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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 11, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Sark bites, Oct. 11 edition

UW coach Steve Sarkisian held his weekly Monday press conference today. Here’s some of what he had to say:
Opening comments: “Well, just as the 24-hour rule applies after wins, it applies after losses. As we looked at the film from Saturday night’s ball game, we really recognized the fact that the margin for error right now for our football team in the Pac-10 Conference is minimal. We made some mistakes in that game that, ultimately, as you add them up from the first quarter on, that had an effect on the outcome. I thought the guys played hard, as we thought, Saturday night. I thought we had a nice plan. Unfortunately, when it came down to it, they made some plays and we didn’t. It comes down to a game of inches, as Al Pacino tells us. … they were able to make their plays, and we weren’t. It was a little frustrating, obviously. But I don’t think it’s time, by any means, for us as an offense or defense or special teams football team to abandon ship with what we’re doing. I think our kids are continually playing hard. We’re playing good football. It’s just frustrating. It was a frustrating loss, but we’ve got to get back on the horse, as we touched on. We’ve got another tough opponent in Oregon State coming to town in what will be another hard-fought, Pac-10 game that’s going to come down to the fourth quarter again. If you can point to one area of the game that I think is going to be important, where we were unable to execute last Saturday night, was in the fringe area. We crossed the 50-yard line numerous times, and I think four separate occasions we stalled out between the 30- and 40-yard line, whether it be a missed field goal, a fake field goal attempt, an attempt on fourth down, a punt. We just stalled out there. If we can convert there, to create and generate more points for us early in the ball game, the ball game’s going to have a different outcome. So it’ll be a big point of emphasis for us.”
On Oregon State and if there’s any surprise over how they rebounded from a 1-2 start: “I’m not surprised at all. I think the world of Coach Riley. Does a tremendous job coaching his football team in all three phases. They play hard. They execute well. They’ve got better players, I think, than people think. They’re a good football team. I’m not surprised. They played TCU and Boise both very tough. They were in a hard-fought game versus Louisville, they were in another hard-fought game versus Arizona State, they were in another hard-fought game versus Arizona. They’ve been in really tight ball games; every one of them have come down to the last possession or two possessions in the fourth quarter. They’re showing the mental toughness to continue to execute in those situations, regardless of what happened early in the year. So I’m not surprised at all.”
On Erik Kohler and updating his health: “Well, we’re monitoring him. His fever is gone now. So he’s allowed to be around team activities again, and we’re going to just monitor him as the week goes on. It’s something we’re taking very seriously. We’re not counting on him playing, but we’re not counting him out either.”
On Jake Locker’s health: “He’s still a little under the weather. He won’t be at the press conference today, you guys can get him after practice. He’s at a doctor’s appointment, so he’s still a little under the weather. ‘Tis the season. We all have the sniffles and coughs going right now, but nothing more than that. He had a little bit of a quad contusion in the game as well. Outside of that, it was just…the common cold I guess is the best way to describe it.”


On Devin Aguilar: “Devin is going to work his way back into individual stuff today. As of right now we’re anticipating that he’s going to play Saturday, but we’re going to monitor it very closely as the week went on.”
On the sickness showing up on the game film: “I thought our energy level wasn’t where we’ve been. I thought I saw that with Jake. I thought I saw it with Jermaine (Kearse). All week, that can add up…if you’re not sleeping as good as you can sleep all week long, and you’re tossing and turning and waking up…as the game rolls around and you’re in your 35th, 45th, 55th play of the game and you’re out there, I think your energy level can drop some. Our football team as a whole – not that we didn’t try hard or not that we weren’t excited to play – I thought our energy level wasn’t as where I’ve seen it before.”
On Kearse being sick: “I think he was a little under the weather too. I think everybody kind of gets it, I guess. When you’re in that locker room with 105 guys, it’s easy for things to spread, I guess.”
On using Colin Porter: “We’re going to give him a good hard look this week. It happened so late in the week to me, I just didn’t feel like it’d be fair to him to throw him in like that. But to have a whole week of preparation, I’d like to get him at least 50 percent of the snaps in this ball game.”
On whether he thought about playing Keith Price Saturday: “I did think about it there, but I just felt like No. 10 has done so many good things for us and has given us opportunities to win ball games before that I felt like I owed it to him. He makes a couple of throws there that unfortunately we weren’t able to make the plays on that might have a different outcome on the game. It’s 21-14 with 11 minutes left and he throws a go route on the money and we dont’ make the play. To say it was all because he was winded, I’m not saying that. I think that played a factor in it. But we as a group didn’t execute the way we’re capable of executing.”
On how to handle dropped passes by receivers: “We assess it one, is it a technique thing — are our hands in the right proper places. are our thumbs together or are our pinkies together depending on where the ball is. Are we snapping with our head when we’re coming out of our breaks and our hands are coming to. So we assess one, the fundamental aspects of it but, two, I’m a big believer in physical mistakes are going to happen. At times we all trip over a curb. That happens. Although we step on the curbs over and over and over, at times we trip. Those things happen. I tend as long as fundamentally we’re sound. I don’t make a big deal about it because I think physical mistakes are going to occur. As long as we’re in the right place at the right time and unfortuanately if we drop them, we drop them.”
On whether Kearse’s drops were due to illness: “No, I’m not giving him that’s why that happened. I just think he wasn’t able to make a couple of plays. That doesn’t mean i don’t love Jermaine Kearse. I love him to death and that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop throwing the ball to him. He just unfortuantely didn’t catch it.”
On whether exection issues are part of rebuilding: “I just think when two teams are playing and they are very evenly matched and one team makes some plays and the other doesn’t make plays, that’s how you lose by 10 points. That’s what I think happened in that game. So the week before we executed really well and unfortunately this week we weren’t able to. So now we have to get back on the horse, get back down at practice and make sure we’re sound fundamentally, make sure we have our schemes in place to give our players the best opportunity to be successful and make sure we’re getting enough practice reps so they’re comfortable and believing in what we’re doing.”
On how much Cameron Elisara can be counted on: “It’s going to vary. I just have to monitor it very closely. The stinger thing is real. This strength in his shoulder isn’t where he wants it to be. That’s why we moved him from inside to outside. It affected him in that ball game and we’ll monitor him again this week and it will be a week to week deal. I don’t think i can just write him off for the whole season and I don’t think we can count on him playing 80 snaps every Saturday either. we’re just going to have to monitor it very closely.”
On Senio Kelemete: “I thought he played okay Saturday night. He’s had better games. This was a unique game for him in that at one defensive end they had a big guy at 6-7 and almost 300 pounds, and then the other defensive end that lined up on you was 5-11 and 235 pounds. The disparity and different types of pass rusher he got from snap to snap varied, and for a guy who hasn’t spent much time at left tackle, that can be challenging because it’s a different set you have to take depending on who is rushing you— it’s not just taking a normal pass set every time. I thought he struggled at times identifiying the type of pass rusher he was getting and how that pass rush was coming and what he could do to combat that.”
On Jordan Polk: “Well, I thought jordan did a nice job. He kind of got thrown into action there late with DA going down and he stepped in and performed. i was proud of him. he’ll have a role, no doubt. He provides a real speed factor to our offense.”
On why James Johnson wasn’t involved more: “Well, James plays a different position so it didn’t fit. James is an ‘X’ and Devin Aguilar is a ‘Z’ and that’s what Devin Aguilar and Jordan Polk play.”
On their being margin for error for the rest of the season: “I’m not even looking at that. I think we get in trouble as a football team when we start looking at the ‘what-ifs’ down the road and the consequences of a loss or the what ifs if we win. I think that’s when we get in trouble. We need to focus on the task at hand, and that’s playing Oregon State Saturday night, 7:15. And when that game comes we need to have the ability to focus on the snap at hand and not get caught up looking at what’s ahead in the ball game, or not get caught looking at what just happened…just focus on the task at hand.”
More on the ASU game: “Again, I just thought our energy level. I looked at our sidelines — you can se it on film, you can see it on the TV copy — it’s a 21-14 ballgame with 11 minutes left and I just didn’t see the same energy level, enthusiasm, excitement that I saw on the sidelines during the USC game. For whatever reason. That’s what we have to continue to assess, to get that energy level back to where it needs to be. Then, even though we go three and out and when punt, then we need the defense to get that stop, to give us that opportunity. So I think that was something that is a big focus for us. We have to make sure we are playing with a passion that I know we are really capable of playing with. That doesn’t mean we’re not trying hard. Just the excitement, the level of confidence and the belief in what we’re doing.”
On the fake field goal attempt and whether he’s had second thoughts: “No, I didn’t feel bad. I feel bad that we didn’t coach the fake field goal better. Marek Domanski is wide open for a touchdown on the corner route, which we thought. And we gave Cody (Bruns) a two-way go to run or throw, and he didn’t see it. So, I feel bad about that, that we didn’t coach it better. But the situation is what it was. We were getting stuck there at the 35-yard line. And it’s a tough place to be on fourth down, because at that point in that weather it was too far for field goals for us. I felt it was too close to punt, so we went for it and we weren’t able to convert.”
On the run-pass balance: “We’re about 50-50, which is right where we want to be. We’re always striving to be balanced. We’re always striving to be good at both, to not be a one-dimensional football program. I think we’re running the ball well, not only in between the tackles but on the perimeter. I think we’re doing a nice job, when Jake’s healthy, of doing some run-option stuff, and I think Chris and Jesse are both playing at a high level.”
On when he realized Locker was sick: “Early. I didn’t feel his speed. The week before when he’d run, I mean, you felt it. There was no doubt. We all felt it. This ballgame when he’d run, not only did I not feel the explosiveness we’ve felt out of him, it had a lingering effect on the plays after. When you are kind of congested and it affects the way you are breathing, I think that kind of effected our tempo and getting in and out of the huddle. He was just trying to catch his own breath. I thought then that this might be a factor, so we kind of moved away from him running and moving around as much and using Chris and Jesse and even Jordan carrying the ball. But in turn, it made us more of a conventional team and left him in the pocket. And they were able to attack him later in the game and put pressure on him.”
On Johri Fogerson: “Yeah, we’re just monitoring him every day – frustrating for him and for us. I think he, at some point is going to get healthy, it’s just a matter of when.”
Can you save his year with a redshirt?: “I don’t think we can.”
On whether he thought about asking for a review of Omar Bolden’s interception: “He caught it. I had a great look at it. I was staring right at it.”
On the pass interference penalty against Desmond Trufant: “I mean, they’re calling those now. We’ve already addressed it as a staff, and we’re going to address it with the guys of how we’re playing those fades, because the ball is not near the guys, and we’re getting called for pass interference stuff. We’ve got to change our technique. … They didn’t think (it was over their heads). We try as best we can to get our point across.”
On Justin Glenn: “He’s going a nice job, earning his way back, doing some good things in our nickel and dime packages. I thought it was good for us too that Sean (Parker) played 43 snaps, and I thought after his first copule where he was maybe a little too conservative, he really started to play and play a physical brand of football. ”

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