By Mason Kelley
HONOLULU – As Danny Shelton walked off the field, he looked over at Washington strength and conditioning coach Tim Socha and said, “A win is a win.”
Shelton’s goal this season is to harness the power of positive energy, so that is exactly what he focused on after Washington’s 17-16 win over Hawaii in Saturday’s the season opener.
“It was a tough game,” Shelton said. “These guys came out hunting for us. It was a big fight for us. I really liked it. I feel like I got better today.”
When asked to describe his performance, Shelton said he played “pretty decent.” The senior was being modest. He was all over the field, finishing with 12 tackles – three for loss – and a pair of sacks.
But, after the game, he wasn’t interested in reflecting on his impressive numbers. Instead, he talked about the way his teammates recovered after falling behind 10-0 early.
“After the first two scores, I knew our defense needed to step it up and just keep the positive energy on the sideline,” Shelton said.
The Huskies didn’t panic. The veterans on the defensive line made a concerted effort to improve their communication.
“We started talking to each other, being in tune with each other and adjusting to mistakes we made,” he said. “We told each other to keep our heads up, keep moving. There’s always a next play.”
There is also another game to prepare for next week with Eastern Washington traveling to Husky Stadium for the Huskies’ home opener.
Week 1 provided a tough test, and Shelton rose up to meet it. He had a big day. He made his share of pivotal plays, like the third-quarter sack on third-and-7 to end a drive.
But, as the Huskies prepared to fly home to Seattle, Shelton was already thinking about getting better.
“I’m going to be watching film,” Shelton said, “taking notes when coach is talking about my technique and just coming out for the next game ready for a fight.”