VIDEO: Washington Defensive Backs Coach Jimmy Lake - Bye Week

Washington Defensive Backs Coach Jimmy Lake spoke to the media Wednesday about how his secondary has done so far through four games, as well as the amount of missed tackles they have to clean up as the Huskies have a bye week this coming weekend in anticipation of their game a week from Thursday at USC.

Is it a concern so many freshmen are having to contribute - “It’s a bit of a concern. Where I do think we have an advantage is they were just able to work on football the last month and a half, two months. It’s not all at once, football and school. It works out perfect now because we have a bye week. So now they are starting class on a bye week, we’re still practicing, but there’s not a game here in the next couple of days. The schedule is working out perfectly. We played four games with no school; it’s been like NFL pro-style around here the last month and a half. Now we have the bye week starting school, get these guys’ feet wet a little bit to get in their books and get in their studies. Then obviously the rest of the quarter will be a grind with school and football.”

What’s the football report card for the secondary after four games? - “I don’t want to put a grade on it. I think there’s two games where we need to tackle better. The first game, this last game I feel like if we tackle better as a unit there’s a lot less yards given up. I am very encouraged with us getting the ball back, getting interceptions, getting fumble recoveries. Very encouraged with that. I think we’ve grown a lot in the coverages that we’ve been playing. We’ve put a lot more on their plate and we’re able to disguise a lot more defenses and throw a lot more at offenses. So I’m very happy with that. I still think we’ve got to continue to build our depth at safeties and at the corner position. But I think we’re on the right track.”

Where’s the balance between practicing tackling but not taking guys to ground and keeping them fresh? - “That’s always a balance and we have different drills set up where we’re using bags and we’re using launch pads and those types of things. We just have to collectively as a defense…we tackle better when we’re all hunting in packs. If one guy misses the other guy is right there to make the tackle. If we can continue to do that, understand where we can miss a tackle to our leverage and where we can’t miss our tackle, then we’ll play better defense. And we’ve been playing pretty good defense, but we can always tighten it up.”

You have to give credit to some of Cal’s running backs. They were running hard - “He’s a big back, but guess what? We’re going to see a lot of big backs here coming up. We definitely have to shore up our tackling for sure.”

On Sidney Jones' maturation - “It’s been awesome. He didn’t struggle in the first half; he had two slants for six yards, which is a bang-bang play. And in crunch time he made those plays on those slants in the second half. Sidney’s been playing great. His technique is unmatched by anybody in the secondary right now. Just really love how he comes to work. He still comes and watches extra film like he did when he was a true freshman. He puts all the work in in the classroom. Out on the football field he’s always staying after practice, getting extra footwork stuff in. He’s a competitive guy. He’s still striving to get better. I really love the way he’s playing right now.”

Do you feel comfortable with him just one one side? - “It’s week to week, depending matchup-wise. That’s game-plan wise where we put him on a wideout we put him on the boundary, on the left. We like to keep offenses a little off-balance not knowing where our guys are going to be from every given play. He could be anywhere.”

What went into the decision to give Brandon Beaver the start over Jojo McIntosh? - “Jojo played good, and when Budda went out two weeks ago and Beavs obviously did a really good job, got that interception…Beav had a really good week of practice leading up to Cal. He started the game off with a bang and had some really good tackles coming in. Kind of went with the hot hand and kept him in there. There’s still mistakes that he made and he was part of the missed tackle crew, but we’ve still got a ways to go to make sure our depth is top-notch.”

Some contact with Lawler on Jones with that 52-yard pass up the sideline? - “Yeah…I’m going to keep my paycheck intact. I’m not going to say anything.”

Anything in that situation he could have done differently? - “I don’t know. You guys saw the play. The 60,000 in attendance had their opinion about it. You guys saw the play. Just gotta move on and play the next play.”

Already into USC game plan, or does that come later? - “No, we already have everything basically done. We’ve already watched everything, every game planned. The practice today was our first practice to go against them. We’ll have another one tomorrow. We’re already way ahead of schedule.”

What did you see in the ASU game from them? - “Very talented receiving corps. Obviously you’ve got a senior quarterback who can lead the way for those guys. They have good running backs. They really have skill everywhere. Their offensive line is big. They really have a great scheme. Coach Sark runs more of a college-style offense, and they brought in Clay Helton, who is a pro-style guy - so they’ve got a mixture of pro style, college style, really tough to defend. They’ve got a lot of athletes out there that they throw the ball to. It’s a tough offense to defend.”


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