Huskies Insider Blog

Chris Petersen says 'colleges can do more' to prepare players for life

There is no media availability at Washington today with the Huskies on a bye this week, but coach Chris Petersen still made his weekly appearance on the Pac-12 coaches teleconference.

The most interesting question was about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's informational visit with Texas coach Charlie Strong last week, and about whether colleges do a good enough job preparing future NFL players for the new lifestyle they encounter (i.e. having a bunch of money) upon becoming a professional athlete.

"I really think that the colleges can do more," Petersen said, in part. "Our whole theme of our program is 'built for life,' so we talk about life skills, life behaviors all the time. Now, that doesn't mean that our guys are going to do the right thing all the time. But I do think we can do more."

Petersen cited the alarming number of NFL players who go broke either while they're playing or shortly after their careers end, adding that NFL teams still do their own homework and draft players knowing perfectly well what kind of people they are.

"It's frustrating to me when they do (draft those players), when you know that a kid's not a good kid and you're going to give them all this money and then he shows up in trouble," Petersen said. "And the NFL knows exactly what they're getting. It's not like they haven't done their research. They do their research better than anybody. And so I think that there's some responsibility there as well."

When he's asked by NFL personnel about the players on his team, Petersen said, his only agenda is to "tell them exactly what's up."

"I tell our guys that," he said. "I'm not going to stake my reputation and sugarcoat something. If you've been a great guy around here and done all the things we've asked, that's exactly what we're going to tell them. If you’ve been in trouble and you haven’t done things right, they’re going to know that anyways. So I’m going to tell them exactly what they’re getting."

--- Petersen was also asked how the Huskies' offensive line fared against Stanford. He singled out left tackle Micah Hatchie for his play, but said "the rest of our guys struggled a bit against a pretty good Stanford line." Petersen thought the line's performance in the first half was better than in the second.

--- He was asked again about Cyler Miles and where he needs to improve, and reiterated that Miles needs to learn when to stay in the pocket and try to complete a pass instead of scrambling and giving up on the play. But he also continued to defend him by saying "you put the tape on, you’re ready to blame it all on one guy and it’s never like that. I think toward the end of the game, we were pressing real hard, he was pressing real hard. We had a couple things we could have done better."

Petersen described UW's offensive issues as "one-third, one-third, one-third," meaning Miles' struggles are only one-third of the problem.

"If we can clean up his third," Petersen said, "that’ll make us more efficient."

Christian Caple can be reached at christian.caple@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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