Steve Sarkisian - Day Eight

SEATTLE - Tuesday was Day Eight of Washington's Fall Camp and the first full scrimmage day for the Huskies. Steve Sarkisian talked about the day, who was held out, who looked good - and other observations from the play on the day.

Ed. Note - Thanks to Andrew Dore for the transcription.

Steve Sarkisian on Cody Bruns: "Cody's been hearing a consistent message hear for 4 years, Cody, the Drew Schaefer's of the world, the Justin Glenn's, the Tony Gobern's, the Adam Long's, those guys who were in that first team meeting when I arrived and have been hearing that same message. They can be a bit of a calming influence on the young guys and can anticipate what might be coming, what to expect and maybe minimize some the anxiety the young guys might have as we move through training camp and into the season and through the offseason, things of that nature. It's always great when you can have real veteran leaders on the team that can echo the message and they understand the message because they've heard it so many times."

On red shirting Bruns last season: "Well it was about him, it wasn't about us, anytime you have that type of loss, personally, that's hard and I wanted us to ensure for Cody that his senior season was one that minimized the distractions and one that he could enjoy and have a great experience and I felt like that was just the right thing to do for Cody and he agreed. On top of that, we benefited from that as a football program that we get a senior leader and a receiving core that's relatively young, to have his leadership to go along with James Johnson is big for us and so I just thought it was a win-win for both of us."

On seniors leading yet not necessarily being star players: "I don't think it's about that. We're in this thing together, we're a football team, we all have the common goal of winning a championship and these guys each and every one of them want to do what's best for the team. Everybody's got a role, some roles are different than others, but everybody's got a role, and how we execute our job within our role is what's important."

On when the offensive line will be set: "I hope I feel good when we play San Diego State, that's the most important thing, I hope when we take the field on Saturday night at 7:30, I feel great about the 11 on offense, the 11 on defense, the 11 on the punt team, the kickoff team, all of that. As always, training camp is a work in progress, you're looking for incremental progress from day one, until the time it's time to kickoff in the opener. It comes in a lot of different forms, that progress, sometimes it's from an individual, sometimes it's from a unit, sometimes it's from one facet of the game, sometimes it's in the run game or the pass defense. You're constantly looking for those things to make yourself feel better about it. I feel good about our team in general, there are some areas where I want us to get better at. We got some information today on areas we need to work on. This is the first time we let them go out on the field and have to play without a coach in their ear telling them what to do without being able to look at a script to see what might be coming, they had to go play and get a call and line up and communicate and execute. I think there were some guys that we thought were maybe further along that struggled at that a bit today so we need to keep pushing them in those types of settings so they can feel more comfortable doing it."

On tempo of the scrimmage: "I thought it was pretty good, our tempo needs to increase immensely offensively, we're in the huddle way too long. Again I thought guys were maybe a bit excited, a little anxious today and made a few mistakes that they normally hadn't made so far in training camp, getting lined up, running the right routes, making the right calls. I thought on the back end, the same kind of thing, some young guys making some calls, or not communicating, so a lack of communication there. Those are fixable things, I didn't see something glaring, "Jeez we're playing the wrong guy at the wrong spot" and things of that nature. It's about being confident, it's about doing what you've been prepared to do throughout camp and so, we got to go look at this thing and point out those errors, those mistakes that are definitely correctable and get them corrected quickly so that we can keep moving forward."

On what needs to improve: "I would say all 22, we need to improve, everybody needs to improve, Keith needs to improve, I've seen him better than he was today, everybody needs to improve to some degree at the position they are playing at. I don't think it's about one guy or one position group, collectively we need to improve from where we were today. Do I think it was bad? No, I don't think it was bad, I thought there was plenty of good things out there, but I know we can be better."

On Tre Watson not playing today: "He was a little banged up, we held a couple guys out and limited some guys today, this was a bit more about the younger guys and how they'd respond to that setting, just gathering information, some guys that we had a good information on were either held out or limited so they'll get back going again."

On Tre Watson fitting into the rotation at cornerback: "Well that one's not settled yet. We know what Tru is on the one side and there's a great competition between the other 3 guys, Ducre, Tre, and Marcus Peters, and that's healthy because the reality that we're going to got through the entire season with just 2 guys isn't going to happen, so we're going to need all those guys. But he fits in great, he's got such a knack for the football, he's such a spatially aware guy, very high football IQ, and he can not only play corner, he can play some nickel, he can do some safety work, he's a very versatile guy as well so all those things bode well for him."

On Colin Tanigawa going down in practice: "He just a got a cramp. Believe me, it was a big sigh of relief for me."

On Brandon Beaver: "Beaver, i thought Brandon has had a nice camp, he another young guy, got in the setting, and maybe guessed a little today and got beat on the deep ball by Marvin, so, again, a lot of positions where guys got to get used to the setting of being out there on the field by themselves and still doing things right."

On fall camp picking up where it left off from Spring: "I think our defense, I really feel good about it, especially with a lot of the changes we're making from a personnel standpoint, I think their incremental progress has been good. Again I thought we had a couple things that set back today. Offensively, I think we've improved quite a bit since Spring and so sometimes, you don't see the defenses' improvement when the offense makes some big plays down the field and does what they do but I think our offense is much improved from Spring but I do think the defense continues to get better."

On boost in confidence Mickens and Taylor get from touchdowns today: "It's been great, they've both had great camps, I feel like I talk about them every day. Again they are going to have a handful of plays they want back from today as well. But that's all part of putting them in this situation and making a play. They are explosive guys, I think they are different from what we've had in our program the first 3 years, their acceleration out of their cuts, their route running, their high football IQs. They give us an explosive dimension to our offense that we haven't had, they can create big plays, they're very sudden out of their breaks and when they get opportunities to make plays, they make them, they are not shy about the football at all, they go make their plays."

On the hot temperatures at practice: "I think it's good fur us, it's training camp, it's supposed to be hard, it's supposed to be a little bit tough, it's supposed to wear on you a little bit, I think that's where you develop some mental toughness as a football team, not to the extent of injuring anybody by any means but I think sometimes I think this heat is good. We're going to go to some places this year where its going to be a lot warmer than it is in Seattle. That's the way it is. Our experiences we're getting now we can take with us when we go on those road trips and keep them in our back pocket and be able to tag to when we get ready for those games."

On Travis Feeney: "I thought Travis was around the ball again. This is two days in a row now where I don't know how much he was right, I'll have to look at the film to see exactly where he was right and where he was wrong, but what I do now is that he's around the ball and he gets to the ball. Even when it looks like we're going to have some big plays offensively, 41 shows up and knocks them out of bounds or makes the tackle. I know that about him, he's around the ball, he's a good tackler, he can cover a lot of ground for a big guy, I just got to see how much he was right today and how much better he was from yesterday and moving forward."

On Justin Glenn: "Justin is diligent in his preparation, he really prepares himself mentaly and physically, he knows our playbook and our schemes inside and out, he's in great shape, and so when he gets in, there's a comfort level as a coach when a guy knows what to do. It's hard to play a guy when he doesn't know what he's doing or he doesn't make the right calls or there's lack of communication. Justin's in, he's confident in what he's going to do, he makes his calls, he lines up right, and that's very comforting from a defensive and a head coach's standpoint that you have a guy out there who is in charge, everybody's on the same page and he's in the right spot."

Update on Dwayne Washington?: "Not yet, I'd fill you in as soon as I could."
To view the Steve Sarkisian post-scrimmage interview, click on the link below.

Steve Sarkisian - Day Eight


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