So what exactly is the next step for the Washington football program? If your a coach it is a few days off with family so you can start getting your life organized. This coming Monday preparation for spring practice and the coming football season starts in earnest.
Molly Yanity of the Seattle PI got the opportunity to interview Coach Sarkisian and she came up with some good insight into what the staff will be doing until March 31st when spring practice begins.
"Our practices are not easy," he said. "They are physical, and they are tough, and they are intense. We have to be prepared for those practices because we can't practice one day and have half the team out the next. Physically, we have to get ready for that."
As far as the exisiting players go this will be there time to start making impressions on their new coaches. Sarkisian insists that the slate has been wiped clean and that everyone on the roster is getting an equal chance to show what they can do.
"We're going to evaluate them on athletic ability, but on character, on work ethic? We have to make those evaluations on our own throughout spring football. That's the clean slate."
Expect a tough sixty days for this squad as they go through the tougest conditioning period of their lives. From what we are hearing the bar has been set pretty high when it comes to the winter conditioning program this season.
Don't call them mat drills anymore. That terminology which has been used at Washington for decades is being phased out by Sarkisian. He feels the term is way to old school to decscibe what they are actually doing today.
One thing to look forward to if you are a fan is a lot more information coming out of the program at this time of year. After the recruiting party Willingham just disapeared until spring football started. Expect this coaching staff to be on the radio and TV quite a bit as they promote the program the way it should be and get husly fans all over the state excited about the upcoming season.
We talked about culture change earlier this month and how Jim Owens and Don James earned the respect of their teams. Both of those legends ran extremely tough regimens when they arrived and there was lots of attrition along the way followed by championships only three years after arriving on campus.
NCAA rules have changed to such an extent that it is impossible for Sarkisan to have his own death march or extended spring practices but winter conditioning is one of those area's still left where you can push a players to their physical limit to see what they are made of.