VIDEO: Washington linebacker Keishawn Bierria - California Golden Bears

Washington sophomore linebacker Keishawn Bierria talked to the media on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 as the Huskies prepare to take on the California Golden Bears this coming weekend in the first game of Pac-12 play for both teams.

On the defense’s performance this year and if they’re on their way back to where they were last year “I definitely feel like this defense is on the way back to where it was. We definitely don’t have the guys, like individual, but together our defense plays as one and plays as a unit. There’s nothing you can take away from us; I feel like we all hustle, we all just bring that great energy, and we know our assignments.”


On if losing all the players that the defense did last year makes the new starters feel a sense of togetherness “I feel like definitely nobody is new, because those guys, most of them are seniors. Even, besides me, we all have a lot of reps; if it wasn’t in a game it was in practice. We’re constantly learning. They basically taught us everything they knew, so we feel like we’re just bringing it right back.”


On the standards that he plays with and what he’s learned from guys like John Timu and Shaq Thompson “Definitely just do your part, and every play that comes to you, just try to make it. I was a little frustrated, but you just play another down. Let that one go; get ready to play again. Especially our young guys; let that play go and focus on the next one. That’s what I had to do. I just slapped my helmet just telling me ‘just make the plays that come to you.’”


On how big goal line stands, like the one the defense made against Utah State, are for defenses “Huge. You get down to the goal line, that’s where the offense has to make the big bucks and that’s where the defense has to step up. We always repeat ‘we bend; we don’t break.’ That goal line, that’s where you give everything you’ve got and you hold them out.”


On what he wants to improve on to take his game to the next level’ “Definitely everything, but most of is probably just finishing every play stronger, just bringing more hard hitting. I get to the ball and I tackle, but I might just probably start knocking guys out a little bit more. I try to focus more on just getting my guy down. Probably bringing that extra edge, but that’s why I’ve got Azeem (Victor) next to me. He’ll come through and knock somebody out for me.”


On if there’s an NFL linebacker he models his game after “Definitely. There are three of them. Hau’oli Kikaha, Shaq Thompson, and John Timu.”


On how often he talks to those guys “All the time. Probably not Hau’oli (Kikaha) because he’s almost on the other side of the world, but John (Timu) and Shaq (Thompson), I talk to them before the game, after the game. They’re always shooting me tips just kind of to remind me just play your best game and just do your job.”


On playing Jared Goff “Just cover your man. He likes to extend plays, deep balls. We just have to play good defense, play smart. We’ve got to take chances of course, just make sure you take an educated one.”


On California’s rushing attack “Their running game has definitely stepped up. They’ve got some good backs. They’ve got Khalfani (Muhammad). I know him. They’ve got number two, (Daniel) Lasco. We’ve got to just play our front seven. Our front seven has to get up in their front seven. We just have to play our defense and make sure we stop that run.”


On what he’s seen from Jake Browning “That guy right there, he’s definitely trying to build the trust of that offense. He came in and had that mindset and that attitude. I kind of like that from him. He would tell guys to hurry up, get it going. For right now, he’s really honing it down over on the offensive side, he’s leading them. For the years to build he’ll be a great quarterback for us.”


On the PAC-12 opener “We feel pretty good going into it. We have some guys that we just have to focus on. Playing Cal, that’s going to be a good game for us. They have one of the best quarterbacks we’re going to see this year and a good running game, so we just have to play good defense.”


On how much harder it will be to stop California’s offense with their running game to compliment Jared Goff’s throwing “It doesn’t make it any harder. We still have to do our job, and for the linebackers, run first. We’ll cover it down. We’ll bring it up to the front of the line, and our safeties have to cover us up top. Just do your job. We have some pretty good running backs we practice against in practice, so we just have to do our job.” Top Stories