Monday also marks the one day of the week that Jake Locker is available to the media. So in this post, I’ll include a few of his comments, as well as a couple other Locker-related items:
Locker on playiing ranked teams: “It’s kind of interesting. The three years I’ve been here, we’ve had…our third game of the year has been against a highly-ranked opponent. Last year we had SC, my redshirt freshman year we had Ohio State here, and now we have Nebraska coming in. I think we had Oklahoma my sophomore year, so it seems like the third game of the year always brings a very worthy opponent. It’s exciting, especially when you get a chance to play them at home in Husky Stadium. It’s something we’re looking forward to.
On Jermaine Kearse and his rebound from the BYU game: “Jermaine’s a very confident football player. He’s a very talented football player, and just like anybody whose a competitor, if you feel like you missed a couple of plays, you’re going to do your best to get ’em back next week, and your next opportunity. That first game, we obviously weren’t able to do anything differently there…I missed some throws, we missed opportunities on a couple of big plays. Overall, especially I think Jermaine took it upon himself to really come out and be dominant this weekend, and he was. It was really, really fun to watch. He expects a lot out himself, and I think you were able to see that this Saturday.”
On the adversity of 2008: “It was a tough season, obviously, but one I was able to take a lot from. I had an opportunity to step away and look at our team from a different perspective. I think it helped me out as far as becoming a better leader on this football team…understanding some of the areas we needed to improve as a football team, and allowing myself and some others to be more aggressive in addressing them. Obviously it was difficult, something you wish you don’t have to go through, but it was a good learning process for me.”
On learning a new offense: “Any time you go through a coaching change, it’s tough. You have to learn a whole new system and adapt to a whole new culture. But the nice thing about the coaching staff that we were able to take in was the energy and passion they brought for the game. It was contagious for all of us. It allowed us to pick things up quicker and develop as a football team faster than maybe we would have or should have with another staff.”
On when he felt comfortable with the scheme: “I think you’re always progressing within the offense and becoming more and more comfortable with every snap you take. Obviously there was some level of comfort going into last year, but that got stronger and stronger each week. And it’s continued to do so throughout last spring and into this fall camp and into week one and week two. You’re always learning more, feeling more comfortable and feeling like you have more command of the offense the more time you spend in it.”
On Nebraska: “Nebraska has always had a reputation as a great football team, a great defense. When I was younger they were really good running football team offensively, kind of smashmouth football. I think that they have kind of gone back to that this year. They are a really, really good football team. Discipline, well-coached, fast, try to capitalize on your mistakes, so it will be important that we try to minimize our mistakes and play as fast and as physical as they do.”
On Nebraska’s secondary: “I think that first of all their coaching staff does a great job putting them in great situations to make plays, and then they are talented athletes. Really good when the ball is in the air and recognizing routes and jumping the routes and making big plays. It will be important for us to understand schematically what they are doing and from there making plays when we have the opportunity to.”
ALSO — Want to use this as a reminder of an event that Locker supports, the Run of Hope, supporting pediatric brain cancer research. Here’s an earlier entry explaining Locker’s involvement in the event. Here also is a video explaining the event.The event is Sunday, October 3rd at Seward Park.
Finally, here is a link to the story on Locker in the Septembere issue of the UW alumni magazine.