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November 6, 2007 at 2:01 PM

Talking with Tim Lappano

We also had a chance today to talk with UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano.
Here are some highlights:
Lappano praised the play of fullback Paul Homer: “He bangs so he is sore after the game because he plays the game like you are supposed to. He is very physical. When you play as tough as he does, you are going to be sore.”
On the switch of Curtis Shaw from running back to receiver:
“We’re looking at some things and gradually working him to receiver. He’s got great hands. He catches the ball really well and you can’t substitute speed. He’s athletic and his hips are loose enough that he can stick his foot in the ground and change direction and give us some threat down the field. We’re going to gradually do this, put a couple things in now and there and work him at both. He’s still not out of the mix at running back, but we’re looking for some ways to get him involved more and more, just to utilize his speed. He’s got that one thing you want and that’s 10.4”
Lappano talked about the stoutness of Oregon State’s defense and said that the UW receivers will have to get make some plays Saturday: “It’s separation. The more you can separte, the easier the throw is for the quarterback. … You have to separate and a lot of that takes place at the line of scrimmage. The release is really critical against at team that plays press. It’s something we work on a lot and will have to work on a lot this week.”
Lappano said the team was close to hitting some last week against Stanford. “We had some guys open. That deep ball to Marcel (Reece) really early in the game? You’ve got to make the throw. He separated from the safety and you got to make the throw. You’ve just got to connect. But you’ve got to remember — those streaks aren’t high percentage throws. You can’t win on those all the time. You’ve got to be able to live with that and that’s why you have to have something to get you caught back up with on down-and-distance. The deep balls, posts, streaks, that you like to see and we love to score touchdowns on have been good for us the last couple weeks, but those are low-percentage throws. You’re going to hit some, you’re going to miss some. If you hit them, you’re going to have 21 points before you know it. And if you don’t, you’re at 2nd-and-10, 3rd-and-10.
Lappano said the offensive line has gotten a lot better but will also get tested this week: “This will be a really good challenge this week for them. They are getting better. You’re not seeing the mental mistakes that they made in the past. They’re really starting to become comfortable with what we’re doing running ball and getting more physical. And they’re getting more confident, too, because they know what they’re doing. That’s good to see.”
Asked about Louis Rankin getting 36 carries, he said: “It’s hard to pull him out when he’s doing what he did Saturday. It’s hard because all the sudden you are putting someone in there not having that feel, that success, and they lay the ball on the ground and you look like an idiot. The good backs get better in the fourth quarter. You get a feel as a running back for a game. When you are carrying the ball 25 times and rolling like he’s rolling, you’ve got the feel. Why take him out?”
He was also asked about the hit Jake Locker took late in the game and said the Huskies called the play there because “that game was never over until there was a couple of minutes left, in my opinion. …You have to understand how hard it is to try to even limit his carries because he wants the ball. He wants it. I mentioned one time, “Are you alright? I can get Carl (Bonnell) warmed up. … but he doesn’t want to come off the field.”
Lappano also said the Huskies are starting to do more on offense as Locker becomes more comfortable with the playbook. “Last week there were some things we saw that isn’t even in our book that we got to. He’s operating the whole thing pretty much and then some. We put in a couple wrinkles and he handled it.”



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