What the University of Washington hired in Steve Sarkisian was not only an energetic and innovative coaching mind, but it wanted to cash in on some – if not, all – the well-established treasures that come from the offense he ran at Southern California.
We know Sarkisian will stay committed to the run game (pay attention, tailbacks Chris Polk, Willie Griffin, Brandon Johnson and Demetrius Bronson). We know the run game will set up play-action pass (should be easier for you than it's been, quarterback Jake Locker). We know he likes to feature the tight end (hear that, Kavario Middleton). And we know he'll try and hit on a few big plays on seam and slant routes (yes, that means you, receivers D'Andre Goodwin, Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar and maybe even Anthony Boyles).
Entering the final week of the Huskies' spring camp, Sarkisian will install the rest of the meat of his playbook to his offense. By his estimation, "75 to 80 percent" of it will have been played out on the field.
Or as Locker put it, the "seventh (chapter)" of a 10-chapter sequence.
Exactly what has Sarkisian brought with him from Southern California? That is something I'll get into detail about for the edition Tuesday as the final week unfolds.
What it won't be is the whole bag of goodies. For a new offense – for a program way behind the Pacific-10 Conference's big boys, including Southern California – it will be a scaled-down version of what enriched the Trojans.
One of the best answers Sarkisian gave last week in post-practice reporters' session was detailing the process of creating a playbook best for the UW:
"Anytime you're in a system like I was in for 7-8 years at USC, things get run together, things get added onto and start stacking stuff up. Things make sense when you're in the system over time," the coach said.
"When we came here, we really looked at it and put this thing togehter, we really tried to be critical – 'Do things make sense?' We changed a lot of verbage from the way they were at USC. We tried to make it as player-friendly as possible. I think we did that. We wouldn't have been able to get as much in as we have if we didn't do it."
Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier explained how the process began: Sarkisian brought his playbook into a room of assistants, and the staff began finding ways to simplify the language of it, matching terminology in a way the players best understand it (and obviously the language is different from what is was at Southern California).
After that, the staff brainstorms on ideas, and contributes about 5 percent to Sarkisian's 95 percent in completing the playbook that is given to the players.
Needless to say, the binder handed out to the players a month before the debut of spring ball is a tad bigger than a "comic book," said backup quarterback Ronnie Fouch.