Washington quarterback Jake Locker: "The season is not lost"
Huskies quarterback Jake Locker says it doesn't do anyone any good to dwell on rough day in loss to Nebraska.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Washington @ USC, 5 p.m.
Latest from the Husky Football & Basketball blogs
As radio talk shows and message boards crackled with debates over decisions he made on the field Saturday, and off-the-field last winter, Jake Locker shrugged it all off and simply went back to work.
The Washington quarterback talked to reporters after Tuesday morning's practice — his scheduled day to speak to the media — appearing none the worse for the wear after Saturday's 56-21 rout at the hands of Nebraska.
"Obviously you think about it right after and watch the film and see what you can learn from," he said. "But if you dwell on it, it's going to continue to beat you. The most important thing is coming out here and working hard, having fun, enjoying this game and looking forward to our next opportunity to go out and play.
"There's nothing I can do about it now. There's nothing any of us can do about it now. So you don't gain anything personally or as a football team sitting and wondering 'what if?' "
And Locker insists that among the things he doesn't wonder "what if?" about is his decision last December to return to Washington.
In the wake of Saturday's game — in which he was 4-for-20 passing for 71 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown — some have surmised that Locker is in danger of sliding down the NFL draft lists and potentially costing himself millions of dollars. It was widely thought he could have been the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft had he decided to leave.
Saturday's performance had the likes of ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. questioning whether Locker's draft status will remain as high in 2011 unless he shows significant improvement the rest of the season.
"Even if you try to avoid the numbers and concentrate purely on the talent, it's impossible to look past a guy completing just 4 of 20 passes with two interceptions," Kiper wrote Tuesday.
Locker, though, repeated what he has said since the December day he decided to return that nothing that happens this season would make him regret his decision to return.
"No, no, no, no," he said. "Not at all. Like I've told you guys before, I made the decision because it was what I knew I wanted to do no matter what the outcome was. Obviously it was a tough game, but a game I think I will be better for going forward. I will learn a lot from it and it will make me a better football player and allow me to grow as a football player and that's what I'm able to take from it."
Locker was so eager to get back to work that he went to the office of UW coach Steve Sarkisian on Monday and asked to practice. Because the Huskies have a bye weekend, Sarkisian was going to give Locker the day off, which he typically does for starting quarterbacks during bye weeks.
Asked why he wanted to practice, Locker said: "Just to get back out here and start working. It's another opportunity to get better and I didn't want to miss out on it. I felt good, my body wasn't really bothering me and I didn't need a break for any reason."
Locker said a couple of days perspective hadn't really changed his initial thought of what happened.
"They played a good game and we did a lot of things that were uncharacteristic," he said. "And against a good football team they will make you look like that."
He said his biggest regret might have been the first interception he threw, on his first pass attempt when he tried to hit Devin Aguilar over the middle. Aguilar was double-covered and the pass was picked off by Eric Hagg.
"He was well-covered," Locker said. "The guy made a really good play, was in perfect position and yeah, probably a throw that if I could have had back I wouldn't have thrown."
Sarkisian said Monday he thought the play helped turn Locker hesitant the rest of the day. Locker, though, said Nebraska's defense simply made life tough.
"I was seeing the field really well," he said. "They were just doing good things on defense and not allowing us to have a lot of open windows."
And while some were arguing otherwise, Locker insisted there's still a bright outlook for this Huskies season.
"The season is not lost," he said. "There's a lot of things for this football team to look forward to. We just need to keep working hard, practicing hard, preparing really well and going out and giving good effort on Saturdays."
• LT Senio Kelemete (illness) and MLB Cort Dennison (concussion) remained sidelined Tuesday.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.