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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 5, 2007 at 1:06 PM

Monday press conference notes

A happier mood here today than a lot of previous Mondays, as would be expected after a win like that.
Not much huge news. UW coach Tyrone Willingham said QB Jake Locker is fine though he did take a big hit to the shoulder on that last TD run.
“His health is good,” Willingham said. “That last hit down at the goal line when he scored may have took just a little air out of it but right now he’s fine.”
Locker didn’t attend the press conference, as he has usually done all year, apparently told by coaches he could skip today’s press meeting and instead talk on Tuesday. So we didn’t get to talk to Jake himself about it, but we will tomorrow.
Willingham said the status of safety Nate Williams is uncertain with a hamstring injury and also said that MLB Donald Butler is likely out for this week. Butler has missed two games with a knee injury and Willingham said that “it’s more likely three weeks before we really start to consider him.”
A FEW OTHER NOTES:
— Willingham confirmed that Curtis Shaw is being moved to receiver though he said he will also remain an option at RB, especially in the spread option sets, where he could line up as a second RB then shift to receiver, or vice versa. He said Shaw worked there all last week and said he has good hands.
— Several players talked about an inspirational speech that was given to the team on Friday night by former UW tight end Mark Bruener, who is now with the Houston Texans. The Texans played the Raiders on Sunday and were staying at the same hotel as the Huskies. Once UW coaches figured that out, they approached Bruener about talking to the team. “His words were on point,” Willingham said.
— Willingham applauded the work of Louis Rankin but said he wished the Pac-10 could have also honored the offensive line. Willingham said the line has given good effort all season but is now becoming more consistent.
— Some of you have wondered about the last play and why the Huskies ran the ball, risking an injury. Willingham said after the game he thought it was important to get a first down to put the game away, simple as that. So that’s why he had the offense out there. I don’t have any problems with that. They ran a safe play and not a play designed to get a touchdown, necessarily. I think you have to keep playing the game, especially when you’ve lost six in a row.
— Asked the difference in the defense Saturday, Willingham was a little more expansive than he had been after the game, saying “we tried to have a little bit more of an aggressive attitude to everything” saying that he didn’t want the players to play cautiously or the coaches to coach cautiously. But before everyone starts writing they they haven’t done that all year, I would point out that the opponent matters greatly. A lot easier to aggressive defensively against the worst offense in the conference than against Oregon or Arizona State.
Mike Riley was on a teleconference with us shortly before Willingham and said Sean Canfield remains doubtful for this week but that Yvenson Bernard “looks good today” for being able to play Saturday. Willingham seemed to indicate that Bernard’s presence is more critical than who the QB is, calling the running back the heart and soul of the team and saying “when he’s in there, they have a special life.”
— UW running backs coach Trent Miles is being mentioned for the vacancy at Indiana State, his alma mater.

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