Brink making most of chance in Texas

BRINK AND SCHAUB

ALEX BRINK, LOCKED in a heated battle to be the No. 3 quarterback for the Houston Texans, says the demands of an NFL training camp cannot be underestimated and that the idea of playing football for a living requires a whole new mindset. Head coach Gary Kubiak has taken keen interest in Brink and told the Houston Chronicle he's eager to throw the WSU record-setter "to the wolves."

Kubiak, a former QB himself, has had positive things to say about Brink since drafting him in the seventh round last April.

Kubiak usually carries two quarterbacks on the regular-season roster, but injuries last season to starter Matt Schaub appear to have convinced him he needs three.

Kubiak told the Chronicle this weekend that both Brink and his competitor for the third spot, Shane Boyd, are playing well and working hard. The coach plans to play one of them this week against Denver and the other next week against New Orleans.

Cougfan.com caught up with Brink late last week for a quick update on NFL life.


BRINK THE TEXAN

CF.C: What's been the biggest adjustment from college to pro?

Brink: The biggest adjustment so far has just been taking the mindset that now football is my job. It's a much different feeling to walk into the lockerroom or on the field when it's a workplace.

CF.C: What's a typical day for you at training camp? How physically and mentally demanding is it?

Brink: Professional training camp is one of the most difficult things I've been through. We hold camp right here in Houston so it is very hot and humid. Generally we are up at 6:30 every morning, have two practices plus meetings throughout the day, and don't get to leave the facility till 10 every night. We are also expected to mix in lifting workouts and any film work on our own. The preparation for every practice is also much more mentally draining, mostly because you have to do it in your hotel room at the end of the day when all you really want to do is sleep.

CF.C: From what Coach Kubiak has said over the months, he really likes your prospects. Why does he like you so much? Tell us about your interactions with him and QB coach so far?

Brink: I think he likes my mental approach to the game. And also that I have been coached well in my mechanics and reading defenses which makes the transition to the next level that much easier. I've dealt mostly with Kyle Shanahan, the QB coach/OC, so far. He is a younger coach and I really like the way he can relate to us as players and his passion for the game. I've been able to talk with Coach Kubiak and watch film on occasion as well, which helps give another perspective from a coaching standpoint.

CF.C: The mental demands on an NFL QB are said to be far more intense than a college QB. Is that you're take so far as well?

Brink: Yes, there is a greater mental aspect to the professional game. The playbook is very thick and even as a rookie you're expected to know it inside and out.

CF.C: How did your WSU years prepare you for this? How does the Texans' offense compare to the Cougs'?

Brink: Fortunately, our offense in college that Rosie and Levy installed really helped prepare me for the pro-style offense. Many of the pass patterns in college are similar to the ones we run with the Texans. Also, the mechanics of the quarterback position hardly changes at all for me.

CF.C: Give us a run down of the QB situation there, and how you would rate your performance so far?

Brink: Matt Schaub is the starter, Sage Rosenfels is the No. 2, and I'm competing with Shane Boyd for the third position. I feel like I have played well so far. Sometimes it's hard to tell because Shane and I really don't get a lot of repetitions. I certainly haven't hurt myself with my play, but there is no doubt that I can get much better.

CF.C: What do you miss most about Pullman?

Brink: I miss everything about Pullman ... the school, the people, teammates and friends, The Coug. It's tough to leave the familiarity of such a great place. I loved my time there and there is no other place like it.

CF.C: If you could freeze frame one moment from your four years as a starter with the Cougs, what would it be? Completing 20 of 23 passes against your hometown team in the 2006 win over Oregon? The pass to Trandon Harvey in the 2005 Apple Cup? The pass to Gibson in the 2007 Apple Cup?

Brink: The pass to Gibson, definitely.

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