FROM SCOTTSDALE -- Today was offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith's turn to meet with reporters following the Huskies' early afternoon practice here at Chaparral High School.
(What’s the most important thing you were looking for in practice after the break?) “We wanted to make sure the details were still there. We practiced for a week and a half before and gave them the break, so coming back, we wanted to make sure the details were there. I think the guys are practicing well. The big piece is going to be when the true game starts and the speed of play, how quickly we can adapt to that will be a big piece.”
(How’d they come out and practice?) “I think well. I really do. I think we’ve practiced well, the focus has been there. I think guys are enjoying themselves, the energy’s been good. But like I said, the details have been important and they’ve been dialed on it.”
(Why do you think Chris Petersen has been so successful in bowl games?) “I don’t know exactly. I think the approach doesn’t change, so guys are very comfortable in the approach and how we practice. That hasn’t changed a whole lot. We try to be very detailed. He’s always detailed, so over the long haul I think that pays off.
(On Oklahoma State’s defense) “Athletic. I think they create some havoc. They do a good job in their movement up front. They’ve got some good players that can make some plays up front in the secondary. I think they’ve gotten better from the beginning of the year to the end. You can see that on tape. I know they ran into some tough games later in the year, some good offenses. They’re right there. I think they play really hard and do a good job of creating havoc on the passer.”
(They similar to anyone in the Pac-12?) “I think they’re in the ballpark of Arizona State. Similar scheme, havoc on the passer. Put them right around there.”
(Blitz a lot?) “They do a good job. Movement.”
(On Cyler Miles’ last few games) “I think his comfort level has gotten there. I think we continue to feel like we know him better, what he likes to do better and have tried to stick to that stuff. I do think he’s played better the last three games. That’s what our goal going in the whole time was We thought early on it wasn’t just going to be flawless, because of all the time he’s missed. So we wanted to play our best ball at the end of the year, and hopefully we can continue that.”
(Young guys standing out?) “I think K.J.’s taken advantage of all these reps he’s done. K.J. Carta-Samuels has done really well at making some plays. Some of those o-linemen, Boomer (Jesse Sosebee), have done a good job up front, turns, making the pile move. We’re excited about his bright future. Drew Sample has made some things happen at tight end. These reps are invaluable. Those three guys stand out to me.”
(On recruiting John Ross back to offense this offseason) “We’re putting strategy together on how that’s going to work. We’re going to present. It’s almost like he’s going to be a free agent. He’s going to be like LeBron James. He’s going to come in and hear from us. Then he’s going to hear from the defensive side. Then Coach Pete will come in and tell him what he’s got to do (laughs).”
(Cage match with Pete Kwiatkowski, then?) “Not with him. I’m not going with P.K. (laughs). Not a cage match, no. But we’ll figure out some strategy.”
(On Jeff Lindquist handling backup QB role) “Done great with it. Really a good team player. Not only just playing the backup quarterback role, but also has done some stuff on special teams now. Always been in it. Always been ready. We’ve done some small things with him as packages, because he’s been such a good teammate and stayed so involved and dialed in. he watches a ton of film. He’s an awesome kid. He’s a big part of our team.”
(What does he need to refine to compete for job next year?) “I think all aspects. Continue to be accurate as a passer. I think a feel for the whole overall system, continuing to grow. Kind of like how it has for Cyler and those guys. He’s a good runner, too. We put him in to do some short-yardage runs and all of that. And he will. Next year in the system, he’ll be more comfortable.”