VIDEO: Washington Offensive Coordinator Jonathan Smith - Arizona Wildcats spoke Wednesday with Jonathan Smith, who addressed whether or not he's feeling the heat as Washington's Offensive Coordinator as the Huskies' O continues to struggle. He also addressed the slow starts and what it's going to take to correct them.

The weather for practice - “It wasn’t awful, awful.”

How does the weather affect what you’re trying to do on offense? - “You can be aware of it. It doesn’t have a huge effect. We practice a lot in it, so we feel like it’s got to be an advantage for us because we’re obviously accustomed to it.”

What has made you so good in the third quarter? - “If I could pin-point it I’d like to try and do that in the first quarter. We do look at it in the second half, and for whatever reason we’ve been better. The thing is, we really haven’t changed our schemes in the third quarter. We’ve run some of the same stuff. I do think it’s a piece of guys settling in. I don’t know if it’s organized or not, but there’s something there. But the schemes haven’t really been different in the third quarter.”

Arizona is one of the unique defenses you’ll see - “Quite a lot different than a lot of people we play. So the challenges there are identifying o-line and tight ends and how we’re blocking things for the back. There’s some challenges there. They create some havoc because they come at different angles so that’s been something we’ve been working on.”

Can you tell how much they miss Scooby Wright? - “They miss him because that guy is a good player. Especially early in the year. Obviously going back to last year, some of that tape, the guy can play. Anytime you miss a player of that caliber doesn’t play, you miss ‘em.

What is your take on the slow starts? - “I look at it. Last week, first play of the game we got a decent gain running the ball, come back with with Myles again and get it to about third and an inch and we can’t convert on third down. Third down’s a huge piece of that. Go back two weeks before to the Ducks, we actually converted a couple of third downs, moved the ball. We got a third and three and we can’t convert it there. One, we’ve got to get the first first down with some conversions. That’s a huge piece for what we’re going to do. And then at the same time we need to find a way to be a little bit more explosive early in the game. Chipping away, 10, 12-play drives. Right now with our youth we’ve got going, we’re just not able to convert. We need to create an explosive play so we’re not having to put up 10, 12-play drives.”

Is it tough to have tempo too? Seems like some of your best drives lately have had tempo - “We looked at it. At the same time our approach is, we want to play a lot of players so we’re not totally changing that. We are looking at it at times to go a little bit more tempo. But we’re not looking to change the whole thing of what we’re doing.”

How did K.J. Carta-Samuels fare in his first start? - “I thought it was a typical first start. He had some ups and downs. I think we definitely could have gotten him some more help in a lot of areas. I don’t think he was overwhelmed by the moment. I would have liked him to be a little bit more accurate on some throws for sure.”

Has Jake Browning been able to do much this week? - “A little bit more than he did last week. I don’t know if he’ll be able to go or not but he’s done a little bit more.”

Seems like the OC is the whipping boy for the public when things aren’t going well. Aware of any of that here? - “I have not heard a ton because I don’t listen to a lot of it. I imagine it’s got to be out there. The one thing you like is you like playing for a university that has a passionate fan base. And that’s what we’ve got. We’ve got some frustrations and whatnot, and so it’s understandable. But I’ve not followed it a ton.”

Is there something about the OC spot that gives fans a justification for more criticism than maybe other coaching positions? - “I don’t know. It’s where it is. The quarterback gets is, the head coach gets it, the offensive coordinator…and really the coordinator of that side of the ball that’s not playing that awesome - they’re going to get it. It’s part of the deal. That’s what we signed up for.”

What’s your evaluation of your strategy going into games and the playcalling? - “It comes down to the execution. We’ve got to get better. I’m not going to stand here and say it’s been outstanding because it hasn’t been executed very well. It’s got to get better.” Top Stories