Saturday Media Briefing - Bob Gregory

Here's what Husky linebacker coach Bob Gregory had to say on the first Saturday of bowl practices...

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How would you characterize how your group finished out, especially with the losses of Azeem (Victor) and Joe (Mathis)? - “Certainly missing those guys is no fun. Joe brought a lot of production. Azeem brought a lot of production, energy. But I think all the guys stepped up. I think that’s a testament to not only the group, but our depth. D.J. Beavers did a great job inside. Ben Burr-Kirven kind of replacing Azeem. On the outside a rotation with Psalm and Tevis. Connor should be good. All those guys stepped up, which was fun to see.”

Is it literally next man up, or have you had to tweak some things to accommodate the younger players? - “It really is next man up. We couldn’t totally alter our scheme. So it’s next man up, and I think we’ve got enough depth those guys can do it.”

On D.J. Beavers - “Solid. The guy is a redshirt freshman, we expect big things from him in the future. Very solid play. You’re not going to see those huge flashes like you saw from Azeem but this guy’s in the right place at the right time.”

On the younger guys filling in - “D.J. just plays the MIK, and Ben will actually back up both of them. So he needs to know both positions.”

On Keishawn Bierria having to step up more in Azeem’s absence - “I don’t think it’s impacted his play. I think his play has been very solid all year long. In some ways our best inside linebacker. Maybe just the leadership overall has been exceptional this year from him. He is a true leader of our team, our defense. I think that shows every week.”

On Benning Potoae’s ceiling - “Huge potential. Huge future. I think we’ve just scratched the surface of what this guy can do. Again, another one of those redshirt freshmen that sometimes knows what he’s doing. Sometimes he doesn’t, but a huge upside to this kid. I think it’s going to be fun for all the fans to see this guy in the future.”

On finding spots for Camilo Eifler and Brandon Wellington - “I know they are going to be two really good linebackers for us. Whether Camilo is a WIL or a MIK or an outside guy, I don’t know yet. Same thing with Brandon. He’s an inside guy for us right now, but I still think they are young enough right now and their upside is so big that these guys can help us doing different things. We’ve got to find the right spot for them.”

Will these practices help you figure out their future positions? - “I think so. It gives us more of a chance to really look at (Eifler) and see what his skill set is. It’s hard for us to look at those guys down in the scout team, in which Camilo is all year, so now we get to look at them and say okay, maybe this guy can do this, do that. He’s made progress throughout the year even though he’s been on scout team so it helps us a little bit.”

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