Huskies Insider Blog

Quoting Chris Petersen on Dexter Charles’ retirement, young offensive linemen, QBs and more

Here’s everything Huskies coach Chris Petersen told reporters after UW’s Monday practice at Husky Stadium.

(On big day for defense) “For the young guys (on offense), the details start to run together, which means it’s not detailed at all. Sometimes the defense can survive on just pure effort and not be as detailed. Defense had a good day today and offense has to clean up some things.”

(On O-line) “We’re making progress; we’ve got some young guys that are going to be in there playing, so every day really matters. They’ve got talent and they’re getting better and really excited about the future with those guys. I don’t know if the future’s tomorrow, or the next week or the next month, but we like ‘em.”

(On Dexter Charles’ retirement) “We were certainly prepared for it. I don’t know if he was. It’s interesting sometimes how these (injuries) go. Sometimes guys have multiple surgeries and you can kind of get them through ‘em; sometimes guys have one surgery an the knee just doesn’t hold up. So he’s been struggling with that knee for quite awhile now. It’s a hard day. It’s a hard day for him. It’s a hard day for us. He’s really a football guy; this thing is really, really important to him. So when that (end) comes faster than you think it’s going to, that can be a hard day.”

(That’s three or four O-linemen here the last few years who have had to retire early. Is there anything you can do to manage the injury risk at that position?) “That’s a good question. I think we look at all those different things. It’s a tough position. Those guys are pounding on each other a lot. Those knees in general, I don’t know if they’re really made for football. So you’ve got to have a little luck going on there. I’ve seen some pretty significant knee injuries and guys have been fine. And then you have some (injuries) that are kind of slight and it just throws the knee off and the patella tendon’s not tracking right and those types of things, and it’s just a constant battle.”

(On Trey Adams working at left tackle with No. 2 offense, and him getting into some skirmishes early in camp) “We’re not really into the skirmishes (laughs) … but he’s a competitor and he’s got talent, no question about it. Just keep forcing the issue and see what he can do.”

(You said you don’t know when future’s going to come with some of these young guys. Are you going to have to be patient with them?) “There’s no question. It is what it is. We’ve got really good coaches that keep that in perspective; you can be just so frustrated at times. But the kids are too. They want it right now. And we can back off and have (only) 10 plays in and be a lot more efficient, but that’s not going to help us in the long run.”

(Do you think fans should be patient too?) “I don’t think those words go hand in hand: fans and patience. We’ll get there. We’ll keep swinging. They keep cheering and we’ll keep improving.”

(You’ve said how hard it was last year with the transition. Now second year, are you kind of where you’d hoped to be?) “As a coach, there is always a new set of issues. Part of it is really good where we are right now in terms of moving forward as a team and those things. The negative is, a lot of experience left us, so we have some youth. So we work through those things. That’s the dilemma we’re working through right now — not necessarily a dilemma; just an issue and it’s going to take some time.”

(On Saturday’s scrimmage) “I thought the guys played really hard. It was really pretty clean for a first scrimmage. It looked a lot better than it did right there out at practice. again, we’ve got more stuff, so we’ve kind of moved on. I thought our defense was really physical. I thought we did some decent things on offense. It was really good work. It was a lot of plays and it was physical, so that was really good to see.”

(Important milestone for the QBs?) “Yeah, and they were live, and so I think all those reps are good. Again, all those guys, the reps are good, whether we’re in 7 on 7 or live, it’s all good. But overall, as a team, I wish we could practice like that every day, but we can’t really do that.”

(Would you like to have a starter named next week?) “Yeah. I would love to. But hey – this thing may change week to week during the season. The more you see this, these guys all have different things they’re doing well, and other things that other guys do, and so it really might. We might play ‘em all. But we’re not going to worry about that. They just need to worry about getting their game better – not worry about around them – how they can take the next step, then we put it together and get ready to play that game, and then the next game, figure out where we are, (and) we’ll do it again.”

(If Jake isn’t the starter, how difficult is the conversation on whether to redshirt him?) “We’ll make no decisions early on guys that might play. I don’t care if it’s the quarterback, o-line, whatever. We’ll get into this thing a handful of games before we say – because we’ll still have a lot left. So you can gain valuable experience. So even if we have a true freshman that doesn’t play the first game, that doesn’t mean he’s redshirting. I’m not talking about Jake – we haven’t made any decisions on anybody like that, but we’ve done that in the past.”

(Important to name that QB and give him some time?) “It is important. We’d love to be able to do that, but we’re just not there. we’d like to have done it last week, but same thing. And so that’s a little bit of a dilemma. All these guys need their reps and nobody’s really separated themselves, and so we’re trying to kind of work them all in, and they might all have something. We’ll just see.”

(What have you seen from QBs from past practices?) “Highs and lows. I think the big thing, the lows at the quarterback (position) are the turnovers. Blatant turnovers. We had one yesterday where actually the defensive player made a really good play, and so you know, you’ve got to kind of look at it and tip your hat to the defense. Then we look at some other ones and it needs to be a way better decision. So if we can minimize those poor decisions …”

(On the defensive front) “We’ve got some guys that can go. I think there are some young guys that are stepping up. I think Cory (Littleton) and Travis (Feeney) are playing good. Tani (Tupou) in there is playing good. Greg Gaines is making progress. Jaylen Johnson’s doing a good job. There’s guys that are getting better. I think we’re (10) days into it, 11 practices, something like that, so we’ve still got 11 more before we really start slowing down. So if we can keep them healthy and keep practicing this hard, we’ll make good strides.”

(Is there a personality coming out of the defense?) “When we played in the scrimmage, I thought it was really impressive. We had some guys, they were flying around. There was some good tackling. There was some great effort running. I was really impressed. Sometimes those go in flashes, and if can not flash and be consistent.”

(Lot of interceptions…getting tougher for the offense?) “We just keep putting things in there we have to get in and when we play a game we tighten everything way up so they don’t have to know everything. But there’s no way we can back off right now. We back off some things. We’re not going to put them in and water everything down to where we can’t do anything right. So we’re very aware of how much we’re putting in.”

(Right time to take a day off Tuesday?) “I think so. I wish we wouldn’t have put it on the calendar. It’s a little bit of a mindset too. But they’ve been working hard, so they need to get rested up.”

(How hard is it this time of year for these guys?) “Let me say this; did anyone play here? It’s not nearly as hard. We’ve had two two-a-days, but they do practice hard and they are sore and tired. That’s if you’re lucky, because most of the guys are also hurt a little bit. And hurt is, you’re hurting but you can still go. And then we’ve got some guys that are injured that can’t go. It wouldn’t make our team any better that would hurt themselves worse, so they’re out. That kind of goes on for the next week or so; the cycle of life.”

(Can you get the same production out of your defensive line, or is it even more scheming?) “We’re always scheming, there’s no question about that. There are some guys wearing a different color uniform than last year, but I think we can get there. We have some guys that are athletic that can get to the quarterback.”

(How important is it to see Jake Browning bounce back after throwing three interceptions?) “He’ll bounce back. He’s a mature guy. He gets it. He takes this stuff very hard, very personal. I think the mature guys can bounce back. They should take it personal; it’s a bad decision. But that’s why we’re out here. The only thing you can do is learn it by making mistakes. If you don’t make the same mistake over and over and you get a little better, we’re headed in the right direction.”

(Coaches get the day off tomorrow too?) “Yes. Some will (laughs).”

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