Steve Sarkisian - Day Four

SEATTLE - It was a big media day for UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian, who met with reporters for the first time since Deontae Cooper's injury announcement. There were other players held out too, and also some disciplining that needed to be done.

Sarkisian on Deontae Cooper : "It's hard as a team, because you get attached to people as a program, as a family, and you see a guy, with Deontae, the work ethic that he has, his ability to persevere, not only through one ACL, he comes all the way back, and then another, he had himself in great shape, ready to go, and really extremely difficult. It kind of left me dismayed for a bit, how could it happen again? This time on his good knee with nobody around, nothing. To Deontae's credit, he's just an absolute stud about it, he was obviously shook up like anybody would be. You just see that guys will inside, and why he's so unique and special and why people love him, he's back out here again today with a smile on his face saying coach I'll be back. We have to do everything in our power to help him through this process because it's not an easy one. The big guy upstairs has a plan for him and we just have to figure out what it is right now.

"Two nights ago, our meeting was jubilant, guys were having a lot of fun, that's what makes us so cool as a family, two nights ago it's fun loving, guys are dancing, and then the very next night I come in with that news. Obviously a somber room but addressed it, that we all needed to be there for him, that was the jist of it, quite honestly but that's what makes us unique as a family, the very next night were talking about a guy's career and an injury and what he means to all of us in the program.

"He did everything we asked him to do, I don't think he did anymore than what the rehab called for and his other knee looked great, he looked awesome, cleared, ready to go, and I don't know if it's fluke, I don't know what it is that it could go to his other knee in a drill where there wasn't even a person around him. He got it cutting working a ball exchange. He made a cut and he didn't fall down, nothing happened, he initially said, "I think I tweaked my calf." I've never seen this before, I've never seen 3, I've seen 2, never 3. Out of all the guys on the team, we got great, tough, kids, I don't know if there is anybody who will handle it better than Deontae. He's going to do everything in his power to try to come back."

Sarkisian on player injuries troughout camp so far: "We're getting some fluke kind of stuff. James (Johnson) sprained his foot here I don't know at the end of practice, or this morning. Sometimes injuries can occur that way, other times, they come from the obvious stuff, you see a big hit or something but that's not how our injuries have happened. Hau'oli sprains his knee with nobody around him again yesterday. Nate Fellner hurts his foot today with nobody around him. Some stuff is obvious, when you see the big collisions or a guy getting pulled down in an awkward way.

"The good thing is that I think we have the roster with the depth finally to withstand some of these injuries, do I like them, no, but were at a point now where we've got some guys that have opportunities to step in and play today and did some good stuff. Princeton hurt his hamstring and guys stepped in, Jamaal Kearse, Lawyer, steps in. Shaq got some more opportunities today, that's the beauty of having depth. James Johnson goes out, you see more Jaydon Mickens today, you see more Kendyl Taylor. That's the positive part about it."

Sarkisian on Hau'oli's sprained knee: "Same knee, were actually going to go in and scope it to make sure. We thought there might be some meniscus, maybe some scar tissue. We're gonna go in and scope him to be sure. At this stage, as were bringing him back, there's no point to not do that. Two weeks at this point, I'd rather him miss two weeks now than down the road and affect him for the season. He's come so far at this point, we're going to take every precaution with those types of guys and scenarios. We're gonna go in and check it out just to make sure."

Sarkisian on Fellner's foot: "His foot, we'll know for sure here, I'm gonna go check it out. Anytime a guy's feet are involved and he notices it initially, that's generally not great. James didn't notice it right away, he noticed it this morning, that one, a little bit more of a sprain. But when a guy feels it right away, a little bit more concerning for me."

Sarkisian on Taz Stevenson: "He actually some migraines that were bothering him. Again, anything with the head, were going to take unbelievable precautions. It potentially could have been some dehydration, he's had migraines in the past, and so that's what it felt like more. There weren't concussion like symptoms."?

Sarkisian on the defense today: "It was great, what was cool about today's practice was that the offense started well and the offense had some great moments early in practice and Justin (Wilcox) and I talked mid-practice and he goes "were just not competing again" and sure enough the defense came back and second half, that's where you win. It was pretty cool to watch, the offense missed some opportunities, in that too, miscommunication on the pick that Sean gets with Kendyl down the middle and some bang bang plays that the defense was able to win on so that's the value of competing. And watching our guys again and not accept "well were not doing great today", they rallied the troops and got that going again and they had a great second half of practice."

Sarkisian on Shaq: "He's in the nickel quite extensively, were just trying to find again, how do we get the best 11 guys on the field right now? And then as we continue to grow, how we can evolve from that. We're trying to get them around the ball as best we can, especially in the nickel situations, he'll get more shots of safety as we continue to grow, he really has a unique burst to the ball, that's for sure, he gets to the football in a short amount of time."

Sarkisian on Jake Eldrenkamp at left tackle: "He's been going, that's what he's been doing, Jake is a terrific athlete, great feet. Obviously coming from Bellevue, his run blocking technique is tremendous, were continuing to work him getting out of the stance and he's got great challenges in front of him, Josh Shirley, Hau'oli Jamora, or those guys coming off the edge. He's getting introduced to college pretty quickly here especially in the third down drills, stuff like that. For a true freshman playing left tackle, I'm very pleased. I wouldn't say there's no chance he'd start this season, but I don't see that in the immediate plans right now."

Sarkisian on Tre Watson: "He's a scrappy guy, a high football IQ, he has a knack for understanding where the ball's going to go. Even when a guy's catching the ball, he has a unique understanding where the ball is going to go to the tuck. He just gets great breaks on the ball, he really has a nice feel for the game."

Sarkisian on Sean Parker getting kicked out of team drill today: "Well the thing is, I don't doubt our talent level, or our competitive nature and our schemes, I want to make sure that were at a point now where we should pride ourselves on playing smart football and not making the dumb penalties. It's the same as yesterday and what bothered me about Sean's deal today, that was a huge point of emphasis after practice yesterday and last night's meeting and for it to come out today, his emotions got the better of him and that's not okay, that's a selfish move.

"The hard part is and I addressed it with the team after practice and Sean right there, Sean's arguably one of my top 5 favorite guys on our team and so, it's not about who you are, at the end of the day we're all held to the same standard. He'll be fine but again, it's a learning lesson, we have to learn from one another, we have to learn from that today."

Sarkisian on being in full pads tomorrow: "The cool thing about us in full pads, we might have one or two sessions where there'll be some live stuff, but were not going to be going to the ground, we'll be staying up, we'll progressively work ourselves into it. This day and age, the whole notion of full pads is a little over blown, all it is a thigh pad and the knee pad, it'll be good for us, we need to do some tackling, we need to tackle, even our individual settings with the defense but then we need to get tackled too, our backs need to get tackled, we need to continue to gain information on those guys."

Sarkisian on Talia Crichton getting kicked out of practice as well: "It had nothing to do with Keith, it was something else, it was after the whistle, it's not okay."



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