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April 19, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Video: UW’s Chris Petersen after the spring game

Questions and answers with UW coach Chris Petersen after the spring game:

(On quarterbacks progressing during spring) “I think they both did. I know everybody’s looking for the starting quarterback right now. We don’t have that. I think they both did a good job. They got a lot of reps, which was really, really nice. I think they probably feel like they improved as much as anybody. There’s a lot thrown at those guys. It’s not always just about arm talent. There’s so much mental part of the game. Sometimes you may see the ball go into the stands. That’s a good play. There’s a lot to that. So I think they made progress and I’m excited to see them compete.”

(Good things, bad things from spring?) “I thought the execution was not really consistent. Spring ball. Lot of bodies, a lot of guys getting reps. Some of those guys will not get those reps in the fall. That’s just how it goes. I did like their attitude. I think we have some talent. You can see some explosive players. We’ve got some tough guys as well. So I’m excited to work with these guys as we go forward.”

(On installing his own culture since being hired) “We’ve got a lot of work to do on all phases of our program. The culture’s not going to change in two months, three months. But I think they’re paying attention. It’s always a work in progress. I think they know what they need to do. That’s our job as coaches, to continue to remind them, and we’ll progress.”

(Why is unity so important?) “I think if you’re going to have a really, really good team, talent is not enough. And sometimes talent can even be overrated, but unity and chemistry and those type of things is never overrated. I think we’ve all been on teams where we really liked each other and came together and fought hard together and had great experience. I think we’ve all been on teams that had talent and didn’t do anything. So we believe strongly in it and we’ll always work on it.”

(Any differences in summer workouts from Boise to UW?) “No. We kind of have our way of how we’ve done things. I’m sure there’s some crossover how they’ve done it here in the past. There’s a lot of work to be done. They know that. We can’t coach them any longer until August, so they’re going to have to get a lot of things done on their own. We’ll see what type of leadership we have here. That’s a huge component. There’s a lot of time between now and August and a lot of work to do. I think the really good teams have a little bit of leadership and get some things done.”

(One or two primary focuses in offseason?) “There’s not one or two. It’s everything. We’ve got to throw, we’ve got to catch, we’ve got to get stronger, we’ve got to get in better shape. We’ve got to learn the playbook better. It’s everything.”

(On running backs having big shoes to fill) “I think you’re right. I can’t say enough really good things about Bishop Sankey. I think you guys all know that. When you put on those tapes and you watch him, that guy’s a special player. With that being said, I really like these guys. I think we’ve got some pretty good depth. You didn’t see it out there today, a couple guys dinged up, but I think in the fall we’ll be there. And I think they’re all kind of unique in their own way, but I’m excited to see these guys progress. I think Lavon, you guys haven’t seen much of him, I think he’s going to be a good player. Saw a little bit of Coop. Some of those other guys you’ve seen in the past, but we get those guys back and I think it’ll be a good group.”

(On Deontae Cooper and psychological impact of knee injuries) “I think days like today are really good for him to get out there and play football and be live and work through it and realize hey, his knee’s good. He can go. And he’ll get there. Another few months of training, back in August, he’ll get there. And really I think you’re right, I think as much as anything it’s psychologically just cutting it loose.”

(Were his cuts today a break through in any way?) “I think he’d know that better than us. I think we’ll put the tape on, I know he’ll analyze it. I think every rep where he’s doing some good things, splitting defenders and making hard cuts is a step in the right direction.”

(Is there one word to describe this spring?) “Can I use two? … Hard work. I think the kids worked hard, I think the coaches worked hard. It’s hard being new. It’s hard to get lined up in stretch lines. It’s hard to figure out what end of the practice field we practice on offensively and defensively. Everything’s just hard, which is good. That’s why we’re here, that’s why we came here, for that type of challenge. I think the kids responded well, and we’re excited to go forward.”

(With the circumstances at quarterback, will you go late into fall camp before you decide on a starter? That’s not ideal, but it is possible?) “Absolutely it’s possible. We could go to Game 9 if it hasn’t been decided. We’ll take this one day at a time. … I know it sounds cliché, but it really will be. It’s all nice to have a starting quarterback, but that guy graduated in December. So we’re (at) square one. Until one guy until guys really establishes himself, we don’t have a guy.”

(Is a two-quarterback system a possibility?) “There’s always a chance of that. I don’t think anyone really likes that, but we’re going to do whatever we need to do to give ourselves the best chance to win.”

(What can you say you accomplished most of all in these 15 practices?) “I think we kind of got the structure — our system’s been introduced in everything we do, in terms of how we lift weights and some of the things we belief in in our philosophy of how we’re going to practice, and all those types of things. I think that’s all been established. Now we’ve gotta get better at that. We’ve gotta tighten up the details on everything we do. That’s the difference (in) everything — the details. We’re not detailed enough, so that’s where we’ve gotta go moving forward.”

(Have the players been receptive to the change?) “I think for the most part, yeah, we have. Are we all in on everything? I think we’ve got some work to do, a way to go there. But we’ve been pleased with their attitude. There’s been nothing where we’re saying, ‘Oh, they don’t want to do this.’ I think they want to win, they want to come together as a team, and they get that. And when we do that, we’ll start making good progress.”

(How much excitement is there to be able to build something from scratch?) “Yeah, it’s good. There’s a lot of new energy. Like you said, a lot of things we just sort of took for granted back from where I came from, and here we can’t take anything for granted. We’ve gotta coach every single thing. In some ways, it’s refreshing. Sometimes we kind of shake our heads and say, ‘That’s on us. We haven’t coached that; how would they know it?’ So it’s good.”

(Relative to your experience at Boise State, how much different is the level of athletic talent?) “I think at some places (positions), it can be a little better; some places, not as good. I have a lot of respect for those kids and that place over there; that’s a good program and they’ve got players. And we’ve got players over here. So it’s all about building this program and going forward.”

(Is it nice to see those touchdown passes for Lindquist — is it important to have those results at the end of spring for a young guy?) “Absolutely. He’s a hard-worker. Troy’s a hard-worker. Sometimes they can do everything right and a guy doesn’t make a play for them or does something wrong, it looks like it’s them and it’s not. So it’s good. You can see flashes on offense. Offensive football is all about consistency — so is defensive football. But I think that’s probably the thing we need to do the most; you can see it at times. We have some explosive players when we put this all together, but I think the main thing is we just gotta get more detailed in our execution.”

(You’ve said you’re not going to rush to any decision on Cyler Miles or Damore’ea Stringfellow, but do you have a general timeline with that?) “I really don’t. Like I said, we’ll figure that out when we get through spring ball. When I get to talk to you guys again in August, I’ll be ready to have something for you.”

(While not being able to recruit on the road in the spring (as the head coach), what’s your biggest task now?) “That’s interesting because, yeah, I can’t go on the road and now’s the time when the head coach scrambles more than any other time during the season because you put so many things off. There’s some other parts of the program you’ve got to take care of and talk to people that are important and lunches and dinners and some fundraising things and players and getting closer to those guys. So I’ve learned through the years that sometimes this can be our most hectic time as a head coach. I wish I could go out on the road to get away from this stuff.”

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