Neuheisel Quotes From Idaho Press Conference
General Remarks: "It is definitely football season. After watching the weekend festivities and seeing two or three blocked punts, a myriad of penalties, lightning and thunder, and everything you look forward to in an opening game, I was scared to death to come in to work today. We are excited, as is the case of every program in the country. You get tired of only playing against yourself, which is the case of spring ball all the way through fall camp. You definitely look forward with a great deal of anticipation to the season opener, and we are exactly in that boat. We have Idaho coming to town this weekend. Coach Cable just talked to you about his team and how excited they are to play here. I think we are just as excited, if not more so, to get our season underway. There has been a lot of talk and anticipation for the upcoming season and it is time now to get it on and see where our team stands. Our kids have worked hard and I have been proud how they have gotten through two-a-days. I was also very impressed with the conditioning in respects to how physical we were in camp and the lack of injuries."
On Player Personnel: "Anthony Vontoure is rejoining the team today. He took a brief leave of absence to handle some personal issues. I am not going to comment to what those issues were, in respect to his privacy. But it was not a discipline issue. He will be back with the team today and how much he will play this week, if at all, remains to be seen. Right now he is third on the depth chart. Chris Juergens is unlikely to play this year. He has a unique knee injury that requires him to have shots to alleviate the tendinitis. He is also working hard to strengthen the muscles above the knee. I think he is going at this like it is a yearlong operation, so I don't intend on having Chris at all this year. He has a red-shirt year so he will return to us as a junior for the 2001 season. In regards to Jerramy Stevens the headlines were very disturbing for him to be under suspicion for that type of crime. But as of yet the Seattle police and prosecuting office have felt that they do not have enough to charge him. Until any decision has been made it is probably inappropriate for me to make any comment on that. He has been charged with nothing so he is a full-fledged member of our team."
On Idaho: "We have lots of concerns with Idaho, they are coming in here to whip us. They are a team with a new coach and loaded with enthusiasm. As was mentioned earlier, they have a lot of players from the state of Washington, who would love nothing more to come in here and play well in their home state. They have a little bit of secrecy around them because you don't know what they will do on either side of the ball. It has been difficult to get information, so we are going to have to play for a little while in a feeling out process. Coach Cable is a very intelligent guy. He worked with me at Colorado in 1998. I have a very healthy respect for him as a football coach. I have a real concern as to what we will be facing."
On Coach Cable: "He has great attention to detail. He is very confident coach in that he believes in his system and his way of doing things, and in so believing, he gets his players to believe. I know when Idaho comes down that tunnel on Saturday they will be a unified group. There will not be any doubters in what coach Cable is able to do. They will play his style of football, which will be very aggressive. But he also has the inclination to spread it out and throw the ball all over the field. He will have a vast array of weapons. On the defensive side, it is a real unknown. If I were a betting man I would guess that Tom likes to be aggressive and we will see a lot of pressure."
On Overlooking Idaho: "I think you worry about that when you might have just come off a series of wins or a series of games where people might look at the next one as a rest stop in the schedule. I don't think that is ever the case in an opening game. Opening games everyone is fired up to play and anxious to see someone in a different colored uniform. So I am not worried about overlooking this particular team. First of all, we have a real respect for Idaho. We have a healthy respect for coach Cable and his staff. I think our kids will match fire to fire."
On Preseason Polls: "I think the kids are obviously excited. People are thrilled that it is football season and also thrilled that the Huskies are mentioned in the same sentences with the top programs in the country. As I have said often times, Washington is one of the premier programs in the nation, and has been for some time. When you are starting a season with people expecting you to do well, that is healthy. Expectations come with a price and it is our responsibility to live up to them. Our kids have been talked to about that. We had coach James come down and talk to them at Olympia and he did a great job of explaining this. We played our best football a year ago when we played with a sense of urgency. It is probably the best word to explain how to play when your back is against the wall."
On Paul Arnold: "Paul will get the opening plays, but hopefully he won't have to carry the ball 30 times a game. That certainly could be in his future down the road because he blessed with some unique skills, but I'm not sure we are going to beat him up this early on. We had hoped to go into the season with Paul and Maurice Shaw. Maurice being more of the big back, but unfortunately his back would not hold up and he had to retire. We feel that with Paul, Braxton Cleman and Willie Hurst we have a great nucleus of tailbacks."
On Marques Tuiasosopo: "Marques is 100 percent healthy. He is a joy to coach. I have been quoted often as saying he is everything you look for in a quarterback. He has got size, speed, and arm strength. The only thing maybe missing if you are an NFL scout is you would like a couple more inches in height. He really has the entire package for us. Aside from the physical characteristics he is a remarkable person. He has got the desire, the work ethic, the charisma, and unbelievable leadership skills. He is one of those type of players who causes all the other players around him to take their game up a notch, just because you want to be like him. We wish he could be around for a little longer but we have high hopes that he will make the most of his senior year."
On John Anderson: "I am hoping John has a great season. I hope it is an improvement on last year, which was an exceptional season, considering his rookie status. I know John has got high expectations. We have a new holder for him so there may be some growing pains, but I don't think so. We are hoping we have one of the best kicking games in the nation for the next couple of years."