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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 29, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Pac-10 media day running thread

UPDATE 12:25 — The official part of this is winding down so there may not be much more on here for a little while. Oregon is the last team on the stand and coach Chip Kelly said he will name a starter at QB from either Nate Costa or Darron Thomas the week before the season. Also said he thinks the return of just about everyone else on offense will mitigate the inexperiene at QB.
UPDATE 12:10 — STOOPS CONFIDENT IN DEFENSE — Arizona coach Mike Stoops addressed the team’s inexperience on defense — UA has just four returning starters — by saying he thinks it won’t be an issue. “We’ve always had a good defense and I don’t see that changing,” he said.
Also said Juron Criner will have to emerge as the No. 1 WR now with the loss of Delashaun Dean to off-field issues.
UPDATE 11;55 — Interesting quote from OSU coach Mike Riley: “We don’t feel like we do more with less but that we do a good job of evaluating players.” He also said OSU LB Keith Pankey, who ruptured Achilles tendon in February, is ready to go.
UPDATE 11:49 — Harbaugh is still talking, but he’s as short on specifics as Soud Webb on a basketball court. Apparently everyone in the program has a chance to succeed Toby Gerhart at tailback, and when asked about his future at Stanford, said that “God willing and the creek don’t rise, I will be the head coach at Stanford.” But who knows what that means. Mike Riley and Jacquizz Rodgers now taking the podium.
UPDATE 11:39 — SAY WHAT? Jim Harbaugh is still in the midst of what is by far the longest opening statement by any coach here. It included one of the more head-scratching statements when he said that other than winning the Pac-10, the other team’s goal is to “treat people in a first-class manner.” After about six minutes he has finally referred to the loss of Toby Gerhart.

UPDATE 11:30 — Lots of focus during the USC session on the sanctions and their potential impact. QB Matt Barkley says he never considered transferring. Lane Kiffin makes point of saying that none of players who did leave were “front-line” players. He also complained about the NCAA ruling that USC players can transfer without penalty, calling it “free agency in college football.”
UPDATE 11:23 — Talked to UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel about the Josh Shirley situation Said he has no ill will toward Shirley or UW recruiting him. Said Shirley would have had the chance to return after the season but that Shirley chose to go elsewhere. Said he made the decision to suspend Shirley and the other two in part to make a statement to the team about what is acceptable.
UPDATE 11:22 — HUARD MOVING ON UP — Activites have resumed here, and USC is now on the poduim. One thing I’ve learned here is that former UW QB Brock Huard is moving on up in the ESPN family and will be teamed with former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti and play-by-play man Carter Blackburn on the ABC/ESPN 5 p.m. broadcasts this year. That means he could do the UW-USC game. And yes, interesting pairing with Bellotti.
UPDATE 10:57 — Cal still on the podium but a lot of general questions to Tedford UW fans probably not hugely interested in. There’s a break after this so I’ll be away from here for a few minutes trying to track down some other stuff.
UPDATE 10:45 — Not sure I knew this either — Cal coach Jeff Tedford just defended Kevin Riley by saying he is the Pac-10’s active leader in starts, wins and TD passes.
UPDATE 10:41 — Sark says having a veteran QB like Locker could be the difference in the Huskies this year winning on the road — UW has not won a road game since 2007. UW duo now off the podium and Cal up next (and for anyone wondering why us locals didn’t ask questions there, we will get Sarkisian in a little more informal manner later, which is a better place for asking some of the more detailed questions).
UPDATE 10:40 — Sark says Locker “really wanted to stay all along” but that he wanted to get all the information first before saying anything.
UPDATE 10:37 — Sark says UW has the “senior leadership in place to bring along the young players and do something pretty special.”
Says for “for us, the real challenge as we go through the season is to take that next step.”
UPDATE 10:35 — Sarkisian now on the stage.
UPDATE 10:30 — Neuheisel, asked about his new “pistol” offense, said it’s really just the “veer offense from the (shot) gun” and referred to his days at UW when the Huskies went to more of an option offense after the 0-2 start in 1999 to take advantage of the talents of Marques Tuiasosopo.
UPDATE10:24 — UCLA’s MOORE PRAISES UW — Asked to name the best pass offenses in the Pac-10, UCLA safety Rahim Moore said UW and Arizona. Said “Locker and Kearse, I know a lot of othem guys and they do a great job.” Also said they are really well coached. Moore is the one who intercepted a Locker pass to Kearse in the final minute to beat UW down here, a play they showed on the highlight video that kicked things off here today.
UPDATE 10:17 — Rick Neuheisel, now on the stage, said he is “going to duck that question” when asked how he’d like to see the new Pac-12 split up.
UPDATE 10:15 — ASU coach Dennis Erickson just left the podium. He said he thinks some tweaks from new coordinator Noel Mazzone will help the offense (adding elements of the spread to the traditional one-back Erickson offense) and some improvement on the O-line. He also said the team had officials at every practice in the spring to help discipline. He said he thinks that helped calm down LB Vontaze Burfict, who had a handful of personal fouls last year, two or three against UW.
UPDATE 10:08 — ASU brought PK Thomas Weber, the first kicker here since WSU’s Jason Hanson 20 years ago or so. Erickson brought him, he said, to show the value of a kicker — when Weber got hurt last season the Devils were woeful kicking which they believe helped lead to four losses by five points or fewer.
UPDATE 10:05 — ASU coach Dennis Erickson is on the stage and said that the team’s QB competition between Steven Threet and Brock Osweiler is still wide open. He also said that the team’s skill positions “are the best we’ve had since I’ve been here.”
UPDATE 10:01 — WSU’s Paul Wulff just left the stage and in the most noteworthy thing, he said that Jeff Tuel will be the team’s starting QB this year. That’s not a surprise, but Wulff had left it a little vague at the end of the spring.
UPDATE 9:40 — Mason Foster and the rest of the athetes here had dinner together last night. Foster said he sat at the same table with Oregon’s Bradon Bair and WSU’s Kevin Kooyman. And UW fans may not want to hear this, but Foster proclaimed Bair “a good guy.”
UPDATE 9:35 — We’re off and running here. You can follow along on the Pac-10 web site.
GETTING STARTED, 9:20 a.m. — As the picture hopefully makes clear, it’s an incredibly nice day here in Pasadena for the first Pac-10 media day held here at the Rose Bowl.
We’re sitting at rows of tables right on the field of the Rose Bowl, looking up at a oodium where coaches and players will soon take questions from the media.
But many of the coaches and players are already here, including the UW contingent of Steve Sarkisian and Mason Foster.
I also talked quickly with Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who raved about the progress of Garfield High’s D’Andre Coleman and said he has a chance to be one of the best players to suit up during his time in Berkeley. I’ll pass more of that along later.
I also noticed a reporter here from the Salt Lake Tribune, obviously here to get a head start on the conference that will soon call the Utes home.
My plan here is to make this a running thread below on news, notes and quotes here from the media day.



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