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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 29, 2009 at 7:24 PM

Highlights from Sark’s radio show

Tuesday night means another edition of Steve Sarkisian’s radio show, and another blog post with as many of the highlights as I heard while heading and getting home.
— He said he’s “not upset about others being upset about” the Stanford game. “It was a game we felt we should have won. The challenge now is to rally the troops.”
— Asked why he deferred after winning the toss he said that he believes that second half possessions are more valuable than first half possessions so the goal is to have more possessions in the second half.
— Asked about the opening kickoff he said again the plan was to kick it to the other side where the defense would have had a chance to hem in Chris Owusu. Asked what he said when the ball was going the other way he said “oh no.” But he said Erik Folk’s foot simply hit the ground before striking the ball and that sent the ball off its path. Said the rest of the game they sky-kicked it but that meant giving Stanford the ball a lot at the 40-yard-line which screws up field position the rest of the game. He said it was “just poor execution.”
— A caller asked about Jake Locker’s health and Sarkisian said he’s fine now but that he did take a big hit against USC at the end — the one that drew the personal foul — and that “that one took a toll on him last week through practice. But he’s feeling better. He’s feeling good.”
— Asked about struggling to tackle Toby Gerhart he said that maybe the coaches “built him up too much” and had the UW players almost hesitant to tackle him. “We over-coached it in a sense,” he said.
— He described a bit of “Tell the Truth Monday” saying that the important thing is for the everyone to get on the same page about why losses happen “so we can then all move forward.”
— He talked about the rainy practice today and said that at the end they went to a no-huddle offense to “get all of practice in.”
— Asked about the kickoff teams, said the team has to use some younger, inexperienced players or risk injury to starters “so there’s some give and take there” in needing to make sure some of the key guys “can play really good football for 13 games, not one, two or three.” Said the goal remains to “cover like crazy, player with great effort and hopefully we can get guys down between the 20 and 25.”
— Asked about the length of kickoffs, said he had thought about having punter Will Mahan try it but that that puts strain on him and could take away from his punting and that “we don’t want to do that too him because there’s not that significant of a difference between Erik and Will. We’ll get better at our coverage units and attention to detail of where we want to kick the ball” and noted that the team did well in those phases against USC so the potential is there.
— He was asked about Stafon Johnson and said he had talked to Johnson’s mother today and said it was “extremely scary.” He said that Johnson “had 275 pounds (on the weight) he had just lifted it off the bar and he didn’t even do a rep, he lifted it off and, boom, it fell. The spotter, if the spotter hadn’t been there it would have been worse. The spotter tried to catch it, got it off quickly. But if the spotter wasn’t there it would have been worse.”
— He gave this assessment of Locker saying that “Jake’s come a long way and he’s continuing to grow and he will learn from this game and that’s going to make us a better football game down the road.”
— Said again that the game to Notre Dame “is a business trip and we have to treat it like a business trip. We are going there to play the football game.”
— Asked the biggest revelation about the school and its traditions since becoming coach, he said Husky Stadium. Said he knew it could be a great place to play from his game here as a player but that it “hadn’t been the same” the last few times he came with USC. But said he thinks it’s returning to that level of intensity and that “that’s what I was hoping it can be and it can only get better.”
— Asked about letting Locker run more he reiterated what he said Monday that “we’ve got a system that’s withstood the test of time” and Locker is on the right path with it. However, he said “I’d be a fool not to utilize Jake in situations where it could really benefit our football team” and noted that he has been used running primarily in third-down and red zone situations and that will be the norm going forward. But he said he wants to take the hits off Locker so that he can last the season and that “the goal is we want to play in a bowl game this year and to do that he needs to be our quarterback for 13 games.” So no change coming on that front.
— Asked why Jermaine Kearse didn’t see the ball more in the second half he noted that UW ran just 21 plays in that half which made it tough for anyone to get involved much. Said it was just the way the game went.
— In a segment where they talked about some of his other interests, he said that growing up “I loved the Red Sox and still do” but going to 5-6 Mariners games he has now grown to love those guys as well.
— Asked about the presence former UW assistant Randy Hart on the Notre Dame sideline, he said “he has an awful lot of insight into the personnel we have, not so much the schemes, but he does know some of our players, their mentalities.” He said that means that “we need to know that he knows about our players.”



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