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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 25, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Sark bites, previewing Stanford

UW coach Steve Sarkisian held his usual Monday press conference to talk about the loss to Arizona game and preview the Stanford game. Here’s what he had to say:
Opening comments: “It was a disappointing loss versus Arizona. When you look at the ball game, you can’t have five pass interference penalties, some critical ones on third down. You can’t have four sacks. You can’t fall behind 30-14 in the first half and expect to win. We’re a better football team than that. We’ll play better than that. We’ll continue to work at it. We’ve been here before; we’ve been knocked down before, and we’ll get back up.”
On the pattern of winning one, losing one, etc.: “The first thing is, hopefully we can continue that trend. Let’s win this week, and then we’ll deal with that next Sunday.”
On how much he’s drawing from the fact that they have been in this position before: “I touched on it early on; if I could use one word to describe this group, it’s resilient. I think we’ve got big hearts. I think we play the game hard; it wasn’t a lack of playing hard versus Arizona. So the challenge of getting back up, we understand that – but we have to perform better than we did. Myself included. We’ve got to perform better.”
On Jake Locker’s health situation: “We’ll monitor him, see how sore he is and where he’s at. He’ll play Saturday.”
On how Locker came out of the UA game: “He was better than he was last week. Hopefully we forsee him practicing earlier in the week than he did last week to get him a few more reps.”
On what is hurting him most: “He’s got general soreness. He’s still got the thigh bruise, which obviously limits some of the running, the explosiveness. He’s got some sore ribs that has caused him some issues. Those two things can factor in when it’s time to run and time to flush out of the pocket and make your plays.”
On if Jake has a broken rib: “No.”
On when did the rib issue happen: “During the Oregon State game.”
On if there’s a point where it would become better to play Keith Price if Locker isn’t 100 percent: “No.”
On when he would replace Locker: “If I don’t think Jake gives us the best chance to win.”

On if there was a point where he sensed Arizona knew Locker was a little limited: “No, I thought … I think Arizona came in with a real belief in their defensive ends — which they should have. They are good players. I thought we had plays there to be made. We didn’t give up a sack until the 2-minute drill at the end of the first half, then we gave up three more after that. I think they were obviously aware coming in that he was injured. It was written about all week. So they knew coming in that he wasn’t 100 percent.”
On whether the cornerbacks have gone from a strength to a liability: “I don’t who said they were a strength. But I think that ‘Tru’ (Desmond Trufant) has progressively gotten better, and I think Quinton (Richardson), at times, has gotten better. The unfortunate thing for us has been when the ball’s in the air we have a tendency to panic right now. And we don’t need to. They are better players than that, and I see it every day in practice. So it’s going a real confidence issue with our guys and a belief issue that when the ball’s in the air to make their plays because I know they are capable. And we can help them more from a call standpoint, playing more cloud coverage to help them there.”
On whether that panic is the cause for the pass interference penalties: “Well, I think some of that might be, and I think some of that are calls that have been made that I don’t agree with.”
On Victor Aiyewa’s status for this weekend: “You know, I am anticipating that he will play. Again, he’s another guy who we will have to monitor as the day goes on and then the week goes on. I didn’t think he was going to be able to play on Saturday — he hadn’t practiced all week. And then watching at the hotel Saturday he was limping around. But as the game wore on maybe the adrenaline kicked in that maybe he was able to get on the field. We’ll just have to monitor him. It isn’t a serious injury, but it is a contusion that can cause some limitation in range of motion to his knee.”
On whether the LB lineup will be the same this week: “We’ll mix it up.”
On going with Princeton Fuimaono and moving Mason Foster: “Just trying to get the best three guys on the field.”
On whether he thought the defense would be better right now: “Well, I thought they’d played well for the six quarters leading up to the Arizona game. I knew we’d have some inexperience. I looked on the field one snap on Saturday and we had four true freshman on the field together running around, so we’re living with some of those growing pains. I just think for some of our guys it’s getting used to playing more and we’ve got to fight this injury bug. We’ve got some guys nicked up on the defensive side of the ball that can cause some issues for us. And our young guys, we’ve just got to continue to get them to grow, and then help them especially on the perimeter when we get put in one-on-one matchups on the fade routes.”
On Cameron Elisara’s status: “I’d say he’s doubtful for Saturday, the stinger issue.”
On deciding how to play guys who may be injured, and what to do with them: “As much as I am a play-caller, I’m the head coach of all these guys not just Jake Locker. These are my kids. These are my guys. I love everything they give us. I love the fact that they come to work every day. But ultimately as much as I want them to perform and to play well, I want them to be healthy. I want to make sure I don’t expose them to things that could further injure them. I wasn’t going to do that with Jake. I wasn’t going to put him out there and run him in between the tackles and take hits he didn’t take. That’s not the reason we lost the game.”
On the Stanford game and learning from last year’s loss: “I think the big key to know about Stanford is they’ve got a system in place they believe in. They’re goin got get in their 21 and 22 personnel and they’re going to run power and they’re going to run lead and they’re going to run counter. They’re going to run play action pass off of that with (Andrew) Luck throwing it down the field. And then they’re going to spread you out and kind of dink and dunk the ball and do the things that they do there. We can learn from the film and understand in their schemes and formations what they’re trying to run. That’s the biggest thing.”
On which freshmen are playing the best: “I’d go with Jesse Callier because of how complete he’s been. Obviously, offensively, running the football, catching the ball. Last week probably wasn’t his best week catching the ball. And returning kicks. And then covering kickoffs. I thought he had a great night Saturday night covering kickoffs as well. He’s probably getting the most playing time maybe outside of Hau’oli (Jamora) and some of the offensive line. But he’s also, I think, performed at the highest level.”
On whether when he was a QB he got hit in the ribs: “All the time.”
On what it was like to throw the ball with hurt ribs: “Well, it hurts a lot during the week. But generally what happens when the game rolls around your adrenaline kicks in and you go play. And you wake up Sunday morning. You kind of roll over and take a deep breath, and ‘OK, gotta another week to get right.'” I think that’s the mentality Jake’s taken on and will continue to take on. He’s a real warrior and a great competitor.”
On Jamora and some of his growing pains: “Well, one is just getting used to playing that many snaps. Fatigue can set in especially when you’re going up against a big linemen like the tackles at Arizona. But what happens sometimes when fatigue sets in a little bit, mental mistakes can creep in a little more than when you’re fresh and subbing in and you’re going for two or three plays and then you’re back out. I think the challenge generally for all young guys is that when fatigue sets in continue to re-focus on the next snap. Even though you might be a little tired focus on the next snap. So one you do your job first, and two, you play with great effort. I don’t ever doubt Hau’oli’s effort. He has a tremendous work ethic, a great effort. I’ve compared him to Daniel Te’o-Nesheim as a young player. But we’ve got to continue to do things right, not just play with great effort.”
On the OL play against Arizona: “I thought we started good. I thought when the game got a little out of hand, we struggled in pass protection. And that was my biggest fear going in that the game could get the way it got, in that they were able to pin their ears back and rush. Those three guys have made a lot of good tackles not look as good. Again, it’s going to be a challenge for us again this week. We can’t make the game a one-dimensional game where we just become a passing football team. We need balance, and to have balance, it’s got to be a one, two score game. It can’t become a three and four score game or balance is thrown out the window. They’ll be willing to give up an eight or 10 yard run knowing that if they continue to rush the passer they can create plays.”
On if the same five will start on the OL this week: “We’ll assess it.”
On Stanford’s offense doing well against UW last year: “They were good against everybody last year. One is being stout at the point of attack. When they really get rolling offensively, at the point of attack, they are able to create movement. With movement, now our linebackers aren’t able to play as fast because they’ve got things at their feet. So we’ve got to be stout at the point of attack, and there’s a variety of ways we can do that. And the second thing is when they go to their pass game mode even off a play-action pass or off a drop-back pass, we’ve got to be able to generate our pass rush against those guys to take advantage of our opportunities in one-one-one pass-rushing settings. I think it’s two-found: One stout against the run, and two, we’ve got to be able to create pressure on Andrew Luck. He’s a talented guy.”



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