Smith wary of Rutgers' unknowns

On Wednesday, Washington Offensive Coordinator Jonathan Smith spoke to the media ahead of the Huskies' Saturday game versus Rutgers. Smith is aware of the unknowns playing a team like the Scarlet Knights, but has tried to do as much homework as possible.

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On the preparation for this week “It is unknown. You don’t exactly know what you’re going to get, so we’ve been preparing, looking at the background of some of those coaches and where they’ve been. But we’re definitely focused on our rules and what our assignments are and the stuff we’re doing. But there is an unknown factor.”

Is it as easy as looking at stuff the coaches have done in the past? “There is some uncertainty, no question. We’ve definitely watched some Ohio State film and we’ve watched some Rutgers from last year personnel wise and the defensive coordinator is from a different place. We’ve watched a lot of film.”

On Rutgers’ personnel “That defensive front stands out. They have some players there that can cause some havoc, there’s no question. They have some athletes on the back end. They were young at times, but you can see flashes of some real talent. Just like we’re counting on us being a year older and a year better, we’re expecting the same thing from them.”

How has the process of refining the playbook been? “It’s been good. It’s almost been a week half of pare down and really emphasizing on the plan. I think the guys have absorbed it pretty well. I’m counting on them being ready to go here in three days.”

Can you dial in more on fundamentals this year now that the offense is more familiar with the system? “Yeah. It’s definitely pared down in regards to ones and twos getting the majority of the reps. It’s pared down. The emphasis on the details becomes larger.”

On the newcomers in the two deeps “Those guys have done a really good job. Jomon (Dotson) has really run hard, really going back to spring ball. He’s had some good runs. Feeling confident with putting him in their carrying the ball, also in the protection part of things. Aaron Fuller has done a nice job absorbing. He came in here in the summer and got some reps that way, but he did a solid job here in fall camp. He’s going to be playing and out there.”

On the tight end tie atop the depth chart  “Well it just means that you’re going to see a lot of guys there. You’ve got Darrell (Daniels) and Drew (Sample) and David Ajamu and Will Dissly and Jeff Lindquist, so there’s a long list of guys that will mix and match and be out there at particular time.”

Does that mean there’s more of an emphasis on tight ends this year? “Yeah, we’re going to emphasize those guys, but we’re going to be able to spread it around. It really is the multiplicity of run and pass and what those guys’ skill sets are and we’re going to try to use their skills.” 

Is there a difference about Jake Browning this year? “I think his focus has always been really good; I don’t know if I see a drastic difference. It’s definitely, again, we start to game plan, we’re tightened in on the plan and he’s focused. He’s practiced well. I like where he’s at.” 

Does Lindquist’s grasp on the offense help the position change? “He does understand it pretty well, so he knows the tight end role very well know. I would say his background of playing quarterback, formations, he can help other guys get lined up, he kind of knows the play when it comes in. He helps out in that regard.” 

On his comfort level with the offense “We’re ahead of schedule compared to last year, there’s no question. For whatever position, whether it’s quarterback, wide out, tailback, across the board there is a comfort level that’s much further ahead than last year.” 

On Rutgers’ defense “We were just talking about it. We have an idea but we aren’t certain on anything. They have some background on defense from a couple of guys and we’ve watched some other teams where they were at the previous year. We kind of expect something, but who knows what we’re going to get.”

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Is this game preparation more about the Husky offense than the Rutgers defense? “A little bit. We’re going to do some things. Whatever scheme people play, we have to know our rules and play it. We have to be ready to adjust during the game.”

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