Quotes/Video - Day Eight

SEATTLE - It was a busy day out at Washington Tuesday as the Huskies took part in a 12-drive scrimmage that went for over two hours. There was plenty to talk about, and we spoke with Justin Wilcox, Keith Heyward, Johnny Nansen, Keith Price, Cody Bruns and Dick Baird about how things went.

Ed. Note - Thanks again to Andrew Dore for help with the transcriptions.

Justin Wilcox:
On concern of linebacker depth: "Are we concerned about it? Yeah, anytime you lose some guys, no matter for how long to injury, it's a concern, but that's the game of football and the next guy's got to step up and carry the flag, and that's why every guy taking every mental rep is so important. We're getting some guys some opportunities to get a lot more reps and we're going to continue to work with those guys and develop them."

On difficulty of moving from safety to linebacker: "It depends on which position you're playing. There is some carry over at especially at one of our linebacker positions to safety. At two others, the Mike and Will, there's probably less carryover. There will be more looks that are a little different than you've seen at safety."

On where the defense is at right now: "We got a long way to go, there was way too many mistakes today, we showed some good things, we showed some bad things, we got to get much more detailed on the alignment, and it could be 6 inches or a foot and that's all it takes. The details of our alignment assignment have got to improve, focusing when we're tired or maybe have a little bit of adversity being able to bounce back and win the next play, just that mentality. They've shown progress but we need to practice, we're continue to grind it and work on that."

On key guys being out: "You really don't think about that, you just move forward, unfortunately we had some guys get dinged up, but that's part of football and the enxt guy in there has to push himself and that's why practices are so important and obviously you don't want to lose anybody no matter how deep or how not deep you are, you don't want to lose anybody and that's just part of the game."

On timetable for setting depth chart: "What's more important is reps. The first team, sometimes people look who runs out with the ones, and there's guys who are going to be running with the ones two weeks from now and there's guys who might not be. So I'm not as concerned about who's running out when we call one base and one nickel, I'm concerned with the guys who we need to get reps and continue to develop and those are valuable, valuable reps so that's what I'm more concerned from the ones and twos right now."

On what's he's seen from pads practices: "It's a delicate thing because you want to tackle live everyday but it's not feasible, so it's continuing to develop great habits, it's running to the football, it's technique wise, improving technique in tackling, working on it in a controlled environment whether it's with bags or one on one situations where you maybe aren't going to the ground. But that's something we'll continue to stretch, we'll do it everyday, we'll do it during the season, it just becomes part of who you are. We definitely have work to do on that."

On his timetable of where he wants to be: "The guys are working their butts off, obviously you want the screws tightened up always tighter and tighter, I think we have a better foundation of the concepts of what we're doing, and now it's refining the techniques and now we're developing some of the younger players."

On who has caught his eye so far: "I think there are some guys having really good camps, the usual suspects, Sean Parker's doing a really nice job, Josh Shirley continues to show improvement, John Timu, Desmond, a couple of the other guys in the defensive backfield, I think Will Shamburger's had a good camp so far, the linebacker position has been very competitive on continuing to work with a fair amount of those guys. I don't like singling guys out, I like our work ethic, and we got to continue to keep working and developing these guys."

On Travis Feeney moving to linebacker: "He's made some plays today, I thought he did a good job, there's some different looks, it's not like moving what we did with Nate, it's a little bit different move, Travis played there in high school, so he's got some of that natural feel playing in there, we did that for a reason, and I think Travis has had a great attitude about it, and it really showed today, he made a bunch of plays. And even though he might not exactly know where he's supposed to be right now with only 2 practices, but he ran around and made some plays, you could see his speed on the field and when he maybe makes a mistake he can turn and run so were excited about it, he's excited about it, we just got to continue to develop it."

Keith Heyward:
On key to an easy transition for the coaching staff: "With our defense, we call it freshman friendly and we install concepts that are easy for the freshman to understand and for you being a coach, you better be able to understand those concepts like that too because being in this industry and business, those concepts should be easy for you to understand also. I think our system can be as complex as we want it to be, but it's also very simple once you start learning how we package things together."

On competition for second corner: "It's an ever evolving competition, I'd say that all the guys are competing for the spots but Desmond does doa great job out there. Greg has been looking good, Marcus has been looking good, he's been sitting out with a little back issue, all of our guys are competing so we'll find out, and Tre Watson, I mean he's been the most productive guy, getting his hand on balls, intercepting balls, stripping balls, all those guys are doing a great job. Desmond is just gifted."

On difficulty of a freshman like Brandon Beaver coming in and playing: "First of all, you have to adjust from coming from high school, playing at this level, the tempo, the size and strength of other guys, and just learning the defense, I think Beaver has done a good job competing and he's found himself with some plays, intercepting some balls, stripping some balls, and then Cleveland has a pick in the first 3 days. But it's tough adjusting to all of those elements, from high school to college, the strength and the speed, and then trying to learn the defense."

On aggressiveness of defensive backs from increasing from last year: "It's coming, when we first started, guys are telling guys to get up and press in certain situations and as you see out there we're doing it so we have to be smart with the situations and make sure we don't give quarterbacks and receivers a throw and catch scenario."

Johnny Nansen:
On special teams so far: "I like where they're a right now, at this point, they're way ahead of schedule, we're still working with our punter, he's got a big time leg, we just got to make sure he's consistent on his drops and things like that."

On Durkee at punter and Coons at kicker: "That's exactly where we're at right now. The good thing about it is that Coons can do both, so right now that's where we're at."

On Jaydon Mickens getting work returning: "Yeah, we got some good returners, we got about 3 guys that we can choose from, Kasen's done it before, we need some speed, and I think that's where Jaydon's going to come in and I think with Hall, he can help us out too."

On kickoff returns: "Well we got Jesse, I think Jaydon can help out, we'll take a look when Shaq comes back and so we have some options and it's a good problem to have."

On new kickoff changes: "It's all new to us and obviously we got to make sure our kids understand the rules and it's taking a lot of what we used to do in the past, twisting guys, but now coming up with new ideas to try to get a head start off of our kickoff."

Keith Price:
On Cody Bruns so far in camp: "He's been great, he seems like he makes a play every day, especially last week, he's continued to grow, he's one of the oldest guys on the team, he just had his birthday yesterday so I'm proud of Cody and he's come a long way."

On the big plays on offense today: "Obviously we run a lot of explosive plays, some calls that we have are efficient plays and we had a lot of explosive plays today so that's always good."

On the younger quarterbacks handling pressure: "I think they are handling it well, obviously competition brings out the best in people, you've seen all 3 quarterbacks out there making throws so it was good to see that."

Cody Bruns:
On working with Keith this year: "Keith's stepped his level of game up, as soon as we came this summer it was great, one of our best summers we've had. I've grown with him on a friendship level and on the field, I'm looking for great things this year from him."

On how he feels going into this year: "I'm feeling good, I'm excited, last camp, I can't hold anything back, enjoy every part, I won't have any of these left so I'm just enjoying it. This camp's going by so fast because you're having so much fun. There's no place I'd rather be, I'm excited for this process."

On getting play this year: "It means the world, last year was tough but coming back now, I'm just excited, going out with guys I came in with, guys like Drew, Justin, we all came in together, just guys in the receiver room and this team, I feel very close to them and I'm excited for it."

On having fun and working hard: "I'm just having a blast, you come to work every day, practices fly bye, you sit there and grope and mope when it's hot, you're not going to have fun. I think coming here and just letting it all loose, not worrying about anything."

On who's going to catch the first pass this season: "(laughs) Man, that's tough, well I'm going to say, we're going to have an interception, first pass, defensively, were going to have an interception."

Dick Baird:
On the injury bug - "Injuries are part of the camp. There's injuries and soreness and guys get dinged and stuff like that. That's all part of the thing. It hurts this particular team because I don't think they are real strong with their depth. That's probably, in terms of what Steve's trying to do and build his roster, he's still…we're still about a year away. We still need to redshirt another 15 kids and then we'll have some quality depth. That's pretty apparent, particularly at the linebacker position, where they've had some players quit and they've had some players hurt and all of a sudden they are scrambling and Travis Feeney becomes a linebacker.

"But that's great. Technically their outside linebackers are like safeties walked down into the box, so it's not a big deal. I don't know how we'll hold up against a real pounding type team…Stanford and SC, those are two in particular. And obviously LSU, if you can't stop their run they'll put it right down your throat. Last year, San Diego State ran the ball really well. I think their ability to stop the run is still what they are working on hard at practice."

On what he saw at the scrimmage - "I've been looking at all the youngsters to see which of those I thought might help. I'm really impressed with the Beaver (Brandon Beaver). Beaver Cleaver. He can play, he's just light in the pencil. I kind of question what's happened to Marcus Peters. Sore back is what it is. I thought that he would really be contending to play this year.

"Moving 41 up there to outside linebacker, Travis Feeney made some nice plays. He runs to the ball real well. He's still a year or two away physically from being able to play there.

"I watched Peter Sirmon most of practice, due to he's got the major position of concern on the defensive side. He doesn't have the depth, he doesn't have the experience - but he's getting good play out of Johnny Timu, I think. And Scott Lawyer is improving. Other guys have stepped up. They had two guys leave the program and attrition is part of the game, but when you're not very deep at linebacker in the first place it's a real shock. It's all a part of roster building, and we're getting there. It's a process."

On the tempo and mechanics of the scrimmage - "I love Sark's tempo. He's got such an up-tempo, upbeat practice. Kids are having fun. They are in the doldrums of camp, but there's a lot of enthusiasm and they are having fun out there. I like the tempo of practice, they get a lot of work done out there, a lot of situational things again today.

"From the standpoint of insertion, I was talking with the defensive coaches and they can't put in too much because they've got a lot of youngsters that are blowing fuses…I'm looking at right now we're progressing perfectly right now."
Click on the links below to watch video interviews with the following coaches and players:
Justin Wilcox - Click Here
Keith Heyward - Click Here
Keith Price - Click Here

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