snaps in Saturday's showcase game for college seniors and completed three of four passes for 81 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown pass to Mississippi State's Chad Bumphis.

Scott returned to Tucson on Monday for one day and will head to San Diego today to continue to prepare for April's NFL draft. There, he will work with longtime quarterbacks coach George Whitfield and will be joined by Florida State's E.J. Manuel and Oklahoma's Landry Jones once they finish at this week's Senior Bowl in Alabama.

A Corona Calif., native, Scott will work with Whitfield up until next month's NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Whitfield has trained the last two overall top picks in the NFL draft (Andrew Luck and Cam Newton) as well as several other elite quarterback prospects.

"It's going to be great to work with him and enhance my skills," Scott said. "I need to get better as a passer and more efficient. I also have to work on my footwork and reading defenses."

Scott is projected as a mid-to-late round selection in the draft and still has several months to improve his stock.

Draft analysts who watched last week's Shrine Game practices said Scott improved as the week went on.

ESPN.com's Steve Muench wrote on his blog: "Arizona QB Matt Scott struggled early in the week, but he looked much better on Thursday. Scott's footwork and release were strong, (he) got the ball out quickly, and he made a perfect throw to the corner of the end zone on a fade route."

The Star chatted with Scott on Monday about preparing for April's draft.

On meeting with scouts throughout the week at the Shrine Game

"They just want to get to know you. It's like the first step in the process. They ask you some questions, get to know your background, ask if there are any off-the-field issues, things like that. They don't really give you feedback on what to work on. This is just the first step."

On the game-day experience

"It was a great atmosphere in that stadium (St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field). I would have liked to get more snaps here and there, but overall, it was good."

On only getting 15 snaps

"It was just the way the game worked out. Each quarterback was given 15 plays and then we'd go from there and keep going. It never got back to me. But, I was still pleased with the whole experience. Anytime you can go to one of those games and be around all those athletes, it's a great time."

On his touchdown pass

"It was a fade route. The defender was inside the receiver and I tried to put the ball in a spot where only my guy could get it. The defender tried to jump the route, but the ball went over his head, and it was great concentration by the wide receiver. It was a good play."

On what he wants to work on most in the coming months

"At the NFL level, it's a lot about footwork and technique. You can always get better at that. There are quarterbacks doing some different things now, but those two things are always major."

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