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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 11, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Conference call notes

Here are a few notes from today’s Pac-10 coaches conference call:
On trying to get first road win this year at Husky Stadium:: “It’s a tough place to play, I have personal knowledge of it. But I am excied about the opportunity and I think our guys are looking forward to trying to break through on the road and hopefully this is the week.”
On being asked a lot of questions about his UW days this week: “It’s no fun to dredge up the unfortunate ending to my time in Seattle, that was a painful time for everybody’s life that was involved. I have zero problem talking about my fond memories of Seattle, the people there, the great fans and certainly a lot of great memories on the field. So that’s what I’ve been trying to focus on rather than the messy ending.”
On whether he has any regrets about UW: “We all have regrets. I think when try to put all the pieces together and say could this have been settled in another way, shape, or form the answer is yes. I don’t know that everybody will come to the table and admit that it didn’t have to be the way it was. I certainly regret being involved in a basketball pool given what took place. But I didn’t think of it in those terms and it never crossed my mind that I was in harm’s way so certainly there are regrets. But it’s behind us and hopefully everybody can move on and look towards the future.”
On what has happened since to UW: “There is no question I feel badly for what has become, but I worked hard to try to keep it from happening. With the respect that I made the mistake of being in the pool and made the mistake of being less than forthcoming with respect to my involvement with the 49eres which led to this giant controversy (I regret) but I could never have imagined it would lead (to what has transpired) and I still have reservations as to that’s what led to what’s currently taking place. I think the University of Washington is a great university and think the program has incredible tradition and it can get done.”
On relationship with Neuheisel: “The interactioin between the two has been not a great deal. We’ve often been at Pac-10 meetings and had opportunities to speak and associate there and done some things with golf during summers at Pebble Beach. But usually during the other times of the year you are working hard to get your job done so you don’t have that much contact. His teams have been very competitive. They do a great job with their offensive schemes.”
On whether the scheme at UCLA has any similarities to what Neuheisel did at UW: “No, this is different, what he’s doing and the kids that he has available are different.”
Willingham also said tha the has “more concerns” when he looks at UCLA’s offense than he sees opportunities for success despite UCLA’s struggles because that’s how he always view things. “You look at their personnel and what they can do and they can be very good,” he said. He said he is particularly concerned about UCLA TB Khalil Bell, noting his success in the past.
As for UCLA’s defense, he said “their defense has been doing a great job of keeping them in ball games to win and be successful and obviously I have great respect for DeWayne Walker and his ability to keep you off-balance. They are fast and they make plays.”
Willingham tried to hire Walker during the winter to be UW’s defensive coordinator. Walker said later that Willingham offered Walker to bring along two other UCLA assistants to also join the staff.
But Walker decided to stay at UCLA where he had been the previous two seasons.



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