VIDEO: Washington Defensive Backs Coach Jimmy Lake Tuesday Briefing - Utah Utes

Dawgman.com's Kim Grinolds spoke Tuesday with Washington Defensive Backs Coach Jimmy Lake on a number of topics for over eight minutes as the Huskies prepare to host the Utah Utes Saturday at Husky Stadium.

On Taylor Rapp “We’re so happy he’s going to be here in a couple months. Physical, physical football player. Very, very smart. We got to work with him two summers ago. He came to our elite camp and that was really when he hit our radar. Six-foot and change, about 205-208 pounds already as a high school senior. He’s going to come in January, which would be amazing. He’s going to get in here with Coach Socha, get bigger faster, stronger, srtart to learn the system, get spring football under his belt. I’m just really excited. And he’s an excellent student, which has allowed him to graduate early, so really excited about him.”

 

On if coverage safeties are hard to find “I don’t talk like that. I don’t look for those type of guys. I look for tough football players is what I look for. Taylor Rapp fits that mold. He’s a tough football player. I’m really excited to work with him.”

 

On if he believes in two different types of safety, one with range and one that’s physical “No. I believe in physical football players that are athletes. I thin that’s what we have back there right now. We have physical guys that can fly around. They can cover. They can hit. They can tackle. I’m really excited that Taylor Rapp’s aboard.”

 

On Jojo McIntosh “I was so proud of Jojo (McIntosh) who filled in a huge roll for us last week. Kevin King was out with an injury, came in, became a starter. We had to move som guys around. It was awesome for Jojo. The light came on last week. He came in there and made some big time plays for us.”

 

On the youth of Jojo McIntosh “He’s a freshman. Freshman on a big stage against the number one scoring offense in the PAC-12 and he came in and played an excellent game on defense and an excellent game on special teams as well. He ended up becoming our special teams player of the week.”

 

On the depth and youth of the secondary “Still a lot of young guys. They’re all true sophomores, freshman; they’re all young. Next year, 2016, we can finally call the DBs an old group, but we’re still extremely young right now. It’s fun watching these guys grow.”

On Jordan Miller getting playing time “No question. Jordan (Miller) came in training camp ready to go. He’s a very smart, conscientious young kid. Another true freshman, and he doesn’t back down from anything, which I love. He’s a competitive football player, he’s got good length, and he’s going to grow into an excellent football player.”

 

On how Ezekiel Turner is developing “Zeke (Turner) did a good job in the Stanford game, had some really good tackles. He played a role for us last week in the Arizona game and he’s just coming along. He’s true sophomore. He’s in the same class as Budda (Baker) and G-Man (Darren Gardenhire) and Sidney Jones. His first year of college football was at a junior college so really he’s like a true freshman right now. It will be fun to watch him continue to grow as well.”

 

On Brian Clay passa interference call “Who knows. It’s just next play WE just take the penalty and just go. There’s nothing to say.”

 

On how good of tacklers his corners have become, Sidney Jones in particular “Yeah, he (Sidney Jones) does. He does an excellent job of crack replacing. A lot of teams crack and the receiver goes and hits the edge defender and he’s got to go in there and replace. It’s just real nice as a whole unit we always talk about toughness being one of our strengths. It’s awesome to watch all of those guys flying in there and making tackles. Sidney, going back to last year forced fumbles with his hits, and then even this year I believe he’s leading the PAC-12 in forced fumbles. He’s a physical football player. Love the way he’s tackling right now.”

 

On what’s unique about what the defense has done so far “I think obviously these guys are understanding all the techniques and schemes we’ve been teaching now for a year and a half, two years. There’s a lot of recall now. They’re saying ‘okay, I understand. We talked about that a couple weeks ago, or we talked about that last year.’ Now the routes, the reading the routes is coming a lot faster, a lot quicker. They’ve seen run plays over and over now, they understand the techniques, so now it’s these guys buying into the system. They see that it works and I think that we have some pretty, good talented players also. It’s been fun to watch.”

 

On his response to people who question why last years talented defense wasn’t elite and if he sensed hesitation from any veterans last year when it came to learning from new coaches “I think, obviously with a new staff coming in, new calls, new terminology, I think maybe ‘oh, that’s not how we did it. We did it this way before.’ I’ve been in a lot of new staffs and that’s kind of always the rub. We kind of have to make sure everybody is gelling together. I still think we played some pretty good defense last year too. We scored a lot of touchdowns on defense with all those talented players now. Even some of the players that are playing now that were reserve rolls but got in there and were making plays for us. I think collectively, football in general is a team sport. I know we had a lot of stars last year, but t’s a team sport and when all 11 guys are on the same page and we’re all doing what we’re supposed to be doing and we’re all attacking the football at the same time and we have some pretty talented players out there, we’re going to play great team defense.

 

On what challenges Utah presents “They are a very hardnosed tough football team. A senior quarterback who slings the ball and has an excellent arm. He has two really good wide outs. A sixth-year senior that has probably seen it and done it all and (Britain) Covey kid, the freshman, has really created some noise in the PAC-12 and makes a lot of plays. But it all starts with that guy in the backfield (Devontae) Booker, number 23. Another talented running back. You hear a lot of the NFL scouts talking about this guys being a guy in the draft here in 2016. He’s definitely going to be job number one for us. We have to stop him and after that we’re going to have to worry about those wide outs and that quarterback.”

 

On Travis Wilson's ability to run “No question. He’s a big, physical guy. There’s no hesitation for him to pull the ball out of there and try to bull over DBs and linebackers and d-lineman. He’s a tough competitive guy. He’s going to be a big challenge for us.”

 

On what has led to the turnovers the defense is forcing “I mean, we had a lot of turnovers last year. We started off getting some turnovers this year. I think there was only one game we didn’t get any turnovers, the Oregon game. I believe that’s the only game we didn’t get any turnovers. We’ve had turnovers throughout the year. It’s always an emphasis. We have to cash in on their mistakes when the offense gives it to us, but then we have to create turnovers when we’re not getting some. It’s always an emphasis every single day in our meeting rooms and in practice.”


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