Here's what Huskies defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski told reporters earlier this morning after UW's third practice of the spring.
(On the team being younger this spring) “It’s a different type of energy just because they’re so hungry. A lot of this is new, and it’s been awesome so far, the energy, the attention to detail, the want-to. It’s fun.”
(On replacing John Timu at middle linebacker) “Any time you lose a senior with all that experience, any type of senior, it’s always hard. But that’s college football. You’re always going to have seniors that are leaving and new guys coming in. it’s just a process and we’ve got to give them as many reps, as many looks as possible. It just takes time.”
(Who steps into that role?) “I think Scotty (Lawyer) and Azeem (Victor) are doing a decent job. They’ve got room to get better, for sure. But we’ve got, what, this is practice three? We’ve got 12 more practices. … We’ve got a lot of practices left. They’ll be ready.”
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(On coaching new group of buck linebackers) “Psalm did it a little bit last year. Trying JoJo (Mathis) out there, see what he can do. It’s fun from a position coach standpoint. You’re dealing with a couple guys at one position, you can get pretty detailed. And it’s fun that way for me.”
(Any impressions of those?) “Nah, it’s still too early. They’re just giving good effort and trying to do the best they can with learning some new – it’s new to them – the coverage portions of it.”
(This feel a lot different than last spring?) “They know what to expect. Stretch, where we go on the field – all the stuff you sort of assume once you’re in an established program. New guys come in, they learn from the old guys. Everybody was new last year. Us, them. So yeah, it’s going a lot smoother, for sure.”
(Still teaching as many fundamentals?) “Oh yeah. It’s always about fundamentals. Spring and fall camp, huge emphasis on that, whether it’s tackling, knee bend, eyes, all the fundamentals these guys need to use to execute whatever technique they’ve got to do.”
(Have to change the defense at all, considering who you lost?) “No. I mean, we’ll see. Hopefully, some guys are going to step up and replace that production that we lost. Right now, we’ve changed a few things, added a few things, but we’re going to do what we do and we’re going to coach these guys up to do it. Whether they can be as productive, we’ll find out.”
(On Pro Day) “That was awesome. That’s so awesome. It’s bittersweet because I was so excited and blessed to have been able to coach those guys. You wish you had them back for another year. They’re on the next step in their journey and I think it’s awesome they’re out there, and I can’t wait to see what they can do with their next stage.”
(Feedback from NFL scouts?) “Everybody really likes Danny (Shelton) and Hau (Kikaha) and Shaq (Thompson). It just depends on what team is – what they’re looking for. They all say they’re really productive players and they all like them, but it really comes down to, for them, what they need and where they fit in their programs.”
(Good for Marcus Peters to come back and do his pro day here?) “I saw Marcus. Gave each other a hug. I want what’s best for him. From my standpoint, it’s just disappointing he couldn’t have conformed and finished the right way. I wish nothing but the best for him.”