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September 22, 2009 at 10:28 AM

A few thoughts from Jim Harbaugh

Tuesday is the weekly Pac-10 teleconference and first up was Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh. Here are some highlights:
On Washington: “Well, what we’ve seen out of Washington is a tremendous job that coach Sarkisian has done and the entire staff and the players. The team is doing a fabulous job, much more aggressive and disciplined on defense, faster. Jake Locker is doing a tremendous job playing with really good control, very accurate and understanding the passing game, just really impressed with the job that they have done and what a formidable football team that we have coming in this week, playing with a lot of confidence. I think their secondary is much improved and playing with a lot of swagger on the back end. And the offensive line has improved. Chris Polk is running the ball hard and can get on the edge and the receivers are doing a really fabulous job, talented guys just across the board.”
He was asked about his team’s win over USC in 2007 and what it can mean for a program: “Well certainly I guess it’s hard to measure, but there is definitely more attention to the program and people wanting to talk to you about the game and how it went down. But there is a next game coming. I’m sure Steve is doing a great job focusing his football team. This league has shown that everybody is capable, everybody is vulnerable every week you’ve got to prepare.”
On how redshirt freshman QB Andrew Luck is playing: “Now that he has three games under his belt we’ve seen some really solid play from our qb. Last week bringing the them back after a tough loss, all of those things are first time things for Andrew and learning experiences and he is growing every game, which is what you want and expect, but he’s been very solid for us.”
Asked about the offensive line, he said that “I believe our line is playing the best it has since we’ve been here in two years and three games. We are run blocking better than we ever have and pass protecting better than we have and doing it with two redshirt freshmen.” One of those is former Bellevue High standout David DeCastro, who is starting at right guard.
He was asked about Pete Carroll’s statement that Locker is the best QB USC has faced and he said “I concur. Jake Locker is a tremendous football player and I’ve really admired his game since we faced him in 2007 and again last year and now this is the third year. … I liked him so much that you wondered how much room there was for him to grow and imrpove and he certainly has done that, playing with really good control and throwing the ball with a lot of accuracy, making plays outside of the pocket buying time. He’s just got so many intangibles and he’s a gutty player willing to do anything for his team. … He’s playing with more control and getting the ball to play makers at the receiver position and those guys have really stepped up. … I would say the same thing, of all the QBs we have faced, Jake, (Mark) Sanchez, those guys are top-notch.”
Asked about Locker’s injury, which happened last year against Stanford, he said “I didn’t think that the injury would keep him down for long and he’s proven that. … he continues to elevate his game. It’s great for Washington and a little scary for all of us who have to play him.”

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