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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM

A few Sark bites from ESPN 710 interview

UW coach Steve Sarkisian was a guest on the Kevin Calabro show this afternoon on ESPN 710 Seattle (and while it wasn’t up when I published this entry, I assume a podcast will be available here later).

No earth-shattering news, but some interesting comments on a few different topics, so here’s some of what he said:

— On the QB battle: Despite the best efforts of co-host Jim Moore, Sarkisian didn’t say anything much more definitive about the direction things are heading, though he did acknowledge that Keith Price came into the spring with an edge on Nick Montana due to his experience and that that edge appears to remain. Sarkisian said that because of that experience that “In a sense, he should be ahead. I would be concerned if he wasn’t because of the fact that he got a head start. To both guys’ credit I think that they both have matured and come along at a steady pace. I don’t think that Nick hasn’t grown as a quarterback and that’s why Keith is ahead, and I don’t think Keith is ahead because he’s just shot out of a rocket and gotten this lead and hung onto it. In a sense he should be where he is from the common person’s eye standing on the sidelines watching a practice.”

— He said if there is one specific area of improvement needed for the QBs it is in avoiding sacks and throwing the ball away, saying “at this point I would like that we haven’t taken quite as many sacks.”

— He said both QBs have “really improved” and played at a high level throughout the spring, and that they also have handled well the media attention of attempting to replace Jake Locker and handle questions about their competition with each other.

— He was asked about the fact that the defensive line has seemed to get the better of the OL more often in the spring and said that he’s “not overly concerned” about the OL given the injuries to Senio Kelemete, Ben Riva and Nick Wood and that “I just think that we are a little bit young up front” but that “these are valuable reps they are getting” and that in general “I think we have progressed very well there and I am execited about the future of the line.”

— He said he’s equally excited about the DL, and spoke a little about Josh Shirley. He said that Shirley and Alameda Ta’amu are the “two strongest linemen” in terms of weight lifting numbers and that that speaks to Shirley’s ability to become a good run defender as well as his obvious talents as a pass rusher off the edge.

— He said he has been impressed by the way Johri Fogerson has played this spring and handled his off-field distractions. He noted that the legal process has not concluded on his arrest and that any decision on a team punishment won’t come until after that is concluded.

— As for the team as a whole, he said: “I’m very excited. I think we’ve got a football team that’s improving. By no means are we exactly where we need to be, but we are improving. I’m pleased with some specific aspects of the team but also seeing room for improvement in some areas where when we come back in the fall we can continue to get better.”

— On Locker and the draft, he said “I just hope he’s put in a situation that puts him in a place for longevity” and that for draft night he has “ddvised him to try to do something that can not get his mind completely off it but chew up some time, whether it’s hitting golf balls or going hunting because it can be a grueling process.”

— He also said he still thinks Locker compares favorably to Carson Palmer and he thinks Locker can have that same type of NFL success: “Oh sure, I totally do. It’s unfortunate we didn’t play a little better around Jake to give him that opportunity like Carson had at SC. But through it all, I still feel Jake’s best days are ahead of him. … I truly believe he’s got so much more room for growth in his game when he can spend hours upon hours at it and not the 20 hours that the NCAA allows here.”

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