Ask coach Baird

Ah yes. It's time for one of my favorite road trips – down to the Wilamette Valley to see the Dawgs take on the Ducks. Washington is showing a lot of improvement, but has little to show for it in the "W" column. I received a couple of letters so I thought I'd reply to them before heading south. . . .


From Miek Picinich 101st Airborne
Coach,
: I didn't know that you taught at Kennedy High School. When were you there? I was there from 87-91. Just thought I'd share that with you. Take care, Currahee!!

A: I was at Kennedy High School with Lou Tice right after they opened the school. This was 1969, 70, and 71. Only about 20 years before you. Still remains one of my fondest memories in education. I made $8,000 a year and won lots of football games including one year when we were as good as any team in the state. I left when they didn't give me the head job, but eventually found a nice home on Montlake Boulevard.
From Scott Searing
Dear Coach Baird,
: Remember Coach...a wounded animal is the most dangerous! I just wish the Dawgs would play like that every game! My buddy told me about the years where Washington didn't have that "Don James" winning reputation of finding a way to win. He said that even without that the Huskies were always the hardest hitting team in every game and that opponents took a physical beating win or lose. How do we get that back? I guess it's all about winning now but it would be nice to get back to that level of physical play. I look at our offensive line and it just seems like they just need someone to slap them in the face! They need to develop that mean streak! What can be done to develop this? That goal line offense was pathetic! I was thinking the defensive front seven were too tentative, that is until the Idaho game! Hopefully they can keep playing that way. We just can't let ANY quarterback just sit back there (very comfortably I might add!) and make big plays! That hurt us over and over against Cal. Remember the 2003 wsu game? A average Husky team beat a very good WSU team. I've gotta believe that all the blitzing of a young quarterback made the difference. Whether it be twists or zone blitzes (I don't really understand all of that stuff...you're the guru!...maybe you could talk about that stuff on your show) or what have you it worked! We must have had 7 sacks against them and numerous picks...AWESOME! I'm 47 years old and I jumped that fence and danced on the W with all those college students! It was fun for a little while but than I just wanted out! Keep believing coach and I really enjoy your insight and your radio shows! GO DAWGS! WOOF!!

A: Thank you for your devotion to the Dawgs. I am totally with you with regard to the toughness factor and if you look closely, so is Coach Willingham. This team is learning how to play the game the right way. They are learning to be physical and to out hit their opponents. They did all of those things against UCLA except win the game. The change is taking place and the Washington Huskies are slowly going back to exactly what you are talking about. Smash mouth football and beat ‘em up defense. Toughness will improve in the trenches with recruiting, because to be frank, it is lacking in some areas.
From Rick
Coach Baird,
: I really enjoy the forum and your insight, and I love watching your Husky Honk banter On Demand every Friday night. I have to tell you that I am Extremely thrilled that we signed Chancellor Young. I was almost in tears when we lost him to Duke (just as I was in tears when T. Mays chose USC). But coach, as happy as I am...Is there Any way that we could get him to play corner? We already have like 8 receivers! This kid is big and strong and fast. Is there any discussion of moving him to corner? Do you think he will be better suited at corner?

A:Young has been told that he will get a chance to play receiver first. Watching our current crop, I really like Chambers and Shackelford, but think Young has speed and size and can compete with the others. Just because they have quantity doesn't always mean quality. Compare him with what you have and go from there. We did the exact same thing with Jeremy Stevens and that one turned out pretty well.
Dawgman.com 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 Dawgman.com 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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