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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 14, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Monday night practice update and radio show notes

As always, we conclude the day up here with a wrapup of practice and some notes from Steve Sarkisian’s radio show.

— We’ll start with the most significant news from the radio show, which is that there was no word yet on Keith Price’s knee. Sarkisian said the hope had been to get the MRI done in the afternoon but that the machine was malfunctioning so he was having it done later in the day. He said: “We don’t know. He was planning to get an MRI around noon today and a malfunction and he was getting it done now and we should be able to get everybody updated tomorrow.”

— He said the minute they know they will announce it saying he wants the team aware who is starting so they can prepare well: “This isn’t one where I’m going to try to keep a secret. When we know we will make a decision so that everybody is on the same page with what we are doing. … We are going to make this decision relatively quickly when we know what we have so that we can tailor this gameplan to whoever is going to be in there.”

— He said Price’s knee was better today. “The swelling went down considerably and he looked much better today but again whoever is our starter is going to need the work,” he said. So sounds as if the real key may simply be if they think Price can practice this week and if he can’t they’ll go with Nick Montana.

— As for other practice notes, the team was in the Dempsey Indoor, the usual short workout without pads. Montana took the snaps with the ones and Derrick Brown with the twos. Not much changing on the OL though Micah Hatchie again got a few snaps at RT. They also had a few times where Colin Porter was at center with Nick Wood at RG and Hatchie at RT — that’s not really a new thing as Porter got lots of work at center during camp and always gets a little at center sinice he’s one of the backups should anything happen to Drew Schaefer. Also, Danny Shelton got a lot of work with the ones at DT. And Johri Fogerson was there riding a bike.

The rest of these are notes from the radio show:

— Sarkisian said that the lackluster effort against USC might have been in part a hangover from the Oregon game. “I think potentially,” he said. “I thought we practiced really well leading up to the game. I thought they were intense and physical enough, but I felt a little lack of energy — I’ve seen us more excited to play than we’ve been excited to play that Saturday.”

— He said he noticed that before the game Saturday: “I did quite honestly, mentioned it to the staff Saturday morning that our energy is going to be critical today. Try to pinpoint why or what, we usually get pretty jubilant when our buses pull up they get rocking, and our buses didn’t get rocking, the coaches had to get us going. That’s all part of motivating and we’ve got to do a better job.”

— In fact, he said he felt the entire atmosphere was a little lackluster. “I thought the Coliseum was dead. I thought that was the worst atmosphere in that building. It felt like practice you could talk to people across the field.”

— He said the turning point of the game was the second quarter and the sequence of the fake punt, safety and another quick TD. “It’s 23-3 in a manner of it felt like four minutes and it felt like ‘what happened?’ and we didn’t respond well enough.”

— Asked what had led to Price’s regression the last few weeks, he said one may have been simply a regression to the mean. “The level at which he was playing, he would have shattered the Pac-10 touchdown record he was on a pace that was out of control in a sense.” He also said that “he hasn’t gotten the support he needs around him. When we get back to playing in a rhythm you will see him get back in rhythm as well.”

— He talked of how much Price wanted to stay in the game and referenced Price’s kicking of a garbage can when he was removed. “The trash can he hit took the punishment of it. That’s something we maybe didn’t know about him before the season who is Keith Price, He’s a tough guy he cares he believes he bleeds purple and gold and wants to do everything he can to help the team win.”

— Asked about the play of Montana in the game he noted that USC “did a nice job on a couple of third-downs disguising coverages on him.” Said a couple of times they were in one coverage and when he took the snap they were in another and that’s something he has to get accustomed to.

— Sarkisian said early in the show that Derrick Brown is taking the snaps as the backup quarterback with Price out. But later asked who would play if necessary he said “there are some varying scenarios there quite honestly that could play into the factor without divulging all of our stuff, we do have some alternate plans ready … we have good plans in place and the staff is prepared in case of that.”

— Asked about what kind of week of practice the OL should expect, he said: “Extremely battle tough. It’ll be a very intense competitive week for that group and it needs to be.”

— Asked about the youth of the UW OL he said “I’d like to think as we move forward there will be a day we are starting juniors and seniors on the offensive line but it’s the situation we are in right now. I think those kids are battling and competing to the best of their ability but I believe they can be better and will be better.”

— He said of the play after the Austin Seferian-Jenkins catch that was overturned that “we should have snapped the ball three seconds before we did. That was another one of those little indicators that we were a little off. We practice those things all the time.,”

— He also said the play on which Price hurt his knee was another that was an indicator of UW not having the necessary edge. He said that there were several USC defenders who hit Price pretty late and that “I’m watching three (UW) linemen kind of watching it happen and that’s not okay and that’s the edge I’m talking about.” He said there are times that teammates have to stand up for each other and kind of have to send a message at times that that’s our guy and that’s not okay.”

— Asked which backup offensive linemen could be ready to help and he said “that’s been one of the bigger questions for us as a staff as well.” He noted again that Micah Hatchie has done some good things and that there are “a couple of other guys that have a chance and they will get their opportunities in practice this week to see if they can handle it and it remains to be seen.”

— Asked if he’s sending a message to the linemen with what he’s doing he said “this is sending a message. It’s not okay — 13 sacks in two weeks is not okay. And that’s everybody involved it’s not okay.”

— Asked the issues in getting the ball deep the last few weeks, he said “the defenses we played the last two weeks have done a good job of staying on top and not giving us the big plays an in turn it’s the intermediate throws we are not quite getting to. There’s that that range between 25 and 18 yards that there should be voided areas that we should be attacking more.” He said they need to gameplan better to hit those throws and also that the quarterbacks need to be more confident in making those throws. “We’re getting the stuff underneath but we’ve been very underneath oriented or looking deep and now we’ve got to find that middle ground. … that’s definitely an area where we need to improve if we want our offense to stay on course of where we want to be.”

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