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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 30, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Locker talks, and another new Husky?

As to the latter question, sounds as if there is as there are multiple reports that the Huskies have received a commitment today from Joel Willis, a cornerback from Pacifica High in Garden Grove, Calif. He becomes the 18th commit for UW’s Class of 2011, which is rapidly filling.
Below are some highlights of Willis:
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And here’s his profile showing he also had offers from Arizona, Nebraska and Utah.
Now, for some of Jake Locker’s comments at the press conference today. Locker will speak to the media during the season only on at the Monday press conferences and after games. As might be expected, he got a lot of questions today from the out-of-town media that covered pretty familar territory. So I’ll just post a few of his answers on topics more specific to this week’s game:
On year two in Sark’s system: “We have a talented offense. We have a talented group of guys and we’re really comfortable in a system that we’ve been running for two, two and a half years. I think it’s allowed guys to play a little faster, do some things that are a little more advanced than what we did in the past. And at the same time we got to make sure we’re preparing really well for every opponent we’re playing. We’re not playing anybody that’s going to be a pushover. So we’ve got to get ready every week to play a really good opponent and do everything we can on Saturdays to execute and go through our game plan to the best of our abilities.”

On the 2008 BYU game: “I’m pretty sure everybody can guess what the first thing that comes to mind is, but it was a tough game, a tough loss for us – a game that, in my opinion, if it would have gone a little differently might have given us a different outcome that year. It’s a tough one to look back to and obviously remember the way we lost that one. It’s one of those ones that sticks with you for a while.”
On the team’s progression from 2008 to today: “The attitude and approach to the game has changed around here and guys are excited and have bought into the same program across the board. And when you can do that as a football team that makes you powerful. It’s fun to be a part of and it’s created a lot of excitement about this program.”
On the UW offense: “I like the creativity within the offense. There’s a concept base, but within each concept you have the freedom to put yourself in the best situation to have success, and that’s what I like about it. There’s a lot of plays where if we don’t like a look, we see if we can get into something that gives us an advantage on every snap. And when you can do that and execute really well, you’re going to be successful.”
On trying to win on the road: “The positions we were in last year give us a little bit of experience. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, and I think we were able to go back each week and look at certain drives, certain points in the game where it was a vital point in the process of this game and us winning, and we didn’t get it done here. So I think there’s been a focus on when we’re ahead, finishing drives and keeping ourselves ahead. Defensively the same thing – just doing what you’ve done the whole game to put yourself in that position and not trying to do too much because it’s the fourth quarter and it’s coming down to the end and you really want to win. But obviously you’ve done something right to that point to be ahead at that point in the game, so I think just continuing to play like we had the previous three quarters and just the experience and comfort level with that.”
On Greg Christine and his recovery: “Greg’s a guy that’s worked really hard ever since he got here. You look at him and you probably wouldn’t peg him as a starting lineman in the Pac-10, but he’s really intelligent and he’s worked really hard to physically allow himself to play at this level. He plays really, really hard. I think all those things combined…to see a guy like that get himself to the position he was last year and then go down, it’s tough. It’s frustrating. You don’t understand why it would happen to a guy who has done so much right to get himself in that position. But for him to be able to come back – I don’t think anybody on the team, if you asked them to a man, they would have doubted that he’d be back and having a chance to play this year. I’m really happy for him, I’m proud of him, and I love having him protecting me.”
On where’s he’s improved from two years ago and last year: “From two years ago, just the command and the confidence I have in the offense. That could probably apply to both years, but especially two years ago…not only as a quarterback but as a leader on the field, understanding alignments, guys’ assignments…who’s on the ball, who’s off the ball…just trying to do all those things that when you really, really understand the offense you have the ability to do those things to minimize the mistakes as a unit on offense. That’s one thing, definitely. And the attention to details. One of the things that has resonated with me since the new staff has gotten here is their focus on throwing the perfect ball rather than just completing the pass. It’s not enough just to get the ball to ’em so he can catch it – put it in a spot that allows us to advance the ball after he makes the catch and gets some yards after the catch and give them an opportunity to make a big play. I think it allows you to be more accurate and allows us as an offense to move the chains a lot more frequently. Those I think are a few little things in the big scheme of things make a big difference.”
On the heat and altitude at BYU: “I don’t think you can ignore it. It’s something that is obviously going to be present and so we understand that. I think it’s making sure we stay uptempo at practice this week as we have through camp to get us in that game shape and maybe even a little bit more. And then when we get there making sure we run around a little bit and get used to it and familiar with it so when we go out for warmups it’s not a complete shock to our body. And understanding that it might be a little bit difficult and we might get short of breath but there are going to be times in the game when you are going to have to push through it and you can’t tap out and just have to mentally overcome it.”
On going to the VMAC (where the Seahawks practice) Friday for the mock game: “Yeah, I thought it was pretty cool, we had the opportunity to get on some natural grass which we will be on this weekend. We were in an unfamiliar hotel, an unfamiliar facility for a lot of us, a locker room setting similar to what we will have on the road. All those things combined it was a really good process for us to go through as a football team for new guys and veterans as well to lock into that hey a week from now we are going to be somewhere that’s not familiar to us and maybe not completely within our comfort zone but that doesn’t what we do and who we are.”
On the penalty against BYU in 2008: “People bring it up every once in a while, but it’s over and I can’t do anything about it now. Obviously you wish it would have ended up differently but just excited to go down there and play Saturday.”
Did he feel guilty about it?: “I felt bad because I put our team in a situation was more difficult than it should have been. I think looking back on it I told them after the game I’m sorry that we were put in that situation and we lost the game because of it but I’m not sorry for what I did because I was enjoying the game, I was having fun. I wasn’t trying to embarrass BYU at that point. I had scored a touchdown that had the potential to tie the game with no time left on the clock and to me that’s pretty exciting and I celebrated with my teammates. So like I said I felt bad that I put our team in a bad situation but I didn’t feel bad for what I’ve done.”
On what he does with the ball now: “I’ll take the ball to the referee this Saturday, for sure.”
Were guys ever mad at you about it?: “I think that all the guys were really cool and understand where I was coming from. It’s the same way I would have dealt with anybody else. They were all very supportive and it’s a situation that’s outside of your control and I think we as a football team understand each other enough that they knew that’s not my personality that’s not who I am that I wouldn’t do that to try to put our team in jeopardy. So no, they were all pretty cool about it.”
On finishing games this year and how close they were to winning games on the road last year: “I think that was one of the things that didn’t allow us to win some of those road games last year, so this year it’s been even more of a point of emphasis for us, both offensively and defensively. Understanding the role that we need to embrace, especially on the road going in in the fourth quarter and you have the lead. It’s something that is stressed at every practice and that I think guys are starting to understand.”
On taking finishing to the next level on the road: “I think one of the biggest things for us throughout fall camp, guys were conscious every day, we’d get into our last couple of periods it’s ‘all right guys, let’s finish, let’s close out practice the way we should be.’ Saying it in the huddle, echoing it to the guys that are possibly going to be subbing in the next play or whatever. Just the understanding of that and every day striving to finish practice, let’s finish that way, is something that will help us.”



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