Huskies Insider Blog

Quoting Chris Petersen on Cyler Miles, nonconference scheduling and dual-threat QBs

Huskies coach Chris Petersen met with reporters on Thursday for the final time before Saturday's game against Eastern Washington. He covered a variety of topics during his 10-minute session. Here's what he said.

(What have you felt this week with Cyler Miles at QB?) “I always wait and see until we play. It’s always going to come down to execution. I think Cyler’s done a good job this week preparing, I think he’s very much into football and spent a lot of time, not just this week, so it’s good for him to get a chance and see what he can do.”

(How has he responded?) “He’s really been the same throughout, he really has. From the summer when he came back to fall camp, he’s been very steady, very even-keeled. It’s been good to see.”

(Have you seen a change in the team in general, whether it’s Cyler starting, bouncing back from Saturday, etc) “Like I said, I always wait. Practice is one thing. I think they are focused in. I still think we’ve got a long way to go in terms of cleaning up a lot of details and learning the systems we’re trying to get in. There’s still a lot of work to be had.”

(Still feel behind as the only new Pac-12 staff?) “I feel more now than ever before because I think when you get into the season and you’re trying to game plan, it makes things a little hard. It’s like hey, we know all the stuff and it doesn’t matter what we know. They have to know it and know it flat-out as well as we do. And it’s going to take a while. We don’t have the backlog of, remember when we ran this back when? So it’s going to take some time.”

(Do you expect to run the ball better than you did on Saturday?) “I always expect to run the ball better. There’s been very few times where we say we’re good. I just think you’ve always got to run the ball to play good offensive football. Hawaii does a nice job, they’ve got some stout guys. But do I think we can play better and run the ball better? We have to, and we need to.”

(Was that last drive a nice momentum builder for Saturday?) “I felt a different intensity and it can’t come in the last series. If we can show up with that intensity and maintain it then I think we can get something done. But easier said than done.”

(Did Lavon Coleman earn more carries by his play Saturday?) “I think so. I thought he did a good job. He really hasn’t missed a beat since spring ball. I’m anxious to see what he can do and see if he can be even more productive.”

(Can you talk about the hurdles you put in front of Cyler Miles before he could get back on the team, and how did he handle it?) “I think we keep the keep the hurdles always kind of internal. But everything we asked him to do, he did. Time will tell. But he’s done everything that we’ve wanted him to do, he’s been a very good teammate. I do believe he’s learned. I think he’s remorseful. I think he’s humbled by it, all those types of things.”

(Get a better handle on his skill set this week?) “Hard for me to say without being in a game. I do feel a pretty strong competitive nature from him. I think he likes to play, I think he likes to compete. I get a good feel there, but it’s all fun and games at the driving range, as we say.”

(Did you get a feel that he needed to earn back respect from some of his teammates?) “I didn’t have a feel one way or another, really. I didn’t even think about that. I just thought, right is right, wrong is wrong. Where are we and what do we need to do to make this thing right and go forward.”

(Any chance Troy Williams sees playing time?) “There’s always that possibility, without question. I think anybody’s on our roster is going to try their all and you have to prepare like that - certainly at that position. So there’s always that possibility.”

(Do you see him out there fighting for his spot?) “I thought Troy’s done a nice job this week in preparing and really staying strong. It is hard; all these guys are really, really competitive and want to play so bad. At that quarterback position, there’s only one. We play a bunch of receivers, a bunch of DB’s, linebackers…at quarterback you usually play one. That’s hard, but we keep preaching the same message; you’re going to get your chance, sooner or later. I don’t know when, what that chance is, but I know you’re going to get it. And when you get it you’ve got to be ready to produce.”

(What does your ideal nonconference schedule look like?) “Not really. Scott (Woodward) and I have had some discussions. It’s such a tricky thing anyway. It’s like, who’s available, who will give us home and home, that a lot of that narrows down. I think you can put together an ideal schedule on paper and it usually doesn’t turn out like that. It was really, really hard for us at Boise to get some things done. And I think it’s only going to get tougher. We’ll kind of take that … I think it’s scheduled out for the next few years, and I think we’ll see how this whole thing plays out in terms of the national playoff system, just so much speculation. I think the next few years, things will start to settle down and you can kind of see what everybody really needs to do.”

(What about this year? Is it ideal?) “I don’t really know. I just think so much about like, our team, and whoever we play, we play. It doesn’t matter if it’s Hawaii, Illinois, Eastern Washington – we’ve just got to take care of ourselves, and a lot of that has to do with Scott and our administration, who we can get, what makes sense, what our fans want to see. That, coupled with I do think we play in an unbelievable league, that every week is going to be a battle. So I do think we’ve got to keep that mind as well.”

(On emotions of coaching first game in Husky Stadium) “I’m excited to be here. I really am. I’m excited to play a home game. I’ve always had so much respect and admiration for the energy in this stadium, so I’m excited to see that. And then hopefully that fuels our team to play inspired football.”

(On Vernon Adams) “I think he’s really, really good. He is a really, really good palyer. Quarterback. He’s deadly accurate, gets the ball out quick. When guys are covered, he’s very athletic and mobile, but he’s not looking to just run – although he does that very well. He keeps his eyes downfield. He’s still trying to find his guys that are open. He does that. He just really plays the game well. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the guy.”

(Does a college team need a dual-threat QB?) “I think that always brings another element to the table that is hard to defend. There’s nothing more frustrating as a defensive coach when you’ve got everybody covered, you’ve done the right thing, and there goes the quarterback running, and that’s really, really hard. Do I think there’s a lot of good quarterbacks that aren’t super mobile that can really lead an offense? Yeah, I do. But that’s a … we like our quarterback to be able to do that when things are covered, get some yards with your legs.”

(Kellen Moore seemed to do OK without running) “I think he had a negative rushing total when he left, so there’s different ways you can skin the cat.”

(Is biggest improvement truly from week one to week two?) “I think there should be a lot of improvement, but I will say this – it’s a much different style of team that we’re going against. Their offense is all about throwing it and spreading you out. Hawaii was pretty much about pounding it. And then on defense, I think their style is much different as well. But just in general, I think we should see some things that look different. But it’ll be a unique challenge because they are so different than what we played last week.”

(What does Eastern’s defense look like?) “Hawaii, very much blitz-oriented. And not that everybody doesn’t have their blitz packages, but that’s what they were going to do a heavy dose of, and kind of unique blitz patterns. So this team (EWU) hasn’t shown that they are as blitz-heavy as the other guys had. Now that I say that, we’ll definitely get that. So we’ll be ready.”

(First tweet last night?) “Oh yeah. Big, what was it, four letters? Starting slow. I’ll build up to it.”

(Plan to tweet more?) “We’ll see where it goes. Like I said, really the main reason I got the account is to communicate with our recruits and those things, and we’ll see how it goes. Maybe communicate a little bit to Husky Nation as well.”