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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Thursday from Montlake

The Huskies have wrapped up their Thursday practice. UW coach Steve Sarkisian met with the media afterward, and there was no significant news. But he did talk about his philosophy on players using Twitter, Oregon State’s defense, what UW needs to do better in the red zone, and more.

Below are some transcribed quotes and also some video:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1924752717001″][/do]

On Mike Riley and how he’s perceived within the coaching fraternity “Mike is very well respected. I think that’s the best honor you can have as a coach, is that your peers respect you and the work you do and how you go about your business. Sometimes Mike, not in a bad way, but he’s always perceived as such a nice guy, but he’s a good football coach, and good football coaches aren’t just nice guys. I respect coach Riley a great deal.”

On noticing any difference in the team’s mindset after the loss: “We always try and do our best to focus on the task at hand. I thought we had some really physical practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. I thought there was a purpose to the practices and the guys competing…a lot of one-on-one drills and opportunities there. So from that standpoint I was pleased of our ability to battle and compete in a physical setting.”

On what OSU’s defense does so well: “They are just playing well. They play hard, they have a scheme that they believe in and they are playing well. They aren’t making busts. Their coverages are right, they are fitting the runs properly, and when you’re playing hard those things add up to not giving up a lot of points. I think they’ve done a nice job in the red zone of when teams have gotten down there of creating some turnovers. It happened again last week versus Utah. Utah was on the 5-yard line and they were trying to run a reverse and fumble the ball and they get a turnover again. They have a nice bend-but-don’t-break mentality, but also they are playing disciplined football.”

On seeing more nickel and dime coverages from them: “Yeah, without a doubt. They are going to it much sooner than they ever have in the past and they are trying to get more DB’s on the field and putting (Jordan) Poyer in the slot and things…a little more versatility out of their defense that way, especially in the obvious passing downs.”

On how does that change Price’s understanding of what he needs to do to be effective: “They’ve got a little bit more of a mix of coverages when they get into their nickel and dime stuff. They go to more of an odd front mentality and move (Scott) Crichton around some. From that aspect of it, it’s just understanding that they are going to nickel, so okay – what are their coverages and the pressures that they like to run out of it? That’s one of the biggest keys is recognizing when they go from their base defense to their nickel and dime stuff – the differences in their schemes.”

On what UW needs to do to get better in the red zone: “Execute. That’s been one of our issues. And minimizing the negative plays. We’re getting in the red zone and we’ll have a negative play on first or second down that forces us into a third and long that ultimately can create either a field goal situation or a turnover situation. It happened to us again last week we got down there second down sack, third down tip interception. So our ability to execute on first and second down and not have negative plays and keep moving forward and if we go to third down have us in manageable third downs when we are in the red zone so we can convert and hopefully score a touchdown.”

On how the team has dealt with moving on the last few weeks from losses: “I think like we always have. We’ve got a great mentality about it. Do we like to lose? No. That goes without saying. But if you harbor those thoughts, you miss what’s right in front of you. And we’ve been hammering home laser focus what is right in front of us and this week it’s Oregon State and our ability to prepare and ultimately play really well Saturday night.”

On any indications on if there’s a lingering effect from the losses: “I don’t think so. I think the staff has done a really good job of motivating the guys and teaching them and coaching them on the stuff that needs to get fixed but also focusing on the task at hand.”

On Mike Leach’s Twitter ban and what his philosophy is on that: “Society is society and I’m not trying to pull them out of what’s going on in the world. So I understand our guys are going to be on Twitter, they are going to be on Facebook. And we have a general rule that we don’t talk about Husky football. And when you can get to that point and say ‘okay, I’m going to go live my life and I don’t have to talk about Husky football because I don’t get to’ that’s an easy one. And the second thing is every time you put something out there it’s there forever. And we try to educate our guys and give them living examples of some other mistakes that others have made that they have put on Twitter or Facebook as well as a couple of guys on our team of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. So we just try to educate them. But I’m not trying to shelter them, no.”

Personnel wise, is everything status quo? “I think so, yeah. We’ll be okay.”

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