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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 23, 2013 at 1:34 PM

UW’s Steve Sarkisian: ‘All of us still have a bad taste in our mouths’

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Washington coach Steve Sarkisian after Wednesday’s practice:

(Keith) He was limited today. We’re really going to push him (Thursday), and then we’ll get to a point coming out of (Thursday’s) practice exactly where we’re at. I think he feels a lot better today, I will say that. I think he’s improved every day, and I think (Thursday) will be a good test to see exactly where he’s at.

(What do you want to see from Keith?) Just to make all the throws. He’s obviously preparing really well mentally, and he’s locked into the game plan and all those things. It’s more about physically making the throws. We’ll assess all that (Thursday)

(comfort level with Cyler Miles) It’s really good. Cyler’s practiced really well; so has Jeff (Lindquist), quite honestly. We’re fortunate. We’ve recruited that position really well the past couple years; we’re fortunate we’ve got good players and good guys at the quarterback position, even speaking about Troy Williams. I’ll be really comfortable if Cyler plays, and we won’t be limited at all.

(Did you ever play with an injured thumb) Yeah, it kind of comes with the territory of playing quarterback. Sometimes it can come with the follow-through and hitting a guy on the helmet. It can come when you’re falling on the ground or getting tackled. But it’s not comfortable, that’s for sure. You think about how important a thumb is to throwing a football — it’s the one thing on the bottom of the ball that keeps it where you need to keep it. So we’ll assess him tomorrow and see where he’s at.

(Where is Cyler’s accuracy and arm strength?) I think he’s a really accurate guy; he has good arm strength. I wouldn’t say the first attribute of Cyler is his arm strength, but he throws a very catchable ball, he’s extremely accurate. He makes all of the throws we ask him to make, especially down the field. He’s got a quick release, and he’s got good knowledge of our system. So I think he’d do fine.

(Where has he improved?) I think he’s steadily improved, quite honestly. When you’re a true freshman, you’re just trying to find your way a little bit. But he’s always shown the athleticism we really like. He’s always been a very smart, very bright guy, and then his work ethic over the last year — after your true freshman year, now you’re a redshirt freshman and you’re really learning how to study the game, how to prepare and then applying it in practice and making the necessary changes from the coaching points of Coach Tui or myself and then applying those changes. So I think he’s improved in all areas, quite honestly.

(As a leader …) He’s very well respected on this team. The guys know what he’s capable of; they know what his work ethic is. They practice against him every day, so I think he’s very well respected.

(Playbook change with Miles?) Not at all. Not at all.

(If Price isn’t 100 percent, do you consider that he’s a fifth-year senior …) All the decisions I’ll make for this football team is what’s in the best interest of this football team and this program and what gives us the best opportunity to be successful Saturday night.

(Anything else health-wise you can update us on?) Dexter Charles is still limited. We wish we had him full strength, but he’s not quite there yet. Kevin King is nursing a shoulder from last game still, so don’t know what his availability will be either.

(Two years ago against Oregon State, you started Nick Montana and brought in Keith. Do you feel comfortable doing that again. Or if Keith can’t start, he just can’t go?) I don’t know. I’ll probably be better served answering that if we made that decision. We gotta cross the first bridge first here of what’s going to happen … and then we’ll have a game plan going into the game of who’s playing and what we’re looking for within the game.

(How has team bounced back?) We’re close. We’re close. It’s not easy. It’s not easy for any of us. All of us still have a bad taste in our mouths and that’s not a bad thing. We’ve been a little bit feisty here in practice the last couple days, which again I don’t necessarily think is a bad thing. Guys are hungry and really trying to practice hard to get ready to play a hard game Saturday night.

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