after Washington First football practice At fall camp on Thursday, first-year coach Kalin Debor touted the merits of the various esoteric elements of the Husky program.
mystical to the outside world, that is; For DeBoer, he understood the essence of success. Things like culture, team building, bonding, buying, conditioning, football intelligence, etc., those things have been his focus (with recruiting) ever since. being hired To replace Jimmy Lake in late November.
However, most fans (and the media) are more interested in the ultimate question: what will all the huskies be like in 2022? Or, in other words, can they avoid a disaster like last season, when Washington lost their opening home game to Montana and never recovered from that humiliation en route to a 4-8 season?
This (and other issues) led to Lake shooting Late in his sophomore year, the Husky established one of the most enigmatic teams in Pac-12, if not college football. Lake left enough talent behind to believe that a new coaching staff could convince a turnaround, perhaps even huge; However, there are still enough questions to understand that the result is not at all guaranteed.
DeBoer will have to spawn a three-headed quarterback battle during camp and reinvigorate the underperforming offense last year with a non-fictional and ineffective scheme. The defense was very easy to face, and the team consistently outperformed the team in the second half.
The encouraging thing is that DeBoer has proven to be a master of quick turnaround as a coach at Fresno State and before that as offensive coordinator at Indiana and Fresno State. This is on top of an excellent 67-3 record As a coach at Sioux Falls UniversityNAIA School.
After eight months around his team, including a team boat trip on Wednesday in Lake Washington and a spirited two-hour workout on Thursday, DeBoer has a sense of group mentality. He described it as a burning desire to mend what was broken last year.
“Different men may have different things to say, but in the end they are not happy,” DeBoer said. “They are not proud of the way last year ended. There is a belief… they feel they can make it right this year.”
pointed to Attacking line man Jackson Kirklandwho was awarded another UW season by the NCAA — Kirkland’s sixth year in the program — after he withdrew from the NFL draft with an ankle injury.
“I remember the first conversation [with Kirkland] Back in January, after realizing that was the way to go,” DeBoer said. “The positive piece was that he was going to get a chance to rewrite his final year and get that thing right for this program, which is very important. for him.
“So I think this is probably a general idea and a mindset shared by many of these guys. And I don’t know why it couldn’t happen this year, based on everything I’ve seen.”
Unsurprisingly, many of the questions asked to DeBoer on Thursday were about a quarterback battle involving the transfer of Indiana’s Michael Benicks Jr. (impressive in first practice), current rookie Dylan Morris and former five-star recruit Sam Howard. As he did before, DeBoer emphasized his experience handling “nine or 10” of these fights over the past 20 years.
Unlike the competition across the lake at Camp Seahawks, where Geno Smith has so far got all the first-team reps and Drew Lock engaged with the second-team, DeBoer said he’d split the first-team reps evenly at the start. But he also said he wants to set a clear No. 1 two weeks before the opener against Kent State on September 3 so that person can begin to assert leadership and the “juice” (DeBoer’s term) required for the quarterback position.
“The first thing for us is just to train these guys as hard as we can,” Debor said. “Coach Grob (offensive coordinator Ryan Grob) is going to do a great job with that, and I’m just helping them with that, because they all want it. They all want it really bad. And you can see that. I don’t want them to push. They are competitive, but I want them to do what they do best and play their game.”
DeBoer spoke glowingly on Thursday about the Husky team’s “connection,” which was articulated during recent sessions in which each position group made introductions to the full group. The coach said energy and personality permeated the conference room.
“There is a fine line,” Deborre noted. “I want us to be very loose, I want us to always be loose. But when we have to switch the switch and get into the football field, we are strong, we are relentless and we compete at the highest level possible.
“I think the support for each other is mutual, whether it’s attacking on defense, or from seniors to beginners and all the different ways you look at the football team. I’m really excited.”
Of course, this is all a prelude to the fundamental question that remains unanswered: How will all of this translate into victories? We’ll start to know the answer in a month.