Bob Gregory talks at length about the UW OLBs

Washington Linebackers Coach Bob Gregory spoke Friday afternoon to the press after the Huskies' fifth day of fall camp, held on the east field next to Husky Stadium.

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What gives you confidence that this year’s OLB’s will be able to replicate the production of Feeney and Littleton? - “The biggest thing is that these guys have been around a long time, so it’s not like they are brand-new and they haven’t played. These guys have played football here before for us, so they’ve got a lot of experience. They just haven’t played behind a couple of really good players. But it’s their turn and they are going to turn it up.”

How is the fine line during first full pads day of hitting but not going over the edge - “We’re big on the tempos. We did not do anything live today. We did our ‘cut’ tempo, which means the offense can cut us, but really I think the offense got the upper hand today. They had some great energy today and made some big plays. We didn’t respond the way we normally do, but overall I think for our first day in pads it was pretty decent.”

Has the light come on for the backup OLBs, like Tevis Bartlett and Connor O’Brien? - “Connor is one of those guys that’s been around here a long, long time - waiting patiently. I think this is his fourth year in the program. Tevis is just a true sophomore so he hasn’t been around as long but a really gifted athlete. So we’re looking forward to him as well.”

What are you looking for physically with the OLB’s? - “I think we always want to have different bodies. You don’t want to always have the exact same body type. But generally the Cory Littleton is what you’re looking for: 6-2, 6-3 range, 225 pounds that can run. Rangy, I think that’s a good way to describe those guys.”

What does Benning bring that you like at OLB? - “He does have good size, but Benning is very gifted athletically. He can run like an outside linebacker but he’s big enough to be able to pound on a tackle. But he’s athletic. We can do some things with him in space.”

What’s it going to take for the light to come on for Benning at that position? - “I think it’s more the mental part, just getting the reps over and over and over. He’s a kid that redshirted last year so hasn’t played a lot of college football. He had spring football, and now this, so that’s really where he’s gotten all his reps so far. He just needs to get better and improve all the time.”

On Amandre Williams and impressing early - “Always helps to have those guys come in the spring. Almost like a different guy. When those guys come in the spring that really, really helps. Athletic, can rush the passer. I think he’s got that body type you’re looking for as an outside linebacker.”

And Myles Rice being a bigger version? - “Yeah, a little bit bigger, a little more stout. Did not play a ton in high school, he was hurt a little in high school so he just needs to continue to play more football.”

Fit the personnel to the scheme, or do the players have to adjust? - “I think you always want to do what your players can do the best. We think our scheme is big enough, we have enough of our package, to put those guys in the right positions and have the right calls for the guys that are on the field. We don’t want to do things where they might not be as gifted at doing. We want to make sure that they can execute the defense, so we’re going to put those guys in the right position.”

With the odd front as the base, why choose that one as the best to combat the myriad offenses you see in the Pac-12? - “You’ve got three big guys inside that can kind of neutralize those gaps inside. Then you’ve got four linebackers that can play, more guys that can play in space so when they get that ball out there really quickly we’ve got linebackers that can run and go.”

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