(On coaching so far) "It’s been great. There was a learning curve there, still is every day, some things I have to be responsible for, get everything organized. I’ve got a great staff that’s helping me out, and the football stuff is great. We’ve still got enough coaches here that know our team. One day at a time."
(How have players responded?) "They responded great. You saw a little bit of practice today. They’re enthusiastic, they’re running around, they’re playing physical, they’re playing fast. They’re locked in. very few mental errors. They’re acting like nothing’s happened. That’s kind of what we wanted, make sure there’s some continuity through the change. Now I think our sole focus is getting down to San Francisco and winning a game."
(Any changes to offense?) "We have a pretty good offense this year. I don’t think you’ll see too many changes. We’ll have some new wrinkles. But that’s not unlike anything for a bowl game. You’ve got all this time to watch your opponent. We’ll have some different scheme deals. The nuts and bolts of it is what you’re used to seeing a Husky offense be – up-tempo and explosive and hopefully that’s the case on Friday night."
(Hardest part about transition to interim head coach?) "That’s a little more … there’s more on my plate. But you do what you’ve got to do. There’s a great staff in place. We kind of have a routine that’s been set. I’m used to that. There’s not too much change. There’s more responsibilities. Instead of just focusing on the quarterbacks, watching the film and getting my meeting ready, now I have to get team meetings organized, get what you’re going to say, all that good stuff."
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(What made you want to be a head coach from a young age?) "I don’t know. It’s like … just leading a group of young men. I’m passionate about football. I’ve always had a desire to be the best at whatever it is I do. Playing in the NFL and being a head coach and just coaching up guys to go do that, play well. I love the game and it’s an opportunity to stay in the game and share my experience with them. For some reason, that’s always been part of something I want to do."
(Did success at UW make that desire stronger?) "I don’t know if that made it more so or not. I think if I was somewhere else, I’d still have the same desire in my heart to do this. I love teaching. I love giving guys some direction in life and helping them achieve their goals."
(Surprised you find yourself as head coach this early?) "I don’t know if you can ever predict how it’s going to happen. Obviously this is a certain role that has come about. I’m thrilled to do it. I’ll do my job, and we’ve got one more game left and I’m excited about that."
(On BYU) "They’re physical. They play hard, and they don’t quit. They’re going to play all 60 minutes. They played a great schedule, they have some marquee wins. They do pose some challenges. I think our schedule has helped us. We played against some of the best teams in the country. It’s going to be a battle. They’ve got a great quarterback who can run it and throw it. He’s kind of leading the way for them. They have a great linebacker in (Kyle) Van Noy. Their front is very good. We’ll have our hands full. But our guys will be up for the challenge. They’re fired up."
(BYU series has some history?) "For me it does because I played against them three times, coached against them a couple here. Our kids, I think they just know they beat Texas early in the year, and then been pretty successful the last couple years. So they resonate with that. So they understand the opponent that we’re going to face. I think they understand they’re a program that has rich history, as well as ours. That excites them."
(Spent much time at home?) "Well, one nice thing about bowl games is there is no school and you have more time to do things, especially since our staff, we’re not out recruiting, so we have all the time in the world to go over game plans and stuff. So it’s not been as long as you might think. I’ve definitely spent more time than I thought I was going to, now that I’m in my new role."
(Do you rely on older assistants for help?) "I think even if I’ve been head coach for 10 years, I think you’ve always got to run things by your staff. There’s certainly going to be things you want to be a certain way. But especially in this situation, they’ve been a great help. A lot of things we’ve talked about it just in the best interest of our young men and how we can help them stay focused and be energetic about this opportunity, because they’ve had a great year. As coaches we’ve helped them, but they went out, they put forth the effort, they played well in the games. We’re 8-4 and we have a chance to play in a bowl game. They’ve been great in helping me make sure we’re doing everything we can to give them all the resources and the time and energy to go down to San Francisco and be successful, ultimately, and win the game on Friday."
(How important is getting the ninth win?) "It’s very important. We’re competitors. Every time you go out on the field you want to win and you believe you can and you give all you’ve got to do that. We have another chance to be victorious again and for the ninth time, I think that’s going to set a precedent for this program moving forward."
(Cyler Miles missed practice?) "He had some things he had to tend to. He’s fine. He’s good."