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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 8, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Locker excited by Sarkisian hire

One person we had yet to hear from since the hiring of Steve Sarkisian is QB Jake Locker.
But he just stopped by the media room and talked with a few of us. Here’s what he had to say.
What are your first impressions?
Locker: I really enjoyed getting to meet him. He seemed like a really enthusiastic, energetic guy. I think he’ll bring a lot of excitement to our program. I think he’ll surround us with coaches that are similar in coaching style to that. I think it will raise the energy and excitement of the players. I was very pleased with him and I think he’ll be able to bring a lot to this football team.
Q: What do you think of the way QBs were developed at USC?
A: Oh definitely. It’s one of the things I’m probably most excited about is he’s really done well with a lot of guys and put them in good situations to be able to move on and play at the next level. I think he’ll be able to help me with the parts of my game I need to improve upon the most. I heard he’s pretty tough and pretty meticulous about a lot of things, but I’m really excited about that and looking forward to getting the opportunity to work with him and learn from him.
Q: Do a lot of things about the program change now?
A: One of the biggest things, he came in this morning to our team meeting and said ‘it’s a clean slate for everybody from this point on. I don’t care what you did in the past, I don’t care what happened. Everybody can start fresh right now, but the decisions you make from here on out are going to be documented and dealt with accordingly.’ For a lot of our guys that was exciting to them. If they had trouble in the classroom or trouble on the field or whatever it may be, that might have kept them from being on the field, that stuff is forgotten now and these guys get a fresh start, and if they’re willing to work hard they can put themselves in a good situation. I think that’s exciting to a lot of the guys and it’s something that will help us move forward I believe.That’s one of the best things he said in the meeting this morning.
Q: Do you like the idea of practices being more open to fans and the media?
A: To me personally, I can’t speak for all the other guys, but I could care less who is at practice. I’m focused on our team and what we’re trying to accomplish. If they want to sell tickets and 70,000 people come watch, that’s great, but it doesn’t make a difference to me. I’m still going to do the same things that I did in the past and focus on the same things and I think a lot of our guys will go about it the same.
Q: How do you think you will fit into his offense, which has been primarily a pro-style offense at USC?
A: Yeah, like I was saying, that’s the part of the game I need to develop the most in and I think the offensive scheme he’ll bring in and the things he’ll be able to help me with I believe will be able to get me to the point I’ll have success in an offense like that. I came here because I knew I would be able to run the football. It was one of the decisions [why] I chose to come here, because the offense allowed me to use one of my strengths, so I hope that’s not completely taken out and I still have the opportunity to do that at times. If it’s limited, I’m OK with that, or in a different kind of way, I’m open to that too. Really, whatever he brings in. He’s had success doing what he’s doing and I’m going to believe in it 100 percent and do the best to put our team in position to win.
Q: Were you recruited by USC and at what position?
A: They recruited me more as a safety, a little bit as both, but more toward the end it was a bit more as a safety.
Q: Was Sarkisian involved in the recruiting?
A: I talked to him a couple of times but their guy for that area was their linebackers coach, so I met with him quite a bit.
Q: What kind of buzz was there from the team meeting this morning?
A: I think guys were excited. I think the energy he brought, everybody felt it. He’s a younger guy, I think guys feel they might be able to relate to him a little bit better. And like I said, with the things he said to use, a lot of guys felt like you know what, this is an opportunity for us to get on the right track and be able to put whatever it may be in the past, especially this season, and go forward and try and change the way things are around here.
Q: Changing the belief system, what are the biggest tweaks? Every year it seems we hear talk about how well things went in the offseason and then things not to seem to go well.
A: I believe we had the best offseason we had since I’ve been here. We had the biggest numbers we had, so that’s all I know. I thought it was a good offseason. Obviously, something didn’t work and something wasn’t right. But I think the biggest thing for us is that, just creating a different culture here. It’s an attitude and a decision we need to make as a team to not accept losing. I think we got to the point sometimes where it was expected, because we had so much, and that has to change. We need to expect to win and know that we’re going to win and have confidence in that even if we don’t come out as well and we get down or we’re in the fourth quarter and instead of finding ways to lose a game, we find ways to win a game. Those are the little differences I think separate the winning teams from the losing teams.
Q: Does him coming from USC help everyone buy into what he’s saying?
A: I think so. I think that was one of the important things in them going out and bringing a new coach in was for our team as a whole to buy into what the new coach was going to sell. I felt he had to have some sort of credibility and some level of credibility, and I don’t know if it gets any better than what he has at this point. You can’t really argue with what he has done the last seven years there. We’re all able to look at that and go, he’s been successful everywhere he’s been, he’s had success. If you look at their program before he got there, they weren’t the best and they’ve made that program what it is now. He was part of that rebuilding process. So I think you’re able to look at a lot of the things he’s done and it makes it a lot easier to buy into the game plan he wants to have and is going to sell to us.
Q: He said he wants to make it so you aren’t the entire offense. What do you think of that?
A: I believe that they have a successful offense there. They have a lot of weapons and very talented players and doing a great job being able to involve all of them in the offense. I believe we have a lot of weapons here, and it’s just being able to find what they’re good at and being able to take advantage of it in the most positive way for us. That’s what he is going to focus on doing. My job as the quarterback is to get the ball to those other guys so they can do the things that make you go “wow,” so that’s going to be my main focus and my main goal. And I think the system we’re going to be in will make that very easy.
Q: How is your thumb?
A: It’s doing good, feeling a lot better. I just got done doing some rehab and it feels really good and it’s getting stronger. I can almost spread it out as much as my other one so it’s coming along really well.
Q: Can you pick up a ball yet?
A: Yeah, I picked up a ball for the first time three days ago. I can hold it now. Not able to throw it yet, but I can pick it up and hold it with my hand.

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