Chris Petersen Holds Court after Day Nine

The media met one last time with Washington Head Coach Chris Petersen Wednesday after Day Nine of Washington's fall camp. He talked about not having the VICIS helmets while they deal with chin strap and molding issues, as well as the quarterback battle and a true freshman that's impressed him along the way.

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On Vicis pulling its helmet - “Yeah, so we’re back to our other helmets. Obviously a little bit disappointing. But I have a lot of respect for Vicis, getting it right, wanting them back, and we’ll fix it. I think when you’re trying to be on the cutting edge of innovating, it’s never going to be seamless process. They’re the ones that came to us (Wednesday morning) and said we want them back to look at them and make them right.” 

Mostly the chin strap and forehead padding - “Yeah, it was. A lot of guys really liked them and thought they were comfortable. Some chinstrap issues, but also somewhere in the forehead. And so we want to get it right.”

So what does this mean for the color combinations of helmets? -  “Hey, I just found out this morning. I’m just trying to get helmets on our guys.”

Seems like the color combinations should be your No. 1 priority! - “We’ll figure it out as we go from here, and when we figure it out we’ll let everybody know.”

Do you want a timetable for what helmets you want for the first game? - “I can tell you what the first color is — it’s going to be gold. That’s easy. After that, we’ll kind of figure it out from there.”

On practice - "Practice is good. We just need to be more consistent. You see flashes across the board, and I think our offense is doing some good things. Again, we’re throwing a lot at them, so that affects consistency. But that’s the one thing — we can’t go backwards when we get down there in the red zone. We’ve gotta make sure we go forward.”

Qualls tackled Browning on the last play — was that supposed to be a live snap? - “No, he was making sure he was down and fell (on top of him). He’s a D-lineman — they’re very stiff and sometimes can’t stay on their feet all the time.” (smiles)

On energy and enthusiasm after Tuesday’s off day - “Really good, because a lot of times when you come back it’s not what you think — they’re still on their day off. So from this morning, from when they came in, it felt like they were rested up and I thought the energy was really good.” 

On going off-site Thursday - "It’s something different. There’s going to be some distractions — they’re distracted just by looking at something different. And so any time we get the chance to change the scenery on them and try to keep them focused, it’s a teaching opportunity for us.”

Heat warnings in Seattle this weekend… - “Extra heat warnings in Seattle – that makes sure you wear short sleeves around here, so I think we’re going to be OK.”

Friday an important night for you with the scrimmage? - “Yeah, we will scrimmage. We’ll have some people in the stadium, and I think that’s important for those guys. We’ll go through our normal kind of pre-game warmup, which we haven’t done. So just try to get them a little bit more in game mode and get some live snaps.”

Do you start to figure some things out with personnel after that? - “No. I would say we’d go another – not a full week, but maybe six days until we really start deciding some things. But it’s going to be a good night for us in terms of looking at a lot of players.”

How many scrimmages will you have before the opener? - “One. And then we’ll do a few live situations now and again, but this is really the only one we do.”

On Quentin Pounds returning from ACL surgery in time for fall camp - “Really proud of him, for sure. Hard to come in – we tried to play him as a freshman, then he hurts his knee. Really hard to play as a freshman, then you throw an ACL in there. that usually takes some more time than fall camp to be ready to go, and he’s done a great job of rehabbing and he’s attacked this fall camp. We’re really proud of him.” 

On Pounds getting a redshirt year after appearing in only three games last season - “We thought he would get it back. It was right on the limit, but it was within the boundaries, so we felt he would. He and Austin (Joyner) both did.”

On the offense making progress - “I think they’re making a lot of headway, because again, we have a lot of material in. We still have a few days to go. Again, I just remember even thinking back to last year at this time, it was so painful to even put more in, because assignment-wise, there would just be a couple guys (off) on every play. And now we may have one, or maybe it’s not even an assignment, we’re just physically not getting it done. And so we’ll keep throwing it at ‘em, and clean up the reps and continue to get as many of the same type of reps as we can, and they’ll get better.”

On using two-way players - “Yeah. We’re always trying to get our best players on the field. If we had all 105, it would be pretty easy, but that’s not going to happen. We’re always kind of preparing for down the road and trying to get our best guys on the field.”
How has Jake Browning progressed in his second year? - “He’s making good progress. The one thing, you’d like to see a little better is pass protection. I’d like to be able to see him set his feet a little more in some of those team reps to really see him throw the ball accurately down field. I think if we clean up our pass protection a little bit…he looks great when we’re 1-on-1 and routes on air and all that. It doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with football. So we play those team settings I’d like him to be able to set his feet so we can get a good gauge as to where he is.”
How is the QB competition going so far? - “I think it’s good. KJ and Tony Rodriguez are doing a great job of battling. That’s a close competition. That’s an interesting one to watch play out as well.”
Any true freshmen standing out? - “There’s a handful of guys we’re still looking at. I think the one guy who has jumped out to me is Aaron Fuller. He’s a pretty poised guy. He doesn’t make many assignment errors. And he catches the ball every time you throw it to him. If he can continue to progress I think that’s a really good thing for us."

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