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

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May 13, 2008 10:21 AM

Answers, volume two

Posted by Bob Condotta

Here we go with round two of our answers (and hopefully it turns out better than Joe Frazier's round two in Kingston, Jamaica 35 years ago).

Q: What's the latest with the renovation of Husky Stadium?

A: Not a lot at the moment. What the school is trying to do now is get the funding sorted out. As detailed here, the school lobbied the state legislature last session for $150 million, which would be about half of the $300-310 million needed for the project. That proposal didn't get anywhere, but the school plans to try again next year when it will have more time to prepare its case, as well as having a new athletic director in the fold --- and maybe a clearing up of the Sonics' situation which is muddying the waters a little bit. Until then, there doesn't figure to be a lot of substantive action.

Q: Besides Jake Locker, which player is the most crucial to the team's success next year, and why?

A: In the bad news department, I would have answered Juan Garcia heading into spring ball. As the leader of what besides Locker is the strength of the team, I thought Garcia would have been the second-most valuable player on the team next fall (and who knows? Maybe he will make that miraculous recovery and be around next year). Otherwise, I'll go with defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. As the only player on the defensive front with any significant experience, you would think that he has to stay healthy and have a big year for the defense to make any legit improvement this fall. He's made 25 consecutive starts and was the team's defensive MVP last year, more evidence of his worth to the team. And while somewhat soft-spoken, he also appears to be maturing into a real leader, as well.

Q: All 13 UW games were on TV last year but I notice only three have been picked up so far. How many do you think will be on this year?

A: It wouldn't surprise me at all if all 12 games are again on TV this year. Remember that the recent announcement of three TV games was just the first of the TV selections for the year. There will be another one in June when FSN will make its picks, and I would imagine five or so Husky games could be picked up then. Any games not selected in the summer will then be subject to being six- or 12-day picks during the season. Given the conference's more varied TV deals now in place, most Pac-10 games are getting aired somewhere. And given the historical strength of the Seattle TV market when it comes to Husky games, UW contests are highly-valued. Also, the school's TV deal with FSN requires the network to make every possible effort to get every game on.

Q: Which UW players do you think have a chance at earning All-Pac-10 honors next season?

A: One thing you always have to look at when trying to make these kinds of guesses are the areas where the rest of the conference is strong. I had someone propose to me recently that two or three of UW's linebackers could be All-Pac-10 guys next fall. Certainly, that's a UW strength heading into next year. But it's also a Pac-10 strength as guys like USC's Brian Cushing and Rey Maualuga and Cal's Zack Follett --- all either first- or second-teamers last year or the year before --- return this year. So that will be a highly competitive spot. Given the relative dearth of experienced QBs in the league, Locker has a chance at making one of the top two teams depending on how he progresses --- in fact, I've heard of one magazine that is likely to name Locker to its all-conference second team behind ASU's Rudy Carpenter. Te'o-Nesheim also has a good shot --- six of the eight DLs who were honored last year are gone. Garcia would have had a good chance. Should he return healthy, I would think Ryan Tolar would have the best chance of any of UW's other O-linemen. Despite what I said earlier about the strength at LB in the conference this year, I think E.J. Savannah has a chance if he plays the way he did in the spring game, when he appeared to be a really good fit for the new defense. If that game is any indication, Savannah could put up some big tackle numbers. There is obviously a lot of potential among some of the young players, but I think it's a little early to say any of them could be a first- or second-teamer this year --- there were no freshmen position players on the first- or second-team last year and only two sophomores. In other words, experience matters.

More later.


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