Here's what Huskies defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake told reporters today about Marcus Peters returning from suspension, and how a few freshmen graded out against Illinois.
(On defensive backs making plays) “That all comes back on me. It always comes back on the coaches. We’ve got to get our players in better position to make plays on the football, and we’ve got to make sure we’re teaching the coverages correctly – man coverages correctly, zone coverages correctly. And so all that comes back on me and we’re going to try to get these guys better this week."
(But you’re not in coverage …) “No, but that’s my job. I’m coach, they’re player, and I need to get them in better position to make those plays. We’re going to continue to do that, to get those corrected, and hopefully you’re going to see that this weekend.”
(On relying on so many young guys) “It is what it is. That’s the situation we’re in. That’s not going to change. So my job is to get these guys better, and their job is to hone in and make sure they’re preparing, each and every week, which I’m very proud of these guys – last week we had the best preparation that we’ve had all season long. We’re challenging these guys this week to have the best preparation even on top of last week. We’re starting to see that progress in practice. Now, hopefully we can get some interceptions, get some more forced fumbles in the back end, and make some more plays on the football down the field.”
(On Georgia State) “They’re really talented. The quarterback is leading the Sun Belt conference in passing. I think he just got Sun Belt offensive player of the week. Threw for 414 yards on a traditional, really good Air Force defense. So we’ve got our hands full again. And it’s not going to change. Every single week, we’re going to be playing someone who’s pretty good. So he throws the ball all over the field. They have a really good tight end, and they’ve got a couple of wideouts that are something to deal with. So we’ll definitely have our hands full on Saturday.”
(On Marcus Peters returning to practice) “He had a really good practice yesterday, had a very good practice today. He’s got to catch up on some of the new defenses we’ve installed, which he’s already doing that. As a whole group, we’re just trying to get better every single week.”
(How do you reign in his attitude without taking away from who he is?) “That’s everybody. We all have to be composed, coaches included. This is an emotional game, and so we all have to stay poised, especially when we’re trying to execute under pressure.”
(Do you think he’s learned what Chris Petersen wanted him to learn?) “You know, just like anything, we’re going to have to see, when things get hard, how he’s going to respond, and how we’re all going to respond when we try to learn those hard lessons. We’ll see if that happens when something hard happens.”
(Who played well for you against Illinois?) “Shaq Thompson played really well (laughs). I think Budda (Baker) and Kevin King graded out really, really well. There was no splash plays like a Shaq Thompson play, but they were in position, didn’t let any plays get over their head, played really good man coverage, played good zone coverage. So they graded out really well. I was really impressed with Sidney Jones and how he stepped up to the plate, making his first start as a true freshman. He made a few plays. He was actually the one who caused the fumble. I think it was given to Kevin King, but it was actually Sidney who came in and jarred it out. So he has two forced fumbles on the year. So I was impressed with that.”
(Any update on Jermaine Kelly?) “No, no update. He’s had surgery and now he’s on his way to recovery. He’s in meetings, he’s taking great notes, doesn’t want to get behind on everything we’re teaching. He’s in the building, he’s doing rehab and we’re looking forward to his return.”
(Looked like Travell Dixon was up and down?) “He obviously had a good week last week against Eastern Washington, finishing the game. We all had a few plays that we have to get better at, so I’m expecting him to make up for some of those plays this Saturday."