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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 7, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Sark confident turnaround is coming

The press conference at UW is over. If you want to watch the whole thing you can do so at
As might be expected, head coach Steve Sarkisian was brimming with optimism at the thought of getting practice started.
In fact, he led off his comments with about a five-minute wrarpup of all the positive changes he said he has seen in the program since he’s taken over, including renenwed enthusiasm from the players and the fan base, as well as improved conditioning of the players.
“There is a great buzz,” he said.
Sarkisian also predicted that UW’s return to prominence isn’t necessarily all that far away.
“I don’t think it is going to take us very long,” he said. “We are going to become a great football team. If it’s game one, game five, game 12, game 13, two seasons, three seasons — I don’t know when that’s going to occur. I don’t think it’s going to take very long, though, I know that.
“We’ve got a tremendous coaching staff. They recruit really well, they teach really well, they coach really well. And we’ve got a group of kids that have been very willing. They’ve bought into what we have asked them to do on the field, off the field, in the class room. I couldn’t have asked for more than what they have given us so far.”
In other notes. …
— Sarkisian said four of the six JC players will be eligible this season. The two that aren’t, as expected, are OL Daniel Mafoe and DT Johnny Tivao. Sarkisian said the door isn’t completely closed on them getting in but that as of now it will be assumed they will not be part of the team this season. Sarkisian said the two simply didn’t get the work done they needed to become eligible.
— One of JC transfers who is in is safety David Batts. Sarkisian said Batts will wear the No. 25 formerly worn by Curtis Williams. Having Batts wear that number will take the place of the No. 25 that was previously on the field as a memorial to Williams. Sarkisian said this way Williams “is back on the field and that’s where he always wanted to be.”
— Sarkisian elaborated that WR Vince Taylor will miss camp with complications from surgery for a knee injury.
— He said everyone else on the roster should be healthy enough for the beginning of practice, including TB Chris Polk, who had missed a few summer workouts with an injury. That also includes Jason Wells, who Sarkisian said had a good summer and has been cleared to practice.
— C Matt Sedillo apparently left the team in part due to some personal issues back home. He is from Escondido, Calif.
— Sarkisian said he hopes the new Zone pre-game area that will be set up on the practice field behind the east scoreboard will help create a better atmosphere in the stadium prior to the game. “We want Husky Stadium as loud as it can be from the opening kickoff to the final whistle,” he said. Having the Zone be near the field will keep fans closer to the field prior to the game, he said.
— All fall camp practices will be open to the public. There will be more restrictions on practice once the season begins, though they are expected to remain open to the media.
— Sarkisian said the move of Johri Fogerson to tailback was due to depth issues at that spot as well as a desire of Fogerson’s to want to play that position again. He said it’s not necessarily permanent depending on how things shake out at both spots but that for now, Fogerson is a tailback.
— As of now, no other position changes are planned but that doesn’t mean more won’t happen during camp, he said. A couple of subtle changes are Andru Pulu likely to play more on the D-line than his listed linebacker, and Jordan Wallace playing more LB than his originally listed safety, though he is listed as an LB in the team’s media guide.
— While there is a depth chart, Sarkisian said he will go into camp with an “open mind” noting that he has seen the team for only 15 practices on the field — he will get double that many looks prior to the LSU game. So he said there could be lots of change depending on how things progress during camp.
— Asked about redshirting true freshmen, he said there is no set plan and that “we are going to play the best players” and if all of the true frosh proved worthy of playing then “so be it.” “We don’t want to put a ceiling on them now,” he said.
— So far, the only scrimmage set is for Tuesday, Aug. 18. UW is scheduled for six double-days. On the first five, the first practice will be at 8:45 a.m. and the second at 6:45 p.m. That’s a little later than usual for the second practice but Sarkisian said it will give the players a lot of rest and will also help acclimate them for the conditions they may face for the 7:30 start time of the opener against LSU.
— Interestingly, while Sarkisian has vastly improved access to almost every area of the team, he has decided that all of the team’s newcomers will be off-limits to interviews for now. He said that could change at some point this season but he didn’t say when. He said he wants to make sure the new players are prepared for media attention before suddenly being put in the spotlight. So for now, don’t expect any stories or interviews with the likes of Batts or Keith Price or Desmond Trufant, etc.
All for now.



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