Thank you to those of you that submitted questions for the "Ask Dawgman" column. Here are the rest of the answers to the questions that have arrived in the past month and a half. All caught up now! Enjoy your holiday season, Dawg fans, and we'll see you in San Diego!

From Wetdawg
Dear Dawgman: Can you explain the concept of the "Gap Responsibility" Husky Defense? Is it a Hundley original or a derivative of some other program? Does it require too much discipline for 20 year olds and thus curb aggressiveness?

A: The gap responsibility defense is actually pretty easy, if you are a DL. In principle it means that you are responsible for a very specific gap between offensive linemen. It is supposedly easier than a zone, but both gap responsibility and zones require discipline to stay focused on your assignment, as well as the skill to do the job. Your point about discipline is well noted. On paper, a gap responsibility defense should free up the front seven to pin their ears back more because the responsibility is pretty defined (not counting stunts or site adjustments), but if you leave your gap and freelance, it can be big trouble. Or if you are DeShaun Foster, it can mean big yardage.

From Darrin
Dear Dawgman:
What is going on with Geoff Shelton, is he still on the team? On James Sims, do see a chance that he could be moved to CB (good size and speed 6-1 195), if the Dawgs land a Gibril Wilson and a Bing?

A: Geoff Shelton will graduate this year. He still has a year of eligibility remaining but he may decide to take his degree and join the working world instead of return for a fifth season. Sims is needed at safety. He is a great athlete in the Tony Parrish mold, just give him a couple of seasons to learn his craft. He has a vertical leap that will knock your sox off. He's needed right where he is, but he's still learning.
From Drew Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
Are there any plans now to somehow expand or renovate the stadium? It just seems like it would be a good investment for the program and would help us expand our home field advantage with more seats.

A: There is nothing on the drawing board. At least until they finish the current facilities upgrade of the Connibear Shellhouse and the baseball and soccer stadiums, I doubt you'll see anything else for a while. I do know that they have talked about redoing the press box, which is perhaps the most antiquated in the Pac-10, but that is down the road a bit I think. Neuheisel likes the current size of the stadium and enjoys the fact that you have to "work" to get a ticket. It shows the fan's zealousness for the team.
From Design Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
Do you think that Lobendahn has any chance of starting next year? Is his natural position at Mike or Will? Thanks for all of the hard work on the site, Dawgman. Woof!!

A: Lobendahn has a good chance at serious playing time next year, and perhaps even starting. He could play MIKE or WILL, as he is very thick and fast enough to swap. I'd love to see him at MIKE.
From Bill
Dear Dawgman:
I love the site, and visit it all the time. I would like to ask about walk-on WR Matt Debord. I saw him play in high school and I image him in the mold of Todd Elstrom or Chris Juergens. He has put his dues in the program for a few years now, do you see him getting playing time next year?.

A: Matt DeBord is a fantastic athlete. I remember watching him in the state high school basketball tournament and marveling at his athleticism. He's doing good stuff on the scout team. He's very valuable to the team in that capacity but playing time will be difficult to come by. He would need to vault ahead of Reggie, Paul, ET, and Wilbur. If there are injuries, then perhaps you'd see Matt take the field. He's a good one, no doubt.
From Southern Cal Desert Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
I occasionally read that Coach Hundley prefers a 4-3 D Vs a 3-4. What would be the major differences. It seems that the REB is a down lineman already, or would the position become a larger body and move the speed of the REB back to a pure LB. It seems if Manase Hopoi is as good as what we read, the DE would become a very large REB with him in there. Thank you, keep up the terrific work.

A: The major difference is in the linebacker alignment. In a true 4-3, you have one middle linebacker and two outside guys. The REB is a DE, as you mention, in most cases, but the MIKE/WILL responsibilities are gone in a 4-3. You have a MLB that must play both cover and run support. Hopoi had a wonderful season on the scout team, I can't wait to see him line up on the edge.
From Michael Martinez
Dear Dawgman:
Dawgman great site. What a great leader Cody has turned out to be. I think he has met and risen above everyone's expectations. Then there is Paus who has been awesome in practice and seems very mature for his age. It seems to me that once Cody has the reigns till he graduates and then Paus will step in. Do you think the Barton will get lost in the shuffle. He went through so much to get into the UW program and it seems a shame for him to stand on the side lines for the next couple years. Any thoughts?

A: I think Barton, although would prefer to be the starter, is handling his role very well. He may be needed next year to be the starter if Cody undergoes corrective surgery to his separated shoulder. The recovery time could be up to nine months, depending on the procedure. Then Barton and Paus would both be needed because you absolutely need two QBs in the Pac-10 to win. Barton will be a senior next year.
From Ellis
Dear Dawgman:
What is the status on Andre Reeves? I haven't heard his name being called in the games, How is his progress, and how's his future look?

A: I think Andre will be as good as he wants to be. He's huge, he's athletic, and he's got incredibly quick feet. He has slimmed down since arriving on campus and now just needs to find the motor inside and put the hammer down. At 6-5 310 pounds, Andre can and will be a factor on the offensive line for the next three seasons.
From Jack
Dear Dawgman:
Who will replace Tripplett and Roberson on the D line? Are we going to be rebuilding there next year?

A: Tripplett will be tough to replace. I think it could be either Tui Alailefaleula (who would move from DE) or Josh Miller, who really improved throughout the season. Tusi Sa'au redshirted as he recovered from having a pin in his foot, and should be at 100%. He's got the body of a true NT, very stout. Miller and Jerome Stevens are physically the most ready to step into Tripplett's shoes. Now it's a matter of proving it on the field, but both are 400+ bench pressers. At DE, Roberson's replacement could be Terry Johnson (who played inside this year) or Tui Alailefaleula if he stays outside. Also, Manase Hopoi could move from REB and play some DE. He looks like a monster in the making. It will be tough to replace Tripp but if the supporting cast is better than they were last year, it won't be as painful. All of those guys are a year older and wiser now.
From Brian
Dear Dawgman:
It seems to me that the "critical" position for this years recruiting class has to be a premier running back. I've seen comments on the defensive line, safeties etc, but I wouldn't want to go into next years season with only the "potential" that our returning tailbacks have. How would you rate the positions in terms of needs?

A: Washington needs a running back that can hit a home run. Lorenzo Booker could be the guy. They also need a defensive lineman that can bring pressure and attract double and triple teams. Donnie Mateaki could be that guy. In terms of rating needs, I'd say safety is number one, big time tailback is two, and an impact defensive lineman is number three. If they get Booker and Mateaki, they'll have solved two of those. At safety, I believe that Trevor Hooper could be the answer. He's fast, has good size and strength, and is very smart. At safety, Washington also has three players available this fall that didn't play in 2001. Jim Newell was hurt and Evan Benjamin and James Sims both redshirted. All three will vie for playing time in 2002.
From Aloha Mike
Dear Dawgman:
Is Ossim Hatem going to play for the Dawgs next season? I think J. Stevens should return for his senior year because he may not be physically strong enough to play in the NFL. What do you think?

A: Hatem is on medication that makes his blood thin, so whether or not he returns depends on how dangerous that would be for him. Stevens is strong enough to play in the NFL for the role he'd be asked to play. He has very solid numbers in that department.
From Brent
Dear Dawgman:
It seems like UCLA is always having amazing recruiting classes. But every year they finish in the middle of the pack. Is it because the coaches do sub-par job in developing them? Thanks, love the site.

A: UCLA has a long history of recruiting the finest talent and then bombing with it. It started with Terry Donohue. Bob Toledo had one of the best defenses and offensive lines in the country this year - on paper. They looked like world beaters until the final four games of the season. Then they folded like cheap lawn furniture. That is coaching, pure and simple. The talent level is amazing at UCLA.
From JSM
Dear Dawgman:
What is the status of Josh Williams, Jafar Wiliams, Francisco Tipoti, Braxton Cleman, Eric Shyne, Jim Raines and Brandon Lockheart?

A: Williams is playing hoops at Southern Idaho JC, Tipoti will be here in the winter as will Shyne. Rains is taking some courses at Skagit Valley CC and working on raising his SAT. He told us he would be here in the spring. Jafar Williams will play inside linebacker at Washington next year, his final season. Braxton Cleman will return at tailback for his fifth season as well in 2002.

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