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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 30, 2009 at 9:15 AM

Middleton shrugs off criticism

UW tight end Kavario Middleton would have to hear the criticism that came his way following Saturday’s loss at Stanford to be bothered by it.
But Middleton insists he doesn’t pay attention to what is written or said about the team.
“I don’t really listen to the radio,” he said. Or read web sites either, for that matter.
Middleton was criticized by some — including on the Husky post-game show — for his effort on a couple of key plays in Saturday’s game, notably a fourth-down pass from Jake Locker in the fourth quarter that killed a drive when the Huskies still had a chance to get in the game, down 27-14. The pass was low and hard to catch in any circumstance, but some critics have said Middleton could have given a better effort.
“I didn’t see it, so maybe I could have tried harder,” Middleton said Tuesday. “From my angle, my momentum was going toward the ground already and (the ball) was coming back over my shoulder a couple yards away. Hard to reach.”
Middleton caught one pass in the game for 11 yards and is third on the team with 10 catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
After being bothered by a hamstring injury early in the season Middleton says “I’m fine” now.
Coach Steve Sarkisian said on Monday that he thinks Middleton, a true sophomore, is on a normal path of progression.
“He’s done OK,” Sarkisian said. “I think Kavario is a guy, he’s a young sophomore. In a lot of programs, I think he’d be a redshirt freshman. So there’s a roller coaster type factor there. He can play really well at times, and there are times he can make mistakes that he has a tendency to hang and carry with him for a couple plays. The challenge for us, as a football staff, is football’s football. Not every play is going to be perfect. But when that play’s over, we’ve got to be able to re-focus. With Kavario, that’s something that he’s working through, the challenge of: the play’s over, next snap. I think he’ll do that. He’s only, in the future, going to get stronger, mentally and physically, and that’s going to help his game immensely.”
As for his role this season, Middleton says he’s just fine with it.
“I just do what I’m asked to do,” he said.
If he continues at his current pace, Middleton would finish the season wtih 30 catches, the most for a Husky tight end since Kevin Ware had 42 in 2002. No one has had more than 24 since then.

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