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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 19, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Holt talks defense

Tuesday means the day that the media gets to talk with defensive players and coaches. And those are increasingly happier conversations these days as the Huskies have begun to show signs of life on defense the last few weeks, holding Arizona State to 24 points and Oregon State to 21 in regulation.
Here’s some of what UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt had to say when he talked with reporters today:
On signs that the defense is coming together: “I think we just keep playing hard, and when you do that, good things happen. They’re playing hard, and I’m proud of that fact.”
On the pass rush improvements: “They’re just working hard, and good coverage, and guys getting off blocks and playing hard and doing what they’re supposed to be doing. We probably should’ve had a couple more sacks than we did. Alameda (Ta’amu) missed one on a blitz, the quarterback got outside on a contain, so there’s a lot of things we can get better at.”
On what he saw on film: “I saw great effort. But that’s a trademark of what we need to be doing, quite honestly. It’s what we preach, and the guys are really buying in, and they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and they’re taking pride in it. Like I told you guys before, it’s a very determined group, and they’re determined to be good. They’re trying to do what we’re coaching them to do, and I’m really proud of the guys.”


On coming back after giving up 21 quick points: “We lost our composure a couple drives in the second quarter, after a turnover and then missing some tackles and things like that. We just got back to basic football in the second half and not trying too hard.”
On getting fired up about an opponent going for two: “You know, we work on that in practice and in fall camp, going for two. We work it in our 7-on-7 drills. So we’re ready for all that stuff. When they decided to go for two, we’re ready with our call. Quite honestly, we’re ready for the third overtime, we’re ready for that, and we’re ready to stop them on that two-point play. We thought we had stopped them on the fourth down, but we got a penalty and we had to go again. It’s a really good example of just keep clawing and scratching, and it paid off.”
On whether Hau’oli Jamora’s performance is surprising: “No. He’s a good player. Again, he’s just got to get bigger and stronger, and he’s going to be a great player for us.”
On facing Arizona with a backup QB: “They’re still going to do what they do, but maybe cut down on the package, maybe run the ball a little bit more and maybe a little bit more quarterback runs, what they did with him last year. We’re expecting for some of that stuff, but we’re still practicing what they’ve been doing all year. That’s what they’re good at.”
More on Jamora: “He knows his assignments a lot better than he did back in August or early in September. He’s doing everything we thought he was, playing fast and just getting better at all his stuff. He’s getting more comfortable out there, and as you play more snaps in games you get more confidence, the game gets slower for you. And I think it’s getting a little slower for him, so I think he’s playing faster.”
On if he thought OSU would run a QB draw on the 2-point play: “No. When they got into empty, I thought it was going to be something quick, like a stick route or slant or something like that. That entered our mind, draw, but we alerted our d-linemen to that.”
On doing more defensively at the mid-point of the season: “I think what we’re doing now is not doing as much and just getting better at our stuff. I think that’s really important for our guys. I think they are feeling confident, so I’m not going to add a lot in the last couple of weeks. And we have enough, so we don’t need to add any more. And if we add too much, we’re not going to play it well anyway. So let’s do what we do.”
On when that point is when you have enough calls in: “We put the whole package in fall camp, and now we just keep reppin’ it and reppin’ it and reppin’ it. We haven’t really added anything in the last couple of weeks, quite honestly. There’s a little tweak here and there, but it’s something we had done in the past that the kids know. Just keep doing what we’re doing.”
On going to more man coverage: “We’ve been switching it up the last three weeks. We really have. There’s a couple times where we’re in man-to-man and we didn’t win. You see some of the third-down losses, we’re in man-to-man. It’s just…we’re trying to change our calls every third down so we’re not in the same thing. I think it helped out this last week with their quarterback. A couple times I think he thought we were in something, and we weren’t, and that made him hold the ball and we got a little extra pressure. And I think we’re playing some of the other stuff a little better too.”
On if that suits what they have with personnel, or if that’s due to the other team: “The last couple of quarterbacks have been so good, we had to switch our looks up, quite honestly.”
On Everrette Thompson’s recent play: “He feels a lot more comfortable inside than outside and that’s really helped us. And he’s tall in there and that’s really hindered sometimes the quarterback’s sight and I think that’s helped out in some of our pass rush, quite honestly. Maybe he hasn’t gotten the sack but the quarterback feels him because he’s so tall in there.”
On it being unique to find a guy who likes it better at tackle: “It’s funny because he said ‘coach, I’d rather play inside, I feel more comfortable in there than I do outside, even though he was a D-end a couple years back. So yeah, more kids like to be outside because there is less traffic and pounding but he likes it in there and he’s really the last two weeks he’s one guy that’s really gotten better. And his Achilles (tendon injury) I think has gotten better.”
On Jamora being similar to Daniel Te’o-Nesheim: “No question. I don’t know if he’s going to be as tall and as big as Daniel. Daniel wasn’t huge but, his effort and football savvy and tenaciousness is very similar. I was only around Daniel for a year but the guy was a very special kid and I think this guy has those same qualities. Just a great motor.”
On better rush from the edge: “He (Jamora) had some good rushes on the edge so he provides that. And also Cameron (Elisara) played this last week and when he’s healthy he’s a pretty good football player, he really is. And it’s good, we’ve got to make sure he stays healthy because we are a lot better defense when Cameron is out there.”
On the depth without Talia Crichton: “We’ve got to be smart, and Kalani (Aldrich) is going to have to pick up some slack for us and get some reps on Saturday night. And De’Shon (Matthews) has been getting his reps, so those two guys are going to have to come in and do a good job when they get in there because they are going to have to play.”
On Sione Potoe’e: “He hasn’t played as much as I would like him to. I just have not put him in because Everrette has done such a good job, but he’s got to play more because he’s a good player, he just hasn’t shown it yet. I think he had six snaps or four snaps on Saturday, if that, and he needs to play about 20 snaps in my opinion.”
On the front four guys playing more plays: “The other two guys don’t want to come out, Everrette and Alameda we ask them ‘do you need a blow’ and they say ‘no coach, I’m good.’ But I think it’s just we can’t just listen to them we have to take them out and let them sit for a couple of minutes even if they don’t want to.”
On the news this week that he had gotten a one-year extension and what it means for his future: “I don’t talk about my financial issues. … I’m happy here. …”’

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