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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 8, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Talking O-line with Dan Cozzetto

UW offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto, who has a long association with ASU coach Dennis Erickson and came to UW from ASU following the 2008 season, talked to the media the other day. Here’s some of what he had to say:
On Senio Kelemete and his progression this season: “The Nebraska game was a wakeup call for him and I think he learned from it and he had two weeks to get over it and start performing like he can perform and he went out against a good player in Nick Perry and did a pretty good job. But he still has to improve this is just his first year there. Playing that position take a lot of mental toughness, too, He has to be in a controlled violence environment there, too and he’s really got to be strong mentally that if he does have a breakdown he’s got to go back to is fundamentals and just trust the things that he’s been taught and not worry about the last play and that really is hard for a guy put out on the island on the left side. But he’ll come along.”
On what he tells his players about handling Vontaze Burfict: “Just play your game. Just go out and play your game — keep your mouth shut and be disciplined and do the things you are taught to do and don’t get caught up in it and everything will take care of itself. Don’t get into it, don’t worry about it, it will all take care of itself. Don’t get baited into doing something stupid and hurting the ball club. That’s part of the deal, taking care of the team.”
On Dennis Erickson and if he’s surprised about the record the last few years: “It’s been tough. We knew after the (2008) season when I was there that we were going to struggle on the offensive front because there were two classes of offensive lineman that were missing and it took a while to bring them back there. And they’ve still had problems with injuries, some guys that aren’t playing and they’ve had to move (some guys around). So they are kind of patching it together. And they had to make a decision at quarterback. They have great skill and he’ll get them going, I know they will. The package is a little different than when I was there with Noel Mazzone running it, but defense is still the same great group of guys they always have been with (ASU defensive coordinator) Craig (Bray) running them. Lawrence Guy and James Brooks, those guys were all there when I was there and a lot of those linebackers were playing on the special teams when I was there. They’ve got plenty of talent. They’ll get it going.”
On the ASU defense: “They are athletic and fast and they are going to try to knock the hell out of you. That’s just the MO of that defense, it always has been. It’s always going to be about speed and great linebacker play, keep it simple and let them go play. They don’t do a lot of blitzing. They play the same way they did when Dennis was at the helm in Miami. Cane Cover Two or whatever they are running they just go get you.”
On the UW freshmen OL and if any really stepping up: “It’s a great group of freshmen kids, and I basically judge their advancement on how well they perform for coach (Nick) Holt on the defense. So we will look at them as they are servicing the defense and he has nothing but great things to say about them. We watch the video and they are working their butts off and they set the trend on getting our defense prepared, and they are in their working out. It’s a unique group that group that we brought in, quite unique, and just need to continue to get players like that in here every year.”
On Kohler and how he compares to other freshman lineman Cozzetto has had: “Probably a lot like Todd Steussie. Todd kind of went to the same deal. He was a defensive lineman as a freshman and then my guard gets hurt at Wisconsin and then he is thrown in there as a true freshman and his first start was against Russell Maryland when I was at Cal and his second was against Steve Emtman. Welcome to college football, and the rest is history.”
More on Kohler: “He’s kind of what we thought when we recruited him, and we set it in place that he was going to play right away, so he got prepared. He’s carried over the mental part of the game real well and adjusted to the speed of the game. Obviously he’s physical enough to play. He’s going to get nothing but better. We felt like putting him inside, and not putting him outside on the edge would help his development. It’s kind of what I’ve done in the past with left tackles, is start ’em inside in a controlled area, and then eventually move him outside. He’s done a great job.”
On if he’s sensing there are any future first rounders along the UW line: “It’s a long ways away. We have a long ways to go. We’re just a bunch of young guys trying to do things right, trying to get them going in the right direction and do things right.”
On stressing pad level: “We still run the ball consistently and we’re getting better and better all the time…it helps when you have a quarterback and a great running back that can run. We stress it a lot in our individual. We work on racks and we work with the defense. We’re going all the time against them. Our teams are set up as far as the 9-on-7 period and the group period…we’re always talking about it. As I was told years ago by a coach, ‘You get what you stress’. So we stress it, and we get it.”
On who has emerged past the front five: “Colin Porter, he’ll get his chance. He’s starting to come along more and more. He’s going to be put in situations where he’s going to go in the game and start playing. That will happen. That’s going to happen, so I’m anxious to see him go play. Other than that, we’re interchanging some people just because we’re at mid-season and you never know what’s going to happen with people going down. We’ve always got to be prepared for that. We’ve got the group we’re working with, and they are interchangeable. You watch practice, you see me move guards – they change – and tackles change…they might get a few reps, but at least they are working different positions. But other than that, they’ve been pretty consistent with the guys that I’ve been putting out there.”
On Porter being the first guard being put out there when they rotate: “He’s young. I’d feel good with Greg Christine because he’s been there, played and he knows the game and is very smart. He knows all the calls and anticipates things well, so he’d probably be the first and eventually Colin….get him in the rotation. We’ve already worked him, so we might as well get him going.”
On bringing in an extra tackle as a wrinkle to help against defenses: “I think it’s working out pretty good. (UW coach Steve Sarkisian) brought it up and we decided to do it and move some tackles over until we get some tight ends big enough to block those ends. You know the situation. We just have to develop those young kids. They are going to get bigger and stronger as the year goes on. Right now, we need a cornerstone, and what better cornerstone than used another tackle. That was the thought process.”

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