Steve Sarkisian Thursday Quotes/Video

SEATTLE - A day after instituting a policy prohibiting information about injuries to be revealed, UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian addressed the media to talk more about the policy, as well as Saturday's game against Portland State and what the Huskies must do to ignite an offense that has sputtered through their first two contests.

Steve Sarkisian:

Has he come into a game where a coach has been fired for the other team going into the game?: "Oddly enough, when I was at SC was the week that Tyrone got notified that he was let go so I have been part of it, maybe not in this circumstance with it being a coordinator, don't know what happened, surely after the game Nigel and I will talk and get a little more information about what happened, kind of odd."

How does he expect the defense to change due to the firing of defensive coordinator, Eric Jackson?: "This has been Nigel's defense anyway, this is what he has done since he was at Oregon State all the way to Nevada and then back, so no they won't change."

What are the characteristics of PSU's defense?: "Well they play an aggressive style in that they play quite a bit of man to man on the wide receivers and really try to keep the box intact with their 3 linebackers to defend the run and rely on their safeties to be that 8th defender in the run game. They've got a very good defensive front with the transfer, Jackson, #94 on the other side and then a local kid, Julious Moore on the inside. Those are three Pac 12 defensive linemen playing for them and that's where their defense starts, they rely on those guys to get pressure on the quarterback and fuse the running game."

On how his team has handled being blitzed so much the first two games: "We got blitzed extensively the first game for sure and that's San Diego State's brand and style of defense. I don't know if it was as much against LSU, I thought LSU did a good job of relying on their front four to create pressure, they did it in a variety of ways. We're going to get it from Portland State as well. I think we've done an adequate job, I think when people pressure you and blitz you, you have to create big plays off of the pressure and we haven't done maybe as good as job of that at making them pay in the secondary when they are in those one on one scenarios so it's been a big point of emphasis of ours of making those plays in our one on one settings."

Were big plays not made due to routes not being crisp?: "I think they were just a little bit off. The continuity is just a little bit off, we're just a hair off here and that doesn't mean we won't get there, it is just taken us a little longer than we've liked."

On the running backs performance in practice this week: "I thought this was their best week of work, especially the two young guys, I thought Erich Wilson and Dezden Petty had another good one today. Bishop will still be our lead feature back but I think we are more comfortable getting Dezden or Erich in the game and getting them in the flow of the game."

Is he going to try to set up a running game to start the game or rely on Keith to make plays early throwing the ball?: "Every game is different. It's always great when you have balance and can do both, it's fun when you can run it and throw it and mix it and match it. I know it's important for us for #17 to be hot and doing his thing, and I know it's important for us to run the ball to set up the play action passes. We'll continue to strive for balance and I know we haven't achieved that in the first two games but that doesn't mean we will change gears completely, I think we can achieve balance and we'll continue to strive for it."

On defending the Pistol offense: "Man you got to be disciplined, you have to be disciplined against the Pistol. Who has the dive? Who has the option? Who has the quarterback? And then the second thing that is really key is getting lined up. They do a lot of kind of, I don't want to say oddball formations, formations into the boundary that you have to get lined up and do your assignment really well and be disciplined with your eyes and do your job."

On Portland State throwing the ball more than in the past, how do things change?: "The same thing, being disciplined and when we are in man to man coverage, covering your man without looking at the quarterback or the dive and the next thing you know it's a play action and they throw it over your head so being disciplined and the other thing they do a nice job of it is the designed quarterback runs, they have a big quarterback and he's a physical runner and they have designed runs for him that challenge as well so it's a good offense, they do a nice job."

On the importance of getting a win going into the bye week: "It'd be great for our own psyche, because I don't think that we've wavered on that we have a very good chance to be a good football team. But anytime you lose the way we lost last week, im sure there is a smidgeon of doubt in there, there is a bit of hesitation. Secondly, for our fans, I would like our fans to be fired up about this football team because it is a good one, it would be great for us to finish off these first three games 2 and 1 heading into a bye and then getting ready for a great Pac 12 race."?

On how Keith looks going into this game: "Keith was awesome today, best Thursday this year and I always want to feel good Thursday when we are done and he was fantastic and it was the most accurate Thursday he's had and he was on point with what he was doing. He was playing fast so hopefully that plays out into Saturday, that he plays at a high level with good efficiency and a good energy about himself, because when he is that way, we're generally better too, we have a tendency to feed off him when he's in that frame of mind."

On the offense being off and whether it was because of Keith?: "I don't know if it is him so much maybe. Just a couple bang-bang plays. I think too last week and there are four plays that stand out to me, the second play of the game, the angle route to Bishop, we don't catch the ball, the third play the corner route to Jaydon, in the second quarter the deep ball to Kasen on their sidelines and he is out of bounds by an inch and then a third down play to Austin on their sidelines, he's just out of bounds again so we're just missing just a hair and so I think when we get clicking, it will only start to steamroll and get better and better and better and then we're on the right path because we were good today."

On his confidence with the second tight end spot: "I feel better. Those guys have worked hard at it. We're trying to spread the responsibilities out a little more whether it's Michael Hartvigson, Evan Hudson, or now Josh Perkins, we're trying to spread the responsibilities out a little more, not putting so much on their plate and they can focus on what they need to focus on, the things they do well, so that they can be successful when they get their opportunities."

On Josh Perkins getting a bigger role going into this week: "Yeah he is, he's done a nice job and I know that he kind of had a rough couple of days their in training camp and to his credit, he's come to work everyday with a professional attitude and he's earned his way onto special teams which is important for us at that position and is now earning playing time on offense so I'm happy for him."

After two games, does his special teams philosophy change?: "I don't know that, I think after The Opening kickoff of the season, we've covered our kickoffs pretty well and I think Travis' leg is getting stronger and feels good about what he is doing. So personnel wise, that's okay. We obviously changed our punt team from more of a traditional punt to a spread punt but that's nothing to do with rules, it's having to do with our guys, getting better cover guys on the field. I'd like to think as we get maybe a little bit more comfortable, we'll get more out of our return game. And we were and excellent kickoff return team a year ago, one of the best in our conference, I'd like to think we could be that again. I'd like to hopefully get a couple opportunities at the punt returns because I think we have a couple dynamic guys that can do something with the ball when they get it."

Further comments on the new injury policy: "I don't mind commenting, I think hopefully you guys can understand where we are coming from on this. We don't have a rule that governs us by the NCAA or the PAC 12 that mandates us to report injuries and the majority of our conference does not. And as you start to get into conference play, it's a pretty big competitive disadvantage if I'm telling the opponent "this is who is playing, this is who isn't, this is who is going to be limited" and I don't get any information back. And until they change that rule, which they may, or may not, we have to put ourselves in the best competitive advantage to be successful on Saturday."

Was the new policy a snap decision or something thought up and decided over a long period of time?: "I've been thinking about it and we've obviously endured what we've endured this training camp and early in the season with the amount of injuries that we've had and we're gradually going to start to get some of these guys back and as guys start to come back, I'd like to have a little bit of something in my back pocket as we go into some ball games."
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