Huskies offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith offered a more tempered evaluation of Cyler Miles' potential impact on Washington's offense than did a few of Miles' offensive teammates.
"We obviously hope we score more than 17," Smith said, referencing the Huskies' 17-16 victory at Hawaii last week. "We’re going to have to. And he’s going to go out there and this will be his first game. Is he going to be perfect? No. But we expect him to make some plays.”
Smith said the decision to start Miles was made some time on Sunday. Here's the rest of what Smith told reporters after Wednesday's practice.
(What did you see from Jeff Lindquist against Hawaii?) “I thought he played with some good effort. I thought he made some good throws early. I thought he was in a nice rhythm in the first half. Second half, had some opportunities, he’d like some throws back. I think also looking at it, we’ve got to put him in better situations in the second half. You look at our adjustments, obviously, that wasn’t very productive. That’s what I kind of (saw) as I glanced at the film.”
(Shaking rust off?) “I don’t think so, because again, I go back to that first half and I thought he made some good throws early on in the game. So I don’t think jitters was a huge part of that. I think some of it is coaching. We’ve got to get him in some better situations. And he’s got to make a couple throws in the second half.”
(General assessment of offense?) “There’s no doubt it’s a group effort. We did put emphasis on trying to run the ball, and we ran it OK, but not nearly as well as we would like. I look at the third-down situations we put Jeff in, and we’ve got to do better on first and second down. If you’re going to hand the ball off on first down, you need to get more than two and three (yards) a pop. We want to get some yards there. So there’s no doubt it’s a group effort. We expect from game one to game two to make some improvement, just like we’ll try to do that throughout the year.”
(Last possession against Hawaii?) “I think it comes down a little bit, we knew it was crunch time. Guys leaned on the offensive line. They came off the ball pretty good. I thought the backs made a couple good … Lavon obviously on that last third-down run. It was a huge run.”
(What went into decision to start him?) “A lot of things. I think some of it was obviously our second half there. I think obviously you look at, too, his fall camp, we like what we saw there, and just felt like he gave us the best chance to win.”
(How quickly did you decide on Miles as your starter?) “Not super quick. It was definitely Sunday. I don’t remember exactly when.”
(Eastern’s defense?) “They’re very sound. They can line up to just about anything. They’ve seen everything. Like I say, sound is discipline. I think they’re disciplined, not out of sorts at all. In regards to people lining up differently, they can line up. They play hard, keep things in front of them. They present some problems in regards to one, their offense scores so much. And they’re a little bit of don’t give up the big play.”
(What have you seen from Miles this week?) “Some of the reason we wanted to decide early was so they could get all the turns. And he’s gotten a ton of turns. He’s worn out today after that. But it’s been good. He’s still not totally polished. This will be his first game. But we’re again trying to put him in situations where he can have some success, and we’ll go from there.”
(Was there a point during camp when it became obvious he was your best QB?) “No, there really wasn’t.”
(How much of playbook does he grasp?) “He’s got a good grasp on it. I’m not concerned on that.”
(Look at Oregon State game last year at all?) “We did look at that actually a little bit, especially this summer. This week we put in a couple of concepts that he’s familiar with – not specifically to that game, but some stuff that he’s familiar with.”