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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 1, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Nussmeier talks USC, Locker and more

UW offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier met with a few of us the other day to talk about USC’s defense, what Jake Locker worked on during the bye week, and a few other topics.
Here’s what he said:
On how Locker bounced back this week: “Great. I think everybody that’s part of this football team and this community and this university…we have to bounce back. We all had to get up and dust ourselves off. It obviously wasn’t the outcome we were anticipating or looking for. Like I said, we all wish we could keep our uniforms on and our coaching pants and restarted the game, but that’s not the way it goes. You have to get over it and move forward. We’ve had two weeks of preparation and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”
On identifying the hop in Locker’s footwork: “Every player has a different style of play and that’s always something and it’s been something we’ve worked with with Jake for a while. He’s such a good athlete that his feet get moving so fast at times, so part of the way to slow himself down is to actually elevate. So we’ve spent time working on it and he continues to improve on it. Like every player, your fundamentals at times – especially when you play against really good players – you start to lose fundamentals. As a coach your biggest job is to try and identify that and get him back to the basics.”
On if he saw it during other games this year: “No.”
On what he does if he sees fundamentals breaking down during a game: “That’s why you practice. You practice to get your technique right, and when you go and play, you play. Your preparation is what you do to set yourself free so when you get to Saturday, you just go play. There’s a fine line there between over-coaching a player during the game and wanting things to be right technique-wise.”
On what else USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is known for besides the Tampa-2 (and here’s a good explainer of that defense): “His guys play extremely hard. If you look at those trademark defenses at Tampa, they were very good up front and very fast and physical. That’s what we’re going to see this week. The Tampa-2 obviously is his trademark and they do a great job in zone coverage of getting their eyes on the quarterback. They are very good at seeing the ball when it’s thrown, and that’s how you anticipate and that’s how you get interceptions.”
On how to attack the Tampa-2: “One, you have to identify coverage. That’s the number-one thing, identifying coverage, and when you see a Tampa-2 defense, which is a soft shell, you’ve got to be patient. You have to work through your progressions and you can’t get caught forcing the ball.”
On being familiar with USC due to all the coaching ties: “We’re just excited to play football again. Biggest thing, we had to sit around for two weeks and now it’s time to go again. Our kids are excited. We’re excited. It’s going to be a great opportunity for us.”
On how USC is different under Lane Kiffin: “They still have got phenomenal, phenomenal football players. They are as good and talented as any defense we’re going to see all year. Their front four is exceptional. They’ve got great team speed. Schematically, they’re a lot like what they were – very, very well-coached. Fast, and big and a great challenge for us.”

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