With UW still on a hiatus from spring practice, not a lot to link out there about the Huskies today.
It hits on some familiar themes about UW — namely, how close the Huskies were last season to being 9-4, specifically if they’d held on to the late leads in each of the last two games (and I realize the counter to that is that the Oregon State and Stanford games can also be seen as equally close to turning the other direction).
Maybe more telling are UW coach Steve Sarkisian’s comments about Keith Price. This is the second interview I’ve seen or heard from Sarkisian since the Huskies went into their spring break from spring practice, and in each he has heavily praised Price, indicating he sees Price returning to the way he played in 2011.
To those who ask if this isn’t the same thing Sarkisian was saying about Price last spring, the answer is “not necessarily.” Recall that the theme of last spring was the defensive improvement — which, though, inevitably also meant some offensive regression. There was little secret last spring of the fact that the defense was usually getting the better of the offense, and while spring ball can sometimes deceive, in this case it pretty accurately foreshadowed much of what we saw in 2012 — an improved defense and a not-as-good offense.
So a return-to-form by Price this spring can’t be completely discounted as just something that happens every spring. Conversely, though, a revival of the offense would inevitably raise questions of whether that means any slippage in a defense, which was vastly better in 2012 than it had been in 2011 but also still has a ways to go to get to truly elite status. Given that most of the defense returns, the hope for UW is obviously that the offense is simply catching back up to the defense.
That, though, is something we won’t really know for sure until the fall, when UW starts playing games and tests itself against others and not just itself.
The more immediate impact of the evident rebound by Price in the first six practices is of putting to rest any real talk of a quarterback battle. Sarkisian said in his pre-spring press conference that Price was the starter and that it would only become a real tussle for the spot if Price let it become one, or if one of the others really stepped forward. Price so far has appeared to hold up his end in not letting it become a real competition.