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Ryan Mallett on his future: ‘You can’t control what you can’t control’

08.06.14 at 2:52 pm ET
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RICHMOND, Va. — Ryan Mallett knows the clock is ticking.

Bill Belichick announced Tuesday that his back-up quarterback will get a lot of playing time this preseason. Mike Mayock believes he is a starting quarterback in the NFL and has been “popping” in practice.

“I haven’t [heard the praise] but I’ve always felt that way about myself because I’m confident in myself. I appreciate his nice words but I’ve always felt that way,” Mallett said.

There are many who feel Mallett is at a key crossroads of his young career, entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal. Mallett is not one of them.

“I don’t [think about the future]. I live day to day, man. I’m happy where I’m at right now,” he insisted. “I’m having a blast. I’m on a great team. I’ve got a great organization around me. My teammates are awesome. That doesn’t cross my mind. I’m just doing whatever I can to help my team every day.

“€œYou can’€™t control what you can’€™t control. It’€™s the uncontrollable. You have to deal with it. I was dealt the hand I was dealt, so I’€™m playing cards.”

Now comes the fun part for Mallett. He actually gets a legitimate chance to show it in game competition. Mallett has played in just four regular season games in his three years behind Tom Brady. He’s attempted four passes. But Thursday night, after Brady comes out (likely after one or two series), Mallett gets to show that he can reach a consistent level of play that critics say he has yet to achieve.

“€œI’€™m very excited about the opportunity to be able to play a lot,”€ said Mallett, who has totaled just four pass attempts in the regular season over the last three years, coming in at the end of four games. “€œI haven’€™t really gotten too many chances during the regular season because I have a pretty good guy in front of me. Any time I get to play, I look forward to it.

“I’m just trying to get better every day. We’re out here working, especially against these guys. It’s good for us to see another team. Going against our defense, they see the same stuff a lot of times so they start cheating a little bit so it’s good to get out here against a different team and see where we’re at.”

Entering his fourth season, Mallett says he’s has grown by slowing the game down but still keeping the same head on his shoulder.

“I’m still the same person, just ready to play,” Mallett said after practice Wednesday. “I feel really good right now. I’m seeing stuff pretty well so it’s definitely slowed down. It’s happens over time. I’m happy it’s finally doing that.

“The game has slowed down. I’m seeing stuff a lot better. I’m picking it up a lot better. Ready to go and trying to get better every day.”

How much time has Mallett put in to get to the comfort level he’s at now?

“How many days are in four years? A lot of days, a lot of hours,” Mallett said.

As for the man in front of him on the depth chart, Mallett says Tom Brady is like a big brother.

“You’ve got to put up with him,” Mallett joked. “Tom’s great. I tell people all the time that I feel like he’s my older brother. We joke around, mess around and then we know when it’s time to be serious. It’s a lot of fun.”

This summer, Mallett tried something a little different. He has always had the reputation as one of the strongest arms in the game. Perennial Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald knew of Mallett’s reputation and invited him to Minnesota to throw the ball around and work out.

“Yeah, I threw with Larry Fitzgerald and a couple of [other] guys, [Andre] Roberts with the Redskins,” Mallett said. “Larry called me up and they needed an arm. I jumped at that situation. I threw to a lot of great guys. I got a lot of great work in so it was good.”

“I’ve known Larry for a while now. I met him in the Super Bowl [XLV] in Dallas and kept in touch since then.”

Read More: 2014 training camp, Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald, New England Patriots
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