I had some technical issues with the video of UW coach Steve Sarkisian following today’s practice. So I’ll pass along a few notes and quotes form the coach the old-fashioned way:
— As noted earlier, quarterbacks Cyler Miles and Jeff Lindquist were “live” during the scrimmage part of practice today, meaning they were not in yellow “caution” jersyes and able to be hit hard and tackled. Explained Sarkisian: “We put them in the purple jereyes the last session for them to be live and really assess some gamelike (situations),” he said.
Asked if he could say if either has emerged as the backup to Keith Price, Sarkisian said: “I don’t have to make that decision right now, that’s the beauty of it.”
But in another answer about the backup QB spot, he indicated Miles is ahead: “I think Cyler has shown a great deal of consistency now for a week or two now. It’s unfortunate that he threw the one interception there late, Marcus (Peters) made a nice play on the ball. But I liked seeing him running the ball a little bit, sticking his nose in there, got his lip bloodied up a little bit, had to keep fighting and competing and finished off there at the end with the touchdown pass to Kendyl (Taylor). With Jeff and Troy (Williams) they are both physically gifted guys in their own ways — Jeff is a big guy, really powerful arm, Troy a little more quicker, elusive, quick release. It’s just getting them comfortable. In their play it doesn’t exhibit quite yet a consistency factor from a comfort level within the scheme. So we’ve got to keep pushing them and keep putting them out there. But that’s part of being a young quarterback and some guys learn it a little quicker than others.”
— By the way, to answer the question ahead of time, Derrick Brown did not get any series at QB today. He did, intriguingly, take at least two reps in a one-on-one tackling drill as a ballcarrier, a drill usually reserved for receivers and running backs. Otherwise, though, he worked with the quarterbacks.
— As also noted earlier, for the moment, DiAndre Campbell has moved ahead in the battle at the other outside receiver spot alongside Kasen Williams with Jaydon Mickens in the slot. Campbell helped himself today with about a 29-yard TD catch from Price, as well. Said Sarkisian of Campbell’s emergence this spring: “He’s a great example for our team that when you just keep doing things right, especially when you are in this style of play and playing this up-tempo of an offense, the ability to focus on your job and your task for that next snap, regardless of how tired you may be, that’s something that DiAndre has done a really good job of. He lines up, he does his job and when the ball gets thrown to him he makes his play. When we ask for him to block, he blocks really well, and the result of it is every time we turn on the film after practice you notice No. 19 with some big catches, some touchdowns, some key blocks to spring long runs and that’s why he has the role that he has on our roster right now, his consistency to do things right.’’
— As also noted earlier, Connor Cree is another young player emerging, at the moment working with the starting unit at a tackle/end spot. Said Sarkisian: “He’s done a nice job in the weight room this off-season, he’s put on more weight., And he’s a tall, long guy and that’s what we are looking for. He uses his levers really well and he is striking offensive linemen and he is making plays for us. When you look at all of this, you see the value of redshirting a young man, then he is a redshirt freshman, now all the sudden he is going into his redshirt sophomore year and he is starting to show and be a player for us. … Sometimes it takes guys a little longer to develop and when they do they can still end up having a really good career for two, three years down the road and I think we are going to see that out of Connor.’’
— Sarkisian was also asked to elaborate on Tuesday’s statement that Austin Seferian-Jenkins remains indefinitely suspended after being charged with misdemeanor DUI in relation to a one-car accident in March. Said Sarkisian: “We knew this would be the process with him. That’s why we tried to stay ahead of it from the very beginning. To Austin’s credit so far he is continually doing the things we have asked him to do so that when we deem it the appropriate time, he can earn himself back on our roster. He’s a good kid who made a bad decision, who made a mistake. But he’s learning from it and he’s obviously going to have to pay the price from it. Hopefully the rest of our organization can learn from that mistake, as well as others that make that mistake, and we can move forward. I’m always one that is going to look for the positive in things and I think Austin will be better for it and our team will be better for it off the field and I think we will be better for it on the field. We are getting some valuable experience for Michael Hartvigson and Evan Hudson and Josh Perkins and when we get Austin here back on board when he earns himself back onto the football team he will be hungry and ready to go.”
— Asked if the punishment of Seferian-Jenkins needs to send a message to the rest of the team, Sarkisian said: “Every situation is different. I have 105 sons on this team. I know them on a very close and intimate level in that I see them every day. They are in my office every day. And I know of other mistakes that our guys make that you guys don’t know about. So I know what type of individual Austin is and what he means to our community and the great work that he does in our community. I know the type of student he is. And so I don’t think that this mistake by Austin is truly indicative of his character and behavior. But he made a mistake, and so different messages get sent in different ways. If it were other individuals on our team, the punishment could be harsher. So we will figure it out and get to a decision that we feel good about, that we think is fair to Austin, that is fair to our team and fair ro the University of Washington and we will move on.’’