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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Thursday practice notes

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian thought the Huskies ended the week of practice for Arizona just about the way he could have best hoped.

“I thought this was a pretty spirited, enthusiastic type practice,” he told reporters as the Huskies left the field Thursday after their last real work before Saturday’s game against Arizona. “I wouldn’t say loose, but our type of loose and the way we conduct a Thursday practice.”

As he’s referenced a few times this week, the Huskies have — as their fans are all too aware — been here before.

“Fortunately but unfortunately, we’ve had to answer to this challenge before,” he said. “We’ve responded really well every other time, and we’ve come out and played well in the game following a tough loss like we had last week. I would expect us to come out and play well again this week. But again, we don’t know until Saturday actually rolls around, and we are talking after the game.”

The most significant personnel news might be the continuing sight of Will Shamburger starting alongside Sean Parker at safety. That could be the starting duo Saturday, though Sarkisian didn’t say definitively that it will be.,

“Well, we’re just trying to have a healthy competition back there,” he said. “I thought those guys really performed well at Stanford. Justin Glenn nicked his foot up a little bit in that game. We’re constantly trying to allow guys to compete, one. And two, everyone’s going to play. We’re going to rotate those guys, and we’ll be better for it. Arizona’s got some no-huddle stuff that they do, and we want to make sure those guys are fresh when they’re out there playing.”

Asked if Glenn will be available, Sarkisian said: “Yeah, I think he’ll play. I just don’t think he’s quite 100 percent yet.”


— Asked about the overall temperament of the team, Sarkisian said: “I think we have an idea of what we are about. Again, we are dealing with 18- to 22-year-old guys who sometimes we have to steer them back in the right direction – whether it is to get them a little bit more loose or get them a little bit more locked in. And that is the challenge of it all, week in and week out. I think our veterans are starting to understand that a little better, and some of our younger guys might understand it even more – they’ve just got that type of personality to them. And I think a big key to that is what Keith (Price) brings, too. Keith has got a very loose demeanor about him, but yet he has a great ability to focus, and lock in and sometimes you don’t see his competitiveness – you don’t realize how competitive he really is and how well he wants to do on every single snap. But his looseness, I think, is infectious and it relaxes guys. You play your best when you are relaxed, not when you are tense, that is for sure.”

— Asked if Price’s personality has seemed different at all this week, Sarkisian said: “No. Keith is a tremendous competitor, as I touched on. And it was still Monday, and he is on to the next film, and he is bringing up he missed a check(down) on the first play of the game, and he says, ‘I can’t believe I missed that check.’ He is a competitive guy. And he wants to do well. And he prepares himself to do well. Nobody on our team prepares themselves mentally better than Keith Price. He puts in the time and effort to go out and perform on Saturdays. His goal is the same this week – he wants to go out and play really well.”

— Asked if he’s more comfortable now with Nick Montana now that he’s played some, Sarkisian said: “Sure. Just getting that experience, you know. And I think he’s more comfortable. Anytime you get in two games in a row now, and just being in the huddle, just having to read the wrist band and call the play, now look at the play clock, now look at the defense, and in the meantime getting the exchange. There’s so much that goes into it. That comfort level can only come from that experience that he’s gotten. I think the valuable snaps that he’s gotten, not all of which have been good – the sack-fumble, the interception – you learn from those experiences, and that makes you better.”

— UW can clinch bowl eligibility with a win and Sarkisian said that is a “big deal. Big deal. That’s why this game is vitally important. To get to the sixth win and to cherish the opportunity to get to a bowl game is something that is big to us. We’ll celebrate it and embrace it, like we did last year, when that time comes.”

— As has been well documented, Arizona will be without starters in the secondary for the entire game due to the fight against UCLA. But Sarkisian said UW won’t necessarily target the replacements: “Sure, you could try too hard. One of the keys is, I don’t know where they are going to line up this game. Robert Golden (a senior strong safety) was a corner last year and is a safety this year. We don’t know if he’s going to go back to corner for this game. So there is a lot of information we have to compile early in this game to try to figure out what they are doing and what they are doing with their coverages. And while we are doing that, that doesn’t mean we are not going to throw — we are going to throw the football. But we also understand it’s getting to late in the season now, it’s almost November. And ol’ No. 1 runs pretty good late in the season and in this stadium when it cools off a little bit. So I don’t want to neglect giving Chris the ball because obviously he is having a tremendous year for us. I know what he brings late in the season. So we are going to fight and strive for balance. But when there’s opportunities to throw the ball we are definitely going to do it.”

— Finally, asked what he knew of Ron Holmes, Sarkisian said: “I did my research today after I heard about the tragic news. It’s unfortunate, for how young he was, 48 years old, and what Ron Holmes really meant to this program and being an All-American, eighth pick in the draft. And really the legacy he brought to the defensive line, and obviously carried forward by Emtman. It’s unfortunate. We feel for his family and friends, and we will pay a tribute to him.”



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