Justin Wilcox on Tre Watson Separating himself from others on the field : "Very close competition there. All three of those guys will play. Tre was a little more consistent throughout fall camp and obviously the work he did in Spring he kind of started it and continued it this fall camp."
On Tre not being a long, lengthy guy: "Yeah, obviously you like them all to be tall and 6'1 and fast but they don't make a lot of those guys. Tre makes up for it with playing a little bigger than he is and his instincts and finishing. He never gives up on plays so, he's earned it. But, like I said, both Marcus and Greg are gonna play. Tre's gonna get the start but those other guys are gonna be on the field."
On how ready the defense is: "I think it's definitely time. They're tired of beating up on each other. So, it's time to go play somebody else. It's important for us to make sure we're getting the screws tightened this week and getting our alignments and stuff we've worked on fall and now gearing it toward another opponent."
On the mindset being different compared to Spring: "Well they've got a little better base of what we're doing. The language and more confidence that way. Now we gotta go out and execute and to me that's what matters."
On being curious how the defense turns out: "Yeah, we got here in January and started working. We went through spring football, then these kids did a great job of getting ready and Ivan Lewis with conditioning and getting their bodies right. I think it's time to see what they can do. I think they're excited for it and I know we are too. We just need a couple more days of good work to make sure we get as ready as we can possibly be."
On John Timu: "John has done a great job since we've been here. He's taken on a leadership role. He's a very, very bright guy. Football makes sense to him. He's got great instincts and we couldn't really ask for more out of him. He's a veteran in that group and was elected captain as a sophomore. So that should give you a good idea."
On having three defense captains instead of two: "I think it's what people think of them. They're teammates and peers and how they feel about them. I think it's a good thing."
Excited to see these guys hitting someone other than teammates? - Sure. Yeah. I think everybody is like that the first game of any year. You want to see how they are going to react when it's you guys out here watching them, as opposed to however many are going to be…what do they hold over there? 67? So hopefully we'll get that thing packed and see how they react to that. And what's important for us is again, doing things that we've done for nine months in terms of what they've been taught, the fundamentals of the game, things like that - that's what's important and not do something we haven't done before. And that's what…especially with a younger group sometimes people have a tendency to maybe forget what they've been doing and make something up, and that's what you want to stay away from."
Odds of Brandon Beaver playing this year? - "We'll see. It's hard for me to answer that right now."
How much better is the defense from the first day of spring? - "I think we've made a lot of improvement. I could talk about each position group but I don't want to single out any one guy. Each group has done a nice job…obviously the linebacking group has changed pretty significantly from spring - not only from people moving there but also new guys and also some injuries that we've had. That's the way football goes. Our job is to get the best 11 guys on the field, so we've moved a couple of guys and that's what we're going to do."
Do you notice the intensity bumped up during game week? - "Yeah, and one of the things we talk about early in fall camp is when we come out here to practice to make sure our energy is right so that you know what it feels like. All of a sudden when it's game week you don't have to spike and everything is out of whack. So we try to impress that upon them early on but it is different. You can't really simulate it, and you know that. It's hard to simulate that game atmosphere. We do the best we can to get them ready so when Saturday night gets here that they feel like they've done something close to that before."
What are you like on game day? - "What am I like? Do I have like a ritual or superstition? No. I try to be calm, but I'm not always. I need to be calmer. I work at that. It's like everybody; you have to manage the anxiety. Like any job, when stressful times hit you've got to manage it. Just like for practice, what we do in practice is the same thing - try and get our energy level up so when there's a problem at practice we can fix it just like what we want to do in a game. It's important for us as coaches to do that too."
On noticing how excited UW fans are in wondering how this new defense is going to do - "You're right. I know we as coaches - no offense - but we don't read it and we don't really watch it because we're watching video and we're worried about game planning. For us it's more about the day-in and day-out fixing what we need to fix, making sure the guys are prepared to play and then it's time to go cut 'em loose. So the rest of it? We really don't pay attention to it. I don't mean to downplay the media at all, but in our job that's how you have to do it."
Will you be down on the field? - "I'll be down. I'm going to be down. I've done it both ways and it really has to do with the dynamics of the staff and who is upstairs and that type of thing. I've done it both and I like being down because of the communication between the coaches and players is instantaneous as opposed to trying to get a guy on a headset and this and that. And up there it's like watching on TV and I don't really like it."
On if he's noticed the players still being a little wounded from last year - "The guys have worked really well. We haven't been perfect by any means and probably won't be - to save you some suspense. But I think their attitude has been great and we want them to go out there and play fast and confident every snap and react to some of adversity that's going to hit them."
On the mantra of moving on to the next play - "You can't (dwell on the last play). You can't. There's no time to do that because it affects you on the next play. As bad as you might want to, you can't afford to do that. It's a mentality you have to adopt."
On how he feels this year compared to last : "I'm feeling really good about it. There's still a lot of things I need to learn and a lot of things I need to get better at. My run blocking needs to improve. I feel like I need to improve on everything. It's good being out here and having one year already under my belt but there's still a lot of work that needs to be done."
On losing some big name guys : "Everyone has been working hard. Just because we lose some of those guys doesn't mean we won't have people that are similar to them. They were great and they did great things for us from Chris to Jermaine to DA. They were all great playmakers but this is this year and we have great playmakers this year."
On the energy level for game week: "Energy level is great. It's been great since fall camp."
On moving from RT to LT : "It's a big responsibility. Play wise it's not as different. It's just switching your feet up. For being at LT it's more of a responsibility because you are protecting the backside of the quarterback. But, I think I can handle it."
On how bad it feels to give up a sack to the back of the quarterback : "It's a bad feeling but the coaches say don't look back on the past, just keep going and play the next down."
Justin Wilcox - Watch Here
Peter Sirmon - Watch Here
Micah Hatchie - Watch Here
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