Chris Petersen: 'For 3 weeks, we told them to not even come in the building'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday July 02, 2017

College football is nearly 24/7 work for players, but after Washington lost to Alabama, Chris Petersen didn’t even want players in the building for three weeks.

The NCAA continues to push for more off-time for players. Petersen knows the best teams push to the limit, but they have to figure out the balance and when to rest. Washington's bowl schedule and school schedule have played a factor.

“One thing that’s been interesting, the last couple years, we’ve played in these late bowl games. With the quarter system, we start early January back in school,” Petersen said on Brock & Salk. “We played in that late bowl game last year, they got three days to go home and had to come back. We didn’t do anything with them — football-wise, weight room, anything — for three weeks. We told them to not even come in the building.

“But yet they’re three days from a big game, back in the classroom. I know our guys were feeling a little numb. They’re not training, but they’re back at the grind in this intense academic environment. We pay close attention. How do we keep these guys fresh? Not only mentally, but physically.”

Still, when it comes to the work, it can’t be normal.

To be special and elite, you have to be different,” Petersen said. “It’s a different lifestyle. You have to make sacrifices and choices that are different than 90 percent of the human population. Whatever you’re going to do, if you’re going to be the best at radio, you have to make choices and time commitments that are different than everybody else. That can really lead to a tough lifestyle, a burnout.”

The Huskies enter 2017 as favorites to at least repeat in the Pac-12 North, if not win the league and make the playoff again.

They return seven offensive starters, including QB Jake Browning, but lost star receiver John Ross and multiple starters in the secondary. As Petersen put it, there’s no just picking up from where they left off last year.

“It’s not even kind of like that. We’re not the team we were last year,” he said. "That was a really good team that continued to grow its own personality. We are not that team. We have a tremendous amount of work to figure out who we were. … You don’t pick up and say you’re going to be just as good.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to