Thank you to those of you that submitted questions for the "Ask Dawgman" column. Oh my gosh, it's time to pack the bags and hit the road. Not just any road trip, mind you, but one to Columbus, Ohio, to meet the defending national champs. It's covering games like this that remind me why I started this website. And now, one last crack at the mail before heading east. . .

From Robbie Brown
Dear Dawgman
I believe I know why the program has faltered recently and I am wondering if you believe corrective action will be taken. Obviously, it is the new colors and the new logo that are the cause of the recent spate of losses. Absurd? Really? As I recall, right before the royal purple and true gold were changed to the muted purple and off-puke khaki that now passes for the Husky colors, the Dawgs won the Rose Bowl, went 11-1 and were the legitimate No.2 team in the nation. Don't even get me started on the logo. A coyote? Give me a break. I have given up defending the new colors and logo to those less fortunate than me, i.e., anyone who went to another school, and have tried instead to concentrate on the upcoming season. Why, I ask you, should the U of W change its colors just because Colorado State, Boston College, and Florida State all went to the washed out gold? Isn't our tradition better than that? I will never accept the new colors or logo...unless we win the Rose Bowl, which will never happen with this color and logo scheme. Nurse, I don't need more medication.

A: If the Dawgs win, all will be taken care of. Colors and designs are a matter of personal taste, and sometimes it is tough to balance change with tradition. Personally, I like the new color scheme and mascot, but I think I may be in the minority.
From John Yagi
Dear Dawgman:
Will the Huskies change there run blocking schemes now that they have coach Cozzetto?. At OSU they ran the ball very well with far less O-Line talent. Their run blocking schemes were great. When Jackson ran between the tackles he was stopped most of the time. Jackson made the yards outside the tackles.

A: Some of that is schemed, but some is the tailback's God given ability. Steven Jackson is perhaps the best tailback in the country. Perhaps Shelton Sampson or Louis Rankin will be able to bounce it outside the tackles in the near future. Washington will use different blocking schemes. Cozzetto has worked with Gilby a lot, this is their third time they've been together, and so they know how to get it done. Cozzetto knows what Gilby wants and how to give it to him. It may take a couple of years but I believe that the Huskies will once again lead the conference in rushing by 2005.
From Jim S
Dear Dawgman:
In your August 11 column you said that Lambo never had the support (money and facilities) from the upper campus that Neuheisel had. Will Gilby get the same support that Neuheisel received? Also, if Neuheisel were still HC, would you continue to predict a 12-0 season?

A: Rick had AMAZING support, the kind Lambo only dreamed about. I believe that same support will be thrown behind Gilby, yes. And if Neuheisel were still the head coach, my prediction wouldn't change. I made this prediction in April, so I have no reason to recant or change it now. If this team pulls off the shocker in Columbus, and I believe they will, the schedule sets up beautifully the rest of the way. But one game at a time, and first up – Ohio State. I think you'll find out right off the bat if I'm right or whether I'll be eating a healthy dose of crow.
From Drew J
Dear Dawgman:
I was just curious about Tahj Bomar. I haven't heard anything about him this camp. I know he's going to red-shirt, but is he playing well? Also, I wanted to know the status of Nathan Rhodes. Is he still planning on coming back? Thanks for the time.

A: I am very impressed with Bomar. I believe he'll play THIS year on special teams and perhaps a little bit at ILB. I'm not convinced that he'll redshirt. He really impressed at camp and is tough as they come. Nathan Rhodes will likely never play football again.
From Rob Johnson in Issaquah
Dear Dawgman:
One thing that Rich Alexis can do better than any of the tailbacks (or fullbacks for that matter) is block. Rich can block down hard, and bury blitzing defenders in the ground. Since we know the Zach Attack will be out for at least three games, why then are the Husky Coaches looking to even smaller guys to fill in the Fullback spot? Ty Eriks is a hell of an athlete but he's not even close to being as big as Rich Alexis nor can he or anyone in the backfield block down on someone like Rich can. Rich is built more like your prototypical fullback with a thick frame and thundering thighs that can rumble down field and plow the way for Shelton Samson. I've seen Rich lay blocks so damn hard, that the other guy seems to just fold in half backwards. Rich is both seasoned, and has the kind of attitude you like to see in a "bust-em in the mouth" type of fullback. He plays pissed off, and gets pleasure out of laying the lumber on someone. I say, let Rich Alexis Plow the way, while Shelton Sampson & Kenny James burn defenders down the field.

A: Early in camp I would've agreed with you, but now it is apparent that Rich is the top tailback. He really earned the job and outplayed the other tailbacks when all was said and done. Rich will stay at tailback, and look for Adam Seery and Ty Eriks to handle the FB duties.
From Aloha Mike
Dear Dawgman:
You were in Husky marching band? When and how long? My daughter was in the band,93 through 98. Seems that the Pac-10 is going to be very competitive this year. Will Gilby have as much success recruiting as Coach Neu? Do you think that Gilby will be more successful at getting in state kids?

A: I was in band in the dark ages, 1981-85. Saw some great football and an incredible trip to the Orange Bowl, but saw some extremely mediocre football in 1985. I do think that Gilby will do well at keeping in-state kids home, particularly if he wins. That is the bottom line. Winning games makes you a much better recruiter.
From Sacramento Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
First of all, I would like to say GREAT site. I check in here every morning to get my daily DAWG DOSE before I get settled in at work. I was wondering how Kenny James is progressing in the "Tailback Race"? It seems like all the excitement around him has dwindled down since his injury during spring practices. Did everyone jump off the bandwagon when they found out he wasn't INVINCIBLE? (Just a question!) Also, where is Kim Taylor on the depth charts and what position is he playing? See ya in COLUMBUS! Go DAWGS!

A: Kenny is right there in the logjam behind Rich Alexis at tailback. KJ looks tough between the tackles and has the build to really be able to block well. He's a thick kid. Kim Taylor is at corner, not in the two-deeps, but Terry Johnson recently told me that Kim is the funniest guy on the team.
From Chris B
Dear Dawgman:
Is there any chance that the Husky football uniforms will be changed in the near future? I can't stand the goofy number styling and the UCLA-like shoulder stripes. They look silly! They look sissy! And they look soft! I would prefer they return to the old block number style without the shoulder stripes. I know uni's don't win games, but when I think of Ron Holmes, Reggie Rogers and Steve Emtman in the classic "all I saw was purple!" jerseys, these new space-age duds just don't compare, or scare! Also, has any thought been given to retiring CW's #25 jersey? I know that the team needs to double up on numbers due to the size of the team, but CW gave his life for UW football!

A: I already commented about the uniforms above, but I will add that I like the shoulder stripes, particularly on the road unis. I have not heard that the UW is contemplating retiring #25, but I sure would support that move. CW was an inspiration to everyone, and hopefully there will be some thought given to retiring, or putting special meaning on #25.
From Ross O
Dear Dawgman:
An opinion. Rich Alexis should be moved to fullback. He blocks well and is adept at picking up the blitz. Pretty good receiving, runs hard and is a load. We're thin at FB now with Zach in limbo. Rich wants to play professionally, but lacks the tailback skills (vision, burst, cutback ability) that the pros look for. His best shot would be as an undersized fullback. Seems like it would be good for the team and good for Rich. What do you think? Hate to say it, but Buckeyes 24, Dawgs 20.

A: Washington needs Rich at tailback right now. I don't think Rich has a shot at the NFL right now, but I do know as a college back, he has the potential to be a big piece of the UW offense this year. He's going to stay put. I hope you are wrong about your predicted score, but you are thinking the Dawgs can play with the Bucks if you are only picking a four-point spread. I like the confidence.
From Matt in Everett
Dear Dawgman:
Matt Tuiasosopo - what are the chances he will be in purple and gold? Any big-time D help on the way? I want to see the D get back to playing the way they did in the 80's-90's.

A: I like Washington's chances for Matt, particularly now that Gilby is in charge. Honestly, the Dawgs shot at Matt went up when that happened. Baseball will be the key factor in his recruitment, as he may wind up as a high MLB draft pick. That would be impossible to turn down.
From Allison T
Dear Dawgman:
Much has been said about the five freshmen wide receivers who will be getting playing time this year. But what about Jordan Slye? He was moved to WR, how's he progressing and will he be getting much playing time this year?

A: Jordan is behind the freshman thus far. He may take a year or so to get his feet wet at his new position, but he's a nice, tall, lanky target to throw to, and he can run once he's got the rock.

Link to past columns of Ask Dawgman

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