VIDEO: UW DL Coach Jeff Choate - 9/8/15

Washington Defensive Line Coach Jeff Choate spoke to the media Tuesday before Washington's home opener versus Sacramento State. Choate talked about the interior defensive line rotations, getting more turns for players like Damion Turpin, Jaylen Johnson and Will Dissly, and his take on how the special teams did in Washington's 16-13 loss Friday at Boise State. .

On his take away from Boise State “Yeah I think we kind of found our rotation a little bit as we got through. I think Vita (Vea) did a nice job of playing a bunch in our base package in the second half. We ended up rolling with Greg (Gaines) and Elijah (Qualls) in our nickel package. I think that rotation worked well for us. Tani (Tupou) had a very solid game. I think Joe (Mathis) needs to play more in our nickel package. He played about 40 snaps. He played a bunch on special teams and had a really crucial block for us on that punt return so he had a lot of value in that game. He was very productive. He ended up with a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and two TFLs in 40 snaps. I think we just have to find away to get him in the rotation more in the nickel package. I was pleased with the way the guys responded, especially against a veteran group like what Boise has upfront, a good o-line. We didn’t back down an inch. Once we got in the flow of the game we started to take control of the line of scrimmage.”

On if there were any adjustments made to find success or if they just settled in “I think that’s definitely a part of it. I think there were a couple of little things that we did in terms of our alignments that I think helped us. They played with really tight splits, which was not something we necessarily anticipated. We were having a little problem leveraging the edge on some of the run plays so we adjusted some alignment things. We did a little more movement in the second half. I think that helped us get on some edges. A lot of was probably just those guys settling in.”

Do you have to manufacture it more this year because Hauoli made the pass rush look so easy last year? “I think that depends. Some it depends on the protection style that we see. That was one of the things we did a year ago. We tried to get Hau’oli (Kikaha) in a position where he was going to be one-on-one with a tackle or a back and as the year progressed it would open up opportunities for guys like Andrew (Hudson) or even Danny (Shelton). So it is a little bit predicated on the protection style that they’re playing and the one-on-one matchups that we may have, but I think when you know a guy like Hau’oli’s ability you can game plan to that. Travis (Feeney) hasn’t played that position, so we’re finding out what he does well and how we can kind of line up things for him as the game plan is developed.”

Dialing up more blitzes already than last year? “No question. I think for us, it’s probably more about the movement than it is the pressure. We don’t want to undress our back end by bringing six guys all the time. So it’s really about trying to figure out how are they protecting and what are the movement that allow us to create the matchups we want.”

On if he was satisfied by the number of snaps each of his guys got “I think we definitely settled into a rotation the second half. I don’t know that I got every guy the same amount of reps that I probably wanted to. I think Damion Turpin probably should have played a few more reps. Jaylen (Johnson) and Will (Dissly) probably should have played a few more reps. I think for the first game in two and a half years I thought it was about the right number for Vita (Vea), and then those other guys played a significant amount.”

On how pleased he was by the special teams performance “I was pleased. I was really pleased for our kids; just that they took advantage of the opportunities they had in the game. We talk about pitches to hit a lot in the kicking game. With a punt you can’t control where that ball is going to go. When they give you a pitch to hit you better be ready to hit, and that’s exactly what happened in that situation. Players make plays. That’s what has to happen for us to take the next step as a program. As a football team this year people have to step up and make plays. We had 11 guys do it on that punt return unit, and we had Jaydon make a play on that same unit. I expect us to be good on special teams. That doesn’t surprise me. I expect us to be good.”


Dawgman.com Top Stories