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August 30, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Sarkisian conference call and radio notes

UW coach Steve Sarkisian made his first appearance this year on the weekly Pac-12 coaches conference call, as well as doing a segment on ESPN 710 Seattle. Here are a few notes from each:

— Sarkisian said that he is “not going to rule out” that Chris Polk and Johri Fogerson could play Saturday. He said each “looked good running yesterday and I’m excited to see them today.” He reiterated that if a decision is made to play Bishop Sankey that he will then play substantially the rest of the season. “If we do that this Saturday you are going to see Bishop Sankey the rest of the year. You’ll see him be a factor on this football team not just a one-hit wonder on Saturday.”

— He said the emphasis on the 1-0 start “just felt like the logical thing to do. We had never been there before and when you’re struggling through the dog days of training camp, it’s something sitting out there that they can achieve.”

— He said the biggest improvement on the team this year is “the depth factor, when for years now we have been so thin it’s almost scary and all the sudden a couple of injuries here and there it affects you. I really feel like now what is right in front of us is a deep football team that will have the ability to rotate players and substitute players. … the depth is something that is right in front of me that resonates with me that man we are a different team.”

— He said what has helped Keith Price’s progress is that he has “grown up in this system and hadn’t known anything else before, so in some ways he’s almost a little bit more comfortable in that aspect because he’s never known anything different.”

— He said despite the QB change that the offense this year is “not going to look that much drastically different but the tight end additioin is going to look like the biggest difference to everybody.”

— He said the school “exhausted every avenue of potential redshirts and different things” for the two punters but couldn’t find any way to get either another year of eligibility. So he said again that each will be used this season.

— Asked on the conference call to assess what he saw out of Price last year, he said: “I think two things really jumped out at me. One it’s always tough to tell with a backup quarterback how well they are preparing thorughout the week but the few opportunities he had he was prepared mentally to execute the plays that were asked of him. And two, none of those moments were too big for him. … those weren’t easy games to step into, so I liked his mental preparation as well as the fact that those moments weren’t too big for him. … The guy he reminds me the most probably is Charlie Ward back at Florida State.” He said like Ward, Price has a basketball player’s court awareness of the field can make some unorthodox throws.

— He repeated what he’d said earlier about Price’s comfort in the system, saying “a lot of the audibles and nuances within this system are just second nature to him he reacts extremely quickly, he just doesn’t know any different.. Sometimes that’s the best thing for you.”

— He said the offensive line “is as good as we’ve been from a nasty perspective. … I think the nasty comes a little bit with experience, the confidence that you’ve played before, okay here now comes the nasty.”

— Asked about Eastern, he said: “They are a good football team led by their quarterback (Bo Levi Mitchell) who can throw the ball all over the place. They provide a lot of issues to you offensively. … they are an opportunistic team that plays with great effort. We expect them to come in here and play hard and be well-coached and give us everything we want.”

— Asked what he likes most about his team, he said “how close we are, how tight-knit we are. This is the closest team we have had. It’s very family-oriented. They are doing things together and are willing to stand up in front of each other and joke and laugh and willing to stand up in front of each other and demand things of each other. … I’m excited probably more about that then anything.”

— Asked about Hau’oli Jamora, Sarkisian praised him to the hilt, including his “unbelievable work ethic” and said the time between the season and the Holiday Bowl really helped him in getting back to fundamentals after having played some during the year.



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