There’s plenty of blame to go around, Sark says
Keith Price stepped forward to shoulder the blame. After a lackluster showing by the Washington offense in the annual spring game, the junior quarterback took the heat for the lack of production.
“It starts with me and I need to come out and bring more energy,” he said. “My energy level wasn’t where it needed to be and I think that’s probably why the offense didn’t get off to a good start.”
Coach Steve Sarkisian smiled when he heard the comment, but he wouldn’t let Price take all the blame.
“We pride ourselves on the energy level that we possess at the quarterback position,” Sarkisian said. “I’m not going to totally disagree with him on the statement. I’ve seen him more excited and energetic. That’s not an excuse for the rest of the guys, but I think we’ve learned how to feed off of Keith and he accepts it and that’s what makes him a great leader.”
Many of the problems started up front. An inexperienced offensive line struggled to protect Price and backup Derrick Brown, giving up seven sacks. The offense generated just 20 yards rushing.
“My concern isn’t big,” Sarkisian said. “We held (center Drew) Schaefer out after the first drive, we will get (offensive lineman Colin) Tanigawa back and then we will be game planning and doing things to attack opponents and protect (Keith) a little more. I’m not nearly as concerned offensively because of the knowledge I have of the guys and where we can take this thing.”
Offensive linemen were not made available to the media after the game, but Sarkisian defended their play.
“It’s film, it’s experience,” he said. “Those are valuable reps and steps for a young player to take at that position and trusting in fundamentals. I think there were some good things in there for our offensive line. But the key is – you make that one mistake and it’s a sack or a tackle for loss, and that just can’t occur.”
DRAWING ONE UP
As part of the spring day festivities, Sarkisian allowed one lucky fan to call the first play of the second half. That play was a reverse to speedy newcomer Marvin Hall. It resulted in a 7-yard loss when defensive end Josh Shirley sniffed it out and pulled down Hall before he could start toward the line of scrimmage.
“It was close,” Sarkisian said laughing. “Our splits might have been a little off with Marvin, but that was fun. That’s what this is all about. We embrace our fans, we love them. They are the best fans in America.”
Sarkisian signed the ball and gave it to the fan.
Receiver Kevin Smith and running back Deontae Cooper were among those dressed in full pads who did not participate. … The offense wore white helmets, purple jerseys and white pants, while the defense wore gold helmets, black jerseys and black pants. … Huskies legends Napoleon Kaufman, Lawyer Milloy and Sonny Sixkiller were honorary captains. … Back-up offensive guard Siosifa Tufunga was wearing a sling after having surgery on his broken left hand. … There were several members of the 2012 recruiting class in attendance, most notably prized safety Shaq Thompson.
Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports