Huskies Chris Petersen; “Were anxious to go out and play”

Washington Huskies (5-2 Pac-12, 7-3 overall) head coach Chris Petersen addressed the media Monday afternoon after his team’s bye week and ahead of the Huskies last home game of the season. Washington will face off against the Oregon State Beavers (1-6, 2-8) Saturday (1:30 PT) at Husky Stadium. OSU is coached by former UW Offensive Coordinator Jonathan Smith

(On building a culture and the  timeframe  and seeing some similarities that OSU that you saw when you first got to UW)

“I don’t know about the inner workings. Only they know about that. Only I can tell about what shows up on tape. On offense it looks really…there’s a lot of things that you know exactly what’s going on there. He’s doing a great job with them, he really is. For his first year, to have those first-year players and it looks like they’re all in on that for sure. Now the day-to-day workings, the culture and all that, that’s hard for me to know on the outside. But I know offensive scheme-wise, which is his area of expertise, you know what he’s doing.”

(On OSU’s defense)

Do you remember your last college game?) “Kind of. I remember throwing an interception to basically get us knocked out of the playoffs. That’s all I really remember. In those days when you’re in the playoffs, one team wins it all. That’s the interesting thing about our situation. Everybody else, whether it’s the NFL, FCS, the high schools – there’s one team left standing. And unless you’re one of those four teams right now, you go to bowl games and half of them win, half of them lose…it’s a completely different feeling than being in a tournament.”

(on if he watched the Stanford-Oregon State game this weekend …)
“I watched some of it.”

(On if it’s hard to evaluate a team following a 31-point loss …)

“I mean, we have all their tapes. So we’ve been evaluating and paying attention to that. I think it’s interesting to watch a game in its continuous fashion. We watch so many cut-ups that all of a sudden you’re watching the offensive side of the ball and they start a drive at the 35, or someone’s like, ‘How’d that happen?’ Well, because of a big kick return or an interception, or something, and that changes the mojo of the game. So it is interesting to watch the whole game and how to evaluate it there.

I think it’s a little bit of a hard game for us to evaluate the Stanford game because Stanford is unique. In terms of how they’re going about it on offense. They throw four balls to the tight end that are all contested, that he makes unbelievable plays, the 6-7 tight end. We’re not doing that. So you’re always looking like ‘how does this tape help you.’ How does this equate to us and how does this help us? When I watch that tape I’m like, ‘Well that doesn’t have anything to do with us.’

(On how the bye week helped UW …)

“I think it was really — you get this deep into the season you kind of get rejuvenated a little bit. They had some time off. We didn’t practice a bunch but when we did it was really productive and so it felt pretty good. And so I think those guys will have a couple good practices here this week. There’s no excuses for being too tired or anything like that. So here we go. We got two games left. We see where that whole thing takes us, but it was a good chance to get rested up.”

(On Oregon State QB Jake Luton, a Marysville native )

“He can sling it. I mean, he’s one of those big, tall over the top. You let him set his feet he throws it as well as anybody. You watch the Colorado game and they got so far behind. And then at halftime, he comes in and he’s standing back there just making all the throws. It’s like, ‘Where’d this guy come from?’ It was really, really impressive. You’re always wondering like well how did that happen? Different games they were so far behind. One of the reasons they came back is he made some really, really impressive throws, and if you let him set his feet he can sling as good as anybody.”

(On Oregon State’s run game and if they align style wise like any other teams UW has faced …) “No. I don’t know about the style of backs. I just think he’s just a really good runner. I mean schemes look familiar, and then you can see what a good back can do with those schemes. It’s impressive for a freshman to do what he’s done. He’s been extremely durable. Both of them have been effective but that’s a guy that’s impressive.

(Early signing period change intensity in the office?)

“We’re obviously recruiting every day here. Then when you can go out to the contact, it doesn’t really feel like it’s different. You’d think that because there’s a signing period but it just feels like you’ve been doing the same thing for a long period of time. You got the kids that are committed then all the guys come in and try to change their mind. All the ridiculous stuff that goes on it’s like, ‘Really?’ Yeah.”

(How do you know when it’s time to offer a player?) “When you’ve done all your homework and research. That’s how we do it. We’re probably one of the few crews that really slows down. We don’t have problems offering early. We’re not just doing it because a guy’s got other offers or anything like that. We just want to feel like we’ve done good homework and the guy would fit us and we like how they play.”

(On the importance of having a QB early to anchor a recruiting class)“There’s no harder position to get right. Just ask the guys in the NFL. So you’re trying to do homework, and I think there’s certain characteristics everybody’s into besides the physical characteristics. Then you keep wondering how the guy’s going to develop and progress. Some guys do a great job with it and some guys (don’t) — that’s human nature and life and you’re trying to watch that. Yeah, that’s the world we live in college football.”

(You mentioned restrictions — what kind of restrictions would you like to see?) “I just think, some of these kids are so so young when they’re getting offered. It’s just interesting, that whole offer thing. I remember Rich Rodriguez said a handful of years ago: “If you want to put an end to this early offering stuff, have no signing day. If you want to offer a kid, have him sign right then and there and watch these offers cut  by three-quarters.’ You start thinking about it, yeah, you start cutting these offers and that kid can sign that — you’re not going to throw these things out like they’re candy.”

(The previous regime here offered a 12-year-old QB …) “I’m just saying everybody’s got their style and the philosophy.”

(If QB is the toughest position to recruit, where does defensive tackle fit in?) “They’re just hard to find. We know exactly what they look like: They play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you know where those guys are, tell us and we’ll try to go get ’em. They’re just hard to find, those big guys who have a twitch to ‘em and can move mountains. They’re just hard to find.”

(Does process get sped up with the early signing period?) “No. We only have so many ‘eval’ days we can be out. We can only go to a school one time, so you usually use those days you have. A big chunk of it comes in the bye week because you can get everybody out. But you’re sending coaches sporadically out during the season, so whether you have it early or late you usually end up using the 40 days. You’re just still kind of ‘eval-ing’ kids in the fall, whether they’re underclassmen or guys that are seniors. That’s what it’s for. It doesn’t really change. You get your 40 days, or 42 days, and we use most of them.”

(on wrapping up class during December signing period …) “We’ll see. … The majority’s leaning toward signing earlier, which I think that’s great. That’s why they made the early signing period because there are so many kids that were committed and that’s what most of them were doing. So those that have it figured out, you sign early. … Then there’s a handful of guys who will reassess and you go from there.”

(on recruits’ desire to enroll early …) “It doesn’t (influence recruiting). I think we’re going to have more than we’ve probably had — it is happening more and more. But, for me, I am right down the middle on it. If that’s what a kid and his family are all about, awesome. But if a kid wants to say in high school and play basketball and run track and go to the prom and all those things, I am all about that as well. So to me, it just depends on where the kid’s mind is on this whole thing. High school goes super fast and college goes super fast, and I’m just about maximizing your time in these short windows that we have.”

(on recruiting a “legacy kid” …) “I’m not sure what he’s talking about (sarcasm). He’s getting too close to what I can talk about, so next question.”

(on recruiting against former assistant coaches at other programs) “I don’t like it at all, because they know exactly what our style is and they usually implement the same styles and all those types of things. I like it when our guys get jobs on the East Coast. I don’t think that’s happened, but that’s what I would really like.”

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