VIDEO: UW OL Coach Chris Strausser on BSU

Washington Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser spoke Tuesday to the media before the Huskies travel to Boise State Friday for their season opener. Strausser, who coached at Boise State before Washington, talked about the atmosphere at Boise Stadium, what the Huskies should expect, and also a position-by-position breakdown of each offensive line position. 

On the process he went through to determine the depth chart on the o-line “I think it’s a combination of some different stuff. A little bit of experience, in terms of guys that have played some, are kind of first man up right now, and I think that’s kind of how it shook down in fall camp. They got a chance to get in there probably a little bit more with the ones. Obviously, a week and a half in, when Dexter (Charles) went down, that changed a lot of our thinking. We had anticipated that that may happen, but it still changes stuff when Coleman (Shelton) is working kind of right side and left side and all of a sudden he’s kicked over to left side because Jake (Elderenkamp) has got to move down. The one guy that for sure has been really solid the entire camp has been Sifa (Tufunga) at center. He’s been working with the ones the entire time, everybody else has really gone ones and twos a lot of fall camp.”


On Siosifa Tufunga being named captain and the importance of his leadership “I think it’s really important just for us to be leaders in general in that group. Now we’ve got a guy that’s a senior, that’s played some football, and has had a tremendous offseason in my opinion, a really solid fall camp. Just like you said, the guys have rallied around him, and I think his voice out there makes a difference for us right now.”


On how Sifa Tufunga has matured as a vocal leader “He’s been pretty vocal since I’ve been here, to be honest with you, out on the field. He’s not a talker off the field at all. He’s very, very quiet in our meetings; he just pays attention, takes good notes. He’s not a big talker just in the locker room, but he has fun out on the football field so you hear his voice kind of at all times.”


On what he saw from Coleman Shelton to earn the starting left tackle spot “There’s a couple of things with Coleman (Shelton). Number one, he’s a tremendous competitor. He’s going to give it all he’s got at all times. He’s not going to concern himself with who he’s lined up against; he’s going to try to take care of his job. From my standpoint, he’s a guy that I trust very much. He knows the details of the offense. He works really hard at making sure he’s prepared for a game. He played for us a fair amount last year as a freshman and competed very well.”


On Trey Adams “It’s just so rare for a guy that’s a freshman to have to get in there and try to figure out what game week really looks like, so he’s swimming a little bit right now, but he’s doing a tremendous job in terms of his focus and really working at it. I think we can all recognize that he’s a talent. He’s long. He’s very athletic. We’ll see how it shakes down. We really have whether he’s going to play this week or not.”


On if he feels the need to tone guys down who play with an edge like Trey Adams “Well, we’re excited about that, but you’ve got to have poise. I think (Trey Adams) wants to come in with that mentality of being a great competitor, kind of a nasty guy, but if you’re getting penalties in the game that’s not going to work. He’s got to find that fine line, which I think he has. Early on he was trying to finish plays beyond the whistle, really wanting to have that mentality to himself, and I think that we kind of figured out that’s not how we need to do it here. We want him to be a great competitor and a finisher and all that good stuff, but, like I said, if you’re getting 15-yard penalties that’s not going to work.”

On Jake Eldrenkamp's transition from left tackle to left guard “I mean, it’s a transition for sure, but it’s a lot harder in my opinion to go from a left-handed stance to a right-handed stance and retrain yourself with some of that thinking. He spent a lot of time this summer at the guard spot. Dexter (Charles) wasn’t there doing a lot this summer when they were working on their own, so it’s not like it’s totally new to him.”


On if he has been surprised by Shane Brostek's ability to lock down the starting right guard role as quickly as it seemed he did “Well we’ve had a few guys dinged there, to be honest with you, that were competing with him. I think Shane (Brostek) has done some nice things, but Jesse Sosebee was really pushing him pretty good and was getting some reps with the ones at some point in fall camp, and then he was out a little bit with an injury so he’s finally back, I think, ready to go.  So that will make a difference in terms of really pushing Shane (Brostek).”


On Matt James “He’s a smart guy, takes a lot of pride in the detail things. Great competitor. He was, I think, a state championship wrestler in high school, so he’s got that mentality to him. He’s still in a dog fight with Kaleb McGary, those guys are battling pretty good and have been splitting reps.”


On Kaleb McGary's ability to switch from defense to offense and compete for a starting job surprised him “He’s still progressing. He’s got a lot of talent, a lot of raw talent, so he’s still working through some of those little detail things that are so hard to figure out in six months as an offensive lineman.”


On what he has told his guys to expect in Boise “Well, it’s going to be as loud a place as they’ve ever played in. I think some of these guys that have played in stadiums 90,000 seat stadiums think that less than 40,000 is not going to be as loud. Everyone we always talked to said that’s the loudest place they’ve ever played, just by the design of the stadium. One thing we know for sure about Boise State, they’re going to bring it. They would rather die that lose this game, so we’ve got to match that mentality.” Top Stories