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Schnellenberger Opens SBC Media Days...


Schnellenberger Opens SBC Media Days...

Florida Atlantic head coach Howard Schnellenberger opened up the 2010 Sun Belt Media Days Monday morning sharing his thoughts on the conference and the upcoming season via an online conference call.

With FAU voted to finish 5th in the conference by the coaches and media, Schnellenberger had some opinions on where he thought the Owls could finish this season and if they could contend with conference favorites Middle Tennessee State and Troy.

“Those two are rightfully the favorites, and all of the rest of us are trying to catch up as the season goes on,” Schnellenberger said of the two schools.

One of the reasons for the middle of the conference ranking could be the Owls offensive line. FAU has to replace all five starters on the offensive line unit, but Schnellenberger did have some positives to say about that.

“The kids we have coming back are big and strong, and they got good talent. In the long haul they may be more talented than the line we had last year, but obviously nowhere near as close to experience,” explained Schnellenberger.

Starting FAU quarterback Jeff VanCamp was the player of choice made available to the media by the Owls and he explained the overall preparation process he has gone through over his career.

“If your battle tested the guys are probably going to respond to you a little bit better, and I’m just grateful I had the opportunity to get that playing time last year, and even before Rusty went down coach Schnellenberger was preparing me the whole season by playing me in the second quarter and getting me ready for this year,” said VanCamp of the snaps he took last season.

It appears that by Schnellenberger usually playing his second string quarterback for at least one series a game; it had paid off for VanCamp and the 2010 season. Schnellenberger also went on to compare the senior quarterback to last year’s starter and now NFL rookie Rusty Smith.

“He has the same style, the same abilities Rusty had and he even has a little stronger arm, and in the games he did play he was a great football player for us,” Schnellenberger remarked of VanCamp and what he has done thus far.

Florida International head coach Mario Cristobal talked about the overall competitive nature of the conference and how hard it is to win, year in and year out.

“The Sun Belt conference continues to become a more and more prominent conference as the years go by,” said Cristobal. “It’s hard to find a more competitive conference than the Sun Belt, every single year that we have been at FIU were finding teams ways to reload and bring in great talent, its competitive week in and week out.”

Cristobal was then questioned about the FAU rivalry and if he thought it would be affected by moving the game to October, as opposed to its normal season-finale slot.

“I don’t think so, it’s a great rivalry. They're a heck of a football team and they have had the upper hand the past couple of years and there a football team were looking forward to playing and it doesn’t matter when it’s played,” said Cristobal of the Shula Bowl.

Sun Belt Media days will continue tomorrow with Troy, Arkansas State, Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State representatives taking questions.
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