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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 20, 2010 at 1:07 PM

A few quotes from linebackers coach Mike Cox

A few of us had a chance to talk with UW linebackers coach Mike Cox after practice today. Here’s some of what he had to say:
On the linebackers as a group and how they are coming along: “It’s interesting because we have four seniors and five freshmen, so it’s one or the other right now. The young guys are coming along. I think Cort (Dennison), Mason (Foster) and Victor (Ayeiwa) have taken a couple of strides in the right direction the past few days and they’re doing a solid job. Now it’s just about developing the depth behind them and getting the younger guys up to speed and playing with the same intensity and speed of the first guys.”


On what Aiyewa’s toughest transition was: “Just the newness of it and being able to play faster. When you move up closer to line, things happen faster so it’s just playing and he didn’t get the opportunity to do that this spring because he had shoulder surgery. So it’s just taking repetitions it takes to get in there and react on a consistent basis.”
On the freshmen linebackers:Cooper Pelluer and Garrett Gilliland and Victor Burnett are all guys that could see time. Jamaal (Kearse) is going to be a good player, but he never played linebacker in high school so this is all kind of new to him and he’s learning and doing great. Princeton Fuimaono is coming along and honestly I love all those guys. I’m excited about all of them right now.”
On moving guys around to get depth: “We’re moving guys back and forth right now just to create depth among our guys. Matt Houston knows a couple of spots, Cort knows a couple of spots and Mason knows a couple of spots, so we can kind of mix and match, depending on what we’re seeing or what’s happening injury-wise with us so we can create some depth.”
On who the backups would be: “It’s a helluva competition, it’s cool. The first group (Dennison, Foster and Aiyewa) has kind of separated themselves to be honest about it, but Matt is doing some good things, so Victor isn’t on easy street by any means, so there’s still a lot of competition.”
On Brandon Huppert: “He’s extremely intelligent and he was a decent player last year, he blew his knee last year and came back, but his mental side of things makes him a guy we can operate every call and those young guys are catching up, but mentally he’s very sharp.”
On Jordan Wallace and Matt Houston: “He’s (Wallace) coming along. He had a good day last night and he just needs to keep coming. He’s a young guy, so it’s a good battle at that WIL (weakside) spot. We threw Matt in there the past few days just to see what he could do at that spot and they’re battling it out and Matt’s good because he knows how to play all the spots right now and we’re not afraid to put Matt in there with the first group, with the ones, if we need to.”
On why they moved Aiyewa up: “Just from what we knew what he could do in the past. He’s a physical-type player as a safety and he just fit the profile and with his position (at SAM) there’s some similarities to what he did at strong safety so it was kind of a natural fit for him. He came in at 220 pounds and it was a natural move for him.”
On what he’s done to move him up in the pecking order: “In the spring he was hurt and now that he’s healthy and he can line up in there and we can see him time after time after time and he’s getting used to playing there and he’s much more comfortable.”
On Dennison putting on size: “He’s bigger now. He was probably 208 last year or 210, so he’s over 220 now. He came and asked me ‘do I need to gain weight to play?’ and I said ‘Nope. Just get stronger and if it naturally happens, it happens, but don’t put on bad weight just because you think you have to’ because that wasn’t the case.”
On losing Donald Butler: “Donald was arguably the best linebacker in the Pac 10 last year, so I don’t care who you’re playing behind, but Cort is a great leader and off-the-charts Football Intelligence. His FBI is really good. He can tell you what most guys do on the field and that’s a real positive for him and that’s what allows him to play fast, because he knows what he’s doing.”

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