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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 2, 2008 at 1:16 PM

Locker speaks

With the football season in its final week, this was also our last chance for a while to speak with Husky quarterback Jake Locker, who updated us on his health, his thoughts on the coaching search, and a few other topics.
For starters, Locker can most decidedly not play this weekend. As he spoke with us, his right hand was red and noticeably stiff and he admitted that he is just now working on trying to get his range of motion back in his broken thumb.
“Good as I can be, I guess,” he said of how he is doing. “I just got my stitches out last Tuesday and I was able to start moving it once I got the stiches out and start rehab. The scar was healed at that point so it’s going well. It feels a litlte bit better every day, able to move it a little bit farther every day. It’s definitely a slow process though.”
Locker had originally hoped he might be back by mid-November but he said today that was “wishful thinking.”
He said it wasn’t known just how complicated his injury was until surgery was completed — he said the main issue was how much was needed to put the thumb back together.
He said the original thought was he wouldn’t need to be in a cast long. Instead, he was in a cast eight weeks.
“I just think the way they had to put it back together and with how long I was in the cast,” he said. “Originally thought we’d be able to do a surgery and have it in a cast and not be in a cast as long and be able to get out and play toward the end. But being in the cast so long, all your joints stiffen up and that’s what I am working on right now is getting that back. I don’t think they had planned on it being that long originally.”
Locker, however, said he shouldn’t have any long-term negative impacts from the injury and should be back for spring practice.
“At this point it’s just doing everything I can to make sure I do the best thing I can to get it back to full strength and we will deal with whatever limitations we have at that point,” Locker said.
He said he wasn’t sure when he would be able to pick up a football and begin throwing but didn’t rule out it could happen soon.
Locker is also on the advisory committee for a new coach, but he said the committee hasn’t met since its one and only meeting late last month.
“We are all at the same point you guys are, just waiting for them to narrow it down and decide who they are going to seriously start looking at,” Locker said.
Asked if he has a preference in a style of coach, Locker said “to be honest, I dont really. I have a lot of respect for (UW athletic director) Scott (Woodward) and how he has dealt with a lot of things to this point. I trust him. I think he knows the game. He’s has been at places that have had very successful programs and he knows what it takes to win and I have no doubt that he is going to find the best guy for our situation and get him in here and give us the best opportunity to turn this thing around.”
But asked if a more fiery coach might be a good idea, Locker agreed.
“I think we need a guy who will get up and get in your face and might challenge you more outwardly in the future,” Locker said. “So we will see.”
Locker also said he doesn’t think the time off will hamper his development.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “Obviously it’s nice to be able to have the opportunity to throw any time you can and constantly work on that. But it gave me an opportunity to step back and look at our team and what we needed as a team and the areas that we need to improve upon. When you are playing and in the game, you get caught up in that, getting prepared week in and week out, and you are never able to really look at yourself and your team and make that decision as to what you need going forward. So I think I was able to take a lot of very helpful things out of it. Obviously it was a very difficult situation and I never would hope that it happens again, but I was able to learn a lot from it and hopefully it will make me a better quarterback and a better leader in the future.”
Asked what the team needs, Locker said: “There are a lot of things within our team the players need to take responsibility for, a lot of things I think we could have done as a team to give ourselves a better chance to win. It’s something we have talked about and addressed and we are making sure we are making strides in the right direction.”
The team apparently held a players’ only meeting the week before the Apple Cup to discuss a lot of those issues, Locker said.



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