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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 12, 2008 at 3:59 PM

On open practices, and a bit more

A good piece this afternoon by Ted Miller of ESPN.com on the hire of Steve Sarkisian and how he will at least bring more excitement to UW, even if it’s too early yet to say whether he will bring more wins.
Much of the focus of Miller’s piece is on Sarkisian’s statement that he will open practices to boosters, fans and media — regular readers of this space know that’s an aspect of Tyrone Willingham’s tenure we didn’t favor.
I asked Sarkisian a little more about that the other day, and he said he was surprised at the reaction he got from the crowd when he mentioned the open practices.
“I didn’t know it was that big of a deal, I really didn’t,” he said. “I don’t really understand why it wasn’t before, but I don’t really care, to be honest with you, either.”
Sarkisian, however, said it’s not just an offering to fans but something he thinks will make his players better.
“I saw it in my players [at USC], there is something to know that every day people are watching you,” he said. “And you get used to people watching you, whether it’s media or fans or boosters or alumni. There is a level of knowing that people are watching the way you play that gets you ready for Saturdays.
“I think also, with that, is that I want people to feel comfortable with our team. I want people to see how hard they work, how hard they compete. I want them to appreciate the time and effort the kids put in.”
I asked Sarkisian if he worried that things might leak out at practice that might help the opponent, a common refrain of coaches who close practices.
Sarkisian said he didn’t think that’s a big deal but that “we’ll be smart.”
I was also told that BYU, during the time Sarkisian played there, had completely open practices, as well, so he has experienced it as both a player and a coach.
IN OTHER NEWS
Greg Biggins of ESPN.com has this piece on Sarkisian reaching out to UW recruit Keith Price. I actually talked to Price the other night for something that ended up not making it in the paper and he hadn’t talked with Sarkisian yet but said he was excited by the hire and feeling more than ever like he would end up committing to UW.
— USC made it official today, naming John Morton to replace Sarkisian as offensive coordinator.
All for now.

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