Post Practice Video - Chris Petersen

Husky head coach Chris Petersen talks about the Spring Preview and what he feels his team has accomplished during the past four weeks...

Brayden Lenius now compared to a year ago - “I think he’s making good progress. I think he’s one of those guys where spring’s been good, was healthy for the spring. Last spring he was not. And he was going through a rough patch. I think he made some progress this spring, which is good to see. Guy has some really good ability. But we’re not ready to play a game. I don’t think many are right now. That’s the one thing that’s really apparent. But I think we made some good strides. The thing is, we truly go back to square one. It’s been a long time since we played real football. It’s amazing how fast you lose it. It was good to be out there today, anxious to go put that tape on and see some of these guys that have gotten very little time around here, see if they showed up.”

What can you get done between now and the start of the season? - “Hopefully get into shape, the best shape that everybody’s been in their lives. I think that’s the first thing. And it’s really getting their mind right to go through this tough season that we’ll go through — this hard-grinding, tough season. I think that’s what everybody’s trying to do. And I can’t say that enough. This game is so mental, this thing that we go through is so mental, we have good building but part of getting ourselves ready to play is as much mental as it is physical.”

Did you see what you wanted to out of Jake? - “He was fine. It was good to get him out there and get some team reps. He was fine. He’s got a lot of work to do as we go through the summer, which we’re right on track with where we want to be with him. Maybe even a little bit ahead. He’s ready to go in terms of no limitation on throws or anything like that. I think as we head in he’ll get his timing and his rhythm back and be ready to go in August.”

And the other quarterbacks? - “I think KJ did a nice job. I think the ball is coming off his hand pretty good and he’s gotten a lot of meaningful reps. Now we’ll put them into cut-ups and really study that. I think he’s a guy that took a step forward as well. I feel good about KJ.”

Anything at stake today? - “We had hamburgers on the line and fries, lot of fry sauce, ranch sauce. I need to hurry up because I told the losers they aren’t going to shower. So I want to make sure none of the white guys in jerseys are wasting water around here. If we make this quick I can make sure no one is sliding in there.”

Where were the burgers from? - “Dick’s burgers. Free advertising.”

Is Byron Murphy is as good as we think he is? - “I don’t know, he hasn’t played a game. He’s had a really good spring. He’s done a nice job. He’s one of those guys we’re excited about. Obviously we lost three really good players out of that secondary but we have some really good young talent - Byron being one of them. So I was really pleased with him. It was awesome to see him - not just today but all the practices. Every practice he showed up. We’re really pleased with his progress. But it’s different than when you play in the games now. There’s no reloads and redo. But he seems to be a playmaker. We knew this coming in, really good ball skills. That has showed up all the time. If the ball’s around him he’s got a very good chance of making a play on it.”

On being able to redshirt a guy as talented and touted as Murphy - “The thing is, I think it’s hard on all these guys redshirting, but it’s also really hard on these guys playing (as true freshmen). That’s what no one understands. Everybody thinks it’s awesome to play as a true freshman. And you talk to those guys by the end of the year and it’s not so awesome. I mean, it is an intense process that, it’s good, but it is so hard and so demanding and different from anything they’ve been through that, yeah, the redshirt year can be hard but there’s a lot of good in it. They can get adjusted and they have more time; they’re not traveling. All those things. … Each guy that we look at is a case-by-case basis. Is he ready to play? Do we have depth there? Byron was a guy, skill-wise, had we not had some really good depth (in the secondary), he would have played. But in the big picture, it was great that we could redshirt him. If he keeps working hard through the spring and summer, he’ll be an exciting guy come fall.”

On loss of vocals leaders such as Elijah Qualls … - “Elijah was more of a quiet guy, to tell you the truth. He might have been loud with you guys. He liked talking to you guys. But that’s still a work in progress. There’s certain guys that lead by example, and those are the dudes that we love. Don’t talk about it; be about it. And that’s what we try to make our team all about. So I think Vita, I think Greg Gaines, although he’s injured, is a guy that has put a lot of things on tape, does things right, so a lot of guys pay attention to those guys. We’ve got some young guys there (on the defensive line) I’m really excited about. Levi Onwuzurike has had a good spring; it’ll be interesting to see what he does come the fall. It’s not just in the D-line. The secondary, all three of those guys were leaders. Sidney was pretty quiet; Budda was pretty quiet. But they’re big-time leaders because they do everything right and guys would follow. So leadership comes in all different sizes, shapes, vocalness, lack of vocalness. That’s kind of the beauty of rebuilding your team.”

 

Are you happy with the format for this final spring practice? Or could you tweak it at some point? - “Yeah, it’s fine. It’s a little bit hard with certain positions. We’re switching jerseys with those O-linemen. There’s always five O-linemen in there, so that’s hard. There’s (just) two linebackers, there’s one running back, there’s one quarterbacks. To have five linemen on two teams by the end of spring ball and have everybody healthy — that’s hard. So sometimes you just don’t have enough depth to do it. You’d love to divide the guys up and play a game — they live for that. And if we can do it depth-wise, we always will.”

Will Greg Gaines be OK for fall camp? - “Without question.”

You’re going to the draft next week? - “I believe so, yeah. I always live day to day, so we’ll see.”

First time? - “It is, yeah.”

That should be fun with two players there with you - “Yeah, and there should be three. I just want to support those guys as much as I can. I think it’s great for them, and that’s why I’m going.”

Anything new on the Vicis helmets? - “No, we don’t. I know there’s been some tweaks and some modifications. I think we’re still looking at that. We’ll see as we get into summer where we are with that.”

Did not having Lavon Coleman for spring practices change anything for you? - “Not one thing. I think we’ve got two pretty good young guys that haven’t played yet, and Myles did a nice job. Fortunately we’ve got some depth there, and it had no effect.”

Thoughts on NCAA reform re: early signing period and 10th assistant coach - “We’re kind of working it out. You’ve got to go through it and see how it feels. I think that’s kind of a lot of people are. I think everybody’s kind of trying to figure out what to do with the camps. You adjust and adapt and go, so we’ve kind of gone with the satellite bonanza, and now that’s limited, which I think is a good thing. But everybody’s trying to figure out how to do this, and still maximize – we just want to see guys. We just want to see them practice, we just want to be around them. So just trying to figure out how to do that.”

Was Lavon hurt at all by not being able to practice? - “For sure. Every guy that doesn’t practice is hurt by it. It is what it is. He’s got to finish school, got to take care of school. Greg gaines has a shoulder. I mean, every guy that doesn’t – that is a huge setback. But it is what it is. We’ve got to deal with it. Nobody’s like, ‘we’re good enough.’ Everybody that missed, it’s a bummer. Chico missed a few. It’s a bummer. It is what it is. But those are huge setbacks. And if anybody doesn’t think they are, we’re mistaken.”

Did Lavon practice at all this spring? - “Yeah, he did. A little bit on weekends. Didn’t have class on Saturday.”

Any updates on the uniforms? - “No, I don’t really have any uniform updates. … We might have a little something. But I don’t really have anything. We haven’t got that far. But I’ll tell you what the fans want to know is, don’t change anything. I get that. I hear that. And I like the traditional stuff too. But we’ll have a little wrinkle. Still working on it.”


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