Player and Coach Quotes - 9/28 Idaho

In the meeting room after Washington's 41-27 win over Idaho, the mood was upbeat and energetic. The Washington players know there is a lot of work ahead of them but appeared confident the kinks will be worked out by the time kickoff comes around this Saturday against Cal in their conference opener.

Marquis Cooper:
On his day and the defensive lapse in the second half: "We didn't change schemes or anything in the second half. We thought we just had them, but they came out ready fired up and ready to play. We were a little overconfident, and we've got to do a better job of picking that end of it up. It was our fault (for the second-half letdown) pretty much. Today we came out fired up, but I guess we didn't step it up in the second half as much as Idaho did. We just didn't do the things we did in the first half."

On his interception: "On the pick, I was just dropping off when I saw the ball got tipped and I said ‘oh man, here it comes'. And I went up and dived for it and came up with it."

Braxton Cleman:
On his first game in a year: "It was great going out to face another team rather than our scout guys. I think I could have done a lot better, I expect a lot out of myself. But it was great being out there helping the guys. I felt a little bit cautious at first – the one run I broke off to the outside brought back memories of my collarbone incident as well as the hamstring. But I think I did all right, I really didn't hesitate out there. It felt really good to get some yards the team needed. And I think I'll do a lot better as the season goes on – I'll make sure of that in practice starting this week. We're really looking forward to getting into PAC-10 conference play now."

Rich Alexis:
Speaking on his roommate and confidant Charles Frederick: "Charles is more grown up now, more mature. He's coming out here now trying to live life and helping the team any way he can. He knows that last year was a struggle, especially when people didn't understand what he was going through. Three thousand miles, and he'd never been away from home before. But now he's a year older, and he's making the best of it. He's like my brother – I'm with him all the time. Now he's doing what I've been telling everyone he can do."

On leading the team in receptions two weeks running: "It's ridiculous how deep we are at receiver, and they're getting on ME for catching more balls (laughing). It's a gas, and I'm loving it." So what of the one ball that he DIDN'T get – one that could have resulted in a score? Alexis had some fun with that one. "What happened was, Cody was supposed to lead me, but he gave me a ball on my hip (laughing harder now). We weren't on the same page – Cody made some sort of excuse that he thought I wanted it that way. I told him to throw it out there and let me run to get it – don't expect me to go turning all the way around for it." Then sheepishly he added, "it hit me in the hands and I dropped it. But it worked out later, I found some green (as in the end zone)".

Roc Alexander:
On hitting: "I'm trying. With Coach Hauck every day, it's like ‘Hit, hit hit!' and ‘Cover, cover, cover!', so he's a great coach out there and it shows on the field."

On being a speed corner or a physical corner?: "I think of myself as both. I can be a speed guy at times and a physical guy at times. When you combine the whole package for a full game, 60 minutes, I think I'll be alright."

On his shoulder: "I don't think about the shoulder. When you start thinking about it, you have problems with it. I just try to block it out of my mind…just go out there and play."

On what Idaho was doing: "Idaho has a lot of passes…10, 12-yard passes. They had a great offensive plan, so we just tried to match up with them."

Greg Carothers:
On not playing big games lately: "One of the reasons you go to college to play football is to play those big games. If Coach Neuheisel can get those big games on the schedule, I'll be happy to play ‘em. But I'm not at all disappointed with the teams we've been playing. Idaho could probably do some things than a lot of teams in the Pac-10. They've been getting a lot of first downs, moving the ball really well."

On the reversal of first-half sluggishness: "I'm not going to say it's not that, but I wasn't surprised that they put together a long drive or two on us. They've been doing it and I expected it to happen. They've been doing it against Pac-10 teams we'll be seeing. We gave them more than we should have. I think we stopped paying attention to detail and they were tearing us apart with the short throws and things like that."

On the hybrid ‘Nickel' package: "We move Chris Massey back. He's a coverage guy and they move me up because I'm more of a run guy. It gives me a chance to play closer with the short passing game and it gives him a chance to roam because he's a little bit quicker. I like it. We don't play it all the time, so it's nice to have things mixed up a little."

On Jimmy Newell: "He seemed fine. I didn't get a chance to talk to him after the game. I think he was just glad to finish a game without busting something up or popping out a shoulder."

Charles 'ET' Frederick:
On his game coming naturally: "I think to me it's more reacting, just seeing what they'll give me. I just take what they give me. I don't try to do too much, but if the defender is going to let me do what I can, I'll do it."

On the touchdown pass: "On the pass, all I was thinking about was beating the first guy. I knew if I beat the first guy, I thought I would be alright, but then I saw the other dude and that's when cut back and saw Wilbur (Hooks). That's when I knew I needed one more blocker."

On the sidelines after the score: "They kept telling me how that would be a good highlight for Monday. They were just going crazy, telling me what a great run it was. I don't know about that (Sportscenter), but that would be nice." (laughs)

On his blocking: "This whole week we were talking about blocking the safeties, so I knew that if there was a running play and I had to get a block on the safety I was going to do it."

On the difference between this year and last: "This year I'm just more comfortable, learning the offense and knowing the plays and stuff. Right now I'm doing great. I think I've matured a lot, probably by me staying here this summer and working out with the team more...I think I've matured a lot."

On Cody getting the credit for his yards after the catch: "That's OK. I told him, ‘Great throw. Keep throwing it to me and I'll keep catching it.'" (laughs)

Cody Pickett:
On another big day: "It feels good. We did some things we wanted to do on offense today, but again we had some missed opportunities and hopefully we'll get that fixed before the Pac-10 starts."

On Reggie going down: "Definitely that's something you don't want to see. Reggie's a great receiver, but we have guys that are going to step up, play as hard as they can and make plays. It was good that we were still able to come out and do the things we wanted to do when Reggie went down. It's a big confidence-booster."

On ET: "Like I've been saying all year, everybody talks about Reggie and Paul, and they are great guys, but we have lots of great guys here. ET, Wilbur…you're going to see lots of guys making big plays this year. I just have to get the ball in their hands and let them do it."

On Idaho's defense: "I wasn't surprised. They are a confident bunch of guys and they had safeties over the top a lot. They tried to single up when Reggie went down and Wilbur came in, but he made some big plays for us."

On using Alexis: "That's something the coaches have really been stressing lately. If the routes aren't open, go down to your check-down. We've got so many good receivers that they are going to respect our passing game. When they do that, then I'll take the little stuff we're given. And Rich is making good plays with the ball when he gets it."

On how the team looks going into conference play: "This is basically the same group of guys we had last year. We had some key guys we lost, like Kyle Benn and Willie Hurst and obviously Jerramy (Stevens), but we're a year more advanced. We're a confident group of guys and we're still pretty young and we're learning as we go."

On the emergence of Kevin Ware: "I've always been comfortable with Kevin. As everyone knows around here, the tight end plays a major role in the offense, so Kevin's stepping in and doing a great job. He's a big, physical guy. He's a great blocker and I like it when he catches balls too."

On what he needs to improve on: "I just need to throw better balls and be smart with the ball. I finally got through a game where I didn't fumble the ball, so that felt good. I just need to keep working on my reads."

On his comfort level in the pocket: "That's just being confident in your reads. Idaho had us covered up a couple of times, and my line did a great job of giving me more time and I could scramble out. It gave the receivers time to make a couple of extra moves to get open. And that happened a lot last week. They gave me lots of time to scramble around and find something open."

On the anticipation of league play: "We're excited. We definitely need to come out and play better than we have. This week we'll be really focused and we'll come out ready on Saturday. We've got a tough opponent. Cal's playing good. This is like our second season. It's all new. It's a fresh start. Our goal, like it is every year, is to try and win a conference championship."

On the touchdown no-call: "I thought I made it. I saw the highlights. I thought I was in when I ran it. Did it look like I was out or in? I thought I was in, but that's alright."

On just being short on his own passing record: "I didn't even know. I wasn't even paying attention to that."

On Reddick being open in the middle: "They were really trying to get out on our ‘Z' and ‘X' receivers. They were really protecting out on the outside. There was some room in the middle, and Kevin (Ware) and Pat did a good job of getting open in there and making good catches."

On why teams keep daring UW to throw?: "I don't know. Seems like they want to man up and try and get the ball out of my hands as soon as possible. That's probably their plan…I don't know. You'd have to ask them. All I know is that whatever they try to do we'll do our best to execute our deal."

Kevin Ware:
On being more of a catching tight end: "I feel like I'm a little swifter this year. I feel like when a safety comes up I can give them a little shake, a little jab step and then come wide open. Honestly I feel that people are going to try and cove me in the Pac-10, but I'm ready to go every day and work as hard as I can. I want the best to come and try to test me."

On Cody Pickett: "Cody…he's a great guy. He just goes out and makes plays. He came here to play the quarterback position and I think he's done it to a ‘T'. And he's just going to keep doing what he's doing. Nobody can stop him."

On being more than just a blocking TE: "Earlier on I guess I just got that rep. I never felt I had bad hands. I'm just trying to prove the critics wrong. I consider myself a good athlete. I can't just get hemmed up by the linebackers and safeties, so you gotta do stuff to get open and I'm doing that very well this year."

Husky OC Keith Gilbertson:
On ‘Air Washington': "It's a collective effort – QB's, receivers, backs… it's a collective effort throwing the ball."

On Cody Pickett: "Gosh, I've had a lot of good ones here. I was here when (Warren) Moon was here. That's long ago, but I've been around Conklin and Billy and Brunell and Marques, and now Cody, so I've been blessed to be around some guys. He reminds me, in terms of composure and poise, of a player I had at Idaho – John Friesz. He's a little more athletic than John."

On changing things up in Williams' absence: "No, we're going to keep doing what we do. We've got six, now seven with Justin Robbins maybe being back at receiver, so we have plenty of depth there and we'll keep playing like that. We're into that…that's the way we want to play."

On ET: "He's always exciting. The guy made a phenomenal play! It was a great individual play…good throw, catch and run. I think Charles has had a pretty darn good year already anyways. We're all aware of what he's capable of and how he can contribute."

On Kevin Ware: "It's not like there aren't some good tight ends running around campus lately. It's like you have to wait your turn. I mean, the guy last year got drafted in the first round! Kevin's always been a quality athlete and a capable guy but we had a lot of depth there and had a terrific player last year and now Kevin's stepped in and he's a terrific player."

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