VIDEO: Chris Petersen on Spring Ball Day 7

The media spoke Friday with Washington Head Coach Chris Petersen, who addressed the situation with sophomore receiver Isaiah Renfro, injury concerns, the offense catching up to the defense, and more.

To view the interview, click on the video link above. 


On the end of practice  “Just working situational football. That’s what the game is. It’s all situations. And so always trying to recreate the game in practice, and then there’s always really awesome learning situations. Look at it on tape, coach it up again, try to recreate it again. The process never stops.”

On both sides of the ball having good days “I think it’s good, because it’s gone back and forth, it really has. I think after a while – the defense is usually ahead early on. But then also, if they get hit on a special play, they’re going to correct that. They see it a lot. I always think your defense should be pretty dominant in spring and fall camp by the time you end the whole thing. Defense usually starts pretty good, offense should catch up by the end, they kind of know what’s going on, they’ve seen a lot of the same plays, not game-planning, putting base systems in.”

On this being a good day for the offense “You hit a couple deep balls, it changes the game. Defense can play great for 70 plays, then five plays they let get behind them, pretty good outing for the offense scoring 35 a game.”

Do you expect Isaiah Renfro at practice any time soon? “No, Isaiah will not be out here for spring. We’ll kind of evaluate his situation. He’s got some personal things he’s kind of taking care of.”

So it’s not disciplinary or anything? “No.”

Think he might redshirt? “We don’t know the situation in terms of any further than what I just told you.”

Tough to see Kaleb McGary go down today? “He’s fine. Injuries, it’s fine. We’re fine. What else? Let’s talk football.”

How do you gauge progress at this point? “So you’re always really looking at individuals, because all it takes is one breakdown on really either side, and it doesn’t look very good. So you’re looking at individual progression. And there are some guys. There are a lot of guys taking steps forward, and we’re really pleased with that. Sometimes it’s hard to make it all look good. Everybody gets reps out here, so some of that is not going to be pretty. But you might have a couple guys really playing well and that was a bad play by one side, but not really. Guys are progressing. Hopefully we get a little continuity by the end of spring ball and build into the summer.”

On Chico and Baccellia “I think those guys have done a nice job, I really do. I think all those guys (are) getting a lot of reps, so we’ve got to be smart in terms of not wearing them out. But I think when they’re getting opportunities they’re making plays.”

On Browning’s progress “It’s all subtle stuff. It’s always going to be subtle. He played really solid last year, so for us to take that next step it’s anticipation, it’s pocket presence, it’s strike-point accuracy — those types of things. So it’s all very subtle stuff, but it’s all subtle that will dramatically change his game and our offense.”

Anyone else who’s stood out? “A lot of guys. I really can’t — it’s hard for me to go down that laundry list. A lot of guys getting reps, and some guys that redshirted are starting to show up and I’m excited about those guys.” 

Browning’s improved deep passes “The deep ball is not just the quarterback. It starts with him; it starts with the timing (of when) he throws it, getting it up early; it starts with him putting the proper air on the ball. It ends with him giving the receiver a shot to make a play on the ball. And once he does those things, the receiver’s got to go make a play. So it all starts with him, but I saw a couple deep balls out there that were pretty good that we didn’t make, but I didn’t necessarily think it was on the quarterback. Deep balls are low percentage, but when you hit ‘em it can change the game.”

Does it help to have a guy like John Ross on the other end of that? “Always helps to have speed, for sure.”

Has his presence changed the dynamics of the offense? “I think we’re always mixing and matching in the group and John brings a unique element to the group, whether it’s deep or even underneath; you throw him the ball where he can — he doesn’t have to slow down and he can use his speed and build to speed, he’s really good there.

Is Ross where you need him to be from a physical standpoint so far? “Yeah, he’s doing great. Like I said, with the receivers we’ve got to be smart with that. These guys run a lot out here and we’ll come right back here tomorrow for another practice. We’ve got to make sure…I was telling the guys, hey we’re not trying to win spring ball. We’ve got to be really, really smart with it in terms of keeping guys healthy and we can be productive with it.”

What aspects of practice are you seeing compared to a year ago that are giving you confidence the team can take that next step? “Really how we practice. Tempo, that’s really hard. It’s really hard to practice at a high level, at a high efficiency, to go really fast and we don’t tackle a lot. But it’s not just running over there and standing there. We’ve got to get ourself in position and when we are wrapping up there’s a certain way we wrap up. It’s really detailed and it takes a lot of work and lot of conversation - so there’s a stuff. We go in there and we have a lot of conversations. We show clip after clip after clip - not just on assignments but what this tempo should look like. And it’s always a work in progress. So we’re getting better at those things as well. Depending on where the guy is, some of these new guys, we start from scratch always but sometimes you can build rapidly to more detail with some guys that have been through some of the fires with us.”

With Junior Day Saturday, how is your perception of how UW is being received so far in the recruiting process? “I think we have a really good process. I like our recruiting process. I think we recruit different than a lot of people. We’re thorough, we’re patient. We try to make as many educated decisions as we can, and sometimes that takes some time. I think you see it out there now where offers are being thrown all over the place and it’s early commit and early offer. It’s part of that game that we have to play but we want to make sure that we’re doing our due diligence and doing it the right way. And it’s really hard. It’s the name of the game. We’ve got to get the right guys in for us so when we do that it makes it a lot easier coaching. Tomorrow we’ve got a bunch of kids coming in here and we’re anxious to show ‘em a little practice and what the program is all about.”

How many guys will you have for Junior Day? “I don’t know. We’ll have quite a few.”

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