Gregory Addresses Punting Job, Linebackers

Husky linebackers coach Bob Gregory, who also doubles as the special teams coordinator, talks on Saturday about the starting punting job as well as how some of the young linebackers have come along as well as the leadership players like Psalm Wooching, Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria provide...

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On the scrimmage Friday “It’s always good to get a lot of reps of live scrimmage. I think we learned a lot. It was good. Guys made some mistakes we have to learn from. We got a lot of tape from 107 reps. It’s always good getting a full, live, kind of game atmosphere going. It was good.”

On the progress of the line backer corps “Good. I think our whole team has gelled well. I think our defense has. I think our unit, our linebacker unit, is very tight. I think we’re improving everyday.”

Comparing the leadership of Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria to Cory Littleton and Travis Feeney “Yeah. I think so. I think those two are two close guys. They’re friends. And I do think those guys are kind of leaders in our group. I also think Psalm Wooching is also. He’s been around here a long time. He’s a fifth year senior. I think he has a great leadership role on our team as well.” 

On Psalm Wooching “We needed a couple guys like him to step up because Travis Feeney and Cory Littleton are two very good players and in the NFL. I think Psalm (Wooching) needs to continue to improve in his pass rush. That’s what those two guys gave us, was great pass rush. Psalm is getting better, no doubt.”

On Joe Mathis “I think he’s doing okay. It’s not always easy from going with your hand on the ground all the time to then standing up and dropping in coverage. I think he’s done a pretty good job of it. He needs to continue to take steps everyday.” 

How are Ben Burr-Kirven and Tevis Bartlett adjusting to their added weights? “I guess Ben (Bur-Kirven) is a little heavier. He’s about 217. They’re playing well. He (Ben Burr-Kirven) is never going to be a 240 pound inside linebacker, so he’s going to need to rely on his smarts and quickness and his athletic ability.”

On Camilo Eifler and Brandon Wellington “We still have two more weeks. We’ll keep an eye on them.” 

On his transition to coaching special teams “I’ve been involved in special teams almost my whole career. I had a chance to be around some really great special teams coordinators, including Jeff Choate. The great thing, going on our third year and having two years in this deal, so many guys know the deal also. It’s kind of my job to keep those guys all focused. We always evaluate our schemes, offense, defense, special teams, tweak things here and there. And you’re right, to keep great energy going. Nobody came here to be number five on kickoff. We never mention any special teams except to kickers when we recruit them. It’s the ability to motivate all those guys when we’re doing our drills, making them believe special teams can make a difference on Saturdays.”

Will anything noticeably look different with you taking over for Jeff Choate? “I don’t think so. The one thing everybody is excited to see and so am I is what John Ross can do. If he scores touchdowns he’ll make me a really good coordinator. That’s kind of how it works.” 

Is Tristan Vizcaino still on top of punt duties? “I think so right now. I think Van (Soderberg) has improved a lot. It always helps those kids to come in during the spring, no matter if you’re a punter, a linebacker, or whoever. I think right now it’s Tristan (Vizcaino)’s deal. But Van is getting better everyday, there’s no doubt.” 

On Cameron Van Winkle “I do like what I’ve seen. I do think we have a couple good kickers. I think Cameron Van Winkle is doing a nice job. I think we made all of our field goals yesterday and PATs except for one, which is good. Those are points. I think Tristan can be a weapon for us at punter and I think we have some decent guys who can return the ball too, so we’ll see in a couple weeks.”

Is Budda Baker in the mix at kick returner? “We have to pick and choose. Some of those kind of guys, like an Azeem Victor or a Budda (Baker) or those types of guys, we have to be careful in terms of special teams. They all want to be on it, which is great. Budda, day one, was like ‘coach me on all four special teams.’ That’s the mentality you like. We just have to pick and choose and figure out what’s best for those guys.”


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