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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 16, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Wednesday practice notes — Holt speaks

The Huskies are off the field after their last heavy practice of the week in preparation for Saturday’s game against USC. The team was in full pads the last two days and now will begin to taper down to freshen up for Saturday’s game.
And in case you’ve been swept up instead in the Kanye-Taylor Swift controversy, you’ve probably heard that this game is also a renunion for some members of the coaching staff.
Today, it was defensive coordinator Nick Holt’s turn to address the media about his decision to leave USC last January and join Steve Sarkisian’s staff.
Holt predictably downplayed it, saying that “I haven’t really thought about that sort of stuff because I’ve really been busy preparing the kids. I’m sure as it gets closer you maybe start feeling some things. But it doesn’t feel any different than LSU or Idaho, quite honestly.”
Holt, however, acknowledged it was initially difficult to tell head coach Pete Carroll he was going to leave, especially because he had earlier turned down Sarkisian’s offer.
“It was hard to tell coach that I was going up to Seattle,” Holt said. “But it was a good opportunity and I think in the long run he understands. You look at all the coaches that end up leaving there and moving on, that’s part of the business. He’s the first one to tell you you’ve got to make opportunities for yourself and if that’s what you believe in, go for it. And he did that in his career and that’s what I think the assistants who have left their program, that’s what he has told them to do. That’s just part of the business.”
Holt insisted there are no hard feelings saying of Carroll that “he was good, He’s very mature about those sort of things.”
Holt also spoke pretty frankly on a couple of other topics, as well:
Asked to assess where the defense is right now, he said: “I think we are getting better. I think there are some deficiencies there with personnel. But we will make do and we will find the best things and give them the best chances to be successful, and that’s what we will do as a football program and a staff. They are playing hard and trying to hit people and that’s the first step. Now we have to keep on coaching them.”
Asked about all the passing yards given up against Idaho, he said: “Some of the passes we had some mental busts by a couple of kids and that happened a couple of times. But it’s all correctable. A couple of things were by a true freshmen and that’s going to happen. There was one bust by a safety who had just been moved to that position. And then the big drive (at the end of the game) is in part because we have a lot of kids who wanted to get in the game and deserve to play and they didn’t do their job when they were out there to stop Idaho, Idaho had those backups in there too, and we just need to do a better job with our young guys and backups that we hold them to as high a standard as the ones. We were just kind of lackadaisical late in the game. I thought we were really lackadaisical.”
Asked about the pass rush, Holt said he thinks that “at times it’s pretty good. We had three sacks (against Idaho) and missed a couple of sacks against LSU,m the one they said should have been a safety (when the QB threw it when rushed in the end zone). We have four, we probably should have six, so our numbers, compared to what’s been around here will move up. It’s getting better. I think our young guys need to develop because they have some speed, some athleticism. They need to get better during the game as far as the pass rush and I think they will.”
And asked about going up against USC’s veteran offensive line he said: “They don’t ask their O-line to do a lot of hard pass pro. It’s a lot of play-action and a lot of seven-man protection and they are smart. They don’t ask those guys to be on an island. And when they ask them to do that they are not successful, like a lot of programs, with that type of protection. We’ve got to do our job of going to our fundamentals and our technique when we do get pass rush opportunities.”
Holt also said it wasn’t a big concern who USC starts at quarterback simply because he said “whoever they have at quarterback is good and they’ll know the system and will have a lot of help because of the supporting cast.” He noted that Aaron Corp is the best runner of the three USC QBs.
In other news. …
— Sarkisian said DT De’Shon Matthews has been ruled out for the game with a knee injury suffered against Idaho. But everybody else who has been active should be ready to go. That includes DE Darrion Jones, who practiced Wednesday. Sarkisian said Jones looked good enough to indicate he should be ready to play, He said it was too early to know who would start at that position, however, though it figures to be a rotation.
— Guard Greg Christine was back working almost full-time with the No. 1 O-line and Sarkisian said he was just getting some rest the past two days while Mykenna Ikehara filled in. Christine is expected to start.
Everrette Thompson has seen increasing time at defensive tackle this week and Sarkisian said he is being worked there to see if he can make the adjustment and help UW’s pass rush.
— Sarkisian had an interesting comment when asked about the depth of Erik Folk’s kickoffs, which last week averaged 59.7 yards per attempt, meaning on average to about the 6-7 yard line. “It is what it is,” he said. “In a perfect world you’d like to kick it out of the end zone every time, but it is what it is. … It’s like having a pitcher who throws either 88 or 95. Our guy is throwing 88 and we’ve got to paint the black.”
All for now.

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