Ask Coach Baird

Hello Dawg fans. Hope you all are enjoying the downtime and the stretch run for recruiting. Quite a storm we had in the area, hopefully you all came through it safely. From myself and the rest of us here at Dawgman.com, have a VERY HAPPY HOLIDAYS. And now onto the letters . . .


From Jack Sonnichsen
Coach Baird,
: After reading about the status of Ashlee Palmer and listening to your past comments on the difficulty associated with JC transfers gaining admission to the U-Dub, I'm beginning to wonder if there is much hope. If the U-Dub can't figure out a way to adjust their curriculum to maintain competition with the other PAC-10 schools then there is something truly wrong with this institution, don't you think? I mean lets face the facts, the U-Dub ranks fairly high in academic performance but in no way does this university exceed other public schools in our conference for example UC Berkeley, or UCLA so what gives? I was under the impression that our president was well aware of how important sports has become to the health and welfare of colleges in this day and age. So what is the answer? Is this something that the Alumni Association should champion?

A: I can feel your frustration but want to remind you that academics are the responsibility of the kid - not the school. Kids are usually at the JC level for academic reasons in the first place, so when you recruit them you have to realize that. They need to meet your standards - not the other way around. I realize that not having PE or Recreation majors make things more difficult in terms of CORE transfer credits, but Washington does not need to lower its standards, they merely have to get creative in their offerings. I'm not a big proponent of building with JC players anyway. I would rather have a kid and develop him over a 4-5 year period rather than turning them over every 2 years. That being said, I do think that Ashlee Palmer will make it into school.
From Brian Gjersee
Coach Baird,
: Coach-Hugh Millen said that Jake Locker is the most talented athlete ever to lace it up at the UW. Do you feel he has the talent to meet or exceed people's expectations?

A: Coach Millen is too smart to ever be a coach so let's just call him Hugh. I have great respect for Hugh's opinion - especially when it comes to quarterback play and the passing game. I also happen to agree with his assessment that as a freshman Jake Locker is ever bit as good and certainly as talented in terms of speed, arm strength, and general potential for the position as any of the QB's I've seen in the last 25 years of so of watching Husky football. Let's recognize that the key word is potential. Many and most of the quarterbacks at the UW before him had better surrounding players though. Better receivers, backs, linemen, and tight ends make for better quarterbacks. He can't do it alone.
From Marc Franco
Coach Baird,
: Coach Baird- could you explain why John Anderson never made it in the NFL? This was a guy with an enormous leg, who never missed a kick that counted in four years. He certainly missed some kicks, but no important ones. He clearly had great strength of will and personality, coming across the country as he did, and then bringing along two friends to boot. Why did he never make it in the pros? Also, do you know what he is doing now?

A: I saw John this season and he is working in the family business with his dad and it has to do with storage in Florida. He got hurt his senior year and it got compounded before the draft. It was a hip flexor and it directly affected his kicking motion and by the time he healed he was not in kicking shape. He has moved with a life after football and I know loves to fish - he and I always had that in common. He is really a class act and I agree was one of the top kickers the Huskies have ever had. When healthy, his leg strength was probably the best ever in the program.
From Ken Free
Coach Baird,
: Love your stuff on Dawgman, and on Husky Honks. It is great having a former coach and such a big positive influence in the media for our Dawgs out there for us to read. Why aren't you writing for other outlets so your positive message gets out to everyone?

A: KJR and Dawgman (and Sports Washington magazine) is all that is needed, Ken. Dawgman is the only on-line media I would consider writing for that do this sort of thing – they are honest, they do it right, and frankly, no one else is even close to them in terms of reputation and numbers. It's a no-brainer, and they are streamed onto FOX and Google, so more people read this than you think. I do some work with the Bremerton Sun on occasion though, and that's fun.

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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