Post-Game Video: Chris Petersen

See what Husky head coach Chris Petersen had to say following Washington's 59-14 win over Idaho...

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Opening - “Really proud of the guys. I thought we had a really good week of practice. I thought they were focused for the game. Really proud of our defense, how fast they started. Excited about our kickoff team. We weren’t loving it the week before, so coach Gregory made some adjustments and we really worked hard on it and it showed on the first play. So it was nice when we emphasize something and it shows up there quickly in the game. It takes a minute to get in a rhythm there on offense. The defense is playing at a high level. Eventually we will get there. I am excited we got a lot of guys in the game. I am more excited to go watch the tape and see who is progressing, what we can tweak and fix and clean up.”

How impressed are you with Jake’s performance through two games? - “He has done a real nice job. I think the thing that is interesting is that I still think there are things we are cleaning up with him. He did a great job of scrambling out there and keeping his eyes down the field. We have actually been working on that quite a bit. It is going to come up every game. Those plays can actually be harder to defend. So we spend extra time on that as well. But when you go back, what I want to look at is did he need to escape? Did he had things that he could have got the ball out? I know one early on where he threw that touchdown, he didn’t need to make it so spectacular. But he is completing a lot of passes and keeping his eyes downfield, he is buying time. All those things that good quarterbacks do.”

How were you able to find a rhythm in the second quarter? - “Well, I think we are going to get into a rhythm, it is just a matter of time. It is nice when our defense plays at a high level. It gives our offense a minute to get going. It is nice to come out like we did the week before and start fast and keep clicking. That doesn’t happen all the time. At least we got points on the board right away. So that was good to do. Like I said, we are excited to put the tape on and see what we need to do to make things better.”

Was there something that dictated you wanted to go with tempo in the second quarter? - “We were going to go with tempo for sure. We just thought that would be a good thing for us. Jake likes tempo so we will always be blending that just depending on the opponent and what we think we need to do I kind of like how at times we are really slow and at times we can be really fast. I think that gives us a lot of flexibility. We are always paying attention to our defense and how many plays they are going to see. Sometimes when they get turnovers like that and score quickly, we didn’t run more plays, we didn’t hold the ball. Time of possession in the last two games they have held it more than us. But we are still very aware of how to help our defense. Trying to not let them see as many plays as the other side does.”

Any concern about complacency after the first two games? - “I don’t think so. I think our whole mentality, like how we talk to these kids and where our focus is, it is completely on us, always. We scored a ton of points but I know we put that tape on there’s going to be so many things that we can clean up. I just don’t feel that this team will get complacent. I do think that it is hard to come out every week and play your absolute best. That is the mission, that’s the goal. I think that is really hard to do. As weird as that sounds, we want to get to 12, 13 opportunities. But to come out and really play at that great level every week. That is what we are trying to do. That is the mission, that is the stamp. So we continually challenge them to do that and so we will see. That first two weeks, they were pretty good. I am excited for week three.”

What have you seen from Dante Pettis - “I’m encouraged by Dante, for sure. I think he’s an acrobatic receiver. That’s how I think of him. He can kind of make plays all over the place. I think he’s gaining confidence. I think he’s a really good player and I think he’s gotten better.”

Using starters on special teams - “It’s awesome to see Sidney (Jones) go down there full speed. We tell our guys we’re going to play our best guys on special teams. Now if a young guy can beat out one of those old guys because maybe he doesn’t have as big a role as Keishawn and Sidney and just watch all this tape and play faster in practice…we’re going to play the best guys. We don’t want to tell ‘em that if Sidney Jones is the best L2 on the kickoff team or Keishawn is. We’ll continually have those guys and then we’ll continually work the young guys in to see if they can…we just want to see everyone have a nice role on this team. So if everybody can have a piece of the pie I think that’s better for us. But until then? The best guys are going to play.”

How important have these last two weeks been for K.J. to get game reps and throw touchdowns? - “I think K.J.’s done a nice job and he’s real important. I think it’s great because so often that’s the guy. The backup, or backups. It’s hard to get those guys some work. He’s gotten some good work and he’s actually produced and performed, so I think that’s a good observation, because I think he’s thrown some really good balls too, pin-point strikes. It helps those receivers out.”

Feel sorry for the other team sometimes when the score is getting out of hand? - “Absolutely. You pay attention to that for sure. But I think it’s really good to play a lot of our guys. That’s the thing that I like the best at the end of the game is that those young guys work hard in practice. A lot of those guys are on scout teams and we challenge them that they need to go hard against these guys that get all the glory and the reps out there, the fun time. So to get those guys in to play some football I think is great. It just helps develop the depth and those guys will eventually be starters one day.”

Getting the running game starting - “We’ll put the tape on, so I don’t know yet, but it was a little bit of a slow, sluggish start. I know we still ran the ball for over four yards a carry, so that’s always positive. But sometimes the running game takes a minute to get going. Sometimes it may not be until the fourth quarter. We had different guys in the fourth quarter, but I think when you play real football and you’re going hard, sometimes it takes a while to wear guys down and to really establish that and get your o-line in rhythm and the running back to see the creases and how he’s going to fit things. That’s what I really think about the running game, that you’ve got to stay with it and you’ve got to keep banging away and in the meantime Jake was accurate in the pass game. I know this: every defense is going to try and stop the run game. I don’t care how many touchdowns Jake throws: they are first and foremost going to try and stop the run game. That’s why we’ve got to be able to do both.”

Did Jake need a game like this to show how good he can be? - “It’s going to be fun to put that tape on because I don’t think he’s going to be saying it’s a perfect performance. I know there was a couple things out there and it’s awesome for him to be able to improvise and buy time and find guys. The first question is, does he need to get out there? Does he have guys open? And if he doesn’t and he needs to get out, that’s awesome. But I know there’s one or two times where he could have hanged in there. All this will catch up down the road if we don’t do it exactly how we need to do it. We’re pleased with him, he’s making progress. I think the receivers are making plays for him. Andre Baccellia made a great catch diving back, and Dante was good and John Ross was doing his thing, so it’s good to get all those guys in the mix.”

In the beginning, was there some things they were doing up front to cause issues for the Oline? - “The first game, they didn’t show a whole bunch of blitzes that we know they had in their back pocket. Usually that’s the nature of this defensive coordinator. You only get so many reps during the week. So we had game one where they didn’t really show a lot of the stuff they were bringing here, but we had definitely worked on it because we thought it could happen. It took a minute to see some of those and figure out what exactly the blitzes that they are going to bring. Once we did that it helped us a little bit.”

Did the tempo also help to slow down their blitzing? - “I think it can. It can make some looks look a little more vanilla. That might have had an effect for sure.”

On Connor O’Brien’s pick-six - “I think he’s done that in practice as well, fall camp. He’s got his hands on the ball a few times. He’s started to develop a good sense of where to be and read quarterbacks’ eyes. It’s funny because I couldn’t see who it was who picked it off and when I saw I really wasn’t surprised. He’s done that a couple times this fall camp. It’s nice to see it show up in a game. He’s a guy that hasn’t had a lot of snaps around here but he’s getting a lot more and improving and progressing.”

Is it sometimes a game within a game when you have that many guys participating and competing for turns? - “Yeah. I think it’s such a long season that we’re going to need some of these guys. It’s all great right now, we’ve got all of these bodies healthy, but you start playing, you get in your league and you start to get worn down a little bit - some of these second half guys are going to be first half guys. It’s really critical that we get those guys in there and see what they can do and some of it was good but some was not good. That’s the stuff we’re excited to go back tomorrow and get it right.”

On Myles Bryant playing - “It’s awesome. We’ve been really debating about this secondary and who to play and who not to play. It’s a hard decision, it really is. But we think it’s a long season, we think he’s a really good athlete who can play, help us on special teams. He’s really smart and competitive. He really wanted to play. All those things added up to say let’s go.”

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