Ask Coach Baird

1-5. That is a bitter pill to swallow. No one should be satisfied with 1-5, no matter what. And how many more kids need to get injured before the Dawgs turn into a B-8 team? Now onto the letters . . .

From Reignlab
: How do you expect these guys to do something when every time they play in a game or whatever it's a different quarterback. I think you are being unfair talking about none of the young guys are stepping up making big plays. I was at the Stanford game and saw Carl and Quintin Daniels make two big plays and no one said anything. They picked up a first down when Carl was scrambling and the young receiver kept moving with him until Carl saw him and they picked up about 12 yards. Another time Carl threw a long ball to Quintin and the young man was surrounded by two defenders and he came up with the catch. Instead of constantly talking bad about these guys, we should give them encouragement and are our coaches teaching them about all the little things that it takes to be good receiver like how to adjust routes on certain defenses, etc, plus it takes timing with a quarterback to do a lot of these things. all three quarterbacks throw different.
A: I didn't mean to say nobody was stepping up. I too saw the nice plays by the young kids and thought that Q made some nice plays as well as Carl. I do agree with you that there is too much negatives being dumped on these kids and I didn't mean to be part of it. I was only talking in generalities about the receivers and know that they are young and trying hard to get better. I stand corrected for being another negative.
From Raymond, AKA "Reb Dawg"
Dear Coach Baird,
: Not so much a question, but simply a note, to let you know that I Concur Emphatically(!) with your views on the daWgs and our Coaching Staff!! ...maybe I'm "looking through with rose colored classes" as well...but so be it(!)...for this devoted Husky fan, as I've matured, I've come to the realization that "who" and(or) "what" I am, as a Man, won't be defined by the win-loss record of the 18 to 20 "something" Washington football team! ...furthermore, I think if we would take a "poll" of those that castigate and "boo" the players and coaches, we would find that VAST numbers of them have little or NO coaching experience at ANY LEVEL, and countless more that NEVER played ONE minute of Division 1 I want the daWgs to win? HELL yes(!!) and THEY WILL if we, the fans, be PATIENT and SUPPORTIVE...I really admire the Husky coaching staff and the Husky football players! a fervent, devoted, and long time fan(50+years) of college football I know that their will be "low points" but understand one of the GREAT aspects of college football is that when the "high points" come ( and they WILL come for UW) it is so awesome and wonderful that the "low points" will seem like they never happened. Go Huskies!!!

A: You are a beacon of light and I totally agree with you and your attitude. Keep the rose colored classes on and someday we will get to wear them in the Rose Bowl again. Your letter made me smile and, just know that there are others out there that also realize that this group of men are trying damn hard to turn this thing around, and deserve our support.
From Dan McNally
Coach Baird,
: What is going on with Reggie Williams? Is he hurt or not as good as we thought?

A: Unfortunately his team is not doing very well and he is probably still learning the ropes at that level. I would trade for him in a minute to get rid of Koren Robinson. I still think he is a great one but let's face it he had a lot of balls thrown his way while he was at Washington. Still just a rookie at the level he is at. Along with Mario Bailey, Reggie is still is the best who has ever worn the purple and the gold.
From Tim Snow
Coach Baird,
: Any idea why Jonathan Stewart says he is being recruited hardest by Oregon? Doesn't that seem crazy that such a highly recruited athlete like Stewart, who is only an hour away from UDUB, is getting the most attention from the Ducks? It would seem like we would be all over him and because his teammate is now a Husky he would respond to some Husky attention. I see too that Leon Jackson from Pasco committed to Nebraska when he seemed to want to be a Husky his whole career. Last year we lost Aaron Klovas to Oregon. I know the Huskies had a great recruiting year last year but it really seems to me that we have fallen on the recruiting totem pole big time in terms of some of the more high potential players...specifically to the Ducks. They seem to have more of a presence in our high schools than we do. Am I wrong? Does the Stewart thing bother you?

A: Jonathan Stewart will not end up at Oregon and although he has not said so, may end up as a Husky simply because of his relationship with his mother. From everything I know they are a real strong family unit and that is the number one determining factor. Besides Jordan Carey and Johnny DeRocher will probably blow Bellotti out of the water no matter how hard they recruit him. The lineman from Bethel was a slug whenever I saw him play. Besides you're not going to get everyone every year. Jackson still doesn't have grades and probably will have to go JC before he goes D1, so that recruitment is not over. And looking what's happening to Nebraska might not make it that cool anyway. Recruiting will be difficult this year for Washington until the season ends and the president and AD determine the future direction. The new president is looking at everything and knows the importance of recruiting. Right now we just need to support the kids and their efforts to win any game. That's about the only thing you can control right now.
From Jack Sonnichsen
Coach Baird,
: I take exception to your article about Coach Gilbertson. All of us want to see Coach Gilbertson succeed but I must admit I do have some concerns. Although I do believe we have made some progress on the defense I see little if any improvement on offense. What blows me away is that this is the area I thought was Coach Gilbertson's bread and butter. To be brutally honest, I sit in the stands each week hoping to see something positive but so far I am at a total loss. I have seen nothing new this year except the shovel pass. As a matter of fact, I believe the offense has gone backwards since the start of the year if that's possible. I find it hard to believe that the receiving corps has made no progress even if these guys aren't the biggest and fastest. I was under the impression that Axman and Gilbertson were so good at the passing game that they could teach anybody to play throw and catch. Furthermore, I see no schemes to speak of, simply a lot of one on one stuff. That's great if you have a couple of Reggies running wild but we don't. Question: Coach Gilbertson has had a year and half to develop this receiving crops, why hasn't it happened?

A: Unfortunately the kids recruited to play receiver either have gotten hurt or simply haven't developed at this level. The fact that you take exception with my thinking probably puts you in the majority, but my opinion is that Keith Gilbertson has been dealt a difficult hand, and like Jim Lambright, is about to be thrown under the bus. He has already taken the first step in turning the program around and that was evident in his first and maybe only recruiting class which I think will be the foundation for a great Husky future. I have sat in many meetings with the man and know what a fine coach he is. Given another year or two, who knows what would happen. All I know is he never got a chance because of poor evaluation in recruiting too many quitters and temperamental players. At least he is building a great starting block for the next coach, should they make a change. columnist and KJR 950 Sports Radio personality, Dick Baird.
Dick Baird was an Assistant Coach (Linebackers) and Recruiting Coordinator at the UW from 1985-1998. He has joined the staff as a featured columnist for both the web site and Sports Washington magazine. In addition to his regular editorial columns, Coach Baird will try to provide some of his unique perspective by answering a few of your selected questions online. If you would like to send in your questions, please CLICK HERE.

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