Strausser talks about depth for Rutgers game

On Wednesday, Washington Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser talked about all the changes that have been made to the Husky OL, especially with the backups listed on the UW depth chart ahead of their Saturday game versus Rutgers.

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On Nick Harris “Excited about his athleticism, excited about his competitiveness. He’s a smart, savvy football player. A lot of times with those freshman coming in, they don’t really have a great feel for the game at this level, but he’s shown he has a really, really good feel for it. We were concerned that he wasn’t going to get his weight to where he needed it to be. He’s in a good spot right there. He’s just so athletic and explosive that we think he might have a shot to do something this year.”

Do you think it was his size that kept other programs from going after Nick Harris? “I do. I do. But you can look at some NFL rosters and see some guys at his size. It’s not like it’s a total anomaly here. He makes up for his size with great leverage and quickness and athleticism.”

Is Nick Harris a future center? “He’s an inside guy for sure. He came in here and did center for the first two weeks. He was with the threes and really competed well, so we gave him a shot to get up their with the twos and he’s holding his own with the twos. That two spot that was most available for him was the guard spot.”

What have you seen from Shane Brostek? “I think it’s a lot of that (embracing his final season). He’s been around the block and he knows what it takes. And he’s a senior; he has great pride to really want to finish this thing the right way. He’s had a little bit of an up and down career. He had to play probably before he was ready and then redshirt had way through. I just think he’s excited to get a chance to go out and do his thing a little bit.”

Is this more of a rotation or depth chart? “I think it’s a lot closer to a depth chart than what we’ve had in the past. I think Andrew (Kirkland) was our sixth man in almost wherever, but certainly the tackle spot. I feel like we’ve got a little more depth right side-left side right now than what we did last year in terms of guys that are game ready.”

Do you want to keep Andrew Kirkland at one position or are you comfortable using him anywhere? “I would say I do feel comfortable, but again last year when he got kicked to the left side right before a game he had not practiced there at all. So that’s not an ideal situation. I would like him to have a chance to give him  some different reps at practice at different spots.”

Do you remember Trey Adams’ first play as a true freshman? “I don’t off the top of my head. I’m sure he was nervous and a little anxious about it.”

How hard is it to come in as a true freshman? “You just don’t know. You don’t know what you don’t know. Despite the fact that you go out and practice all the time, it’s a little bit different when you run out there on the field by yourself and there’s no coach five yards from the huddle and all that. I think it’s hard. I don’t remember it taking that long to adjust to what it’s like playing in a game.”

Do you have to hold your guys back with all their aggression? “We all want to play smart. There’s a difference between a guy who plays with great effort and being a dirty player. I think those guys get that. We want to play and physical and finish blocks, but we’re going to be smart at all times.”

How many offensive linemen do you anticipate playing? “I really don’t. The flow of the game will probably dictate that for us.”

Are you going to keep the same five starters for all games or will there be a rotation? “That kind of remains to be seen.”

On Matt James “He really has a chance to play all those spots. The nice thing is he is a really versatile guy for us. On the depth chart he’s at the right tackle spot, but he played guard some during camp and played some center stuff today. He’s moving around a bit, yeah. He’s a guy who could end up at some different spots.”

On Jesse Sosebee playing left guard “Depth chart. That’s numbers on the depth chart. He’s had plenty of reps at right guard. He can do both.”

How set in stone is the depth chart? “I’d say very much not set in stone.”

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