Huskies coach Chris Petersen met with reporters a little while ago for the final time this week before Washington's 10 a.m. game Saturday at Colorado (Pac-12 Networks).
As noted in a previous post, Petersen said sophomore safety Trevor Walker will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior-cruciate ligament. Asked about the status of injured running backs Dwayne Washington and Lavon Coleman, Petersen said "everybody's rolling" and said he expects both to be available and play. And he said Shaq Thompson is "kind of available all over the board" when asked if he might play running back again.
Junior offensive guard Dexter Charles, who didn't suit up for last week's game due to an apparent foot injury, is "day-to-day," Petersen said.
Here's the rest of what he said.
(What’s it going to take to get the WR’s going?) “Details, precision. Obviously we’ve been working hard on that and then new quarterback, elements - tough things to overcome, so it was almost charging so far uphill it’s tough to judge anything there. Obviously we didn’t get anything done there, but hard to tell if we’re making any progress.”
(Are they emblematic of the ‘two steps forward, one step back’ idea?) “Yeah, and I think it’s kind of everywhere. I really do. I think we’re making some progress, but probably behind as far as anywhere in the pass game. And it’s really hard to gauge anything off that last game because of those two things we spoke about.”
(How’s Cyler been this week?) “Been good. He’s been good. I think Cyler’s made steady progress all season long. Last game he played in, the two turnovers were really hard on us, but I think he did some good things. He’s very focused, working really hard in practice, and we’ll see if it translates on Saturday.”
(Does he have that even-keel attitude you’re looking for in a QB?) “Yeah. That’s kind of his personality. That’s kind of how he approaches everything. He’s been really stead throughout the year in terms of his preparation. He spends a lot of time in the film room on his own and getting some things done.”
(How much is Cyler’s lack of arm strength hurting his performance?) “I think this: There haven’t been many times that all the passes he’s thrown we’ve said, ‘Oh, that’s an arm strength problem’. I always think arm strength is a bonus, is a luxury, all those things. But I think if a guy is a great decision-maker and an accurate thrower, all that takes care of itself.”
(But in terms of anticipation, throwing into windows, etc…) “That’s all decision-making. You watch the NFL, that ball is out. The NFL’s margin for error is this, ours is a little bit bigger - so it always comes back to that decision, that anticipation. We’re kind of saying the same thing.”
(Status of the injured players? Running backs?) “Everybody is rolling. Trevor Walker does have an ACL, so that’s a hard one. You feel bad for a guy that’s worked so hard and really done a nice job of preparing. He’s really professional in how he goes about it. We won’t have him the rest of the season.”
(Did he have surgery?) “Not yet - but he will, though.”
(Do you expect Lavon Coleman and Dwayne Washington to play, or just be available?) “All that.”
(In the course of a game, what determines whether you slow down your offensive tempo?) “I think, for the most part, when we try to have some tempo and have some different things built in, I don’t think it’s something we talk about exactly what it is – not because of you guys, because of the guys we play. So there’s different things we try to slow it down with.”
(When you’re not being as efficient, is it tough on the defense? Do you ever try to give them more of a break in that way?) “It can be. That’s certainly a factor, although our defense has played well. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to score points.”
(Is there a correlation between tempo and offensive success?) “I think we’re probably in more of a rhythm. Guys probably feel a little bit more comfortable when we are doing some of that stuff. To do that, it means you’re having some success and getting some first downs, so it kind of goes hand in hand.”
(Running the ball important in that?) “I think any tempo team would tell you that – if you can run the ball and you’re getting first downs and you’re into a rhythm, it makes it a lot easier to have a little tempo.”
(Any chance Dexter Charles gets back for this game?) “Dexter is day-to-day.”
(More on Cyler Miles this week) “He’s been fine. Working hard, taking a lot of reps, kind of business as usual. For the most part it was business as usual for him last week, he just didn’t take a lot of reps in practice. His preparation’s been the same for the last couple weeks.”
(More of an understanding of what Miles can do on the field?) “I think we’re getting there. I think it comes back to … I think there’s a lot of things he can operate. I think we’re continually working on decision-making, getting the ball out quickly, accurate throwing, and I think when those things tighten up, we have a better chance at moving the football.”
(Who fills in with Walker out?) “We’ve got the same crew – Brandon Beaver’s back there, Kevin, some of the corners work back there. I’m forgetting somebody else back there, but we’ve got a few guys that are still in the rotation back there.”
(Who is the backup quarterback?) “I think we’re kind of still at the same spot. I think both those guys, Jeff (Lindquist) and Troy (Williams), got some reps, but I think probably Troy would get another crack at it. Like I said, he had some pretty tough elements to deal with, and to get a really good evaluation off that was a little bit hard.”
(How did Troy feel coming out of the ASU game?) “I think Troy felt like we all did – we all felt pretty bad about it. But you know, I think he did a good job of coming right back to work and being focused. One thing we never want our guys to do, no matter how it goes, is to mope around and feel sorry for ourselves, anybody. It’s hard. We put a lot into this stuff. When it doesn’t go right, that’s human nature. But I think he’s done a good job of coming right back to work.”
(Us-against-them mentality going on the road?) “We don’t even really go there. We’re just trying to take care of ourselves and trying to get better at practice and show up and shore up the next set of details.”
(So no ‘road-dog’ mentality?) “We haven’t played well enough to be kings of the hill by any stretch. It’s always that. It’s always got to play from our best football with a chip on our shoulder. And if we can do that, we’ll have a fighting chance. If we don’t, not much of a chance.”
(Will Shaq Thompson play running back again?) “We’re kind of figuring out where we best think we can use him and move him around. It’s an interesting dilemma, because there’s so many different places he can help us, and we’re always trying to figure that out. But he’s kind of available all over the board.”
(Could he play both sides, or better focusing on one?) “I think we feel comfortable with him going back and forth. I think anyone’s best if you just give him one thing, but I do think we feel comfortable with him moving him around.”