VIDEO: Washington Defensive Line Coach Jeff Choate - Oregon Ducks

Washington Defensive Line Coach Jeff Choate talked Tuesday to the media about defensive tackle Greg Gaines, how far he’s come, as well as the Huskies' defensive line rotation and how that should pay dividends against a team like Oregon as they prepare to face the Ducks Saturday in Seattle.

On the USC win “It was a great team win. I think we have so many kids with the drama surrounding the whole previous staff thing and we have so many kids from southern California and I’m sure a lot of them grew up going to those games and being excited about that atmosphere. More than anything it’s just a next step for us in terms of our guys having confidence, believing in the message we’ve been sending since we got here 18 months ago, and helping these guys to see that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. If we stay the course, be disciplined, and prepare ourselves the correct way there’s a positive result.”

 

On Greg Gaines “Greg (Gaines) has really made a lot of progress. Really surprisingly he’s a really good pass rusher for a short guy with not very long levers. He’s got a lot of short-area quickness, very powerful, a hard guy to block in a short area, so he’s been a guy we’ve tried to get a few more reps based on the game situation. I think you’ll continue to see him in the mix in there with Elijah based on how the game is flowing and those types of things.”

 

On if the fact that Oregon’s tempo has slowed a little helps the d-line “Well, I think it only helps us if we win first down, because you will see the tempo if they get explosive plays or they’re moving the ball effectively down the field they’re going to go fast. Our objective has to be to get them behind the sticks, win first down, and then we will see a little less tempo if we can do that. These guys are going to do what they do. They’re a tremendous running outfit. For all the hype around a guy like Marcus Mariota, the thing that makes that thing go is the running game and they have two of the best backs that we’ll see all year.”

 

On Royce Freeman “He’s just one of those big backs that can run. He’s a load. He’s an NFL-style back; that’s what I would say. He’s bigger than a Doug Martin with the same lateral quickness and just as good top-end speed. He’s a tremendous player and you throw Taj (Griffin) in there, that kid is incredibly fast and has a great change of pace, that kind of thunder and lightning combination that they have with those two backs is very unique and they complement each other so well. When those two guys are on the field together they’re willing to block for each other. I think there’s a lot of things that you have to be concerned about.”

 

On how much the depth of the d-line helps against Oregon “I think it’s going to have to. I think that we’re just not at that place yet where we can ask a kid to play 75-80 snaps at a really high level. We asked Danny (Shelton) to do that and Hau’oli (Kikaha) and some of those guys but those guys were seniors; they were mature kids. We need to do that to continue to develop depth for us and keep our guys as fresh as we can and to be able to be our best up front.”

 

On the importance of the matchup against Oregon “I think it’s a big game because we won our last one. Winning the last one makes this game even more important for us and for our program. I think our fan base is excited to have Oregon come into town and play a night game here at (Alaska Airlines Field at) Husky Stadium. We’re excited to play in front of our fans and it should be an unbelievable environment. We just have to focus. I told my guys you have to learn six inches in front of your face, snap-to-snap and that’s it.”

 

On what a late kickoff is like for coaches “Hurry up and wait. It’s the most miserable day in the world.”


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