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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 24, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Holt speaks, more from practice

Clearing out the notebook from today’s practice.
A few of us chatted afterward with defensive coordinator Nick Holt to get his view of that side of the ball with just one practice remaining.
“The first thing is we installed most of our defense,” he said. “There are a couple of things we didn’t get to but I don’t know if we’ll need it. We installed our playbook and our kids kind of have a working knowledge of it and are getting better at it, so I’m pleased with that. I think our kids are learning how to practice with intensity and learning to have fun. I think that we are more physical then we might have been. Hopefully that is the case. We’ve tackled a lot and really worked on our tackling and I think the kids have gotten a lot better through the spring, and I think specifically the last couple of days of spring ball and this last week it is really showing up that our tackling has really improved and getting the ball out as far as turnovers. I think we are doing a nice job there.
“Obviously we are miles away — thank God we have a fall practice. But I see improvement in everything. I’m kind of fired up. I think the coaches did a good job and the kids responded to the coaches.”
It was thought there might be a lot of experimentation up front during the spring. But Holt pretty early settled on a starting line of ends Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and Darrion Jones to go with tackles Alameda Ta’amu and Cameron Elisara. Holt agreed the front seven became pretty solidified through the spring.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I think our starting front seven is pretty solid. I like our linebacking corps. I think our starting linebackers could be as good as anybody we play against — I really believe that. And I think a couple of our defensive linemen can play anywhere for anybody. We have to continue to develop our secondary. But we have a lot of good, young prospects back there. We just have to get them a lot of reps so that they get a ton better. I’m happy with the front seven. But we’ve got to get good in the back end. We’ve got to.”
Asked some players who stood out this spring, Holt said: “I think Donald Butler, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. I knew they were good players. I didn’t realize they were going to be this good. I’m really fired up. They are great kids, man they are really great to be around. They love football. They’ve had good springs. So those two guys really stick out to me. I’m impressed with Quinton Richardson. I think he’s had a nice spring. And Nate Williams I think is doing a nice job. And Darrion Jones has gotten a lot better. He might be one of the most improved guys on defense.”
OTHER NOTES
— As mentioned earlier, the team mostly worked on special teams today with some two-minute drill stuff thrown in. Steve Sarkisian called it a day for “cleaning up” some things, such as assignment errors and that sort of thing. He said there were specific plays called that had proven troublesome in the past to sort out the problems.
— Sarkisian said he thinks the team has made a lot of progress this spring. “I went back and watched our first three practices again and then I watched our most previous three before this one (Friday) and we are a better football team,” Sarkisian said. “That’s something coming into the spring we wanted to get accomplished — are we a better team than in practices 1-2-3 — and there’s no doubt we are. We are playing faster, more physical with more attention to details. And the beauty of it is that there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”
— The band and cheerleaders were present for the end of practice and will be there for the spring game tomorrow. The players joined with the band in signing the fight song at the end of practice.

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