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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Coachspeak — UW offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto

We had our first chance of the spring today to talk with UW offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto.

Obviously there’s been lots of news concerning the line the last few weeks, specifically with the loss of Colin Porter to chronic shoulder issues.

I’ll pass along both the quotes, and at the bottom, some of the video:

How big of a challenge is it with the line this spring due to the injuries?: “It’s a challenge. But it gives some others guys an opportunity to get a lot of reps and move some players around. (Colin) Tanigawa, he’ll be back. With Drew (Schaefer) down today and for a little while, it kind of opened my eyes up a little bit, the importance of the next guy that comes and the communication.. I think they learned a lot today from that. We are obviously working two new tackles with Micah Hatchie replacing Senio (Kelemete), who graduated. Ben Riva is playing some right tackle right now and he’s starting at that spot and we are moving (James) Atoe out there a little bit just to kind of see where we are going to be at. Obviously, Dexter (Charles) has been a big surprise.”

Is the injury serious with Drew?: “I don’t think so. He’s walking around. We’re just making sure. He’s a little stiff today. You’d have to ask the doctors about that. To me, it’s just chill him out a little bit.”
On if an injury to Schaefer is the last thing in the world he needed to hear: “My Lent and Easter were good, so hopefully the good Lord will look down on me a little and help me out a little bit.”

On what he is trying to accomplish in spring ball?: “Well, No. 1 we are trying to build continuity and find the best five players that are going to play together and mold that unit. And obviously develop our backups for sure. You look at our numbers, and we are going to have five scholarship guys coming in and our numbers are starting to get right. We are probably a recruiting class to where you all of the sudden have those classes in place. You are going to have guys that will redshirt and develop in that year instead of having to play guys right away. Not to say we aren’t going to ask guys to come in ready to play. From the start when we got here, the numbers were way down. And it takes a while to get those numbers back. And I’m confident these guys are working hard. They are kind of the guys I like. They can run. They are athletic. They are strong. Ivan has done a tremendous job with them. So I’m really looking forward to seeing how they mature this spring and get ready to play. When the bullets start flying, this will be their first gig.”

On Erik Kohler’s situation: “Erik missed most of the winter workouts because he had that staph that came back. I wanted to make sure he got healthy. As far as conditioning standpoint, I moved him in there today a little bit. I want to make sure that he works on getting his strength back and getting gin the best possible shape he can. Whether I keep him at guard or tackle, I will visit with Sark and we’ll talk about it. But the last half of spring football, I’m going to move him a little bit more. He seems to have gotten strength back. He seems more healthy now. ”

On how important Kohler is now that Porter is out: “Really important. Colin, that’s a big loss for us. Colin, I think his labrums had been bothering him ever since high school and to find out he had that problem in the other one, he said, you’ve got to live the rest of your life. It’s devastating to him but we’ve talked about keeping him involved as much as possible because he was such a great asset to our program.”

On replacing Porter: “Obviously, Kohler has played all those spots — he’s played every position but center. You could look at Dexter Charles there, James Atoe. I’m moving James out to tackle sometimes just because of the nature of how big that man is and being able to cover ourselves in case something happens to Riva. Not to say that Kohler can’t go out there and play tackle. Those are some decisions that are going to have to be made as we go through spring and summer and into fall camp. Kohler is kind of the swing guy, he’s played it all.”

On being restricted at all this spring with the numbers: “We’re going to do everything. Just move people, when the second group is up pull someone with the ones and say ‘you go.’ Just start developing as football players. As you guys know I’m going to move guys around. They are going to play a lot of positions and I’m going to treat it much like it was when I was in the NFL and you get seven guys or eight guys if you are lucky and all those guys have to learn how to snap a football and how to be position flexible. If we are just concentrating on one position that’s not a very good asset to this football team. We’ve got to be able to adjust and go in and if injury happens, go in and not miss a beat and do the same things.”

On what Charles has done this spring to make him stand out: “I think his demeanor coming in here, his attitude — he’s not afraid of anything. He’s got tremendous leg strength, he’s got very quick hands. He’s got that attack-you mentality. Sometimes he gets a little bit over-aggressive so you are going with him because he’s the type of guy that he is not afraid of anything. He’s not going to let anybody stop us. Now he’s going to screw things up technique-wise, fundamental-wise, but he’s going to go get you. Now he’s got to understand the whole picture of what’s happening — where’s the running back, what’s the launch point of the quarterback? So he’s got to develop his game into where he knows what’s going on. I test these guys, I have a test they take every Friday so it kind of gives me an idea of where they are at as far as their football knowledge where they have to write in all the positions — Where’s the quarterback? Where’s this guy? Where’s the tight end? Who’s he got? That’s kind of what I’m waiting to see how they finish this test, evaluate it and then grade it in relation to how they play in the scrimmage tomorrow.”

On Micah Hatchie’s progress: “He’s got so much innate strength, it’s unbelievable. He can anchor; he has power. He just doesn’t realize how much power he has. The one thing I like about Micah is that he doesn’t get overexcited. He’ll play through a bad snap and he’ll get back to his fundamentals. He has tremendous concentration. He’s not a freak show out there on an island, and that’s not what I need. I need a guy that is going to protect the backside of Keith (Price), so Keith has the confidence he can drop back there and that tackle will give him enough time on the backside in order for him to get that ball off. His game has really come along, and when you’ve been put into a starting role, there’s a whole new attitude toward the position; it’s my position. It’s his position to lose. That’s where we’re at right now.”

On how they did on the test last week: “Pretty good. The one thing; I want them to cheat off one another so that they start to communicate with one another. It’s okay to open your playbook and fill in the answers – at least they are writing them down. Then we take the next test, which is how we do in the scrimmage. And then I see where I’m at as how I’m coaching them. And when I’m grading them, I grade them in four different areas: One is get off, how well they are getting off the ball; the second one is going to be their assignment and alignment, and the third one is going to be their technique, and the next one is going to be the finish, how hard they are finishing plays. That’s how I determine what their grade is.”

On Mike Criste taking advantage with Schaefer out: “When I met with Mike, I said, ‘This is a great, great situation that happened today, because it kind of sent me a message how you’re going to manage the team. A guy that’s in a backup role is always one snap away from being a starter, and you’ve got to understand the importance in that and how much you have to learn from Drew…I consider Drew one of the best centers in the country, if not the Pac-12, because he’s been here and done so much and his game has come along. Drew is not going to be here forever, like what I said about Senio to Micah – they are not going to be here forever…learn from them. You don’t have to be them, but learn from them and take something that they do and make it a part of your game – whether that’s in the film room, whether it’s studying, whether it’s on the field, whether it’s a technique deal…but learn. The best teachers are your teammates.”

Now, here’s some of the video:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1560926607001″][/do]

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