Ask Coach Baird

Washington is right where I expected them to be: 3-1 going on the road to face a Wildcat team that is nearly in the same boat. Two programs fighting to show the world that they are turning the corner on their rebuilding projects. And now, on to your letters . . . .

From Scott Anderson from Yakima
Coach Baird,
: It's always great to read insights and responses to the questions from us Husky faithful. My question pertains to the pathetic calls and non-calls in the UW/SJSU game. How can a coaching staff register a complaint if, based on film evidence, officials have clearly missed or been out of position to make the proper calls. I guess taking down Greyson must not be holding, and catching the ball about 3 yards out of bounds must be OK?! Any chance of a reemergence of the Hunters?

A: Great to hear from you, and thanks again for all the help you gave us in the Yakima area years ago. Juan Garcia certainly looks like he is going to rank as one of the best Husky linemen ever out of that area. Scott, I think that after the Oklahoma/Duck fiasco, it's just best to leave the subject alone. It's best just to not worry about officiating. There are a lot of calls through my fifty years of football that seemed wrong, intentional and actually many that the determined the final outcome of games. Still, we need to remember that officials are human beings and as such they are not perfect, we are assuming that they are not bias, prejudice, or otherwise influenced to favor one team over another. Then, assume there are also a lot of just plain bad officials who miss calls and or disrupt the final outcome because of their incompetence. We can't control that which we have no control over. Just remember the good calls and the ones that have gone for our team. I know you know that there have been many calls through the years that have gone for the Huskies but were wrong calls. It all evens out.
From Dick "Appy" Applestone
Coach Baird,
: Thanks for all your insights. They really help. I was really shocked when I heard that Hasty was academically ineligible for the coming season given Coach Willingham's emphasis on academics. I can't believe that someone wasn't on him and his profs every day. After all, he was their top recruit last year. What happened?

A: Can't put this on anyone but the kid himself. It isn't fair to try to fix the blame anywhere else. I know the Student-Academic Services worked hard with this kid but you can only lead the horse to water.
From G Weishaar
Coach Baird,
: With the restriction on the number of hours that a team can practice and play in one week, can you tell me , on a daily basis beginning with Sunday, what the practices consist of?

A: The game counts as 3 hours so that leaves you 17 left to split over 5 days. You are required to give the kids one day off, typically Monday. Now they can still hit the weight room and conditioning and study table and watch video on their own and do "voluntary" stuff. I think they use Sunday after church to get in another workout and get the lactic acid out and get their treatments and initial introduction to their opponent as well as review the previous game. Maybe a walk thru, but obviously meetings. Probably about 3 hours of countable contact. Tues is probably 1 hour of meetings and 2 hours of practice without full pads. Wed is another meeting and practice only this time in pads, totaling probably 4 hours. Now you're down to 7 hours. A lighter practice and meetings on Thurs and maybe more video and meetings and a walk thru on Friday and you've used up your 17 hours.
From Boomie from Spokane
Coach Baird,
: Having been a Husky fan since the Schloredt/Mcketa days my support for the UW has never wavered even during the bad times, and it saddens me to see so many empty seats during our home games, hopefully people will realize that their support can make a huge difference in their resurgence as a Pac 10 power. Now a quick question; in the past 3 or 4 years it has become obvious that the UW offensive lines are not as dominate as they were in the past so why do they not try running more sweeps and less up the middle, Rankin and even Sampson have the speed to make this work and Stanbach could easily run or pass off of this type of run offense, hey it worked for USC for years!

A: A lot of what you see is specific to that week's game plan. I don't think you want to try to get outside against an Oklahoma defense that could run like they did. Also in order to run outside it is usually to the strong side and that requires a dominating tight end. End of explanation as to why the Huskies have not made it a big part of their attack yet. Watch for them to pick up the outside attack as the season progresses. Options, bootlegs, sprint outs, and shot gun sweeps could all really pick up over the season. You're correct to observe they haven't really attacked the edge of the defenses yet but that is because teams are getting up field to hem in Isaiah.
From Mark Harris
Coach Baird,
: During the Oregon -vs- Oklahoma game there was a report about a special pair of cleats that were made for J. Stewart. They were designed to help with his ankle sprain. Why do other Pac-10 schools not do something about this. It is a special benefit. Why does Washington not ask for the same type of shoe for Dashon Goldson? I could careless that Nike did this for Stewart, but they should offer this shoe to every other Nike school. Is Washington aware of what happened?

A: I would assume that all schools that have a deal with Nike would be told about any special equipment with the regard to injuries. That said, it Oregon's relationship with Nike and Phil Knight in particular that isn't fair. They have for years used him and their sponsorship to help in their recruiting. Oregon is Nike. I would personally like to have the UW switch at the end of their contract simply because I resent the implied favored association between Knight and their program. (When I was coaching I personally saw Phil Knight with their recruits outside the locker room after the game). He was being introduced and then the kids were told he couldn't talk with them. It was a stretch of the rules but there is no question in anybody's mind that he is a major selling factor and they are certainly on the cutting edge as far as obnoxious uniforms. Every school has something really unique to sell or to offer and in Oregon's case it's obviously Nike.
From Allan Hamilton
Coach Baird,
: My Question refers to the Offensive Line. I like to read Bob Condotta's football and basketball blog in The Seattle Times. I read one where he asked a question of Coach Lappano and the using of just 5 Offensive Lineman to take every snap in the first 3 games. From what I gathered he said that this will continue and he does not feel it is necessary to break the continuity of the top 5 Lineman just for the sake of giving the backups game experience. What is wrong with putting a couple of guys in the game for a couple of series to just get them some snaps? I can't believe that Coach Lappano would truly believe that those five guys are going to last the whole season. How are you supposed to develop any depth in that area without giving the other guys some reps during the game?

A: The depth is not to the point where any of those five guys can come out of the game. That is what it is, and that is where we are. Recruiting will need to be strong there in the coming years.
From John Edwards
Coach Baird,
: Hi coach… continue to love your articles and time on KJR. My question this week is - Why did Coach Willingham call two timeouts at the end of the game with time running out and UCLA having the ball?

A: In the heat of the moment I completely missed the timeouts you are referring to. Softy had just whispered in my ear, "wouldn't it be cool if they intercepted a pass right here, and took it to the house." On the very next play Dan Howell does that exact thing. We lost it! We couldn't believe it and nearly got kicked out of the press area because we celebrated too hard. Oh well, that's all I remembered at the end of the game, sorry. 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. Top Stories