Washington head coach Chris Petersen took the stage at Pac-12 Media Days on Wednesday, along with quarterback Jake Browning and linebacker Keishawn Bierria. Much was discussed during their time with the media in Hollywood, Calif., but we’ve parsed down the most important info.
Here are the five biggest takeaways for the Huskies:
Jake Browning’s throwing shoulder fully healthy after offseason surgery
Browning: “Yeah, it feels good. I haven’t had any issues with it for months. After my freshman year, physically I thought I could make all the throws and then mentally it was like ‘OK, I’m missing on some stuff,’ so if I had an extra hour I’d spend the whole hour watching film. Now it’s like 30 minutes of weightlifting and stuff and 30 minutes of film, so it kinda splits up your focus, but yeah, I feel 100 percent.”
On if he’s more excited to be fully healthy and building on what the Huskies did last season:
“Honestly, I haven’t really thought about it. For me, it’s just being fully recovered and trying to be the best version of myself I can be.”
Chris Petersen excited about secondary, despite losing three NFL draft picks
Petersen: “Yeah, I think what we see is flashes. Like, really good flashes of talent. It’s there. It’s like anything, it just has to get consistent. All the guys back there. Especially at that position. You know how one play is the last line of defense. So, yeah, we were excited. I think they all got better. I hope they got better since then. And they’ll get better in this fall camp process, and we’ll see where we are from there.”
Washington being a target won’t change how they play
Bierria: “We won the Pac-12 last year, but our goal is to go out there and win it again. So you’re not hunting me, I’m hunting you. We’re hunting everybody. If you’re wearing a [different] jersey and playing at the NCAA level, you’re a target. But we’re just going to go out there and try to outwork you.”
They know the success could change quickly and will prepare for it
Petersen: “Can we do it again next year? That’s hard. I think we all get that. So you’ve got your way of doing things. And a little luck along the way to stay relatively healthy for some key guys. All those type of things. I just go back, and I said this before, I look at our season, and we play our first league game against Arizona. We go into overtime and barely get out of there. Our season goes well, and Arizona’s doesn’t go as well. They had a bunch of injuries, you know, we didn’t have a bunch of injuries.
“So it can change that fast. You lose a couple guys and it affects a couple more guys. I mean, we’ve all been there and seen that. So, there’s just a lot of things that got to line up. You could have everything just right, and the injury bug. How do you get a bunch of turnovers or not turn the ball over? Everybody works on that and everybody’s trying to figure out how to stay healthy. Well, how do you do that better? Half the time it’s just luck.”
Don’t expect much to change offensively, despite coaching turnover
Petersen: “Yeah, every time you get a new coach in there, that whole chemistry really changes. And nobody likes change. You don’t like change. Players don’t like. Nobody (indiscernible) what they know and all those things. But once you embrace that, that’s such an awesome thing. You look at things a different way. One thing about [offensive line coach] Scott Huff, he’s such a people person. So I knew that was going to be a really easy transition. They come from — [former O-line coach] Chris Strausser and Scott Huff, they come from the same lineage, same philosophy. Same way.
“And everybody has their unique way of doing it. So it wasn’t like it was this massive overhaul of techniques and terminology and all those things. But the personalities are all different, and it takes the guys a minute to get used to them. But it usually takes guys about three minutes to get used to and comfortable with Scott Huff just by the nature of his personality.”