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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 11, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Chris Petersen: Huskies are ‘focused and working hard’ for Illinois

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Highlights from Chris Petersen from his final media availability before Saturday’s game against Illinois (1 p.m., FOX).

(on getting back to work this week) “I think they’re working hard. Whether we made progress or not, we’ll find out in a couple days. They’re working hard, trying hard. The one thing I know is these guys care, so we’re focused and working hard.”

(How has the defense responded this week?) “Focused and working hard.”

(on Marcus Peters) “We’ll talk about that later.”

(on Cyler Miles and the passing game) “We need to be able to throw a little bit more than we did. But I thought he did some good things. He competed hard, made some plays and you’ve got to see a lot of things to get into a rhythm at that position, and I thought he made progress.”

(Is that mostly timing stuff with the receivers?) “It’s everything. It’s hanging in the pocket when he should — and that’s always a fine line with a guy who can run a little bit. Should I hang in there and hit a checkdown or should I get out and get some yards with my legs? I think with a guy that’s athletic, that can be a lot harder (than) a guy who knows that’s not his deal. So it’s a real fine line there, and that’s going to be a part of his maturation as a passer in the pocket, to know when to hang in and when to get out.”

(on playing younger guys on the D-line to give Danny Shelton and Hau’oli Kikaha rest?) “I think Danny and Hau’oli are playing at a good level. I don’t think they’re necessarily worn out, but I do think it’s important for us to get a lot of guys in the game and develop some depth.”

(You’ve mentioned that you like Hau’oli more when he’s rushing the pass. Will there be an adjustment with his role in that regard?) “We’ll see. The position he plays, sometimes he rushes, sometimes he doesn’t. What he does well is rush the passer. Not that he can’t drop, but I think he’s more of a factor and an impact guy when he’s rushing the passer.”

(Do you sense the offense settling down more to where we won’t see as many extremes from one game to the next?) “I never know how these darn games are going to go, but I would suspect that out of this game — somewhere in between the first and second game. I think Illinois is very stout on defense. I think the corners play good, tight coverage, and they’re strong up front. So this is kind of a different unit that we haven’t seen yet in Game 3.”

(Coach Smith said Cyler came out of last week’s game a little more sore than you’d like him to be.) “I think that’s what he’s going to be. You run the ball, you carry the ball, you run around — you’re going to get bumps and bruises. That’s part of the game. Sometimes maybe he gets out of bounds a little quicker, slides, those types of thingss. But when you carry the ball, you’re going to get hit.”

(Does Illinois still line up in some of those crazy offensive formations?) “Their offense is different than it was last year, but, yeah, they’re very formation-oriented. They’re game-planners; they do a lot of different things, game to game, and they have a lot of offense there.”

(on Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt) “I think he’s a good player. He was a good player out of high school and he’s a good player now. I think when it’s all said and done, I think he’ll be one of the top quarterbacks in college football. I think he’s a sophomore and he’s got a lot of football ahead of him. The way he can throw it, his arm strength and all those things, he looks really good.”

(Has there been a resolution at all on Derrick Brown’s suspension?) “Still holding tight on that.”

(on tight end Joshua Perkins) “We’re still week to week on him. … He’s close. So he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”

(other injury updates?) “We just don’t talk about those types of things. That’s an advantage to the opponent. I’m not trying to hold anything. If I didn’t think it would help our opponent, I’d talk about everything. That’s just something we don’t talk about.”

(on closing practices entirely) “That’s my decision. … To not put you guys in such a hard position. So you guys come out and see how’s hurt and not playing, and that’s hard for you guys not to do that. So it just makes it easier on everybody.”

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