Part II: New OC Tim Lappano

Tim Lappano will take the reigns as the new offensive coordinator this year at Washington. He expects his offense to be very up-tempo, physical, and also expects that there will be only one quarterback instead of the revolving door that was there last year for the signal callers.

Coming off of a 1-10 season, Husky fans look to the future for hope of a quick turnaround. Particularly on offense, as the Huskies struggled mightily to move the football. Expect a big change in schemes and philosophy from Lappano from Pettas, last year's offensive coordinator.

"You guys (in the media) can go ahead and tell me how many games we'll win next year, but what I can tell you is that we will play fast on offense. We'll play with passion and speed and discipline. We'll play with emotion and we'll be physical on offense. We have the personnel do to that. We have enough athleticism to do it. Not all of it right now, but from what I see we'll be able to do a lot."

Lappano will also serve as the Huskies quarterback coach. He has a definite philosophy on the position, one that will most likely mean the end of a platoon system at Washington.

"I am not a two-quarterback guy. I believe in having one guy and building the team around him. That's what we want to be able to do. We have to find our guy and go with him. It'll be a tough job. At Oregon State, I inherited a walk-on named Jonathan Smith that was 5-8, ran a 5.0 40, and wasn't supposed to be any good. We got him to throw the ball where he was supposed to and he did just fine. At Purdue, Drew Brees was not supposed to be big enough, have a strong enough arm, or fast enough despite being AAAAA player of the year in Texas, but we got him to understand where to go with the football, make smart decisions, and be a leader. That is my philosophy as the quarterback coach. To make sure my quarterback understands what options he has when there is a blitz, where to go with a single safety middle, a two safety middle, whatever he's facing. He has to know what to do and to be a leader," said Lappano.

"He doesn't have to carry the team, just make smart decisions."

At Oregon State, Lappano had to start a true freshman in Derek Anderson, so he has patience and is willing to stick with the guy he feels will grasp his offense the best. "We just tried to give him a little bit at a time. He had some strong years despite making some mistakes. You get that when you start a true freshman," said Lappano.

This is not a man that is into quarterback controversies. Expect none of those, at least within the coaching ranks.

When it comes to recruiting, Lappano is very flexible. "I know this state well, and have recruited it. I have also recruited northern California for 18 years so I'm very familiar with this territory. It's important to have good relationships with the high school coaches, particularly the ones in this state. Coach Willingham knows we have to do that in order to win here. Don James was so successful because he got the best kids to stay home and play for him. You can't underestimate the importance of that."

Lappano knows Keith Gilbertson well and has spoken to him since arriving in town. "He loves the UW and I think he was disappointed the way things turned out. He has a lot of pride and love for this school, and he thinks that we can win here. We just have to go get the best athletes in this state and get some good kinds from California and get this thing where it should be."

Lappano will not use the option as a primary weapon as it has been in the past for the Huskies. "There is a place for the speed option in the offense. We used it in the past against the blitz, but that is probably the only time you'll see it from us. We have a lot of other things right now we want to do, but it's always a good blitz check."

At Oregon State, Lappano had Ken Simonton and then Steven Jackson to call on when it came time to run the football. At Washington, he'll need for a back to emerge from the pack to help him run his offense.

"I'm not sure the types of runners we have here, but the kind of guy I'm looking for a is a complete runner. We need a guy that can run the ball downhill inside, break tackles, and get to the edge. The type of guy we want here is a guy that can catch the football as well, to run routes out of the backfield. If he can do that, we can keep in our base personnel so defenses can't go nickel and dime on us. That really benefits us in what we can do on offense. We need a complete back."

Kenny James may relish his role in Tim Lappano's offense. This spring will tell us a lot in that regard.
Click here if you missed part I of this introduction to new Husky OC Tim Lappano.

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