Post Practice Video - Pete Kwiatkowski

Washington defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski talks about spring football after five practices...

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On reflecting on last year “The big plays that we got hit on, what we could have done better to defend those. After looking at it, it really comes back to getting better at what we’re already doing and increasing depth. Getting the younger guys and the guys hat haven’t played a lot, get them going so we have not just one and a half deep, but maybe two or hopefully two and a half deep across all the different positions.”

How have you stayed successful after losing a lot of players to the draft each year? “I think it’s an emphasis on fundamentals and technique, teaching guys how to play their positions, whether it’s block protection, tackling, covering routes. The emphasis on that is a big reason for that. Young guys, they have all those reps that they’ve been doing over the years and they just get into that situation where they feel like they’re going to play so it changes the attention to detail for those guys.”

Do you always start from square one or does losing a handful of guys each year require that? “No, it’s always the same whether it’s spring or fall camp. We start like it’s day one. The drill work, the techniques, the effort, all the the things, the simple things to do - everybody can make the choice to be physical, everybody can make a choice to run hard and play with great effort, and it all starts with that kind of mentality. Then the detail on body position, knee bend, hand placement, eyes, all those different things that tie into the fundamentals of playing football are just hammered over and over and over.”

What’s the thought process with some of the returning outside linebackers? “Overriding thought process is get better. We all have to get better. The depth will figure itself out. The guys that make plays and are consistent, it will work itself out. Every single one of those guys needs to concentrate on, they all know what they need to get better at and they need to concentrate on that and take it one day at a time, one practice at a time, one drill at a time, one rep at a time and continually have that mindset of ‘am I getting better? What can I get to get better? What am I not doing that I can do?’ It’s more of that mindset.”

On Camilo Eifler “We recruited him as an inside linebacker. Once Camilo (Eifler) figures what he’s supposed to do on a consistent basis he’s going to be really good because he’s explosive, he’s fast, he’s got the build and the tools to be a really good linebacker.”

How did you get Kane Ioane over to UW? “Just talking with him, coach Choate, he just thought it was the time for him to spread his wings and branch out and try to do something different and learn.”

On the advantage of having a guy like Kane Ioane on staff “Any time you have an extra set of eyes watching what you’re doing, so he’s going to be watching us, self scouting us. And then also breaking down opponents, just a different viewpoint and he has a lot of knowledge. He’ll bring a lot to the table for us for sure.”

Does something change fundamentally up front after losing Elijah Qualls or do you put another guy in there? “No. Just trying to find the next guy to plug in there. We think that guy is Jaylen Johnson. Jaylen had a really good end of last year. He had a really good game against Alabama. He knows what he has to do to get better. After that it’s all the young guys. Ricky McCoy, Jason Scrempos, Levi Onwuzurike, John Clark, Jared Pulu. All those guys know they’re right there and they know what they have to do to get better and gain our trust to be able to put them out there.”

Are there any redshirt freshman that are standing out so far? “It’s early. I really believe all those guys have an opportunity if they keep progressing and keep working to do what they’re supposed to do to get better and be more consistent, they all have the ability to be that guy.”

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