Lubick: "He’s the first quarterback I’ve been around who sits in the coaches’ meetings and is heavily involved in the game plan."
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Matt Lubick will call the plays for the Washington offense in Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl against Penn State. Jake Browning with try his best to execute them.
In that regard, the way the Huskies’ offense operates on game day isn’t much different than most around college football.
It’s what happens during the week that makes Browning, the Huskies’ junior quarterback, different than most of his peers.
“The way he prepares on and off the field is better than anyone I’ve been around,” said Lubick, the Huskies’ first-year co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
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“He’s the first quarterback I’ve been around who sits in the coaches’ meetings and is heavily involved in the game plan. Like with every game plan, if he’s not feeling good about it, we’re not going to do it.”
Even with offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith leaving for the head-coaching job at Oregon State earlier this month, the development of the Huskies’ offensive game plan for the Fiesta Bowl has largely been business as usual. Week to week, been a collaborative effort among the coaching staff — and Browning.
Browning wouldn’t go so far to say he has “veto power” in the game plan, but he’s as involved as anyone in the way the Huskies prepare for their opponents. During a typical week, that starts on a Sunday night, when Browning would sit down with Smith and watch a couple games of the upcoming opponents, identifying strengths and weakness and formulating some ideas of how the Huskies can attack that defense.
On Monday, he’s sitting with the rest of the offensive staff trying to firm up the plan.
“I definitely get to put in my say,” Browning said Tuesday morning at a Fiesta Bowl press conference at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn. “Where I come in to play the most is, they’ll ask, ‘OK, we like both of these — which one do you like more?’ So then I’ll put in my opinion there. I’ll watch film with them too and I can make suggestions and stuff like that. Whether they want to do it or not is up to them, but I try to throw around suggestions.
“I just like to know what the thought process is behind a lot of our stuff and have a little say, so you don’t come in on a Tuesday and it’s like, ‘Here’s what we’re doing.’ If there’s something I don’t like, I want to get that out on Monday so Tuesday runs smooth.”
Similarly, Browning and Lubick say things have been relatively smooth with Smith out of the picture. Lubick, in his 23rd season as a college assistant, was the play-caller at Oregon in 2016.
“He has a pretty similar personality to Coach Smith. It’s been good,” Browning said.
After Smith’s departure, Chris Petersen hired former UW receivers coach Bush Hamdan as the new offensive coordinator. Hamdan, the quarterbacks coach of the Atlanta Falcons, will finish out the NFL season before returning to UW later this winter.