Washington is back to work.

Fresh off a 40-32 loss at UCLA last weekend, UW will hit the road yet again — meeting Arizona State at 1 p.m. on Saturday. But first, Husky coach Kalen DeBoer met the media for his weekly news conference Monday.

Below is a full transcript of DeBoer’s address.

“All right, good afternoon. Before we talk UW football, I just want to first say a couple things. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Rick Redman, with his passing, through this difficult time. We’re thinking about you. He was obviously more than just an All-American, did so much for this university. He was a contributor in so many ways. So our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Rick.

“And the second thing is, I just want to say congrats to the Mariners. The positive vibes being in the city, it’s really fun to see. They’ve done a great job getting to this point, battling and fighting and building. It’s part of being in this community. It’s cool to see, and we’re trying to do the same. We’re trying to add to those positive vibes in the athletic community, and we wish them the best here going forward in the playoffs.

“As far as the game, the biggest thing is in the second quarter we dug ourselves a hole. There’s some things in that second quarter that we did where it could have been worse. Big stop there with 30 seconds to go in the second quarter, when they go for it. You can see they’re really trying to put the nail into the coffin going into that half. Our defense stepped up. We’ve been actually really good in short yardage situations. On fourth down we’ve actually been not bad at all. But on third down, it’s been more of a thing in the longer downs, where you expect to get off the field at a higher rate. I think a lot of it revolves around penalties from a team aspect. I think we can do a better job communicating defensively and that would have helped us out in a few areas. But they’re all growth moments, wins or losses. It’s definitely a growth moment. I don’t want to say I didn’t have an idea. I felt I knew what our response would be, whether it be at halftime or coming back yesterday. The character of our team will be revealed. I think a lot has already been shown to me of what that character is all about. I was proud of the guys, the way they fought to the very end, the belief. I thought there was ownership after the game, but also during the game it wasn’t this sideline that’s just in disarray. They were focused and continuing to adjust and move forward and try to give ourselves a chance. I think a lot of those things showed up. When the right attitude and effort continues to come forward we can be better because of it. That’s a lot of the message we had yesterday. Yesterday was a good practice to get back on the field. They need that. We need to put that game behind us, learn from it and move on, flush it, accept it, own it and go 1-0. Tomorrow will be a really big day. I know even in our Thursday night meeting, we talked about our response to adversity. Because that’s what we talk about a lot. I just think we’ve been so good in that area, and this will be another test, to see what our response is.”

On the landscape with coaches being fired during the season:

“Yeah, I understand. I don’t know which way … where I stand. I understand why there’s reasons for universities to go this route and try to get the next person in place. A lot of it revolves around recruiting and all of that. But it’s hard on the student-athletes, there’s no question. It’s hard on them. They go through a lot. So no matter when that change happens, these different universities are going through things where their student-athletes are having to continue to push forward. I guess with Arizona State, there seems to be a lot of positive vibes still within the team. They’re playing hard. That can go both ways I guess. It’s a clean slate for a lot of these guys, and that’s what a lot of interim coaches do, is wipe the slate clean. I think that might be a little bit of the situation here. They’re playing hard and they’re pushing teams like this last week to the fourth quarter. They’ve got good players. We’ve got to make sure we’re on our best and our A game, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be, based on taking a loss this past weekend.”

On Grady Gross’ tripping penalty that saved a kick-return touchdown:

“It happened really fast. And at first I was like, ‘Really? We needed to do that?’ But then watching the film … we really needed to do that. Everyone gets in that spot and there’s a different reaction, and probably with his background and what he’s done in the game of soccer or whatever it might be, that’s the instinct. So you take guys through tackling drills and try to show them how it’s supposed to be done. But when it’s happening that fast and all of a sudden there’s a man not necessarily right in front of you, but someone you have to get down, that was his instinct. Obviously it’s not the right one. It’s a penalty. But we needed to get the guy down somehow.”

Advertising

On if he’d advise Gross to trip the returner and take the penalty:

“We’ll continue to teach the tackling. We did not condone that that was a good move on his end. But we have to do a better job of making sure it doesn’t get to him at that point and continue to show him. He’ll learn from it. It’s the first time he’s probably been in that spot.”

On Wayne Taulapapa’s fumbled toss that resulted in a safety:

“It never even crossed my mind, honestly, after that happened, that that was a risky move. We would really have done a lot of risky things already this season, I guess, if we were considering that something that was putting us at a big risk. We’ve done things where we’ve been on our own 1, the way we’ve thrown the ball and so forth. There’s probably more risk to that. Is a shotgun snap or under center more risky? The exchange, when it’s happening that fast, what is more risky? We run a lot of zone reads back there. When you’re in (shotgun), almost every play has some type of read element. With that, to me, there was no read. There’s no indecisive, ‘What should we do?’ We’re just literally tossing it and we have to execute the toss.”

On what broke down in kickoff coverage leading to the tripping call:

“Guys just can’t be hesitant. When we watch the film … there’s maybe a guy or two we can flip around. It’s schemed up to where one guy is flying down and other guys are folding in. One guy is waiting for another, and they just have to both go. Because they all have a lane they’ve got to get to. Give the returner credit: he made a nice cut and got vertical, and that’s the thing you don’t want. Especially in punt returns, but in punt or kickoff returns, when it’s going straight up the field, right down the pipe, those are the worst ones. So one guy here or there needs to be on the same page. Not that they’re not on the same page, but we need to get the right guys (in position). Maybe if there’s a guy that’s a little faster, we need him to be the one that’s flying down or folding in and base our scheme on getting the right people in the right spots. That’s a fluid thing. It’s obvious what our injury status is in a few areas, so you plug a different guy in and different things happen.”

Advertising

On managing Michael Penix Jr.’s ability to throw into tight windows:

“Honestly, it’s a really good question. Because we sit here, and we put our stamp of approval on how he throws guys open. How he anticipates. And how guys are barely out of their breaks and the ball’s out. Once in a while — on the one, the defender’s literally spinning in the ground as the release is happening. Mike’s anticipating — that’s what he’s trying to do. That’s what’s made him so successful. He learns from it. It’s not been a common thing for him as we’ve seen through five games to turn the ball over. So, learn from it. He was into his progression a little bit. He just needed to continue on and not force it that time. Especially knowing kind of where we’re at in the game and the momentum. I think especially when he threw the second one — being a little more careful with that throw in particular.”

On if sticking with Fautanu at tackle and Kirkland at guard is the right decision:

“I think so. I really do. I think Jaxson’s just so powerful and strong inside. It’s a major strength for him. Not only can he move people, but he keeps the pocket further ahead of the quarterback. Further ahead of Mike. So, we have the luxury I guess. We have the luxury of having a guy like Troy to be able to play outside. I think — not slating Jaxson into a spot because I think he can play tackle and guard at the next level — he’s just so powerful, so strong. That might be a spot he ends up working to down the road anyway just because he’s so good at it.”

 On what the biggest take-aways were on offense and defense against UCLA:

“Offense, the penalties. Really. You convert a third and short and you get the holding call. It just takes you out of rhythm. The two turnovers verse not getting any turnovers. When you’re talking about an eight-point difference. Those turnovers, and we lost the explosive battle by just a couple. That hasn’t happened up to this point. I think defensively there’s things we can continue to coach and stress. We’ve done a really good job in our communication. That’s so important on the defensive side. I don’t know if we quite communicated at that level the other night. So, mixing and matching different guys I don’t know if that leads to it. There are some guys that do a great job. It just needs to be all 11 that are on the football field communicating and reaffirming that this is my job. It leads to confidence. It’s not like we had really a lot of blown assignments or anything. A team that communicates is usually a confident team. And you’re just triggering a little bit faster and you’re playing a little bit faster when you know, ‘hey this guys’ got me here’. That’s where we’re going to continue be continuing to emphasize. Things that we’ve emphasized all year long just gotta do a better job.” 

Advertising

 On Mishael Powell and Asa Turner’s status:

“Meesh will not be back this week. There is a chance that Asa could definitely be back. Almost put him on the depth chart. Kept it the same because we’ve played with that rotation for the most part. Asa is doing more — not necessarily practice last week. Especially since it was a short week we needed to get guys the reps they needed who were going to be on the field. But he’s doing more and more activity. So, with a normal week there’s a chance he could be playing on Saturday.”

 On the timeout after the kickoff in the first half:

“Obviously we weren’t ready to snap the ball and I didn’t want to take a delay to start the drive. We emphasize it. Practice it. Just in that moment the ball was on the opposite hash all the way across the field and we didn’t do a good enough job of breaking the huddle. All of a sudden the clock’s ticking down. I just reemphasized to the guys even right there in that moment, ‘guys, you understand the clock is :40 seconds. Sometimes there’s a five second buffer, I think, after the ball goes into the end zone and it’s a touchback. It’s only :40 seconds from the time the ball is blown dead to when you got to snap the next play — assuming there’s no media timeout. I think there’s been a lot of media timeouts. It kind of crossed my mind actually. There’s been a lot of media timeouts it seems after the kicks and we haven’t been put in that spot as much. But it has happened and we’ve done a good job. We’ve just got to be better.” 

On the play where UCLA completed a pass and a defensive holding penalty was also enforced:

“We submitted just for clarification. We won’t get that back until probably tomorrow. So we’ve submitted that. I was kind of questioning the call to begin with. Didn’t really realize I thought he went out of bounds further up. So, feeling that maybe just the 15-yards had been marked off because it was on the opposite sideline and he ran out of bounds and it was spotted I think on the 34 or somewhere around there. We’ll get clarification on it. But we gotta do a better job of not hitting out of bounds. He was clearly out of bounds.”

On dealing with the heat in Tempe, Arizona:

“Having lived in northern climates and going to play games in the south at different times in my career, I’ve been at places where you have an indoor (facility) and you crank the heat up and looking back on it what you need to be doing all week long in my mind — and I’m sure there’s someone can give an argument the other — but you need to be building a reservoir up, hydrating. That isn’t just a hydration that takes place a day or two before the game. You’ve got to build that up throughout the week. If you’re smoking yourself out in an indoor, to me you’re working against the cause. I also feel having been in a hotter climate the last four out of five years, there really isn’t a replacement, there really isn’t something you can do to really give that same impact and effect. You’ve just got to do a good job of, and I spoke with the players yesterday, we have to be better with how we hydrate throughout the week. I know living here and moving here I don’t even do a good enough job personally during practice or during games because the weather feels cooler and it’s nicer. It’s just part of human nature, so we’re really stressing that with our guys, they’ve got to do a good job all week, because we don’t want to have someone out because of cramps or anything like that or an injury because they didn’t do a good job on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and just thought hey, Friday and Saturday I’ve got to make sure I’m hydrating.”

Sponsored

On if he’d like a grass field to practice on:

“I think it would be helpful, beneficial. There’s games like we’ve had, we’ve have back-to-back … I think it will help that we played UCLA and we play this game back-to-back. I was thinking about it throughout the week. I can’t say I was concerned, but I was thinking about it throughout the week, but having been to the Rose Bowl I know it’s a really good surface. I thought there were maybe just a few spots on the field where you could see guys had slid a little bit. I know it’s not as easy as oh, it’s a good surface. You’ve got to get used to playing on it. I think it would be beneficial, be helpful. But there’s 1-2 games a year, and getting used to playing on turf is also important. I don’t think that had any role in what the outcome of the game was. That experience will hopefully help us this weekend.”

On sticking with the game plan even when down:

“You have to. It’s the middle of the third quarter. The possessions are going to be limited but you have to have trust that the other side of the ball … and I think the last quarter and some change they didn’t score. They had 40 at the time and they didn’t score in maybe the last three minutes of the third quarter and the rest of the fourth quarter. You’ve got to have confidence that the other side of the ball is going to do their job and there’s no … 24-point touchdowns. You’ve got to put one touchdown on the board before you can put another. Even if there’s only one minute left in the game when you get your last drive, hey with our offense we believe we can go down the field. Keep putting the pressure on, keep scoring, and I thought the offense did a nice job and just continued to churn first downs and put plays together. Sooner than later, you’re back in a rhythm and as that kind of happened the ball started to go down the field again a little bit more and bigger plays started to be made. I thought it was good, and I thought our defense hung in there. Got a stop in the fourth quarter to give us a chance to pull within one score. The last part just kicking off, we had three time outs and I still feel that was the right decision. I think the tempo was going to be slower and their offense wasn’t as good when the tempo wasn’t in play. They just have a running quarterback that found a way to move the chains at the end and he was tough to defend no matter when it was.”

On if they would have scored if they got the ball back at the end of the game:

“Yeah. I think we scored every drive in the second half, if I remember right. We were in a good rhythm. We were fighting and we were battling. That’s what I wanted to see, and I love out of our guys. It’s what I expected and was hoping for and they battled until the very end.”

On if you believe in the idea of gamers compared with practice players:

Advertising

“No, not really. Your consistency, your volume of work has to show up in practice too. There are guys who can really elevate and find another level in games, but there’s something they’ve been doing in practice too on a level where they’re not just competent but doing a pretty good job helping us have production, whether it would be on offense or defense. No, I think you’ve got to perform in practice. We have too many guys that do that well in practice to where they’ve earned that opportunity and also are helping us be successful.”

On ASU and QB Emory Jones:

“I think Emory Jones, just like many quarterbacks I think in our league cause problems with his feet. He can throw it. They’ve got some skill around him, so many of the same thoughts when you get ready to play UCLA show up against Arizona State. I think in the games, like the Eastern Michigan game, he just missed some balls down the field. Guys were open, they just didn’t quite make the play. He didn’t quite make the throw. They were playing from behind. They’ve had to do that quite a bit, playing from behind, but they continue to fight. And whether it’s a different head coach in place right now or not, I think there’s maybe a clean slate and they’re out there to make the most of the rest of the season. We’ve got to bring our A game for sure.”

On the missed tackles against UCLA, and specifically the one where Dorian Thompson-Robinson scored and Bralen Trice and Jaivion Green collided:

“You’ve got an explosive player who is really twitchy and can make a lot of moves. And the more success he has and the time you get beat is something you don’t want. You don’t want to remember, but it’s something that’s in the back of their mind. They get a little hesitant. I thought that happened a few times where we had a player hemmed in … at the end of the second quarter we had three on one (DTR) and he kind of pitched the ball to (Zach) Charbonnet. Our guys were just a little bit on their heels, a little hesitant. That was a time when we had a lot of players around the ball. In general, we have to continue to pursue like we did the previous two weeks. I thought our pursuit against Michigan State and it got even better against Stanford, I thought that pursuit is something that was really becoming a strength. Give UCLA credit, they find a way to get you isolated in those one on ones. You can play zone and get guys to rally to the ball, but you also have to mix it up. From our standpoint, if someone is just playing or the other, you’ll pick them apart all day. You try to throw in the right call to change up what they’re seeing and all of a sudden you do end up with some guys once in a while one-on-one and they’ve got to make that tackle, and they’ve got to do it aggressively and confidently. But we’ve got to get more guys to the football.”