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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

May 15, 2010 at 9:26 AM

May answers, volume three — examining UW’s offense and the backup QB spot

Examining UW’s offense and the backup QB spot. …
Q: When Steve Sarkisian was first hired at UW, we all read an endless number of articles and comments about how we could expect a simplified “pro-style” offensive, with heavy use of two tight end and two-back formations. But what we saw last year from the offense was a lot more varied and sophisticated. I was wondering if the change in play-calling was based on our personnel, Sark becoming a more sophisticated play caller, a change in philosophy or was due to some other reason. I would also like to know if we can expect any other changes in the offense this year besides the obvious (Jake Locker running the ball more).
A: I’m not sure how many stories ever used the word “simplified” to describe the direction UW would go under Sarkisian, but I think it’s a good point that the offense seemed a lot more varied last year than might have been thought by those who figured it would be exactly the same as USC’s (or as USC’s was perceived to be).
I asked Sarkisian this question recently and he said the critical point is the latter — that USC’s offense was more varied than might have been portrayed.
“We were very diverse at SC, too, with single-back stuff and two-back stuff and shotgun stuff,” he said. “The one element that got added here was the element of the QB really running the football. We ran shotgun runs at SC, but the element of the QB really running the ball and designed quarterback runs is just another element for the defense to have to defend, and we want to be as diverse as we can be but still be really good. It’s one thing to try to do a bunch of different things and not be very good, so our challenge as a staff is to do as many things as we can really, really well and then make people try to defend it.”
As for changes for the future, Sarkisian says the main thing is that you will continue to see the QB runs due to the personnel on hand.
“We’ll keep it, and you see that with Keith (Price), and surprisingly you see it with Nick Montana, both those guys can move around pretty good. So we are definitely going to keep that element here for a while.”
Q: Who goes in if Locker goes down?
A: Either Price or Montana. Sure you’re looking for something more definitive than that, but it’s impossible to be any more definitive than that right now. Sarkisian consistently says that “I’m not worried about it” when asked about a depth chart behind Locker.
The reality is that if Locker gets hurt, I think both Price and Montana probably end up playing and then it becomes who performs the best.
I also would guess that they won’t make any decision on this until right before the first game at BYU Sept. 4 — or maybe won’t ever make it at all, maybe listing them as either/or. Since UW has just the three scholarship QBs, all will travel and be prepared to play each week.
I’ll have some more specifics on the backup QB spot in a position overview that will run soon — I’m planning to do post-spring reviews of every position grouping on the roster.
All for now.

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