VIDEO: Washington Head Coach Chris Petersen Thursday Briefing - Arizona Wildcats

The press spoke with Washington Head Coach Chris Petersen Thursday for the last time before the Washington Huskies take on the Arizona Wildcats Saturday night at 8 pm. He gave an update on Jake Browning, dealing with the expected weather forecast of rain, and also preparing for two different Arizona quarterbacks.

Looking for some rainy conditions? “Absolutely. The weather has no cooperated with us since spring ball. I don’t think we had a rain practice even in spring ball. It is what it is, but the guys are ready. Can’t control the weather.”

Do the cliches apply in rain games? Run the ball, lot of turnovers because of a slippery football? “I certainly hope not for our side. It’s something where we have been in the wet a little bit and these guys take pride in playing in that type of weather.”

Does it work out in your favor considering you’ve found a run game and don’t have to rely on the pass as much? “Whatever it is, you’d like to stay balanced. If we’re one-dimensional, it’s not good for us.”

The ASU game last year was really bad weather. Take anything from that? “You’ve got to play ball. That was a unique game; I don’t think I’ve been in one like that before. You can get one super, super wet…I think they played Arizona here a couple years ago that was really, really wet that had similar ramifications. The guys have to deal with it - both sides have to deal with it. You have to protect the ball - wet-ball mechanics and all those type of things.”

Is this a game where the change in personnel at QB means you have to game plan a little differently? “You always have game-plan stuff in. We’re well aware of the different styles of both guys and it’s not like they change their style dramatically. They have certain plays that they run with each guy. We’re well aware of it, but they do a great job of executing. The other teams that have played Arizona were well aware of it as well and really haven’t been able to slow ‘em down too much. We’ll see."

On Arizona’s two quarterbacks “Our plan is, they play them both. That’s what they’ve shown over the last handful of games, and we’ll go from there.”

On Jake Browning and the QB situation “We feel good about the QB situation, and away we go.”

On the process of handling Browning’s injury, weighing risk of playing him, etc... “We’ll always go with the guys that we feel like give us the best chance to be successful. That’s really the bottom line. And if a guy doesn’t practice a lot or he’s not super healthy or those type of things and someone gives us a better chance, we’ll kind of roll that way.”

On night games being hard on the players “I think the players are pretty resilient. Those guys don’t complain a whole lot. I think that’s how we kind of train all of our guys. I don’t think anybody likes the late starts. The fans don’t like it, the coaches don’t like it. It is hard on the players. But it is what it is.”

Does the TV money make it worth it? “I think the people that make that decision are not at my level. They’re at a higher level than us. So we kind of do what we’re supposed to do.”

 

Do you talk to Scott Woodward, etc. about that? “I think every coach – everybody knows. There’s no secret. I don’t think there’s a coach in the country that’s going, ‘yeah, I’d like to kick off every game at 8 o’clock Saturday night.’ Especially being on the road. So it is what it is, and I think you make the best of it.”

What does a Sunday look like after a night game on the road? When do you get home? “Three o’clock, something like that. By the time you get home it’s after 3:30. And we do something on SundayMonday’s our day off. So we push back when we bring the kids in. They’ll still be able to get some hours of sleep. It’s not like they’re coming in on four hours of sleep. But it does mess up your sleep cycle and all those type of things, and I think you’re kind of out of sorts for a day. You hope they can kind of get back on their schedule that next Monday and catch up, and away we go.”

On what a typical Sunday looks like after a night game on the road and what time the team gets back home “3:00 (A.M.), something like that. By the time you get home it’s after 3:30. We do something on SundayMonday is our day off. We push back when we bring the kids in. They’ll still be able to get some hours of sleep. It’s not like they’re coming in on four hours of sleep. But it does mess up your sleep cycle and all those type of things. I think you’re kind of out of sorts for a day. You hope they can kind of get back on their schedule that next Monday and catch up and away we go.”

 

On what time they practice on Sundays “We’re on the field around 5:00-ish (P.M.), something like that. We may push it back later if we get back super late to let those guys, because we have other things to do. We’ll lift a little bit, we’ll meet a little bit, and the last thing we do is go on the field.”

 

On what it’s like waiting for a late kickoff on Saturday “That might be the most painful thing in the whole thing, just waiting all daySaturday. It really is. It’s just so much dead time. And so we get them up and you have a walkthrough and you come back and eat, you have another little walkthrough and you’re just buying time, trying to not go stay in the hotel.”

 

On if the players watch other games while waiting “That’s usually what they do. They’ll get a nap. They eat. We get them off their feet and go from there.”

On if he draws from his experience from Boise playing every night of the week “Yeah. And so you just adjust. Whatever night you play on or whatever time you just kind of try to slide everything and get them back on a normal schedule as quickly as possible. Whether you play on a Thursday night. Again, we played every night over there, so you treated everything kind of as a Saturday. But the hours of getting back, it’s hard. It’s just part of the things we have to deal with.”

Do you get the sense that the league wants a change in kickoff times or is trying to find a balance with how often one team has to play late? “I haven’t got a sense of that yet. But maybe at the end of the season that’s going to be something on the agenda to figure out.”

On Arizona’s defense without Scooby Wright “I think any time a really good player like that (is out) … you don’t notice anything different structurally (about Arizona’s defense). I think that’s what we’re always trying to attack. You put the tape on when Scooby’s in there and he’s usually in on most tackles. But those guys play hard and they fly around and their style’s a little bit different; they’re blitzing from different gaps and those types of things. You just kind of examine the tape you get and go from there. But from all the stuff he’s done in the past, nobody wants to lose a player of that caliber.”

On Sehome High safety Taylor Rapp signing of a financial aid agreement earlier this month “We’re really excited about him. He’ll be a safety for us. He’s really a sharp kid, really a great student. I think that carries over to the field; he kind of plays all positions. We’ve had a chance to watch him for a long time. He’s been in our camps and those type of things. So we’re excited (that) he gets to get here early and we think he’s going to be a really nice addition to our squad.”

Is he going to be here for winter quarter? “He will be here in the winter, yep. So he’ll get acclimated to school in the winter and training and that stuff and then get a chance to do spring ball and all those good thing.”


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