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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 21, 2009 at 1:16 PM

April answers, volume five

As promised, more questions and answers.
Q: I haven’t seen Tripper Johnson’s name come up on the blog. What’s the
latest?

A: Johnson is competing for playing time as a reserve safety, sometimes working with the twos, more often seeming to be with the threes. He was a backup at the end of last season, and with the return to full duty of Victor Aiyewa, and the emergence of Greg Walker, there’s more competition than there was last fall. I would imagine he will have a role as a backup and special teams player this fall.
Q: Why are so many of the Husky faithful quick to drink the Steve Sarkisian koolaid? Weren’t they the same ones thinking Tyrone Willingham was the disciplinarian to turn the team around?
A: I know I’m supposed to be the jaded, cynical reporter here. But what do you really expect Husky fans to do? Wllow in the misery of last season some more and assume that Sarkisian is going to be as bad a hire as Willingham was? What’s the point of that? Times are enough these days without going unnecessarily gloom and doom when it comes to sport. I think everyone agrees the jury is way out on this hire until the Huskies play some games. I don’t know how anyone can know for sure right now whether this is going to work out. But if there’s ever a time to give a guy the benefit of the doubt, it’s now, when he’s in his first spring and he has yet to lose a game. And UW fans are embracing Sarkisian right now because of the way he has reopened the program. Many are simply having fun again being able to follow the team more closely on a daily basis. Who knows whether that will turn into wins. But it’s good PR — and also simply the right thing to do — and so many people are applauding the move. As for Willingham four years ago, many did think his discipline was what the team needed then. I don’t think anyone can argue that discipline WAS what the team needed then. But it turned out Willingham’s brand of it wasn’t. Those of us (myself included) who thought that at the time turned out to be wrong. But no reason for everyone to dwell on that now and assume that means this hire is going to be a disaster, as well. That would be a pretty sad way to go through life.
Q: I have heard rumblings that the Huskies hurt themselves with two star recruits at Skyline given the way their former Head Coach was let go by Sarkisian? Any truth to the rumor?
A: Assuming you mean Jake Heaps and Kasen Williams. Judging by the way Heaps appears to be seriously considering UW, attending a couple of spring practices, listing them in his top five, doesn’t seem to be. It’s still so early in the recruiting process for Williams that I think that if that was an issue for him — and I’ve not seen or heard anything to indicate it was — it wouldn’t be by then.
Q: Has the University given any thought to moving the Husky Legend to the end of the first quarter since most people have left the game by the start of the 4th? I truly believe that these legends deserve better than what they get at the end of the third quarter when most games have been decided, the fans are leaving and the air is out of the stadium.
A: As I wrote on the chat yesterday — and people think I’m negative. Anyway, I’m not even going to bother to ask anyone at UW about this. I’m sure that everyone at UW assumes that games will once again be competitive going into the fourth quarter here sometime soon — we’re really only talking about last year when this has been something someone could have been worrying about as the fourth quarters were pretty darn dramatic in 2007. So if this is really an issue, it won’t be long.
Q: What was your personal opinion on the “Victory to Ruins” article, and has your opinion of it changed over time? More specifically, the point of the series seemed to give Willingham the benefit of the doubt as to what he had to overcome. Is that still the feeling for you (assuming it was) and/or any of the other writers for the Times?
A: I’m throwing this question on here so I can’t be accused of ducking questions. That said, I’m going to, uh, duck it in the sense that it’s not my place to comment on the work of other people here at The Times — and I can’t imagine many of you would really expect me to do so publicly. As for how it impacted Willingham’s status, I’ll point out again that the series ran seven weeks after UW decided to keep Willingham for another year, so I’m not sure how it could have had any impact on that decision. As for “propping up Willingham,” if it really did that he certainly didn’t view it that way judging by his response to it.

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