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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 4, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Former Husky Huard keeps on movin’ on up

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Former Husky quarterback Brock Huard didn’t really make big, long-range plans when he entered the broadcasting world following his retirement from football in 2005.

“Initially, I took it very much year-by-year,” said Huard, pictured in a Seattle Times file photo with former Husky center Olin Kreutz.

But as one year has led to another, so has one job led to the next.

Huard, who joined ESPN in 2008, recently learned that his game analyst duties this year will expand to include more national games, working alongside veteran play-by-play man Mark Jones.

For the last few years, Huard has done more regional games. That’s been nice since it has kept him close to home (he’s done more than a few UW games) and meant shorter flights.

But Huard said this week he is excited about the faith ESPN is showing in his new-found career.

“This just kind of expands the role to a little bit more national level and getting an opportunity to work with some new people and get exposed to some new markets,” he said. “It’s going to be a great challenge.”

Huard, though, says he’s happy to take them all on.

He remembers what he was first told when he got to the NFL — “the more you can do, the better. So whatever they ask me to do, I try to do. And not all of it terribly successfully. But they keep offering me more chances and more opportunities and I am trying to capitalize on them.”

That has included writing some pieces for ESPN Insider, becoming a talk show host on ESPN 710 Seattle, and doing some pieces for SportsCenter — he was in Los Angeles last week interviewing USC QB Matt Barkley for a story on Barkley and the Trojans.

One thing he’s also had to learn along the way is the journalist’s creed of objectivity.

“The one thing I really tried to do, and ESPN, those four letters really help you do that, is to be objective. My entire crew and all the people in college football come from all over the country. Some of the most diehard fans are our producers and directors and the people behind the scenes. Yet they all take that cap off to be as objective as they possibly can on game day and that’s something I have tried to do the last five years.”

Still, Huard knows there are times he’s ruffled a little Husky fur, such as when he wrote in the spring that UW QB Keith Price might take a step back in 2012.

UW coach Steve Sarkisian said a few days later that he had already put the article on the bulletin board in the Husky locker room.

“I was actually driving home from the spring game when Damon called and said ‘I don’t know if you know or not but Sark made it public that they put your article in the locker room and that Keith was pretty fired up about it,”’ Huard recalled. “At first I didn’t know how to take that, but on the flip side I guess it was fairly positive if he thought it would push or motivate him for whatever reason to put that in there.

“Keith was still smiling at me at Pac-12 Media Day (last month) and I thought that was a good sign. The gist of that article and the feeling about Keith Price isn’t that he is going to take a step back himself by any means. He has done everything to put himself in a further position of success. It’s just more a matter of the schedule and some of the new people around him, the inexperience around him, and then the offensive line that is going to be shuffled around. So the piece was much more about everybody around Keith. And having experienced that myself, playing with largely the same group of guys for two years and then having a year with a lot of new faces, it’s just knowing the challenge that that can be on the quarterback position in particular.”

Huard said he understands that hearing someone might not like what he says or writes comes with the territory.

“You’d better be thick-skinned, and I think playing quarterback helps with that,” he said. “And you better understand that there is a very, very loud, passionate fan base, which is great and makes college football what it is, but sometimes their position can be one-sided and in our position as analysts and journalists our job is to be as objective as we can be.

“And it’s a lot easier for me to (be objective) that than it is for (older brother) Damon to do that (Damon Huard works in the athletic department at Washington as well as serving as analyst on radio broadcasts), who works for the university in many capacities, and frankly isn’t always paid to be as objective as I am going to be in my broadcasts or writings. So I don’t struggle with that, I can honestly tell you that, and I think our Husky fan base is one that is very bright, is very respectful. And yeah, there is a fringe that will get upset and say ‘why are you such an Oregon homer now and a USC guy and where is your loyalty to the program?’ You hear some of that. But the vast majority of people in the end respect that objective, unbiased opinion as hard as it can be sometimes to hear.”

As for the Huskies this season, Huard says — whether UW fans want to hear it or not — that they might be in line for another season of seven or so wins.

“I think they’ve got to survive the first six weeks of the most difficult schedule in college football,” he said. “That’s the main question I get (from fans) is how they are going to do, and they have got to weather the storm through the first six weeks and not lose anybody, and in particular their quarterback has got to find a way to stay healthy through the most brutal stretch that any team in college football will face in the month of September and into October. If they can weather that and gain experience and stay healthy then I think they have an opportunity to have a year in reverse of last year, where they should be able to finish strong and find their way to another bowl game.”

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