VIDEO: Washington Defensive Line Coach Jeff Choate - Stanford Cardinal

Washington Defensive Line Coach Jeff Choate spoke with the media Tuesday about Stanford week and playing ‘old school’ football with the way they run their offense as the Huskies prepare to travel south and face the No. 10 Cardinal Saturday night in Palo Alto, Calif.

On facing Stanford and their physical style “All those guys have played a ton of snaps, even the guys they bring in. Their extra packages are guys who have played a ton of downs. I think it’s just the natural progression of those guys being a year older and a year more mature. It’s kind of a factory down there for those guys. It’s not like it’s anything new. It’s about the mind set that we bring to this game and embracing that opportunity to go play. I love Stanford week because this is like ‘I don’t remember how to fit power. I don’t remember that. All that fancy stuff out on the perimeter is a whole different deal.’ I love the style that they play. We really respect their staff and the job that they’ve done there.”


On if he ever imagines Stanford moving away from the pro-style system “I’ll tell you what. You talk about the NFL being a copycat league, so is college football. You look at what Jim (Harbaugh) at Michigan bringing that style of play back there, you look at what Stanford is doing right now, and you even look at Utah, even though they’re out of the spread, they’re not winning games throwing the ball. They’re playing great defense, great special teams, and they’re running the heck out of the ball. You think about the teams that have won championships and have played for championships. Alabama, what’s there style? The spread stuff is very en vogue, but what wins championships is great defense, field position, and running the ball at every level. Even though spread teams, you look at Auburn a few years ago; they were running the heck out of the football. Oregon was running the heck out of the football. It’s just a different style. Everyone thinks of the spread offense as a passing offense. You better be able to run the ball if you want to win championships. We understand that and we know that’s going to be our challenge this week with Stanford.”


On Stanford’s style “I love it. I love the style they play. I respect the fact these guys are saying this is who we are; we’re going to recruit to this style. I think it promotes toughness. I really like playing against a team like Stanford.”


On when Stanford puts lineman in the backfield to run heavy and they don’t care that people know what’s coming“Yeah. That’s another thing I like respect about them.”


On that heavy-set offense can be stopped “Yes. You can stop it. We can stop it. I don’t know if they’ve played a defensive front as good as ours. I think we haven’t played an offensive line as good as theirs, but I don’t know if they’ve played anybody better than us from tackle to tackle. We’re excited for the challenge and I think these guys will step up to the plate. They understand. A guy like Elijah (Qualls) who’s saying ‘I’m playing pretty well right now,’ well they’re saying (Joshua Garnett) might be the best offensive guard in the country. Let’s find out how good you are. I think he’s fired up about that and I’m fired up to see him go get it.”


On the temperament of the defensive line knowing they get to battle with Stanford “It’s certainly one of the things we discussed this morning, the style is so much different than we’ve seen the last couple weeks with the lateral zone stuff. You can keep a guy in transition and create knockoff pretty easy when they’re going sideways. These guys are going to put a little more weight on their hand and they’re going to come off the ball. We’re not going to be playing as much bang. We’re not going to be as balanced in our stance. We have to match that. I think our hand placement and our footwork are going to be critical and we have to create knockoff. A stalemate is not what we’re looking for. We’ve got to create knockoff and play on their side of the line of scrimmage.”


On the challenge of this week “Statistically they’re one of the best offenses in the PAC-12 and certainly playing as well as anybody. I think you look at what Utah and Stanford are doing right now and you’re like ‘those guys are probably the cream of the crop in this league.’ I like playing good teams and I respect what these guys do. I respect them as coaches. It’s a fun challenge from a coaching standpoint and it’s easy to get your kids motivated to play a good team. Let’s go do it.”


On pressuring Kevin Hogan “I think he’s a little less aggressive in his willingness to run, but he’s a big guy. I remember even Hau’oli (Kikaha) and Danny (Shelton) even slipping off of him a couple of times when they had sack opportunities last year and I was like ‘we can’t get him down.’ He’s a thick lower trunk guy, 225-230 pounds. It’s a different style of running but we still have to do a good job of leveraging him.”


On Christian McCaffrey “Great player. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind. And I’m not even talking about just as running back. He’s a tremendous running back obviously, but he’s an unbelievable kickoff returner, an unbelievable punt returner, he would probably be a great defensive back if that’s where they wanted to put him, and they can put him at wide receiver. I think he’s one of the best pure football players I’ve seen on film in a while. I’d put him on par with a Shaq Thompson in terms of his versatility and his skill set. He’s not quite as big as Shaq, but he’s a heck of a player. People knock him like ‘he doesn’t have top-end speed.’ I think he was a 10.5-10.6 100-meter guy in high school. He’s got plenty of speed. He’s a tremendous player.”


On the late kickoff on Halloween against Arizona “My wife is mad I can’t take the kids trick-or-treating. It is what it is. We have to pay the bills somehow.” Top Stories