Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Huskies


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published November 5, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 30, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Print

Corrected version

Juan Garcia questions the attitudes of his UW football teammates

Washington center Juan Garcia still calls them "my guys," which is odd considering he despises some teammates' lackadaisical attitude and questions their loyalty to the team, the school and their outgoing coach.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Saturday

Arizona St. @ UW, 4 p.m., FSN

Washington center Juan Garcia still calls them "my guys," which is odd considering he despises some teammates' lackadaisical attitude and questions their loyalty to the team, the school and their outgoing coach.

"Sometimes I look at them and I'm like man, I just feel like kicking them off the team or something," Garcia said. "But it's not their fault. It's just the environment that came in.

"I look at them and they were probably high-time recruits coming out of wherever they came out of, and they're like, man, I should have gone to so-and-so school and this and that. [They] kind of feel like they screwed up by coming here. In a way it's frustrating, but then again winning cures everything and we haven't been winning. If you ain't winning, things kind of fall apart."

Whatever unity the Huskies might have felt before the season dissolved weeks ago, Garcia said. After a string of demoralizing defeats, the only thing that's left is a splintered 0-8 squad that doubts if it will win a game this season.

"I don't know about winning," Garcia said. "Maybe it's just me, but I still go into games thinking maybe something is going to happen and the ball is going to go our way this game. The majority of the guys feel that way. But maybe after the first quarter, you're like, here we go again."

An interview with Garcia felt more like a cathartic confession.

"I don't know whether to run, whether to scream, I feel like crying. I don't know," he said. "I've got a lot of emotions going through me right now."

The second-team All-Pac-10 pick last season, who is a passionate and vocal team leader, said he tried avoiding the media this season fearing what he might say and whose feelings he might hurt. Garcia, however, provided a glimpse into the inner-sanctuary of the locker room Tuesday afternoon.

"I told my guys that I don't know when this Husky thing is going to hit you," he said. "It might be 10 years from now. I bleed purple and gold right now. Maybe it will be next year. You'll probably never get it. You'll probably never bleed purple and gold. You probably will never care. But the day it does hit you, you're going to be consumed and you're going to look back on this day and you're going to regret that you didn't play your heart out. I told them, I don't know when it's going to hit them. Sometimes that takes a couple of years."

Garcia alluded to a division between veteran and younger players. He said coach Tyrone Willingham was too loyal to some players.

"Coach Willingham's downfall was he was too loyal to some guys on the team," Garcia said. "He always wanted to give a guy an opportunity instead of cutting him loose. He always wanted to see people succeed, and some of that came back and bit him in the [backside]. Some of those guys didn't give that effort that he expected out of them."

When told of Garcia's comments, offensive-line coach Mike Denbrock didn't disagree.

"I'll let his comments stand on that," Denbrock said. "I appreciate what Juan brings to the table."

Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano acknowledged a division between players.

"I haven't seen a lot of that, but I'm sure that there is," he said. "There's probably some anonymous sources that are saying that. When you're a fifth-year senior or a senior, you should be playing here, and if you're not something is wrong."

Garcia, the longest-tenured Husky, is one of a few seniors who starts. He arrived on campus in 2003 several months after Washington played in the 2002 Sun Bowl and got a sixth year because he missed 2004 and 2005 with injuries.

"I think it's really difficult on all of our seniors," Denbrock said. "They came in here pretty recently after Washington went to the Rose Bowl [in 2001], and I'm sure their expectations weren't for the program to not have the type of success that they were all looking forward to having."

Garcia said he doesn't regret bypassing a chance to declare for the NFL draft and returning for his sixth season. He suffered a left foot injury during a spring scrimmage, but decided against season-ending surgery. The injury, however, has hampered him all season.

"If I would have got the surgery, it would have been killing me, being like, man I wish I was out there," he said. "I'm glad I'm out here with these guys and I'm losing with them instead of watching it happen. It's kind of tough, but I don't care. I got to wear the uniform one last time."

Not all Fouch's fault

Lappano defended quarterback Ronnie Fouch and put much of the blame for Fouch's three interceptions against USC last Saturday on receivers who broke off routes and the offensive line, which allowed too much pressure.

"There's no excuse for not knowing what you're doing. This offense is half of what it used to be. We don't have the spread any more. We can't do that with Ronnie right now. It's not that he can't do it, but we can't get him hit."

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com

In an article published Nov. 5 and corrected Jan. 30, University of Washington center Juan Garcia was paraphrased in a way that might have been misleading about his dismay with the state of the football program. Garcia did not say that coach Tyrone Willingham bears responsibility for the culture of losing that has overtaken the team, as was paraphrased. Instead, Garcia, in a discussion about the Huskies' winless season, said that Willingham's downfall was that he was too loyal to some players. The exact quote, which also appeared in the article, was: "Coach Willingham's downfall was he was too loyal to some guys on the team. He always wanted to give a guy an opportunity instead of cutting him loose. He always wanted to see people succeed, and some of that came back and bit him in the [backside]. Some of those guys didn't give that effort that he expected out of them."

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

More Huskies headlines...

Print      Share:    Digg     Newsvine

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

advertising


Get home delivery today!

UPDATE - 10:18 PM
Washington State's Klay Thompson will play Thursday against Huskies

Nothing unusual about schools paying recruiting services

UW women mount comeback, but lose in overtime to USC

Steve Kelley: What happened to the once-scary Huskies?

NW Briefs: Washington softball completes three-game sweep of New Mexico

Advertising

Video

Marketplace

Advertising