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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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April 9, 2008 9:29 AM

Reviving the special teams

Posted by Bob Condotta

The special teams, and more specifically new special teams coach Brian White, was the focus of my story today, which you can find here.

As you may be able to tell from some of the quotes in the story, White is quite energetic, which by even the most casual observation is a stark contrast from former ST coach Bob Simmons. How much difference that will make we won't really know until next season, but as White says near the bottom of the story, he hopes the change in the play of the special teams unit next fall is "dramatic.''

As would be expected of a coach early in his first spring practice, he said it was too early to really discuss who will be doing what in much detail, especially returners.

"We probably won't know that until the end of spring or halfway through camp to really solidify that,'' he said. "But there are some nice choices and some interesting choices there. ... We've got a lot of nice, athletic-type special teams players. The pool to choose from is there.''

If you read the story, you'll see White using a phrase I'd never really heard before --- "Create the crowd.'' White means that it's up to the special teams to get the crowd into the game since it is the first one on the field for every game.

"Your most explosive plays on special teams are in the return game,'' he said. "Those are your most explosive opportunities for big hits, big returns and big plays. They are the wild plays. And so we have to continue to coach through that and figure out which guys are going to create the crowd.'' In a quote that didn't make the story, White at one point vowed that "we are going to create the damn crowd on Aug. 30'' (when the Huskies open the season at Oregon).

White said that just about every spot on every special teams is up for grabs and that he won't be averse to using starters if need be. "Everybody is going to get plenty of opportunities, so now we have to take advantage of them,'' he said. "We are going to play the best guys, the most productive guys. ...

"Our job (as college football coaches) is pretty unique in that after three-and-a-half hours, everybody knows our business. There are not any funny, creative ways you can spin the accounting in competitive athletics. So we have to do a great job of putting the best players on the field that will give us the best opportunity.''

As the story indicates, White said there will be some subtle changes to the schemes. But he said he's most concerned with creating a new attitude.

"We are going to attack defensively and get off blocks and we are going to dislodge the football from people in coverage units,'' he said. "It's attitude and productivity. I think we are going to be able to provide some new tools (for the players) but I don't think the schemes are going to be drastically different. The biggest thing people need to understand is that schemes don't win football games. They really don't. It's execution and fundamentals, and that's what the whole goal is.''

AND BY THE WAY... I'll research some of those old spring game scores and get them on here a little later.

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Posted by SpokaneDawg

10:05 AM, Apr 09, 2008

Yeah Bob, that phrase definitely caught my eye. "Create the crowd."

Posted by create the crowd?

10:23 AM, Apr 09, 2008

I'd be a fan of something new around these parts, "Win a football game." I'm just sayin'. Maybe that phrase could catch on. Win a few games, and maybe the crowd will come around.

Posted by nitsuj

10:27 AM, Apr 09, 2008

In before the negadawgs.

where is everyone this spring? malibu et. al. come baaack!

Posted by amore

10:48 AM, Apr 09, 2008

Halseth would welcome the opportunity to play on special teams again this year. Watch him go.

Posted by SpokaneDawg

11:05 AM, Apr 09, 2008

Bob, make sure you include scores from the old alumni game format. That would be a hoot. When was the last alumni game? Spring of '76 or '77?

Posted by Chris

11:28 AM, Apr 09, 2008

WOW after listening to this guy I am ready to run down the hall in my office and knock someone's block off like Terry Tate "Office Linebacker". I hope his attitude translates onto the field.

Keep up the great work Bob.

Posted by Dave

11:36 AM, Apr 09, 2008

I already love this guy. Fired up and demanding. "Create the crowd!" Good motto for '08.

Posted by purpledawgz

1:19 PM, Apr 09, 2008

Chris and Dave--

Indeed, it is an exciting time. I am most anxious to attend the spring game. Perhaps this will excite even more readers still. I gift this to the readers of Bob's blog, a piece inspired by Coach White's now electrifying words. I can definitely see this being a motto and a mentality for 2008 Husky Football!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When the band has left the field, and the siren rings,
When the coins have been flipped and the whistle sings,
May the purple and the gold inspire all the fans,
Let every age and creed rise-up throughout the stands,

Years it has been since they yearned for wins so strong;
Yet last week’s win against the Ducks still inspires all along!
The ball is kicked, the colors crash, an off-season finally ends;
First BYU, then a gauntlet still, special teams must now transcend!

For once the stadium as one voice roars deafeningly loud—
Then, and only then, will the Huskies have CREATED THE CROWD!

Posted by Mike D

1:59 PM, Apr 09, 2008

Chris - LOL. Best commercial ever.

Posted by tom ross

4:30 PM, Apr 09, 2008

If we could improve special teams by 15 percent, we'd be within seeing distance of what we are used to, under James. The year he was first gone the center snaps were all over the place, the kicking was horrible, and we've never really gotten better. It is so iimportant, that it is nice to see someone who at least appears to be dedicated to the proposition that all special teams start out equal but only those dedicated to the 'special' part really make a difference.

Posted by ferndawg

9:26 PM, Apr 09, 2008

this guy sounds like a husky.

says he has enough "bullets." he has thewe backs of his players with that comment.

good stuff bob.

create the crowd.

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