Thank you to those of you that submitted questions for the "Ask Dawgman" column. Lots to write about – Milsten and Sampson running with the ones, Meadow holding off Sa'au for the starting guard spot, and Tui Alailefaleula and Jerome Stevens in a battle for the starting job next to Terry Johnson. Thank God football is finally here. Onto the letters . . .

From Mike Melhorn
Dear Dawgman
I read some posts that Joe Lobendahn left the team. Is this true, and if so why? Also, who is Scott White? CollegeFootballNews is talking about him being one of the top RS frosh in the country. I've never even heard of him.

A: Lobendahn is in a battle for the starting inside linebacker spot with Tim Galloway. He's very much on the team. The posts you saw on some message board were incorrect, and weren't here at, that's for sure. Scott White is a redshirt frosh that backs up Marquis Cooper at the other linebacker spot, inside on the weak side. He's a bright young player from San Diego that is putting on size and getting stronger. He's a solid football player.
From Chip Goss
Dear Dawgman:
What differences will Coach Gilbertson bring to the UW in terms of his practice styles and discipline if any from his predecessor. Who's coaching style would you compare his to? Also, I know it is too early to tell but whom do you think will be the man taking the hand-offs come August 30?

A: Gilbertson will put much more emphasis on the kicking game, and will have a more serious tone to practices (IE: no more music). I would say he's more like Don James in style, since that is whom he was mentored by. The guy that will take the first hand off on August 30th from the tailback position for Washington appears to be Shelton Sampson. I spoke at length with RB Coach Chuck Heater just before camp, and Chuck was extremely pleased with him. If he cannot fumble in any of the scrimmages and show decent hands, I can't see him being beaten out, he hits the holes extremely quickly.
From Chris P in Tumwater
Dear Dawgman:
With the Ohio State game rapidly approaching, is the team focusing on football the way they should or are they distracted by the ongoing mess slick Rick has left? I know you have faith in Gilby and so do, I but for the future of Husky football, would Gary Pinkel be a better fit or would Gilby? Would Pinkel even come to the UW? Love your website and will you guys be at the Husky rally for the Ohio State game? GO DAWGS...You heard it hear first UW 28 - OSU 24!

A: The team is totally focused on the task at hand, and that is Ohio State. Pinkel would be a wonderful coach for the UW, but I'm willing to see how Gilby does, I think he's very qualified and the right guy for this job. Pinkel would come to the UW if the money and time were right. Now is not the time. I'll be at the OSU rally, yes. See you there, and your predicted score is about right. I too see the Dawgs taking this one.
From Steve Blackman
Dear Dawgman:
I am going to Columbus for the opening game (Michigan last year) and wanted to know where the Dawgs and most dawg fans were staying. Last year we hooked up with the Dawg fans by accident and wanted to plan it better this year. Thanks for the info - GO DAWGS and Gilby will be great for the program......can't wait.

A: Most Husky fans will be staying near the Arena district, an area not far from the stadium that has been rebuilt and is well equipped with amenities to entertain the most thirsty and most rabid college football fans. If you can stay near the Arena district, you'll be near the action.
From Matthew Riipa
Dear Dawgman:
I noticed the web site had a question that asked who would be the toughest opponent for the Dawgs this upcoming season? Oregon State immediately came to mind but were absent from the list of choices for some reason. The winner of this game could smell the roses! What's the deal??

A: Good point – OSU should be very tough with the best tailback in the conference in Steven Jackson. I think that game will be very difficult for the Dawgs on the road, particularly if they cannot get a lot of pressure on Derek Anderson. Thanks for taking part in our poll and writing in OSU, they're very deserving if they can replace their secondary.
From Gardner S in Seattle
Dear Dawgman:
After lurking for 6 1/2 years, it's time I took up some space here. As someone who attended OSU at the same time as coach Hart, I'm glad to see him elevated. Do you expect him to specifically be able to instill more toughness in the defense as a whole, or is that beyond the DC's ability? Also, I've heard rumors that Ala is hurt. Please tell me his condition and if there are any other returnees who are not up to par physically. It seems that we are underdogs in the race to get Matt Tui. How do you see that campaign developing? He almost seems to be searching for reasons NOT to attend UW. Oh, have you heard anything about how Steve Emtman is enjoying being an employee? Since no one else has been willing to, I'll announce officially that you and the crew have put together the ideal site for passionate fans that want integrity and accuracy in their reporting. Getting Coach Baird was inspired. I pray you are right in your prediction on the OSU game. Nothing more I'd love than seeing my last college beat my first college.

A: I think Coaches Hart and Snow will instill more toughness on the defense. Particularly in their schemes, which will be more man-to-man and aggressive. Ala has had trouble staying healthy (knee), keep your fingers crossed that he can maintain his health through fall camp. I think the dawgs will get Matt Tui, he's their #1 target. Emtman appears happy to be in his current role. Thanks for the kind words, Gardner. We do try hard to be accurate and have integrity, which is how you earn the trust of your subscribers and why we've doubled in size just about every two years. I appreciate your kudos, particularly since you've been on our site for 61/2 years. That means a lot.
From Renato Carbonel
Dear Dawgman:
Kudos to your great web site for us Husky fans. It's the site I check daily. The UW made a great hire in Keith Gilbertson to be the new Head Football Coach. We know that offense is what he concentrated on. However, I read somewhere that while in the NFL as an assistant that he was assigned to a defense as some kind of specialist. Is this true? I'm one those guys that have always admired how the Huskies played defense during James' era, particularly the early 90's. Also, will Pelluer really improve the kicking game? How did he do at Arizona? Go Dawgs!

A: Thanks Lonedawg. I agree, Gilby was a great hire. He coached tight ends and did some defensive consulting in the NFL, true. Pelluer will definitely help the kicking game, as the UW has not had a dedicated special teams coach since Rick Mallory. It cannot hurt, and Scott did some good things at Arizona.
From Dickson Wong
Dear Dawgman:
Speaking of Lambo, what are the chances of him becoming more involved in the program? This is a man that gave more to the program than even Don James. By the way, I believe that Hedges has really messed up on a number of key decisions, and if it were not for loyal men like Lambo and Gilby, this team would not be on the verge of a breakout season. Food for thought... If you look a number of key games during the Lambo years, if not for a couple of offensive breakdowns (snatching defeat out of the hands of victory), Barb may not have pulled the plug. If Gilby stayed at Washington and became Lambo's offensive coordinator... who knows?

A: He will definitely be more involved in the program. Gilbertson has already asked him to be more involved. Lambo did have some bad luck, but that is part of the game of football. Jim accepts that, and has moved on. Although I do wonder if he would've had the type of support that Rick had from upper campus (IE: facilities and $$) how he would've fared. It may not have made any difference, but I'm just curious. Lambo NEVER had the type of support Rick did.
From Frank B in California
Dear Dawgman:
First of all, Awesome site! I hate it when I go to the other major sports news sites (you know who they are) and all I can find is news about Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, and FSU! Talk about east coast bias! One good example; look at the college football web pages for most sites and all you see is Roy Williams and all the sports writers kissing his butt. What about Reggie!?! May I remind you that it was Reggie, not Roy, who was a 1st team All-American last year, as a sophomore! Anyway...I wanted to ask you about this year's Heisman hopefuls. I have read on numerous sites that Cody Pickett is one of the top three preseason Heisman candidates and Reggie Williams is around #10. What do you think about that? I contest that Reggie has more talent at his position than Cody does, and he will definitely go higher in the draft. Do you think either will be at the Downtown Athletic Club (or wherever they are holding it now) this December? One last question, how do you think the coaching change is going to effect recruiting (both this season and in the future)? Will we finally be able to pull in some top defensive recruits?

A: Pickett will rack up bigger numbers than Reggie, which is why he's a better candidate for the Heisman. Williams could be a better NFL player in my opinion, though. He is the best WR in the country and a future NFL first-rounder and all-Pro. He will definitely go higher in the draft, barring the unforeseen, but that is not what the Heisman is about, nor do the voters take that in consideration. It's a popularity contest where whoever has the best stats wins. I think Cody will put up huge numbers this year and be a very legit candidate. If Washington knocks of Ohio State in the opener and Cody has a big game, he becomes an instant front-runner for the award. Now if Reggie returned kickoffs and punts, then he would be a possible front-runner, but I'm not sure his stats will be enough to get the voters attention off of Pickett's probably gaudy stats.
From Doug
Dear Dawgman:
Thanks for putting up with the whiners on your site. You handle them well, and you also allow people to disagree with you, which is a sign that you keep an open mind and that your ego doesn't rule your site. All Husky fans benefit from what you've been able to accomplish on this website over the years. We are proud to have your site as the premiere college football site in the country. Keep up the good work and don't let the idiots get you down. There are thousands of us that are behind you in providing us with accurate stories with integrity. Now for my question – who will win the quarterback job in 2004?

A: I believe that Carl Bonnell will win the job next year because he has the smarts, the quick feet, and an arm that will only get better. He needs to gain weight and get stronger, but so did Cody when he first arrived. We'll see how he assimilates during his redshirt season, and how he competes with Paus and Stanback. Thanks for the positive words about the site. There are no idiots on the web, are there? Nah. Even the person that has had 15 user names on our board is welcome, I mean if they are willing to go to that much trouble to sign up, it has to be a good thing for us, right? It's all just about rabid Husky fans, and our site promotes their interaction with each other and other college football fans, even if they disagree with us. The Internet is a beautiful thing. Keep enjoying it, we certainly do.

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