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September 9, 2011 at 11:21 AM

A few notes from Sarkisian on KJR-AM

UW coach Steve Sarkisian was a guest on KJR-AM this morning with Dave “Softy” Mahler and Hugh Millen.

Here’s some of what he said:

— Asked about practice this week, he said “It’s been a good week in the sense that I think we have improved and addressed the issues we needed to address not only schematically but emotionally and mentally, as well. Our guys have responded like they always have.”

— He said that “there’s a real edge on our football team right now. We are coaching with a real edge and playing with a real edge. But now we have to translate that to Saturday.” He added that the Eastern game was “a wakeup call and perfect in that sense to get us back to how we need to be preparing and playing.”

— He said of the offense last week that “we ran our stuff last week but I don’t think there was enough variety, when I think we need some more varity in our offense, which we have but we needed to get it involved in the gameplan and I think we have that (for this week).”

— He said the return of Quinton Richardson will allow the Huskies to mix things up more in the secondary and give Hawaii more looks than the Huskies were able to give Eastern last week. He also said that “we’ve got to hit better and tackle better. If they are going go dink and dunk we need to punish the receivers when they do, and I think we addressed that as well.”

— He said of his harsh words for the team this week that “its important to understand that we are all in this together, that it’s not about one guy or one player or one coach — we win together, we lose together. … It is important for our players to know if they are not playing well there is something wrong with me and us.” He said he always does a self-assessment after each week and that “I thought I could have been better last week.”

— Asked about the importance of the Hawaii game, he said “It’ big in the sense that we need to respond, first of all. Forget the win or the loss at the end — we need to get back to playing the brand of football that is demanded of us around here. We have to get back to that, then the win or the loss (will follow). They are all huge but the end result will come if we do what we need to do starting with the opening kickoff, we need to play at a frenetic pace and be physical and aggressive.”

— Asked if there’s a challenge in getting all of the skill players involved in the game plan, he said it takes him back to his USC days when the Trojans had a number of talented offensive players. He said “it is a bit of balancing act, but I think we know how to do it. We’ve just got to play better, really.”

— Asked about having Richardson as the nickelback, he said it makes more sense to have him play inside because “he is a little bit more physical than the other guys, he’s a really good blitzer coming off the edge, whether it’s internally or coming off the edge, so it allows us to use his versatility coming off the nickel and allows (Greg) Ducre to use his speed on the outside.”

— He said the strength of Hawaii’s defense is its line and that “the key for us is how we are going to handle them, scheme or protection, different things we are going to do to combat that.”

— He said a key for the offense is to “find a way to get the ball into the secondary, throwing it or running it, and then we can have some success with some explosive plays.”

— Finally, he said that they have to be prepared for both the passing and running of Hawaii QB Bryant Moniz and that “we can’t just give a run-and-shoot team the same looks over and over again. So it will be key to give them some differnt looks and disguise some things so they can’t play as fast.”

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