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Husky Fans, You Can't Hurt John Donovan — He's a Mets Fan

The UW offensive coordinator, under fire from critics everywhere, met with the press for the first time since the season began.
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Predictably John Donovan doesn't read or hear anything that you or I might say about him. 

The University of Washington offensive coordinator, like most of the people connected to this football team, prefers to operate out of a cocoon, insulated against the alternating criticism or faint praise sent in his direction from week to week.

However, Donovan — a New Jersey native who just turned 47 a week and a half ago, on the day of the UW-Michigan game — admittedly is a staunch New York Mets fan.

That's prepared him for just about anything and everything in terms of negativity.

While he might be shielded from those blistering professional critiques and unwavering personal insults that are still coming his way without interruption, Donovan knows from his own devoted and long-term sporting interest exactly how people must feel about him.

"I don't hear it, but I understand the narrative," Donovan said. "I'm a New York Mets fan, so I read that stuff. They have 162 games and they're either going to the World Series one day and then they're going to fire everybody the next day. I get the narrative. I probably could assume what's being said, but you definitely don't want to go read that. I mean, geez."

On Tuesday morning, the UW made the often under siege Husky offensive coordinator available to the media for the first time since the season began.

Donovan sat down in the old Husky team room in front of a dozen and a half people to talk about an offense that was dreadfully awful in a pair of opening losses to Montana and and Michigan and has come to life in the subsequent two victories.

Facing mostly football questions, he shifted and squirmed in his chair throughout the session and could be heard breathing heavily over the microphone. 

Against Montana and Michigan, the Husky team with the head coach who previously wore a hat that said "Run the damn ball," most likely at the suggestion of the offensive coordinator, tried valiantly to move the ball on the ground  and failed badly at it, gaining just 65 and 50 yards rushing, respectively. 

Donovan, in his second year at the UW since coming from the Jacksonville Jaguars, owned up to his shortcomings in the two setbacks.

"Sometimes when you have plans that get disrupted on the fly, you've got to adjust," the coach said. "I don't know if I did that well enough at the time."

Regarding the offensive players' performance early on, Donovan suggested maybe the stadiums now filled with fans or partially filled took a bit getting used to. He's liked their response to the early adversity.

"Who knows, it was the first time in a couple of years they had played in front of people and it's for real," he said. "It's a make-up call and they just bought in and kept grinding."

Against Arkansas State and California both, the Huskies enjoyed great stretches of momentum in which they scored on four consecutive offensive series. 

The offensive coordinator still knows that's not nearly enough to appease his detractors. 

"I understand the nature of it all, but you just have to avoid it," Donovan said. "You don't go searching for it. You kind of know already. I'm sure we've won the last two games and not too many people are happy with it."

  

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