On the plains of Kansas, a quarterback was born ... in a fireworks stand.
Shaun Hill hasn't always been a quarterback, you know. As a kid he did odd jobs, like most of us, but the pride of Parsons, Ks., had the coolest odd job of all: selling fireworks.
Asked by an eager pack of locals if he'd ever worked in a grocery store like Kurt Warner, Hill replied, "no, the closest was a fireworks stand or lot in the summer times. Fireworks stand, lawn mower, things like that."
You had us a fireworks.
"We would start off the year, we would package and ship for Jake's Fireworks in Pittsburg, Kansas. Then as soon as the store was able to open, we'd go and run the store for a few weeks."
QUESTIONS WE HAVE ...
1. What kind of discount did you get?
2. What were your favorite fireworks?
3. What kind of markup is there on those things?
4. What kind of hilarious fireworks stand stories can you tell us?
Actually, it's probably pretty hard work. Kansas in the summer can be pretty damn hot.
Anyway, he's ready to take over the starting quarterback's job, knows the offense, etc.
Here's the full transcript from his press conference.
(On if he's ready to be the Rams' starter)
"Yeah, definitely. Obviously I feel terrible for Sam (Bradford). Getting to know him here, I was really looking forward to seeing him play this year. He was going to light it up. But, the nature of the business, next guy up and that's me. A lot of excitement getting cranked up and ready to go for this one."
(On how he learned that Bradford's injury was season ending and if he's talked to Bradford)
"Yeah, I talked to Sam. Like I said, I feel bad for the guy. He's going to come back better from it though, for sure. I guarantee it. How did I learn about it? The same time everybody else did on the team, in the team meeting yesterday."
(On if the Rams' offense is similar to any other system he's previously played in)
"Yeah, it's like learning a new language, just calling the plays and getting the picture of what that play is. From there, once you learn that new language, then you learn the nuances of it. It's been a good process. We've put in a ton of work in the offseason, in OTAs and then I was able to come in and hit the ground running for training camp. That's when we personally started working on the nuances of the offense and learning all the details of it. It's been good. It's been a good process."
(On if his history with QB Coach Frank Cignetti has been beneficial in his acclimation to the offense)
"Yeah, especially early because we've been together before so we were able to speak the same language as he was teaching me some of the concepts. So, yeah that did help, especially early."
(On fans comparing the current situation to that of the 1999 Rams with Kurt Warner replacing Trent Green)
"I didn't realize they were making that comparison. This is a totally different situation. This is the 2014 Rams team. We're going to go out and our attitude and our focus hasn't changed."
(On if he ever worked in a grocery store like Warner did)
"No, the closest was a fireworks stand or lot in the summer times. Fireworks stand, lawn mower, things like that."
(On what he did at the fireworks stand)
"Well, we would start off the year, we would package and ship for Jake's Fireworks in Pittsburg, Kansas. Then as soon as the store was able to open, we'd go and run the store for a few weeks."
(On if Jake's is still open)
"Yeah, Jake's is a big company, now. You'll have to look it up. They might do the Cardinals' fireworks. Who knows?"
(On if he's ever been a starter going into the opening week of the season)
(On how the mindset of a starter is different than that of a backup)
"To be honest with you, I've always gone into every week, even as a backup, as if I was going to play. That's the only way I knew how to prepare. That's the only way I knew how to do it. So to be honest with you, my mindset is the same as it's been every week. I think throughout the length of my career, having that mindset every week has helped me for this moment so it's not anything new. I don't have to do anything different."
(On what season he was the opening day starter)
"It was 2009, San Francisco."
(On what makes him confident that the Rams can be successful this season)
"We've got a very talented group and a great coaching staff. All the pieces are in place."
(On his chemistry with the receivers)
"This preseason has been great. I've been able to work with all those guys so I've definitely been able to build a rapport with those guys and will continue to do so. I feel comfortable with all of them."
(On how his long stretches as a backup have prepared him for this opportunity)
"It definitely did. Life of a backup, you might not go in for a few years but you have to stay ready. At the same time, it kind of feeds your fire. It makes you want to get back out there, and when the chance comes, you're excited and you're ready for it."
(On the possibility of the Rams adding another quarterback to the roster)
"That's always a possibility no matter what. That's never been an issue, not something I'll look into or read into. There's nothing to even think about. All I can control is all I can control and go out and play my best."
(On how it makes him feel that Head Coach Jeff Fisher emphatically says that Hill is ‘his guy')
"It feels good to have his confidence and the team's confidence. They've rallied around me and it's been good."
(On the response he's received from the rest of the team)
"It's been very supportive. Everybody's heart goes out to Sam in this situation, but the team has definitely rallied and been very supportive."
(On what it was like talking to Bradford on Sunday)
"Kind of what I told him was, ‘Look, God's going to teach you something about himself and he's going to teach you something about yourself in this situation.' That's what he does in every tough situation, and that's what Sam's facing. He will come out great on the other end. I promise you that. I'm still here to support him and he's going to come back and he's going to support me during the season. I know he will. He's a standup guy. He's going to be able to help me in game planning and things like that. We have a great relationship. I look forward to that."
(On what he'd tell people he can bring to the offense)
"I've got some experience and been in this league for a long time. I think when we get into the game planning part of it, I think that's where the experience and that edge will take over."
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