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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 8, 2009 at 8:56 PM

A few notes from the coaches show

The second Steve Sarkisian coaches show, originating on KJR-AM 950, has concluded. It’s now Tuesdays at 7 p.m., for those who like to listen, opposed to the Monday nights it has been for years — I think since the Neuheisel era.
Anyway, I won’t be in the habit of transcribing the whole thing. But I did listen and took a few notes and I’ll pass along some of the highlights:
— One question dealt with the importance of emotion in the game and it was interesting to hear Sarkisian say that it has a role, but it’s not the be-all, end-all of things. “It was more important that we executed really well,” he said. “You don’t get 480 yards by emotion.”
— He lamented again the importance of the turnovers and red zone failures against LSU. He said by his count, UW had seven trips into the red zone and got just the 23 points instead of what could have been 49 (there were seven drives inside the 24 so that’s what he means there).
— He thought the Jake Locker interception was especially critical saying that he thought the momentun was really on UW’s side there and that he really felt UW would have scored there, which would have made the score 14-3 and could have completely changed the game by forcing LSU to pass.
— Asked about the play of James Johnson he said “it’s just a sign of great things to come.”
— He several times talked about the speed of LSU’s defense and said that other than USC, it will likely be the fastest that the Huskies will face this season. He intimated that Locker didn’t run as much as he might in future games because of that saying that he’s not sure if other teams “will have a defense as fast as that to track him down.” He said later that “outside of USC, we won’t see another team that talented all year.” He said he thinks LSU could have 8-10 future first-round picks on the team and said that LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson attended a USC camp during his time with the Trojans “and was the best football player we had in camp by far in seven years” that he was at USC.
— He said there were a few designed runs for Locker, mostly plays that had options where he could have run or passed. He said LSU brought pressure a few times on what could have been roll-out passes and disrupted those. He said the hope is to get more roll-outs going in future games.
— Sarkisian gave a lot of credit to Locker for the first TD pass to Johnson saying that Locker audibled a change of protection at the line of scrimmage to make the play work “something he’d never really done before.” Indeed, Locker didn’t audible much, if at all, during his first season in 2007.
— Asked about the process of players changing positions, he said that “if they don’t want to change, we don’t change them” but that they will continue to discuss it with them if they think a change would be best for their career and the team.
— Asked about halftime adjustments in the LSU game, he said he wasn’t sure either team really made any big ones. He said the one thing he thought LSU did more later in the game was audible to a few option plays when they sensed UW bringing pressure.
— Asked about how physical UW was, he said he thought that the Huskies might have caught LSU off-guard a little bit with how physical they played. In the same answer, he also cited Nate Williams for “being fantastic on Saturday night” and also said he thought the linebackers and Polk and the O-line were all very phsyical.
— In what was a real change from the Willingham era, Sarkisian was asked by a fan a question about facing USC next week and actually answered it. Sarkisian said that he thinks it will actually be “relatively easy” to face the Trojans in terms of the emotions of facing his former team. “Sometimes you are almost more competitive against friends. I think there will be some cool emotions heading into that game.” He said USC practices turned into daily competitions between the coaches and that after the kickoff “all the sudden it will feel like we are back on the practice field going after it.”
— He said he was rooting for USC in part because he thinks it would be good for the Pac-10.
— He said he thought Kavario Middleton was still not quite 100 percent with his hamstring and that hopefully he will get healthy soon so he can “be more physical in the run game and be the complete package we want him to be.”
— He talked about the drive at the end of the first half and noted that the Huskies actually had a timeout left that they didn’t use. He said the problem was that on the review of the fumble that went to the Huskies, UW called time out and it was subtracted from the scoreboard. He said when the review was called, UW got the time out back. However, the scoreboard was never corrected. He said even though he told Locker that UW had a time out that Locker looked at the board and “in the heat of the moment couldn’t come to believe we really had one.” UW ended up kicking a field goal on third down on the final play of the half.
All for now.



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