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

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August 27, 2008 4:04 PM

Donatell notes

Posted by Bob Condotta

First-year UW defensive coordinator Ed Donatell is a busy man this week with the opener against Oregon three days away. But as is the general custom for defensive coordinators here on Wednesdays, he stopped by the media room for a few minutes today.

The highlight might have been when Donatell was asked if there were going to be some surprises on Saturday with the debut of his new-look defense. "We're going to play them the one vanilla look the whole game,'' Donatell said to much laughter. It was indicative of the light-hearted side of Donatell that a lot of players have talked about in recent days, something of a contrast to Kent Baer, who tended to put up a more stern front.

Here's some of the rest of what he said:

On Senio Kelemete starting: I'm very pleased with Senio and he has just come in and had a heck of a, whatever it is, 10 days now. He was a little bit behind coming in here, but very pleaed with this guy. He brings an unusual quality of power and strength to our defense and he should be a real good Husky for a long time.''

On whether he has been surprised by Kelemete's play: "We thought this was a really good class. I am a little bit surprised, pleased, very pleased, that he's that good. Very pleased to know that you've got a guy who can anchor it. He's bright. He understands. I don't see anything that could keep him back fom being a good player.''

On how the young defensive line matches up with Oregon's veteran O-line: "This is a very quality line. I haven't seen all the (offensive lines in the Pac-10) but I would think this rates toward the top. They have been together, very quick, a smaller line than we've seen in practice, so it will be a little bit of a tempo thing when they see this group.''

On how to slow Oregon's offense: "It's fundamentals. When you look up and say we won the game, you'll say they tackled, this team leveraged well. Those two things will come up. Those are the key ingredients. Are total intention is getting the job done.''

On whether he has seen any surprises in the defense so far: "The biggest thing is it's very helpful to have a couple of veteran leaders, guys like Donald (Butler) and Daniel (Te'o-Nesheim) and then have this good of an incoming class to work with. But we know we are racing to get everybody ready. We know that. We know that breaking in a new system, all those things that go along with it. But this group is willing. When a group is willing, a lot of good things can happen. When guys are willing and excited about what's going on, good things can happen.''

On the challenge of facing Oregon's offense: "These guys really well-coached, this is a good scheme, a really good scheme. The numbers prove that, what they have done the last few years. Yes, we've got our work cut out for us, but our guys are up for the challenge. We intend to play very well and that's where we are. The power of team is a very, very powerful thing and I've got a good feeling about these guys.''

On Johnie Kirton: "I like his attitude about coming in. He's got one quarter of his whole career ahead of him and all the way through (the last year) he has made the steps. ... He'll see some playing time in the game, yeah.''

On whether he still plans on playing 10 defensive line: "I don't know if it will be quite that many (against Oregon) but we would like to, yes.''

More on Oregon: "We intend to block well, play with good leverage. They move around a lot and they challenge that. There's a lot of got-to-find-the-ball against these guys, and they are fast.''

On last year being a motivating force: "I believe that, when we came here, that there are people who really want to have the image of a Husky defense being stronger. No question people aren’t happy with the year they had last year and they want to do something about it.''

On how much he has watched the film of last year's game: "I don't know. Some people have gone through that. It's such a complex thing. I'm not really thinking so much about that game --- that was a close game for a while and it popped late in the game. But it's really been a distant thing. I could tell you a couple of elements of it, but nothing significant.''

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