Player/Coach Quotes - Day Four

SEATTLE - spoke to Eric Kiesau, Joel Thomas, Danny Shelton, Lawrence Lagafuaina and Michael Hartvigson Thursday after Day Four of Washington's Fall Camp was done. Here's what they had to say.

Thanks to Andrew Dore for help with the transcriptions tonight.

Eric Kiesau:
On the biggest improvement on the offense from end of spring - "I think the big thing …the plays are a lot of the same, the installation is a lot…I think it's the enthusiasm and the excitement these guys are bringing. These guys are fired up, they are fired up for the season to start. I think you need that. When you start kicking it into double days and there are some long practices, it's good to have that energy and that excitement being back out here."

Is the defense making your life tough? - "Today…our third down period wasn't great, but for the most part we've been doing fine offensively. We've been moving the ball and guys have been making plays. But no, it's been good so far."

On Keith Price's play - "Keith's obviously a veteran player, he's been around. He's doing a great job, he really is. The one thing about Keith is, from Day One he's going 100 miles an hour, he's making great throws. There's no easing into this for him. He's doing a great job.

On Price needing to get rid of the ball quicker - "A little bit. And some of that is, he's trying to recognize some new schemes. He saw that in spring too, but there's some new things the D is throwing at us. But there's gotta be a sense of, 'Hey, the protection's not there and my receivers are covered, I need to get rid of the ball and get out of it and let's not make a bad play worse. Let's not get a sack and live to play another down'. So that's part of the growing process. We've got to remind ourselves that last year was Keith's first year starting. So he's still growing as a player. He had a good year, but he's still growing as a player."

On if that early enthusiasm starts to slow down a little once he gets in the grind of fall camp - "Yeah, definitely. For Keith, Keith loves practicing and he loves being out here, so it's special to see him do that."

On the OL and how they are fitting into the offense right now - "They are doing good. That's the one thing too is that some of the young players are freshman, and me and coach C (Dan Cozzetto) are just throwing them in there and getting 'em reps - seeing what they can and can't do. They are doing good. Obviously they are making mistakes - and again, it's hard to get a good evaluation of where the young guys are right now because we haven't had a live setting. We aren't even full pads yet. We have to wait and see when we put the pads on and who is doing what when it's live and we're really going."

On the biggest change he's seen between how things are done at UW as opposed to Cal and Colorado - "I know everybody says this but it's so true - it's the energy and the passion…it's every day. I wouldn't say there aren't down days, but there's never a day where we won't bring it. The coaches know, the players know, the trainers know. There's always high energy, and it's not fake. It's not false enthusiasm. The players feed off of it, and that's the cool thing. I hope if fans come to practice and if they are parking their car and they can't see the field they can feel our excitement from over the wall…they can hear us. That's what Washington football has, and that's what coach Sark has built - and it's pretty cool, special deal."

On the frosh receivers - Kendyl Taylor and Jaydon Mickens - "Man, they've done a great job. Those kids may have made the most impact at the receiver position, and what I mean by impact - meaning they can get in the huddle, they can hear the play, they can get lined up correctly. They may make some mistakes, but they are making some plays. Back when I was coaching DeSean Jackson and some other guys, these guys are stepping in and doing a great job. I think it's just because they have no fear. They are going in there to compete and they want to take some jobs. They are jumping in there and they are making mistakes but they are getting better. Both those kids - you hit the nail on the head - are doing a great job in the first four days."

On comparisons with Desean Jackson - "Maybe not athletically yet, but just their preparation and how they practice and the way they step in…they'll compete against a senior DB. Jaydon doesn't care if you're a senior DB or a player with the Seahawks - he just wants to compete and play. He loves it, and that's what I love about him."

On Deontae Cooper's injury - "I don't know the kid all that well, but knowing his past my heart is absolutely crushed for him because he's such a great human being. It couldn't have happened to a worse person, meaning he's such a great kid. Seriously, I pray for him. We think about him, and I gave him a big hug. My heart goes out to him, really it does."

How Cooper's injury shakes up the RB situation - "You don't know if it really puts a wrench into it because we haven't lost any production. He wasn't on the field in any game. Was the potential there? Maybe. But I do like our backs here - I really do. I think 'Ship and Jesse are doing a great job, they really are. Some of the young backs are stepping up and it gives some opportunities to compete. So I don't think it really shakes things up that much."
Joel Thomas:
Joel Thomas on Deontae Cooper: "During the time that we recruited him, as you get to know kids, you do research and you find out who's on his side, going down to Citrus Hill, there wasn't one person who said anything bad about Deontae, and matter of fact, people would go out of their way to talk and brag about him. His character was never in question from the day he enrolled. He's one of the highest character guys ive coached in my time coaching of college ball. Injuries are part of the game, it's a brotherhood that we have within the group, we talk about taking care of him and making sure we're there for him. His parents have raised a very outstanding young man, he sees the light on the darkest days, he's a super positive kid, you can't help but smile when you're around him, we'll see what happens from here. He'd bust his tail, every week, we'd check out the training reports, everything's positive on the feedback, that's what's so disheartening, we know how hard he's worked to get to this point. Hopefully it'll pay off in the long run if he decides to keep on playing." Thomas on what he said to Cooper: "I'll keep that between me and him, that's the great thing about our relationship, we have a really strong friendship."

Thomas on the blocking drills today: "We're getting better at it. That drill is a want to drill, you either want to block or you don't, it's not for the weak or the timid, you're in a one on one matchup and I think the personality of a group is starting to develop into this all around tough group, even though they're not the biggest guys, they're going to fight."?

Thomas on Psalm Wooching: "He's learning, he wants to be physical, he's a physical kid, we can't run and hit everyone as hard as we can every single play."
Danny Shelton:
Danny Shelton on preparation for this year: "It's basically a lot of studying my plays and communicating with coach, watching film with him, watching film with the other players."

Shelton on progression from last year to this year: "I'm getting more sleep because I know what's coming, freshman year I'd stay up all night too excited getting ready to practice. It's a big difference now. I think now I'm more experienced, I'm ready, I've been watching film, I know what to expect, I'll be ready to go out and show what I can do."

Shelton on being ready for full pads: "People are taking them to the ground, we're not supposed to be doing that, trying to keep everybody healthy, but you can help it when you're going full speed sometimes. We're playing music in meetings, trying to get everyone pumped up. Everybody's ready to get out there and hit."

Shelton on technique he's learned: "Technique is the number one thing out here, hands, eyes, feet, hips. That's the most important stuff right there, in the NFL, that's what they are focusing on, using your hands a lot and I didn't really use that in high school. I was just shoulder pads and bumping kids. It was a pretty big change for me, I wasn't really bullying everybody like I did in high school."
Lawrence Lagafuaina:
Lawrence Lagafuaina on preparing for this year: "Coach Ivan's pushed me really hard in the summer program, and I just got better in every phase, physical, mental, I lacked that last year. Ivan's helped me a lot improving me in that phase. I feel great, lighter on my feet, running around. I'm getting used to it, being more mature in plays, knowing what to do, getting me better. I feel way better than last year, I'm understanding the plays, getting them down and knowing the plays helped me out, now I know what to do."

Lagafuaina on playing with Shelton: "That'll be great, playing next to Danny, dominatimg, being with him, and being the two leaders on the line, that'll be great."

Lagafuaina on increased swagger as a defense: "This year we know each other, we started more of a family thing, we worked more in the summer because Coach Lupoi got us together. Lupoi is very good at what he does."

Lagafuaina on Shane Brostek: "Shane, he's pretty good, he's strong, I remember competing against him in high school, he was good for a freshman, now he's here, he's really strong also as a freshman now."
Michael Hartvigson:
On the play so far - "It's been good. I would say the offense and the defense have both been competing hard. Both sides are going hard, things have gotten a little chippy - but it's just guys competing. It's going good."

On his play - "It's good. Me, Perk, Austin and Evan - I think we're all doing pretty good."

On the jump he made in the off-season - "Just me, Austin, Perk, Evan - it was just everyone competing. Whether it was just coach Ivan or coach Torrey pushing us, it's just that 'want-to' factor. We all competing all the time, so it's going good."

On having goals for the season - "Whether it's me or Austin, I'm just want to help the team out. I'd love to go out there and compete and do well."

Having three big tight ends available in the offense - "Whether it's me, Austin or Evan - you can put Austin at tight end or out wide, or me out wide - it just gives the offense a lot of options. It gives the offense some versatility."
Joel Thomas:

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