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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 20, 2009 at 2:30 PM

A few words from Steve Sarkisian

UW coach Steve Sarkisian held a little off-season update conference call with reporters today, timed in part to comment on the finally re-assembled coaching staff.
There was no real news. Sarkisian said there had been no player personnel changes of any kind and he didn’t detail any position changes or anything of that sort, which likely won’t really take effect until spring ball.
But he did talk about a number of other subjects.
Here are some highlights:
— On new offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto: “He brings a lot of knowledge and experience to our staff but also brings a hard-nosed mentality to our guys up front and I’m excited what he is going to bring to us from a physical standpoint and an experience and knowledge standpoint.”
— On new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier: “In the short time I’ve gotten to work with Doug Nussmeier, he’s got a great feel for the game, a good command of the passing game, the running game, protections. He’ll handle the day-to-day activities (of the offense) and he’ll do a great job with that and I’ll still be calling the plays on game days.”
— On the offensive staff: “What we’ve done on offense is every coach on our offensive staff at one time or another has been a coordinator. So there are a lot of guys who can think outside the box and not just their position group. They get the game, they have a feel for the game and an understanding that it’s more than just their position group. It makes it fun and I’m excited that we have a bunch of young, bright coaches who have been coordinators before and understand the game of football.”
— On how Jake Locker and other players are coming along in learning the offense: “I think they are developing well. As we are moving forward as a staff our players are able to move forward offensively. They are getting more work on the computer system looking at (video) cut-ups, looking at film. We’re able to be with them now in their off-season conditioning work so they are getting a feel for our coaching style. I think Jake is no different. He is responding well to the coaching. … I’m excited about the progress he is making.”
— On whether he was surprised that Jim Michalczik left for the Raiders: “I was caught off-guard by it. I knew Jimmy was a really good coach and I thought in time we would have to deal with (him potentially leaving) but I wasn’t quite ready to deal with it here this first year.”
— He was asked if he still thought this was the best coaching staff in America as he said after it was assembled the first time. He said yes and that “offensively, some of the roles have been tweaked a little bit, but I still love the staff because of the knowledge they bring. … Coach Cozzetto brings a very physical, tough mentality to our football team which I think is very good for us.”
— On how the team is responding to off-season conditioning: “Our kids are working their tails off. We had a great team run this morning at 6 a.m. I think our kids are working extremely hard. They have bought into (conditioning coach Ivan) Coach Lewis’ strength and conditioning program and I like the mentality that our guys are bringing every day right now.”
— He reiterated again that the tight end position will be coached by graduate assistant Klayton Adams, who had been the running game coordinator at Western Washington. “He brings a lot of experience to the tight end position. … he has the knowledge and ability to coach that position for us (he played on the O-line at Boise State).”
— Sarkisian said he was up front with the offensive coaches that he would call the plays and doesn’t think that will cause any friction, saying Nussmeier “will have a great deal of input during the week and game day of what we are going to call and what looks good. But ultimately, I’m going to call the plays.”
— Asked about the coach’s retreat this week he said: “The coaching staff got together for a couple of days and spent some time just to get on the same page philosophically, what we are trying to get done as a program and where we are headed, how we want to deal with our kids, the approach we want to take. I think it was a great bonding experience for us.”
— Asked about his Twitter page, he said he likes keeping abreast of the latest technology and that he knows there is intense interest in the program and that “it’s a great tool to keep people abreast of Husky football.”
— Asked what the coaches can do with the players right now he said “we can make sure they go to class and we can do off-season conditioning.”
— Asked for an overall assessment of the condioning program, he said: “I’ve been really encouraged. It’s been going about a month-and-a-half now with our strength and conditioning program and I’ve been extremely encouraged with the way we are starting to look as a football team. We’re losing weight with our big guys and our skill guys’ change of direction keeps getting better every time we watch them work. So I like what’s happening. I like the mentality. They are excited about working out on a daily basis, which is a great thing. You want them in the want-to state of mind and not the have-to state of mind when they go into the weight room.”



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