Strausser: Last Week Was Only A Step

Dawgman.com spoke Wednesday with UW Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser, who talked about the steps the OL took in the Huskies' 44-6 whitewashing of Stanford Friday.

On having a consistent starting five through five games “I think there’s a part of that helps a lot and I think we have guys right behind them making progress that are right there ready to push to get a chance to play some. There’s no question the guys play together game after game. They get a chance to get used to kind of those game reps when there’s no coach out there telling them adjustments. It helps.”

How big of a step was the Stanford game? “I mean, it was nice to see them go out there and compete against a team that in my opinion has dominated us for the two years that we’ve been here for coaches for sure. Those guys battled and competed and did well. It’s a step if we do something next week.”

How big of a step has Trey Adams taken since last year? “I thought he played really well. I was very proud of him. He was excited to play. He’s making progress. He’s still a little bit of a young guy, but hey, as a football player he’s not. He’s got enough reps; we can’t look at it that way. HE’s taking good steps.”

On Kaleb McGary “Day to day with that guy. No fanfare for me, that’s for sure. I was really proud of the way he went out there and competed and played. He’s making progress. He’s really a guy I keep thinking of his, he didn’t play offensive line in high school, and it just really has taken him a long time to totally have a feel for it. He’s made good progress.”

Is Coleman Shelton the leader up front? “Yeah. I probably could have told you that last year, too. We had Sifa (Tufunga) in there at center, but I feel like Coleman has been a leader. That’s just the nature of the kid he is since he’s been here.”

On cohesive the run game has become the last couple weeks “I think it’s been good. That’s really where it starts for us on offense, running the ball. That sets up a lot of other stuff. For us to be really clicking like we want to be we have to get some stuff done in the run game. It’s been a great addition to have Lavon (Coleman) playing at the speed he’s playing at right now and Myles (Gaskin) really looked like Myles out there the other. Both those guys did a really nice job. Those tight ends have been really effective for us in the run game this year.”

On Drew Sample and Will Dissly blocking as tight ends “It’s a huge bonus. With both of those guys, they’re still in the mode of young guys as well. Getting a lot of game reps and working their way out of it and so they’ve been a huge bonus for us in the run game.”

How much pride do you take in not allowing a sack against Stanford? “I think our guys take a lot of pride in that, because like I said, since I’ve known those guys at Stanford, they’ve dominated us. So for us to come out and kind of compete with them pretty good, I think it’s a good step for us.”

On pass protection through five games “It’s been - there are situations for sure I would like ti to be better. I think we’re doing some really good things in pass protection and it needs to be consistent every week. We have a guy back there that’s a pretty darn good player and we have to take great pride in keeping him off the ground.”

On the challenge with Oregon’s front seven “For sure there are major challenges. Those guys have a lot of really good players. They really do and they have for a long time. It’s a little bit different scheme so it’s our first time to go up against this scheme. We’re still working our way through it this week and trying to figure some stuff out. They have guys that have played good football for a long time there. It’s a very prideful program, so there’s no question that we’ll get every bit of what they’ve got.”

On preparing for noise “It’s a big challenge. First of all you focus on it a bunch and then in practice you try to do what you can on crowd noise. It won’t be the same. That’s probably from a poise standpoint challenge number one for us.”

Is there something extra about this matchup? “For me there really isn’t. No. I grew up in Palo Alto so I was really excited for the Stanford game to be honest with you. It’s so hard to look at things that way. Every week is such a grind. You can’t even get caught up in all that stuff.”

Is that 10 minute drive against Stanford a lineman’s dream “Absolutely. I don’t know they’d say that in the midst of it, because they were huffing and puffing when they came to the side, but absolutely excited about having a chance to play, I think it was 17 plays together, and go down and score. I think it was the drive after Stanford had scored, so that was really, really important for us just to make sure ‘hey, we got control here.’

How much more trust is there between Jake Browning and the offensive line? “I think Jake (Browning) trusts those guys. We have to keep showing up every week and protect him like he needs to protected, but I think he trusts those guys.”

What’s different for the linemen facing Oregon this year? “Schematically, there are a lot of things that are different. They line up differently. For us, looking at last year’s film doesn’t do us any good. It was a total different scheme this week. We’re still working our way through this a little bit this week and figuring out exactly what they’re doing on defense. It will be different.”

On Nick Harris rotating with Shane Brostek “It’s not determined before the game. I think it has a lot to do with a little bit of the flow of the game, a little bit of the matchup, just the situation we’re in. It really hasn’t been something that’s been predetermined.”

On Will Dissly “Doing really well. He studies super hard. He prepares really well. He’s a bigger, stronger, physical guy at the point of attack. He’s been a big bonus for us.”

Is there a significance to not allowing a sack against Stanford? “At this point, no. Friday night I think our guys were darn excited about that. But moving forward it doesn’t do us any good to pat ourselves on the back about ‘we gave up no sacks to Stanford’ when we’re trying to figure out how to block Oregon. Like I said a bunch of times here, Stanford has been really good against us, so anything we do good against Stanford is exciting for us.”


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