Ask Coach Baird

1-0 after one game. You can't really ask for more than that at this point if you are a Husky fan. Now the boys hit the road for Norman, Oklahoma. I fly out Thursday so I thought I'd better get my mail bag emptied before heading out. Here are the answers to your letters . . .


From Bob Olson
Coach Baird,
: It appears to me that this years class of recruits is turning out better than its rankings. Let us know your thoughts on some of them so far.

A: I would agree with your assessment on this year's class. I think they did well except that there are not enough of them. I would have liked to see them take about 3 more offensive linemen. The two linebackers, Butler and Houston look really good and if you count the other Houston, the running back who transferred in, then he too looks good as does the corner, Mosley, and the defensive end, Matthews. OG Tolar is in the depth and FB Homer is also. The JC class is only 4 out of 7 so far but there is one starter in Wells and the snapper of course. All and all I think they are a good nucleus to build around. I believe that the next two classes will have 22-25 each and they will define the future.
From Scott Searing
Coach Baird,
: I know a lot of people think that these "little" things are irrelevant, "as long as your winning who cares" but here are my questions. It's obvious that the Nike Husky dog is very unpopular (gee I wonder why!?) with a lot of people, do you see us either going back to the old dog or getting a new one? Colors...Our gold looks like beige and the purple away pants looked fantastic especially compared to the all gold assemblage that we now have. When are we going to wakeup? Apparel/Fan gear...have you ever looked at the crap they sell these days? With the exception of a few items the Husky fan apparel needs a complete overhaul! I remember going into the Husky stores on University Way and stocking up on gear. I had to have what they sold, now none of the stuff I see online does anything for me. And how long until we know one way or the other about the JC guys eligibility?

A: I agree with you on everything but obviously I didn't have a vote. I do know they are going to can the weasel in the near future. Myself, I would like to go to Adidas and leave Nike for the Ducks and Cougars. We won in the three stripes years ago, and I'm sick of Nike dictating our colors and dog. Write Todd Turner a letter and tell him what you think. As for the JC kids, I ask the same question every time I go to practice and get the same answer. It will be after the first game or at least by the time school starts. Right now don't count on them. Pretend they are injured and move on.
From Tony Donati
Coach Baird,
: I really to appreciate your positiveness and the fact you bleed purple through and though. Thank you! My question is this… I have read statements from staff on this website that the current Husky coaching staff "has no idea what Husky Football really is." Do you believe that is true? I know Coach Tormey and Coach Hart have been with Dawgs back in the "good ol' days" so I would think they know what Husky Football is, but am I wrong? If it is true they don't know what it's all about, do we need to re-define what Husky Football is now?

A: To say that the current Husky staff doesn't know what Husky football really is doesn't make sense. They are what it is and certainly if people were making reference to the past I know most of those coaches have been in Husky Stadium before and like you said, Randy has been here since the turn of the century and so has Chris. If they meant smash mouth high flying defense and run it down your throat offense then hold on because that is what you are about to see, again. I really believe they will run for more yards than they have in years and play the best defense since the 90's. So there you have it. I think the world of Coach Willingham as a sports-educator and sincerely believe he will take us to a Rose Bowl and beat USC within three years.
From Josh Shaver in Alaska
Coach Baird,
: I was just reading an article about all these star recruits who are transferring or looking to transfer due to wanting to play right away. How do you feel as a former RC about taking two top QB's in the same class? What about the advice these guys are getting coming in, if a recruit is 4 or 5 star he probably has his pick of the top 25 programs so why aren't they looking at where they would fit in by position? For example, Locker came in at a great time for a QB. He probably will (or should) redshirt this year and even if he only makes second on next years depth chart he will have 3 more years where the job will be his to lose. My point is that there is probably lot of good players warming the benches or at best only starting one year at UM, USC, Florida State (I'm looking at you Lorenzo Booker), UCLA, etc. that could have been starters for multi-years at other schools. Do you ever see an easing of the transfer rules in the future?

A: Transfers are always a risk but that is a good point about playing time. I think the running back they got from Texas will be pretty good once he is in the program for a while and improves his conditioning. Right now the #2 and #3 quarterbacks are also transfers so it does help especially when the cupboard is bare. That said, I still believe in the 5 year plan of developing linemen and when you can redshirt all but a few freshmen then you are doing things the right way. I still believe you can win with 22 year olds better than 18 year olds. Roy Lewis is the best example of taking a good transfer as he might be one of the best players on the team. We always considered Washington kids or kids we had recruited but lost the first go round like Ben Madahvi. I think that the administration will realize they could help sports and transfers in general by having majors within which to put their credits no matter what classes they took. If you take a college credit class then it should be honored as such.
From Mike
Coach Baird,
: How do they calculate the 20 hours per week of participation rule? Do games count in that total?

A: Games do count in the 20 hour work week, but only 3 hours total. That only leaves you 17 total hours for practice and team meetings, film sessions etc when coaches are present. Additionally you have to give them one day off per week so it amounts to about 3 hours per day 5 days a week. You must maintain a log and be able to prove you don't go over the allotted 20. Of course the NCAA fudges on it by allowing individual session in most of the other sports. I think it is good from the educational standpoint but terrible from the football preparation standpoint. Of course, kids can work out on their own or watch video on their own but can't be required to do so.
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.


Dawgman.com Top Stories