Follow us:

Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 8, 2009 at 11:54 AM

July answers, volume three

Another round, with a couple of links at the bottom. …
Q: Which players and staff have been your favorites to interview? The most interesting? Most surprising? Strangest thing to happen during an interview?
A: I’ve covered the team since 1997 either for the TNT or the Times and have been pretty lucky in that time to work with a lot of helpful and personable players and coaches — with one pretty notable exception you can probably figure out. Singling out just a few favorites is hard. But as for coaches, Rick Neuheisel would definitely be the most interesting. You never knew for sure what was going to happen or what he might say — such as the day he concluded a routine post-practice interview with the thought that he’d like to see the Apple Cup played every year at Qwest Field, an idea that is still a little ahead of its time, apparently, and on that day, sent us all scrambling to rewrite our notebooks. That was both good and bad. There was always something to write about with Neuheisel around, sometimes even when it seemed you didn’t want something to write about. Favorite players going back to 1997, to name a few, would include Reggie Williams, Todd Elstrom, Dane Looker, Lester Towns, Marques Tuiasosopo, Nigel Burton, Brock Huard, Kyle Benn, Anthony Kelley, Larry Tripplett, Marquis Cooper, Derrell Daniels, Roy Lewis, Jafar Williams, Jimmy Newell, Derrick Johnson, James Sims, Scott White, Stanley Daniels, Isaiah Stanback, Juan Garcia, Jordan Reffett and all kinds of other guys maybe not as well-known. Current players who are always helpful and friendly include Jake Locker, Nate Williams, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and Darrion Jones. But through the years there really have only been a few guys that were truly uncooperative or that you just really didn’t want to interview unless you had to. I almost hate to answer the surprising question because that kind of implies some sort of preconceived stereotype of the player involved. What I could answer is that it may surprise some fans in retrospect that Jerramy Stevens was one of the best interviews on the team until his troubles continued to mount later in his career. But for his first year or two, he was one of the go-to guys for a good quote. One of the strangest things to happen during an interview was sometime in the 1999 season when I was with Ted Miller and a couple other guys interviewing DL Mac Tuiaea at a table during one of the regular Monday luncheons. The meal included sandwiches from Porter’s and its notorious hot sauce. Tuiaea apparently took too big a bite or something because he suddenly stood up, said “I’ve got to go” and left the table in a hurry to go get some water. But if memory serves, Tuiaea recovered to play that week.
Q: What do you think is a reasonable amount of time to give Steve Sarkisian to turn around the program — three years? Four? Is it a resonable expectation for five wins this year since with a healthy Jake Locker there’s no way UW goes 0-12 last season?
A: I think three years is pretty much the going rate for any coach these days to show some pretty significant improvement. And the reality is pretty much that if you don’t see improvement by the third year, you probably aren’t going to see it — there are exceptions, but you usually know by year three whether it’s going to work or not. As UW fans know well, Jim Owens and Don James each won Rose Bowls in their third year after taking over losing programs. Tyrone Willingham’s third year, meanwhile, ended with a thud foreshadowing the disaster of his final season and eventual firing. But the further reality is that with Locker being a senior in 2010, there had probably be some pretty significant improvement by the end of that season. I think UW, with what could be just six senior starters this year, should be able to again be pretty competitive in 2010. As for 2009, I have consistently said I’d put the over-under on wins at four. The schedule is difficult and there is still a lot of rebuilding to do and while an upset or two wouldn’t surprise me, a bowl game would. But the latter part of your question raises the big issue about this team — was it really as bad as it looked last season, or did the loss of Locker and knowledge by about week three that the coaching staff was gone cause it to play a lot worse than it reallly is? We really won’t know that until September.
Q: What do pro football scouts have to say about Locker? I know his availability is two years away, but if he has two healthy seasons and continues his growth, what round could he go in and where do they see him playing? QB? RB? Safety?
A: I’m not sure there’s any one consensus on Locker given that he does still have two years to play, missed most of last season, and hasn’t had the greatest supporting cast to work with when he has played. I think most are waiting to see what Locker does now with a new coaching staff and a system proven to develop pro QBs, as well as more experience under his belt and what seems to be more talented players around him. These things can change so quicky. Who would have thought a year ago Mark Sanchez would have been the fifth pick of the entire draft? So basically, guess I’m just restating the obvious, that the jury is still out on Locker.
— Former Husky Caesar Rayford has officially been signed by the Spokane Shock of af2.
Buster Sports talks to a college fight song expert who doesn’t have kind words for UW’s.
— OL Erik Kohler, a high school teammate of Nick Montana’s, said Tuesday UW is in his top three along with UCLA and Cal. Sounds as if UCLA is the team to beat, however.
All for now.



No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►