VIDEO: Washington Running Backs Coach Keith Bhonapha Wednesday Briefing - Arizona State

Dawgman.com spoke Wednesday with Washington Running Backs Coach Keith Bhonapha, who assessed his group as they prepare to travel to Tempe, Ariz. to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils Saturday at Noon.

On the depth is at running back “It’s always a fun mix of backs when it comes to the RB guys. They’re in and out. Of course what people have seen this year is a lot of Dwayne (Washington) and a lot of Myles (Gaskin). Those other guys, you talk about Lavon (Coleman), you talk about Coop (Deontae Cooper), you talk about Jomon Dotson, all those guys are progressing slowly but surely. There have been opportunities for Lavon to get in there for certain plays and things like that. Same thing with Coop and we just really hope as a group we continue to build depth. Our thing is when it comes to us, as a group, are we getting better as a group. I think we do have good depth where those guys are playmakers, but just right now the guys we are calling for the most part have been Myles and Dwayne.”

 

On if he feels the backs are better as a group now than they were before the season started “Yeah, and I think some of that stuff when on the outside when guys think about guys getting better, ‘okay, they’re making 60-yard runs every other play.’ And really, it’s just us being more consistent overall. When I say consistent, consistent in the run game, consistent in pass pro, our cohesiveness as a group when it comes to the meeting room and things like that and how we produce and how our effort is at practice. With that being said I think we are getting as a group and it’s been nice that the run game has been able to get going between Dwayne and Myles over the past couple of weeks.”

 

On the next step Myles has to take in his development “I think always with young guys you want them to work on their pass protection, continue to get better at that. Not that he does a bad job, but he needs to continue to progress there. I think at some point as we move forward with us trying to get those hard extra yards as we kind of move forward into the future, him doing a better job of pressing and hugging his leverage to get those extra yards.”

 

On how much pressure Arizona State’s aggressive defense puts on the backs in pass protection “The good thing is this is the PAC-12 so every week is a lot of stress when it comes to protection and defenses. Arizona State is another one of those teams. They bring a lot of pressure and it’s to be something we have to handle and getting guys as detailed as we can to handle the pressure. Those guys have good player. They go hard and they try to get after you. You have to be just as relentless and take care of business.”

 

On if there are any similar defenses they’ve faced, like how coach Petersen compared it to Utah State “I can see why he (coach Petersen) would say Utah State. I think the big thing is guys being sure in where they’re going when they go in protection. I think that’s what is going to help. What you don’t want to do is have a hint of indecisiveness, because that’s when a guy gets on an edge on you and that’s when you get beat, so I think the main thing we have to do is be very sure in where we’re going to go block somebody.”

 

On if explosives are a big emphasis this week “Actually, I think you do see that on tape where they’re giving up explosives, but to say our whole game plan is go in here and make explosives, nope. We just want to go in there and we have to critique and do the best job at the plays that we run. If an explosive comes out of what we do we’re happy with that, but we just want to be consistent in our play as an offense.”

 

On if it’s hard to keep players minds right knowing they have to win two out of three to make a bowl game “No. Obviously it’s the dog days of the season, end of the season. Yeah we have three games left. Yeah we have to win two of the last three to get to a bowl game. But I think the big thing where this thing all started was back in the spring into fall camp where we laid the foundation of week-by-week are we progressing as a team? Week-by-week is your group getting better? Starting with my group, are the running backs getting better week-after-week? We go into this week knowing what we have to work on and try to get better at those things. Next week will present a whole set of problems and a whole set of things we have to get better at. I think that’s where we kind of keep these guys engrained in taking it week after week.”

 

On if he realized the potential to be as explosive as they can be “I think any time you’re dealing with good athletes you kind of expect those guys to make big time plays. To say I was expecting a guy like Dwayne to have as many catches and things like that and the yards he’s had out of the backfield really catching the ball, no. But as you know, there are a lot of parts to playing football, especially offensively catching, blocking, and running the ball. Dwayne happens to be doing a good job at one of them.”


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