Hello, my name is Matt Cramer and I will be one of the contributors to ZzuFootball this year. For my first piece, I caught up with my friend Robin Dich, host of “Cougar Sports Spotlight” on KUGR and of Cable 8’s “Cougnation”. We talked about his thoughts for the upcoming season, his thoughts from practice, and how the team has evolved over the course of the year.
Q: Who do you think will be a breakout star for the Cougars on both sides of the ball?
“On defense, I would say that freshman cornerback Daquawn Brown is someone who is making a name for himself. The other guys on the team have nicknamed him the “Cheetah” which tells you just about all you need to know; pure speed. On offense, wide receiver Vince Mayle (6’3” 240 Ibs.) is a massive target for Connor Halliday. He’s got good hands and good speed; he just needs more playing time.”
Q: What’s been the general mood surrounding the players for the upcoming season?
“Everyone is excited about the things they can accomplish as a football team this season. The best way to describe their attitude would be confident but not cocky. The defense has a tenacious attitude and the offense knows what it is capable of. They’ll be some growing pains, but they just need time.”
Q: What is the biggest change that you’ve noticed this season as opposed to last year?
“There’s more leadership on both sides of the ball. On defense, linebacker Darryl Monroe is very vocal, while safety Deone Buchanon is more reserved, but he leads by example. And even though quarterback Connor Halliday receives some criticism for his play, he is established as the leader of this offense. There’s tons of competition at every position and nobody’s job is safe.”
Q: Have you noticed a change in Mike Leach?
“Not really, he’s a real straight shooter, everyone knows what his mission is and he won’t change his philosophy for anyone. He’s actually a lot closer to the players than a lot of people think, and the bond between the coaching staff and the players is strong.”
Q: What’re your thoughts on UW’s Football team this year?
“It hurts me to say this, but that team looks more talented than any other Husky team of the past ten years. They’ve got weapons on both sides of the ball, they just need to execute. After three straight 7-6 seasons, Sarkisian is on the hot seat and I’m sure he can feel the pressure.”
Q: Finally Robin, what’s your season prediction?”
“Beating USC was a big stepping stone, I believe we will make it to a bowl game with a record of 6-6. There are a lot of winnable games on the schedule, but I’m sure we will still see some growing pains. Last year we fell away late, but this season we will be a lot more competitive.”
I'd like to thank Robin for his time, and expect more interviews over the course of the season!