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

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December 16, 2008 3:26 PM

A few more notes from today

Posted by Bob Condotta

Here are a few more notes and quotes from today's press briefing:

--- First, you can watch it here if you'd like.

--- Here's a look at Charr Gahagan, UW's new assistant strength coach.

--- Sarkisian noted that Ivan Lewis previously worked with the Chargers as well as the University of San Diego before USC.

--- Sarkisian acknowledged the news of yesterday that there will be no holdovers from the staff of Tyrone Willingham. Here's what he said about that:

"I think it just worked out that way. I wanted to give every guy an opportunity to look at, to see what assets they might bring because there are a lot of dynamics that go into a coaching staff. It's not about one guy or two guys, but putting together a staff, by the time you put (graduate assistants and strength guys) you are looking at upwards of 15 people making this thing work, and a lot of dynamics that go into it and I just felt at the time as we went along and what had gone on during coach Willingham's reign and that staff and what I wanted to get accomplished and the type of people I was looking for in specific positions it was the right thing to do. Only time will tell, but I think we are bringing in the type of people who will turn this program around and get it going in the direction we want it to go.''

--- Sarkisian said Jim Michalczik will have the lead role in handling recruiting in the state of Washington. He is a Port Angeles grad who played at WSU. "He knows the state well, he recruited it at Cal, he's from the area. He's done a nice job in the first couple of days he's been going. He's got a great relationship with the coaches and I'm extremely confident he will handle it really well.''

--- He said "we've got a couple of guys in the works right now'' to be defensive coordinator but did not know when that will get done. "I've said I don't want to settle. I'm really looking to hire the best coaching staff I can hire and I'm taking my time. We are not rushing just to put nine guys together and let's go. I want to put the best nine guys together I can to give us the best chance.''

--- Asked about Rocky Seto turning down the job he said he was "a little'' surprised but that "I understand USC is a tough place to leave and obviously I've been through it. I'd rather him stay instead of coming here and second-guessing that he might not be ready for this job.''

--- Sarkisian explained that Jared Blank will work as director of player personnel, organizing recruiting as well as the current roster (a job title UW hasn't had before but that is likely a reorganizing of some old positions). "He's a diligent worker, extremely detailed, really, really on the come. This guy is going to be a general manager in the NFL someday. He's got that makeup about him. I'm really excited we got him. ... He'll be really tired into the recruiting aspect of things and the kids we are evaluting and how we are evaluating them, organizing official visits, the development of our current players, how we develope and shape and mold our roster to make sure we are meeting our needs from a roster standpoint --- do we have enough offensive linemen, defensive linemen, defensive backs and what our needs our heading into the years to come and where we should be focused in recruiting.''

--- Asked about the return of E.J. Savannah, he said again this fits into his theme that all players will have a clean slate. He said he was comfortable after researching Savannah's issues to let him back on the team. "Hopefully for him this is an opportunity where he can flourish and take (his career) in the direction he's always wanted to take it.''

--- Asked when he would have more hires to announce, he said "probably in a week, within a week'' that there are some things that are close to getting done. However, he said there are no standing offers out there that just haven't been executed on yet.

--- Sarkisian said he will evaluate position changes for players on the current roster through looking at film of not only games but practices from last season. He said none have been decided yet.

--- Sarkisian said he has meet with about 60 players already, saying he will have an open-door policy. He said he wants to get to know as much as possible about the players and has been texting them and messaging them to learn more about them. He said he wants to "find out more about them. Who they are, what they like, what they don't like, who hangs with who, how is this team made up, because the more information I can get from a personal level, the better idea I have of how to shape them and mold them and push them in the direction we need to go.''

--- Sarkisian said he will put together a plan to work with Jake Locker, which he called "a crash course in quarterbacking 101.'' He said the next few months will be critical for learning the new system and everything else prior to spring ball. He said the entire football team "has a lot of learning that needs to get done and fine tuning of technique and fundamentals that needs to get changed/slashed/fixed here in a short amount of time.''

--- Asked a question about in-game adjustments, he told an anecdote about USC restoring to passing almost every down and said that he won't pigeon-hole his offense at UW. "We are not going to be a one-dimensional football team. We will be a team able to make adjustments and hopefully take advantage of what defenses are giving us.''

All for now.

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