Petersen says kicking game is "making progress."

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Here’s everything Chris Petersen had to say after Day 4 of UW football camp on Monday evening:

(Nice having Chico back out there?) “It’s really good. Quinten Pounds, both those guys have looked good. We just need to be smart with all these guys because they haven’t played football in a long time. But they’ve done a great job of rehabbing and it’s nice to get those guys back out there and I think a lot of guys are kind of battling through, still coming through. We need those guys.”

(Is Pounds ahead of schedule?) “I think they felt like he was right on track. Brandon Wellington is one that got hurt really late and they feel like he’s a little bit ahead, he’s doing great. But we’ve just got to be smart. If you watch them condition with trainers and doing all the stuff, it looks like there’s nothing wrong but football is a little bit different so we’re trying to be as smart as we can with everybody.”

(Jake Haener continues to impress despite not having the physical traits the other QB’s have …) “I think we see the quarterback position differently because I see a lot of things exactly what I’m looking for out there. There’s been a lot of good NFL guys that were not 6-foot-5 or 6-6. He’s doing a good job. He really understands what we’re trying to do out there. I think so much of it comes down to pocket presence. That is a unique skill and that’s what really starts to separate a lot of people and he’s doing a nice job in there. And he’s a pretty darn accurate thrower. I think you see those three things, we always come back to that. We’re happy with how he’s been doing.”

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(Senior DeShon Williams, a hybrid tight end?) “Yeah, a little bit. He’s one of those guys that did a great job last year on scout team, he really did. He was awesome on our scout team, he took every rep at every tight end, wide receiver position. I think you’re seeing some of the fruits of his labor out there right now.”

(How nice is it to have Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin out there as seniors to lead the offense?) “It’s awesome having those guys. We’ve got a couple handful of seniors that, when you’ve played as much football as those guys have it’s good. You feel good about things. But it is a team game. And you talk about those two guys right there, all I’m watching is really, really good defense for the last couple days. It’s a team game. I always say this every year: it’s hard for me to stand here and be excited because when one side does really well I’m really concerned about the other side. And the defense has done a really, really nice job of playing at a high level the last couple days.”

(How has Nick Harris done with his position change?) I forgot he didn’t play center. (laughs) That’s why we brought him in here, he’s a natural center. He’s really, really smart, he’s a vocal communicator. I don’t really think of this as a new position, that’s how seamless that transition has been.”

(Has Cole Norgaard solidified himself as the No. 2 center?) “I don’t think anybody’s solidified anything. But Cole’s done a nice job through spring ball and he’s doing a good job here. We’re day what? Four, of practice, so there’s no solidifying anything. But he has done a nice job. He does get better. He’s just kind of quietly battling and he’s one of those guys that shows up for work every day and doesn’t…I don’t really want to say he doesn’t miss, because you know what happens. As soon as I say that he’s out the next day…but he’s been battling and he’s been doing a nice job.”

(What about the freshmen defensive backs?) “Those guys are doing a really good job. They are highly skilled and they are getting better every day as well. It’s really good because we don’t hardly ever go ones on twos or twos on threes. We don’t do that. We go good on good. Everybody is making everybody better. There’s no freebies. There’s no freebies for the first offense going up against some guys they are just better than or blown assignments…you’ve got to earn everything from the get-go. That’s hard on an offense because one little mistake on offense and it all looks bad.”

(On the offense not seeing a defense as talented as UW’s this season) “I think we’ll see a defense similar, in about 20-some days. So, that’s what I think. That’s just how we’ve always done it.”

(On the defense getting the better of the offense early in camp) “It’s been my experience that if your defense is not really above your offense, you’re going to have problems. I don’t know why that’s been. I used to hate that as an offensive coordinator, and when we’d get after our defense, deep down, I was going, ‘I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not.’ And so that doesn’t mean that our offense isn’t going to catch up and things are going to even out, but that’s always been my experience over time – your defense, they need to have a little bit of an upper hand, if they’re going to play really, really good defense throughout the year.”

(On potential replacements for Dante Pettis at punt returner) “I see a lot of potential. I’m not really into comparing, because I don’t know that, when guys leave us. Dante was special. Dante was a four-year starter as a true freshman at that really hard position, so it’s hard to say that. But there’s no doubt we’ve got some talent back there, and I’m excited about that. Maybe I’m just excited because that’s the one thing I get to do, is coach that guy. I don’t know. Maybe we’re going to be really bad there, but at least I get to coach.”

(On the offense not seeing a defense as talented as UW’s this season) “I think we’ll see a defense similar, in about 20-some days. So, that’s what I think. That’s just how we’ve always done it.”

(On the defense getting the better of the offense early in camp) “It’s been my experience that if your defense is not really above your offense, you’re going to have problems. I don’t know why that’s been. I used to hate that as an offensive coordinator, and when we’d get after our defense, deep down, I was going, ‘I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not.’ And so that doesn’t mean that our offense isn’t going to catch up and things are going to even out, but that’s always been my experience over time – your defense, they need to have a little bit of an upper hand, if they’re going to play really, really good defense throughout the year.”

(On potential replacements for Dante Pettis at punt returner) “I see a lot of potential. I’m not really into comparing, because I don’t know that, when guys leave us. Dante was special. Dante was a four-year starter as a true freshman at that really hard position, so it’s hard to say that. But there’s no doubt we’ve got some talent back there, and I’m excited about that. Maybe I’m just excited because that’s the one thing I get to do, is coach that guy. I don’t know. Maybe we’re going to be really bad there, but at least I get to coach.”

(What’s the most important thing for that position? Catch the ball?) “Job one is, get the ball back to the offense. That is job one. We need a great decision-maker back there. And two, we want to catch the ball. We don’t want it hitting the ground. And then 3, we’re always trying to work for yards, the hidden yardage.”

(Chico has some experience at kick returner, but he hasn’t returned punts. How much different is that position?) “I think punt-returning and kick-returning is significantly different, in my opinion. We need explosive guys and all that at both positions, and I think the skillset is quite a bit different.”

(On the kickers so far – from the sideline, we can only evaluate on make-or-miss. Is it the same for you?) “We evaluate them the same way: make or miss. It’s pretty easy. That’s an easy one. I think we’re making progress there. I think the ball’s coming off their foot really well. If we’re missing, we’re missing small. They’re trying to trust their technique. Peyton (Henry) had one day where he was a little bit off, and came back the next day and he was money. That’s how it’s going to be. We’re just a constant state of improvement, and when we can see they’re attacking it and going for it and not playing scared, we’ll be OK.”

(Is there anything you can do to simulate pressure kicking situations?) “I think so. We’ll do more. We can put a little pressure on them. We can do little things that put pressure on them. For right now, if I stand there and watch them kick on their own, there’s pressure on them, and certainly we bring them in front of the team. We can do other little things. But I think they’re pretty focused in. I think it’s just about getting in that rhythm and hitting that sweet spot every single time.”

(How do you make sure Jacob Eason stays engaged and sharp while he redshirts?) “He needs to stay engaged and sharp, and that’s on him.”

(How do you do that?) “That’s on him. That’s not on me. He’s going to be fine. That guy’s already played at a high level. He’s very passionate about this game. The reason I kind of swell up like that, because that wouldn’t be the guy that we want here. If we’ve got to motivate him to, like, come to practice – I mean, it is what it is. It’s not like it’s something surprising. He’s here to grow and get better and he gets a ton of work in individual stuff, and we throw him in there and he’s trying to learn this offense. So that’s not even like a legitimate question. That’s why I’m kinda saying, ‘huh?’”

(Coach Huff said he was pleased that most of offense line weighed in at well over 300 pounds …) “I don’t care if they’re 300 pounds or 260 pounds. That’s why he’s responsible for that whole thing. If they’re bigger and all that — we go with the guys who can move their feet. We just need to execute. Big sometimes can be overrated. You like ‘em that way, and if they play good I love that. But we’ve got a lot of guys who don’t really fit the mold who have blocked really, really good, and I’m good with that.”

(on new DB coach Will Harris … ) “I think he’s been great. I really do. I think he’s a sponge. I think it’s hard when you come from the outside; so many of our guys have connections to us — they’ve either been with us for a long time or played for us or something. He was none of that. So he’s been awesome, just absorbing our way. The kids really like him. He’s just a good person, and he’s another guy I’m just excited to watch him grow.”

(On making a point to introduce Harris to everyone during the interview process, making him feel part of the family … ) “That’s all of our coaches. They love their players, their unit, but that’s the beauty of coaching: You get connected to the whole team and Will’s awesome with that stuff. He’s a young guy they all relate to. It’s good.”

(Will Harris said you’re similar to his college coach at USC, Pete Carroll. What does that comparison mean to you?) “Well, I take that as a tremendous compliment. I don’t know how much we are alike, but I do take that as a compliment. I’ve spent a little bit of time over there (at Seahawks headquarters). And, heck, I love it when I can get over there. You’re learning from one of the best in the business, for sure. I wish I had more time to spend over there. But I think we’re all about just trying to get better, just trying to bring out the best in ourselves and each other. We say things differently, but the message is probably similar. So Will’s had Coach Carroll a lot more than I have, so I think that’s a good thing if he sees some similarities.”

(on Ale Kaho) “He has been granted a release. His family was really adamant that he needs to — he’s going through some stuff and he needs to be close to his family. And we get that. You’ve got to do the right thing.”

(on what release means exactly) “You can’t restrict kids — you release him. You can’t say ‘You can go to this school or not.’ Either you release him or you don’t. So that’s what it is.”

(on building trust in recruiting process …) “This is a rare situation. We didn’t get him in the summer time, and I think it’s just a unique situation. And then when you get a unique situation you just try to do what you think is the right thing and go from there.”