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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 26, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Notes from Steve Sarkisian’s press conference

Some highlights from Steve Sarkisian‘s press conference today:

On state of the team: “I like our depth. Our depth is night and day compared to where we’ve ever been, whether that’s on offense, defense or special teams. I like the maturity of this team. The one thing I’ve been impressed with, and I told the guys this, is when I’ve asked them to do something, they respond to it. It’s not like I have to pull teeth. When I’ve gone out and asked for more energy, I’ve gotten it. When I’ve asked for more physicality, I’ve gotten it. When I’ve asked our guys to stay off the ground, I’ve gotten it. When I’ve asked them to eliminate distractions and put laser focus on the tasks at hand, I’ve gotten it. And that really feel so different to me. And the leaders have helped the younger players understand that aspect of it, so I’ve been impressed by that.”

On pressure facing QB Keith Price: ”I think you guys want to put pressure on him. I don’t know if he necessarily puts pressure on himself. I don’t think we have either. I think Keith’s going to go out and play really good football. Nothing I’ve seen over the last, through spring ball and through training camp, appears to me to be a guy playing under pressure. I think there’s the natural butterflies we all get when we go to perform, and if you don’t get ‘em, check your pulse. We’re going to come down that tunnel Saturday night at 7 o’clock and we’re going to have a hundred guys with that nervous anxiety, but that’s part of being a competitor. I think the one thing for Keith is to quiet things down around him, focus on his job and play the football he’s capable of playing. When he does, he’ll be great. And that’s what I expect him to be.”

On the plan for Deontae Cooper: “We’re playing to win the game. Period. The special moments, the things that come along with winning football games, those things come naturally. We’re all very proud of Deontae and what he’s accomplished to get to this point — and Jesse (Callier) and Hau’oli (Kikaha) and Colin Tanigawa and Lawrence Lagafuaina, that they’ve worked their way back (from ACL injuries) to get to this point. When Deontae gets his first carry, our team isn’t going to give him a standing ovation. They’re watching him carry the ball every day in practice. They want to see him break and tackle and keep the ball high and tight and try to score and touchdown, and then get up and try to do it again. That’s just the mentality we’ve embraced with all these guys. I’ll give him a big ‘ole high five when he comes (to the sideline), because I know how hard he’s worked. I’ll leave the ceremonies up to our marketing department for the coin toss and all that stuff.”

On team’s health: ”It feels great. This is the healthiest we’ve ever been. Compared to where we were a year ago at this time, this team is healthy, they’re energized, they’re fresh. And we’ve had a physical camp. I think it’s a real credit to Ivan Lewis and our strength and conditioning department of what they were able to get done in summer to prep up. We tweaked our schedule a little bit in the summer, we tweaked ourselves a little bit early in training camp to get them ready for the grind of the season, and I felt like we’ve tried to ramp up and build our roster to get stronger as training camp has gone through. And we’ve done it. It’s unfortunate (that) we have three broken bones on our roster right now: You’re talking about Austin (Seferian-Jenkins’ pinkie), you’re talking about Patrick Enewally (hand) and obviously Erik Kohler (foot), who we haven’t had in all of training camp. … But everywhere else, I think our medical staff has done a great job.”

On DE Evan Hudson: “He’s going to play quite a bit. He’s had a great camp. I think he really embraced the move (from tight end). … I thought our defensive coaches did a really good job — Coach Lupoi, Coach Wilcox — of throwing him into the fire, teaching him the principles … so we could gather as much information as we could. He’s just got that hard-nosed, blue-collar mentality. He’s got the length naturally, and he’s helped us. I think you’ll still seem him some implemented in a few packages on the offensive side of the ball. He was banging on me again about it today, making sure we had enough of him in the game plan on offense, too.”

On DE Josh Shirley: “Josh, as we know, is a very good pass-rusher. It’s a really competitive position right now with Kikaha coming back … with what Cory Littleton is doing and Josh Shirley. So when you talk about the depth on this team, there’s a prime example (with) that rush position. We’ve got three guys who have all started and played significant football for us. That’s the luxury we’re talking about — we can play and roll a lot of guys and be effective. I think Josh will have a role and he’ll make an impact for us this fall. How it all plays out remains to be seen.”

On true freshmen who could play (John Ross, Kevin King, Marcus Farria, Joe Mathis mentioned in question): “I think Trevor Walker will see the field for us at safety. I think you’ll see Damore’ea Stringfellow. I think you’ll see Darrell Daniels. When and how much? Every guy varies and every guy’s different. I just know gradually as we move forward, some guys that may not play much this first week, we feel like because of the growth they’ve put in here over the last three weeks, they’re going to help us in October and November, so we’re going to bring some guys along a little slower, other guys will get thrown in a little quicker.”

The Huskies held a closed practice this morning. They practice on Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 8:15 a.m., and the first 20 minutes are open to the media. Defensive assistant coaches and players are available for interviews after Tuesday’s practice, and offensive assistants and players are available after Wednesday’s practice.

Sarkisian’s coach’s show, by the way, is scheduled to air on KJR from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. today from The Ram Restaurant at University Village. After that, I’ll join “Softy” and Tacoma’s Todd Dybas at 5:30 for a Husky roundtable on KJR.

Here’s an updated “post-training camp” depth chart released today. Notice that John Ross and Jaydon Mickens are listed as “or” starters at slot receiver now. Also note that the beat writer here apparently has a blind spot for the lineman who protects the blind side; in the depth chart released Saturday night, Micah Hatchie was moved back to left tackle (where he started all of last season), switching again with Ben Riva, who’s back on the right side. Apologies for the mixup.

“It just felt right,” Sarkisian said of the tackles switching back. “For me, in putting Ben there early on it was one, could he do it? Two, if something happened to Micah, could he go play over there? And I think we realize he can do it. I think we’re better served right now with the experience Micah has playing left tackle. But now we know we have a really good backup left tackle.”

No. 1 offense:

QB: Keith Price, Sr., 6-1, 202

TB: Bishop Sankey, Jr., 5-10, 203

FB: Psalm Wooching, RFr., 6-3, 228

TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jr., 6-6, 276

LT: Micah Hatchie, Jr., 6-5, 305

LG: Dexter Charles, So., 6-4, 289

C: Mike Criste, Jr., 6-5, 306

RG: Colin Tanigawa, Jr., 6-3, 275

RT: Ben Riva, Jr., 6-6, 306

WR: Kasen Williams, Jr., 6-2, 212

WR: Kevin Smith, 5-11, 214

WR: John Ross, Fr., 5-11, 173 — OR – Jaydon Mickens, So., 5-10, 170

No. 1 defense

DE: Hau’oli Kikaha, Jr., 6-3, 250

DT: Evan Hudson, Jr., 6-5, 277

NT: Danny Shelton, Jr., 6-1, 327

RE: Cory Littleton, So., 6-3, 230

LB: Princeton Fuimaono, 6-1, 217 — OR — Travis Feeney, So., 6-4, 224

LB: John Timu, Jr., 6-1, 235

LB: Shaq Thompson, So., 6-2, 225

CB: Marcus Peters, So., 5-11, 193

CB: Greg Ducre, Sr., 5-10, 178

SS: Will Shamburger, Sr., 6-0, 192

FS: Sean Parker, Sr., 5-10, 195

Specialists:

PK: Travis Coons, Sr., 6-2, 199

P: Travis Coons — OR — Korey Durkee, So., 6-4, 221

KR: Kevin Smith, Sr., 5-11, 214 and John Ross, Fr., 5-11, 173

PR: John Ross — OR — Kasen Williams

LS: Ryan Masel, So., 6-0, 216

HLD: Korey Durkee

No. 2 offense:

QB: Cyler Miles, R-Fr., 6-4, 213/Jeff Lindquist, R-Fr., 6-3, 236

TB: Dwayne Washington, RFr., 6-1, 220/Jesse Callier, Jr., 5-10, 207/Deontae Cooper, Jr., 6-0, 201

FB: Derrick Brown, So., 6-2, 245

TE: Josh Perkins, So., 6-3, 224/Michael Hartvigson, Jr., 6-6, 257

LT: Jake Eldrenkamp, R-Fr., 6-5, 287

LG: Shane Brostek, So., 6-4, 278

C: Siosifa Tufunga, So., 6-2, 278

RG: James Atoe, 6-6, 349

RT: Ross Dolbec, So., 6-6, 310/Coleman Shelton, Fr., 6-5, 285

WR: DiAndre Campbell, Jr., 6-1, 202/Marvin Hall, So., 5-10, 182

WR: Damore’ea Stringfellow, Fr., 6-3, 225/Antavius Sims, Sr., 6-0, 205

WR: Kendyl Taylor, RSo., 5-10, 200

No. 2 defense:

DE: Andrew Hudson, Jr., 6-3, 252/Joe Mathis, Fr., 6-4, 250

DT: Connor Cree, So., 6-4, 260 — OR — Jarett Finau, So., 6-2, 263

NT: Lawrence Lagafuaina, So., 6-0, 334 — OR — Sione Potoa’e, Sr., 6-2, 278

RE: Josh Shirley, Jr., 6-3, 232

LB: Feeney/Fuimaona

LB: Thomas Tutogi, Sr., 6-1, 249

LB: Jamaal Kearse, Jr., 6-1, 221 — OR — Scott Lawyer, So., 6-2, 227

CB: Cleveland Wallace, RFr., 5-11, 171/Jermaine Kelly, Fr., 6-2, 183

CB: Cleveland Wallace*/Tre Watson*

S: Tre Watson, Sr., 5-9, 186/Brandon Beaver, RFr., 5-11, 171

S: Trevor Walker, Fr., 5-11, 187 — OR — Kevin King, Fr., 6-2, 178

*listed as a backup at two positions

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