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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 12, 2008 at 2:35 PM

Some thoughts on the defense

Defensive coordinator Ed Donatell said the goal remains the same for the Huskies as they close out the season: “We’re just looking for ways to get a win.”
And despite yet another loss last week, the first-year defensive coordinator said during his weekly meeting with the media Wednesday that he sees progress.
“I see things coming along, and somewhere along the line you’re going to say ‘they are getting a little better,”’ he said.
Specifically, Donatell says he continues to like what he sees of the young players up front.
That group should be strengthened this week with the probable return of DT Senio Kelemete from a knee injury that has held him out the last two weeks, Donatell said.
The Huskies had to shake things up a bit with their formations last week due in part to the absence of Kelemete, as well as DE Kalani Aldrich (lingering back injury) and the uncertainty of DT Cameron Elisara (neck injury against USC).
What the Huskies do this week could be dependant on who is available.
UW led ASU 19-16 midway through the third quarter last week, so the easy assumption to make is that a lot of those young players simply wore down.
Donatell said, however, he doesn’t like that term and prefers to say that “we just weren’t able to finish that day. … some of the fields got shorter and we just didn’t stop them — end of story.”
The secondary could also get a lift with the probable return of CB Mesphin Forrester from a knee injury that has held him out the last two weeks. Matt Mosley has taken his place and has been “bringing some energy to the game,” Donatell said.
Donatell said Mosley will continue to play even if Forrester returns.
Another player who is likely to continue to see action in some capacity is LB Chris Stevens, who saw more time a week ago when UW went to the 3-4 look a little more than usual. Donatell said Stevens “is just a kid everybody trusts” and that “in difficult times, you want to lean on guys everybody believes in.” Stevens had seven tackles a fumble recovery and a blocked punt against ASU.
Donatell said the team had hoped to get even more production out of Stevens earlier in the year but said he could have a big role in the remaining three games.
Donatell also said CB Quinton Richardson has “backslid for a second” having had a couple of rough games. But as he said last week, Donatell said Richardson has the kind of temperament to handle it. “There’s a lot of good football ahead for this guy,” he said.
Donatell also praised the play of DE Everrette Thompson, calling him one of the big reasons for future optimism about the defensive line. “Just wait until next year,” Donatell said. “Give him a summer.”
Of UCLA, he said that “when you see them coming out of the tunnel, you’ll say there’s talent on that football team. I’m sure they feel they should have a better record and you can see it on the tape.”
He said the offense is similar to what offensive coordinator Norm Chow has run everywhere else. He said he doesn’t expect any major change if the Bruins are somehow able to get QB Ben Olson ready to take the place of Kevin Craft — all indications are that Olson is still a week or so away from returning.

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