It was the Huskies' assistant coaches' turn to meet with reporters after today's spring practice, which we'll recap a little later. For now, here are some comments from UW offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith.
(On the quarterbacks) “I think you guys can tell we’re really trying to be equal with everything. We’re rotating from who’s starting to whatever session we’re in. we’re trying to get those guys equal as possible, because there’s a big difference going from the 1s to, say, the 3s, in regards to who you’re playing against and then who you’re playing next to. So we want to equal that out. We’re going to put a thorough process into it.”
(On Jake Browning so far) “I think he’s been pretty solid. Again, it’s only been three days. It’s going to continue to pile on. But I’ve been really happy, really, with where he’s at with that. He spent a lot of time, January, February getting ready for this point. We bumped back spring ball this year. That played to his benefit, just by starting a little later. So we’ve been pleased with where he’s at.”
(On expecting some ups and downs) “I think that’s an expectation. Not only just (because they’re) quarterbacks, but also when you’re putting new stuff in, they need to go out and experience it and rep it, and so there’s going to be some good plays, some learning plays, even today, the ball was flying all over the place. We were trying to throw it down the field. Some, we were a little bit hit and miss. We’ve got to get it on video to coach it. So we kind of expect that up and down.”
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(On Jeff Lindquist being back and having done this before) “I think that’s a piece. … Not only Jeff, I think everybody’s kind of been through it. You had the prep of the year and experience. Really, we talk about kind of banked reps. Whenever we can pull something out and say, ‘hey, week two we ran this,’ and then you’ve got a visual for them of them actually doing it. So that piece for sure has been smoother.”
(On QBs knowing each day is competition) “No question. They know that. Every rep counts. So even when I’m throwing just to routes on air, there’s no defender out there, every rep counts. We’re always evaluating. But we’re constantly teaching. But again, I’m saying there’s an expectation, there’s going to be some ups and downs. So I’m not overboard on the evaluation when we’ve got an expectation that they’re going to miss some and they’re going to hit some.”
(First impression of Jake Browning in January?) “My early impression was really impressed at just his football knowledge. He studies the game and knows that. We weren’t able to get out here kind of throwing with him until really April, so that was my early impression, how much he knew about football. I mean, you can turn on his tape, he’s got so many reps of just throwing the ball. And so he’s been through reads, he’s seen different types of routes. That really jumped out when he got here.”
(Three quarterbacks enough?) “You’d like to be right around that four range, quarterback wise. There’s some benefit. I think it creates competition, and we’re always shooting for that. But yeah, you’d like to be about that four number and have them in the system for a couple of years and ideally groom them for a couple of years, and then they begin to play. So it isn’t quite ideal.”
(Still talk to Cyler Miles much?) “Yeah. Just once in a while, mostly through texts at this point. He had his birthday a week or so ago. I sent him a text. I haven’t talked to him in person, though, for a couple weeks.”
(Excited John Ross is back at receiver?) “No question. It’ll be fun, too, when he actually gets out here, because he hasn’t been practicing. I don’t know if you guys have seen his body change, too, his upper body. … it’s exciting. There’s no question. And he’s really dialed in trying to learn what we’re trying to do, so when he gets back out here, he can play fast.”
(On that decision) “It was a little back and forth. But I had the head coach on my side, so it worked out well.”
(Is receiver what he most wants to play?) “You know, you’d have to ask him on that. I think he’s excited about being back on offense, but you’d have to ask him.”