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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 8, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Holt talks defense

I had a chance to talk briefly with UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt after Washington’s practice Thursday.

Here’s some of what he said:

Overall assessment of the defense after one-third of spring practice: “It’s slowly coming, I mean we need tons and tons of more reps, but I think it is coming. We’ve really got to get the young linebackers caught up and get them better and just, some of this stuff is hard for the young guys because right now we do have a lot of our package in. Now we are going to cut back — we have it all in after five practices. Now we’ve got to hone it down, so hopefully we can really escalate our play and play faster with our stuff and just make sure that we are not adding too much and get really good at the stuff we have in right now.”

On Garret Gilliland’s emergence as the No. 1 weakside linebacker and the situation on the strong side: “Garret Gililand is getting better every day. The last two days he has really shown a lot of improvement, playing with confidence. So he is playing faster, and then the other position is still a grab bag. Guys are getting better, but someone has got to rise up. But we’ve got 10 practices left and someone will seize the opportunity, I know they will.”

On the play of the defensive line so far: “I think that should be one of the strong points of our team because we’ve got a lot of guys back that have played a lot of football, plus we’ve got a couple of guys that redshirted that have a lot of potential and they are taking their reps and taking advantage of it. We should be strong there because we have a lot of guys with game experience.”

On if the defense is progressing as he’d hoped: “Slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly, I’d love to have it come faster but I guess I’ve got to be realistic. Hopefully you ask me after the whole spring I can go, ‘yeah, I think we are going to be okay.’ Here, it’s still up in the air.

On the other defensive tackle spot opposite Alameda Ta’amu: “Sione (Potoa’e) has been taking the reps and he has gotten better, and then Everrette (Thompson) is taking the reps and he’s really solid, he’s kind of our anchor in there at end or defensive tackle. I just wish Chris Robinson were healthy — I’d love to see what he can do when he’s healthy. Right now Sione is holding down the position because he doesn’t have a lot of guys pushing him because the two guys that would be pushing him are hurt, Semisi (Tokolahi) and Chris Robinson. It’s unfortunate but we’ve got to get those two guys healthy.”

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