VIDEO: Chris Petersen on Day 18 of Fall Camp

Washington Head Coach Chris Petersen spoke to the media Tuesday on Day 18 of Huskies Fall Camp, held at Husky Stadium. Petersen addressed his beef with Baylor Head Coach Art Briles, as well as the quarterback situation, figuring out the offensive line, figuring out the pecking order at running back, the defensive line, and preparing for Boise State.

On feeling up this year “I’ve been happy with how hard our guys have been working. Now it’s starting to get closer and now you can kind of feel the intensity changing a little bit. We’re still really concentrating on ourselves. It really needs to be that, that we’re concentrating on ourselves. We can concentrate all we want on another opponent but, until we have ourself right, we’re just going to be spinning our wheels. So we are making progress but, boy, we still have a lot of work to do.”

On naming a starting quarterback “We’re not there yet. We’re getting closer. I don’t know if it’s going to be one of those things, ‘hey, this is the guy. Hey, away we go. It’s all settled forever.’ We’re obviously going to have starting quarterback game one. But we’re not there. We’re getting closer, these kids have gotten a lot of reps. I think we are kind of formulating our plan, and we’ve still got a couple of days to kind of figure that out.”

On when he feels he needs to let the quarterbacks know who is starting week one “We’ll make it early enough for all of those guys, but they’re all preparing to be there starter, and it could be play two where one guys started and something happens. That mentality can never change. It’s such a long season. I really mean that for all of our guys. Everybody wants to focus on this position, but we’re going to have true freshman playing, we did last year. They might not be starting right away. But I remember, way back when, we were playing Georgia and we were debating whether we were going to play this DB or not. We said ‘well, we’ll just kind of see how the game goes, we get through it,’ and on the opening kickoff, the starter went down. That made that decision pretty easy. It’s just such a long season. So many guys have to be ready to go.”

On if the first game being on a Friday influences when he will announce the starting quarterback “Well, because it’s on a Friday, that means everything is moved one back. We’ll get it figured out in the next couple of days.”

On when they will start to focus on Boise State “Next couple days, it’s about exactly what they do. But, they do a lot, so you can’t defend everything. I think our systems are similar. So will there be some things we haven’t seen? Absolutely. Well there be some things they haven’t seen? Absolutely. But in general, the systems offensively and defensively are pretty similar.”

On the progression of the offensive line and Jake Eldernkamp’s transition to left guard “Jake (Elderenkamp) hass done a nice job. He can play multiple positions. But we’ve got about seven or eight guys that may all play, and we’re working hard to get that figured out.”

On if he wants one clear-cut starting quarterback  “I think everybody wants to have one guy that’s the guy. Are we there? We’re not there. We might be in a few days, and we might be in a couple of months. And again, it’s not something I want because I know it’s going to be such a hot topic with you guys like ‘what about the quarterback? What about the quarterback?’ But it is what it is. We’ve got to take it day-by-day and week-by-week.”

On Jake Browning and how he has improved “I mean, I think they’re all getting better. And, certainly with Jake, he’s getting better. I think just more command with the system, really knowing it. Again, we’re throwing a lot at these guys, and so we’re getting to that point where we’re going to pair it all back now, because there’s a lot of things that guys are thinking, so it’s been a little bit hard on our new guys, which it always is. But because we are going to play new guys, we’ve got to tighten it all up.”

On how much he factors in the experience of the offensive line in his decision to potentially start a young quarterback “All of that is factored in. All of it is. But we’er just starting to say at that position, what gives the best chance at this time. At the right guard, what gives us the best position at this time All of that is factored in. But, it’s going to be like that this year. And I can see that, not just at the quarterback position. It’s going to be some young guys that we are going to keep pushing. And I don’t think about this ‘hey, we’ve got how many days until we play our first game.’ I think about ‘where are we going to be a month from now,’ because, whether it’s a true freshman or a redshirt freshman, or a sophomore, we have so many of those guys that we are going to keep pressing and keep improving. That’s how I kind of see this.”

On how Lindquist’s experience plays a part in the competition “I think all of that stuff matters when we are trying to figure this out. But these kids have gotten a lot of reps. They really have. I have the count upstairs, but by the next couple of days I mean it’s going to be a lot, and I’m talking about team reps. So we’ve been able to see a lot of things. It’s in the mid to close to 2000 reps. That’s with everybody, the whole team. So we’ve seen a lot, but all of that matters.”

On if the experience of his secondary allows him to get more exotic with his schemes “I mean, I don’t know if we need to do more exotic things, we just need to play tighter, better coverage. And I think we are doing some of those things. And I think that’s interesting that you say ‘more experienced,’ you know, most of these guys have played a year. A lot of times you’re thinking ‘two, three years, these are experienced guys.’ But that’s what they are. But I think we are making progress there. I think they’ve gotten better since last year. We’ve still got a couple of kids back there that are going to be playing, that haven’t played at all. A couple of those safeties that haven’t played. It’s an interesting time because it’s an exciting time. It’s also a worrisome time because they haven’t been into the real thing yet.”

On if there are any true freshman he knows will play this year “We are getting close to that. In a couple of days we kind of going to sit down with all of our players and kind of tell them where we think they are, and then we make our plan from there and go forward and tell them ‘hey this thing adjusts day-by-day, week-by-week, but this is where we’re at right now,’ and see what they think about it and make sure we’re all on the same page. If we’re thinking about playing a guy making sure he wants to play a guy, and that doesn’t mean he’s going to be a starter right now. It could mean he’s a starter, but for a lot of them it does’t mean they’re a starter. But it’s like ‘hey, we’ll see how the season goes, and hopefully you can be.’”

On position battles not at the quarterback position “I think the 0-line, we’re still fighting some things out there. I think at running back, we’re still figuring some things out there. We’ll play a lot of receivers. We’ll play the tight ends. I think we’re going to rotate guys on the d-line. I don’t really think of it as just starters because they line up there the first couple plays. It’s gonna be awesome that we’re going to get a lot of guys to play and then you kind of earn reps from there.”

On if he plans to use a running back by committee approach “We’ll see. I think we’ve got a little bit of depth there, and so I think they’re going to push each other. But it’s also a little bit hard to evaluate those guys. We’ve had like two scrimmages, a couple of live things and so we’re getting all of those backs reps and so it’s not like he’s carried the ball the whole time. That’s where you evaluate backs, when it’s live. A lot of stuff we do, I could look okay back there getting the ball. Who can break a tackle who can make a guy miss when it’s not all clean. That’s really what we are looking for.”

On Budda Baker “Budda (Baker) can play on every single thing we have. He can play on offense, he can play on defense, he can play on all of our special teams, without question. But he’s also one of those guys, again, who as a true freshman took more reps than anybody, so we’ve got to make sure that we are really smart and we don’t say ‘Budda can do this, Budda can do this.’ We’ve got to get some other guys who can do that as well to just make sure he can last the season.”

On his tight end group “We like tight ends. But I also know this is a tough position to play, not only mentally, physically. So things change so rapidly at that position. All it takes is one guy is down for a little bit, and all of a sudden we’re not really deep, you know, when you have four guys or five guys like that. It can change rapidly. Right now, we’re doing pretty good.”

On how he heard about Connor Griffin “I’m not sure how we got information that he was looking to play football. So then I talked to Mark Few, and he was just all about him. I know he played at a really good high school there in Oregon, Lake Oswego. So everybody was saying all of these things. We were kind of curious because it is such a tough position mentally. Then we asked him to do everything, block, catch. The one thing you can see is his athleticism, and it’s been really impressive. I think the other thing that has been really impressive is really how well he has picked this up. He had no spring ball. So he has a ways to go. But it really is a demanding position. He hangs in there and battles, so he’ll be an interesting guy to watch.”

On his conversations with Baylor’s staff about Sam Ukwuachu “I really appreciate that question because I think it’s an important one, but I don’t have anything more to add than what my statement was. I really don’t. This is about our football team and that’s really where I’m at on that whole thing.”

On how he gets ready for the stress of the season “I try to get some exercise, and it’s getting closer. We’re towards the end of camp. Once we get into the season we’re really pretty routine guys. These last couple of days we are doing different things and we’ve got Raise the Woof and we’ve got our little talent show we have to finish up. So those are really important things. So it’s kind of getting to be a little bit of a hectic time and now we are trying to make sure our young guys no what the heck they’re doing, so the blood pressure is starting to go up a little bit. We get through the next few days and we’ll get into our routine.

On preparing for Ryan Finley “I think he’s a good player. I think he’s really good. He can move. Big tall, 6’4”, smooth delivery. When they put him in last year he produced. We thought really highly of him when we recruited him over there. He’s a good player. Really a smart person. When you put tape on from last year when he played, that’s what we saw in high school, but better.”

On his plan on when he will publicly announce the starting quarterback or if there is a possibility he won’t announce it until game time “It could be possible. I think there’s a chance it could be that. We’re just trying to figure out how to keep these guys pointed in the right direction and keep them thinking about the game rather than all of the other stuff that goes with it.”

On if it is a depth chart yet instead of a seating chart “Well, I’ll tell you this. When we go into the first game we are at a depth chart stage. But as soon as that game is over it really goes back to the seating chart. I just want it always to be like that for our kids. You look at our roster and what do we have, thirteen seniors? So it’s just a lot of young guys and so there’’s going to be guys that are going to get opportunities, and I don’t want anybody to think ‘because I didn’t get much time the first three weeks it’s like that’s how the season is going to be.’If they take that mentality, that’s how it is going to be for them. But if they can keep working and staying positive, they’re going to play.”

On who has emerged on the offensive and defensive lines “I think Tani (Tupou) has done a nice job in there, I think Elijah (Qualls), Greg Gaines has done a good job Jojo Mathis plays hard in there. Will Dissly, all of those guys. Damion Turpin has gotten better. I think on the o-line (Jake) Elderenkamp, Sifa (Tufunga), those guys have taken a lot of reps. They’ve been doing a great job in there. I think Jesse Sosebee has done a nice job. He’s getting better. I think Kaleb McGary is getting better. Matt James is in there battling. All of those guys.”

On his quarterback philosophy and if he would be quick to pull a quarterback who is struggling “Guys are going to make mistakes, and you don’t want them looking over their shoulder. But, it could be that situation. There could be two guys or three guys that play. It could that. That’s what I’m trying to say. I’m trying to be honest on this thing and I know it sounds vague. I think it is day-to-day and week-to-week. That’s where we are.”

On if he plans to redshirt Tony Rodriguez “I think that would be the ideal plan. He really has done some nice things. He gets the ball out quick and I do think he feels the game. Again, I keep going back to this long season, I just remember how we were thinking going in, and then a month later some different kids had to be playing for us. I think it would be ideal if we could redshirt him. I think you get through the first month of the season and say ‘okay, do we need to adjust our plans here?’”

On the matchup against Boise State “I think as we get closer I’m just so much more focused on our guys being able to do what we need them to do. Do we have the detail that we need to be able to compete against this really good team?” Top Stories