Ask Coach Baird

Well, Washington is 2-0, just as I predicted. I know, I'm a homer and always pick them to win, but I have seen this team more than any person in the media or NOT officially connected to the program, and I can say with fairly educated opinion that this Husky team is much better than any in the last few years. And now, on to your letters.


From Kris Kuhn
Coach Baird,
: I just love your Q & A Dawgman.com blog. It's great! I really respect you because you say what you really feel. You love the UW and that is obvious. I am so glad you are connecting with the fans. You are very much appreciated by UW fans. A few months ago, I sent you a letter saying that if they do NOT expand seating capacity in Husky Stadium when they go to all the money and work of renovation would be inexcusable. It's like buying a brand new car with only two wheels. We need to not only keep up with the other PAC-10 stadium expansions (EVEN Oregon in that bump in the road, Eugene expanded their stadium). If we want to compete in the PAC-10, but even more so in the nation, we need to be willing to do this RIGHT! Sure, it costs more money to expand the seating capacity, but this is not an everyday deal. This happens so rarely. If we do not make the MOST of this opportunity to improve and enhance Husky Stadium, it is like saying, "We really don't believe in our return to a top football school." I'd like you opinion and to know what more I can do than what I've done. I've written Todd Turner. I've written Mark Emmert. I know that if we do not do this expansion NOW, we'll regret it big-time later. It won't get any cheaper and we can't renovate but once in many, many years. Thanks, Coach, for your dedication and love of Husky football. We are fortunate to have you!

Secondly, I just loved Don James. I really feel Tyrone Willingham is an excellent man and an excellent coach. They remind me of each other. Because of that, I wonder do you think Don James will ever hold any type of football position with the Huskies. Even as an advisor...anything? He is such an asset and wonderful man...I'd love to see his influence in addition to our great coach Tyrone Willingham.

A: Dear Kristen, Husky Stadium needs attention and it needs to be addressed now. The fact is we should have done it 15 years ago when we were hot and we could have afforded it. Unfortunately, the administration at the time (both on upper campus and in the AD) did not have the same priorities and did little for the sport of football. Todd Turner and this administration have done more to support and promote football in the last four years than the previous administration did in 12 years. That said remodeling the stadium may not include expansion but I personally think they should go to over 80,000 while at the same time repairing the current infrastructure. The former administration built a softball facility and never really finished it, a baseball facility and never finished it, and a soccer facility and never finished it. I wonder why they didn't build a track around the soccer facility and then had soccer/track and field facility with a nice athletic stadium thereby, moving the track out of Husky Stadium and really opening up possibilities.

Coach James is happily retired and already has a role in Husky Football, he's a fan. I saw he and Carol sitting with all of the Husky fan base in Syracuse and that was pretty special. There they were just being part of the Husky family and I'm sure the fans appreciated their being with them as well. He supports Coach Willingham and Husky athletics in general and I doubt would want to play any other role than that, but he enjoys kicking Dawgman's butt in golf, I can tell you that.
From Ron Siegel
Coach Baird,
: THANKS FOR THE KIND WORDS, WILL SPEND MORE TIME WITH HIGH SCHOOL AND JUCO FOOTBALL. I TOLD SOME RECENTLY YOU ARE STILL THE BEST LINEBACKER TO WEAR THE GREEN AND YELLOW ON 15TH AVE N.E. TAKE CARE AND BEST REGARDS.

A: Ron, Nice of you to even remember my high school playing days and considering that was close to 45 years ago you must really be old. Hang in there and keep following the sport. You have a great eye for talent.
From Josh in AK
Coach Baird,
: What is the relationship between O-line talent and rushing yards. Could an outstanding running back like Cory Dillon have had 1,000 yard seasons with the O-lines that the Dawgs have had over the last 5-6 years?

A: Come on Josh, you know the answer, of course a great running back is only as good as his O line and Corey would have been a good runner with any line but not the great runner that Olin, Benji, and the boys made him. They have not had those kinds of linemen since they won a Rose Bowl to start this century. We'll see how this line progresses but they are off to a good start. You also have to commit to running the football and that has not been the case for almost 10 years as the Huskies have been pretty pass happy for the last 6-7 years. Hope that is the case now as I really think they practice it more and that is why they are better at it. Running the ball, that is.
From Leonard Harmon
Coach Baird,
: I wanted to add to your CB discussion from your last column! Not that you need my input, and of course know all these things I'm about to say, but Ty and staff recruited plenty of CB's, but because of the PSA's lack of focus, didn't get into school or attend scheduled court dates. Also, Trufant was a RB in high school and if I remember correctly, wasn't that highly recruited for the position.

A: You are correct about their recruitment of corners but the bottom line is they still have to play who they have and it doesn't make any difference whose fault it is that there is a shortage. Trufant was just an athlete. He played both ways and I am positive we were in good position with him but he wasn't evaluated the same by every coach on the staff. We missed on him, and he wound up having a great career at WSU and is still playing in the NFL.

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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