VIDEO: UW OC Jonathan Smith on Day 16

Washington Offensive Coordinator Jonathan Smith spoke on Day 16 of Huskies Fall Camp Sunday, where he was asked about the starting quarterback battle, the offensive line after Dexter Charles' retirement, and the possibility of true freshmen Myles Gaskin and Trey Adams playing at Boise State.

On now being a mock game week - “We’re getting closer, putting those guys in those situations - how we warm up before a game, how we prepare for it. Some of those things. It’s a little bit different when you’re doing it with all 105 guys. There’s a lot of bodies out there and whatnot, but it went decent for the first time going through it. We’ll do it two more times before we play.”

How does it impact the quarterback situation? - “Still been rotating them through. Nothing’s been decided there. Really equal reps. Even today at practice was equal reps. We’re getting closer. At the same time it’s not black and white at this point and we’re letting those guys continue to compete.”

What’s your criteria for finding a starter? - “When you boil it down it comes down to decision-making and being accurate with the ball - and then who gives us the best chance to score. Those three pieces. So obviously if you’re accurate, making good decisions you’ve got a good chance to score - but even in the live opportunties when nothing’s there these guys have extended some plays and have done some good things to help us to score. But those three things.”

Where are you ahead of last year? - “I think we are ahead with our comfort level. We’ve narrowed down our concepts and I think we’re more detailed because we’ve been here a year. That’s good. I think we’re still pretty young. Really we’ve got four seniors on offense, and there’s some days where we feel like we’ve made real progress, and then there’s some days with being so young we’re not quite there yet.”

What does the tight end group bring to the table? - “You can kind of separate them in two in regards to the athleticism of Perkins and Darrell, and then we’ve got some more true wide bodies like Drew Sample and David Ajamu. We’d like to be able to play all those guys. At the same time you want to play the best five perimeter players that you’ve got a lot of the time. But each of those guys will play a role.”

(Connor) Griffin an enticing athlete for not having played college ball - “He is. He really is. He made a sweet catch today that would have been awesome for you guys to see. He’s been intriguing, and he’s done a good job. He’s really dove into the playbook and learned it for being brand new. He’s exciting.”

Easier to find out the RB’s strengths because they are all back from last year? - “Yeah. Each of them probably have a run or two that they like more than others, but they’ve got to be able to carry inside zone, and then some power and some outside zone and do it all if they are going to be an every down back.”

What do you ask of them during fall when there’s so few ‘live’ reps to be had? - “To know their protection, for sure. They’ve still got to be able to read the run and have some vision. Obviously they’re not getting tackled. And then scrimmages do make a huge difference on those guys when we go live, so those live reps are real important.”

What are you thinking right now with Myles Gaskin in terms of redshirting or not redshirting? - “He’s had a good last week. He’s really started to stand out. He’s gotten more turns because we’ve pushing the pedal on some of these guys to find out if they want to play or not, and he’s had a good week.”

What’s different in your understanding of the offense and the quarterbacks from the beginning of fall? - “It really began as we began to study last season and what gives us the best chance to win this year. We’ve made some tweaks. I think the ability to do a little bit more detailed stuff in regards to pre-snap and moving guys if we want to, changing the group if we want to, changing the pace if we want to - those type of things have shown up in year two compared to year one.”

Takeaways from the scrimmage in front of the fans? - “I thought our offensive unit, it was a whole lot better in terms of our execution from scrimmage one. Still there were some things…we had a ton of penalties that was not good. Outside of that we did a good job of not turning over the ball. We only turned the ball over one time in the whole thing. That was a positive. We made some big plays in the run game; we had some good runs. So it’s coming along. It’s kind of to be expected from scrimmage one to two. You’d like to think we’re making some improvement.”

How do you feel the OL has responded since the news of Dexter Charles’s retirement? - “They’ve done well. They need to keep battling. We’re trying to settle on the top five guys and let those guys play. We’ve got some youth there. I do think we’ve got some physicality and talent but they’ve got to keep meshing. You can be physical all you want, but if you’re blocking the wrong guy we’ve got a problem. We’re dealing with a little bit of that.”

On Trey Adams competing as a true freshman - “Not scared to play true freshmen, you don’t see it very often - especially at o-line. Same as Myles, Trey was one of those guys last week we said we’ve got to get this guy a ton of turns and see where he ends up at. We’re just finishing up that point, but he’s done well. He’s got a bright future. He’s going to be a good player. Just if he’s good enough in two weeks or not, I don’t know.”

On Kaleb McGary making the transition to offense and making a move at right tackle - “He’s made some strides, he really has. He got a taste of it in the spring moving over, and he’s made some strides. He’s another guys who’s got some talent and needs some turns to get better, but we’re excited about his future.”


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