Here's what Washington coach Chris Petersen told reporters after practice this evening.
(Evaluation of yesterday’s scrimmage?) “Defense a little bit ahead, maybe a lot ahead of the offense. Typical first scrimmage. I think that’s probably how it needs to be, maybe, from a head coach perspective, where you’re never good because whoever does well, you’re really worried about the other side of the ball. I think at this point, if your offense is doing some really good things against your defense, that’s probably not good in the long run. Defense got about four turnovers, two of them went for scores, so they were flying around pretty good. Eventually we got a few things going on offense, but we’ve definitely got to shore up some details.”
(Was some of that on the QBs?) “Some of it is the quarterback, no question about it. When our quarterbacks play good, the offense does at least OK, if he’s playing good. If we get the guys around him playing good, we’ve got something special going on.”
(QB seems hard to sort out at this point) “That’s why they’re all getting reps. It’s going to be a work in progress. Even when eventually we get the first guy named for the first game, that doesn’t mean it’s done and over. Everybody’s going to keep competing and certain guys who make progress are going to earn more reps and get the chance to play. That’s what we’re trying to do, create as many game situations as we can and see who can do what.”
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(What has Will Dissly done to earn reps with No. 2 defense?) “First of all, he’s real smart. So he’s kind of figured out what’s going on. I think when he kind of figures out the pace and tempo of the college game, plays a little more physical, he’s going to do some really good things. He’s done a nice job up to this point. Those new guys, I kind of marvel at those guys when they’re even in the mix this early. We have a handful of freshmen doing a really nice job. There are some of those young DBs competing their tail off and showing up. That’s nice to see.”
(Is IQ most important thing for a freshmen to have?) “I think it’s the mental part of things for sure. One, figuring out the schemes that we’re running, then two, having the confidence to compete at this level, and all those guys are showing that.”
(Any other players stand out?) “I thought Shaq (Thompson) did a good job. Tani (Tupou) was running around, he hit the quarterback, caused a fumble, (Travis) Feeney scooped it up, went a long way and scored with it. They were flying around pretty good. I think the guys, again, that might have jumped out at me the most was those young DBs, just because that’s such a hard position for them to do anything and they battled and competed pretty well.”
(QBs were live, then?) “They were live the whole scrimmage. We went about 100 plays and they all showed up today.”
(Any heart-stopping moments with that?) “No, not really. Every play is heart-stopping – I worry about all the guys as much as I do the quarterbacks. Those guys being live, it’s not necessarily for the defense, it’s for themselves to really try to figure things out, and it showed up. I wish we could make them live more, but we do have to be careful and smart. I think they got some good work, too, being live.”
(How is overall progress? Incremental? Two steps, one back?) “I think all that. I think we’re making incremental steps. I think at times it’s two steps forward, step back. I think when you have new staff, new players, young players, it’s a little bit all like that. But I think the important thing is we are making strides. We just need to make them a little faster at some positions.”
(Kicking and punting game?) “That’s a good question. The punting that we’ve done out here, we’ve done a lot of drill work, a little group work. We haven’t gone full, live coverage yet. But I think Korey (Durkee) has hit the ball pretty well, punting-wise. I think field goal wise – I know we have to be more consistent. That’s the whole thing. I think those two things jump out. I think Travis (Coons) was a huge weapon last year for the Huskies. I think that guy’s kind of an unsung hero in terms of all the things that he did. It can show up, field goal here, punts, field-position exchange. That’s one of the areas we’re working rapidly on.”