Lake's Monday Presser Was a Steady Donovan Dissection

The head coach, however, wasn't willing to single out his offensive coordinator for blame.

If these were Roman times, they would throw John Donovan to the lions and cheer his demise. 

Actually modern day is not all that much different. On the Seattle sports talk radio shows and across the internet, they're calling for Donovan's head, his job and his playbook. To show no mercy whatsoever to him.

After two tepid football performances tied directly to what this man does for a living, the University of Washington offensive coordinator has received a universal thumbs down from an unforgiving fan tribunal.

Twenty consecutive Husky drives without scoring has stirred the emotions. Seventeen points in eight quarters, leading to immediate defeats, has created a football mob mentality.

Inside Husky Stadium, UW coach Jimmy Lake sat down for his regular Monday media briefing and the atmosphere was far more civil and unemotional yet every other question involved Donovan and his inability to get the team moving on offense. 

"There's a lot of chatter about replacing John Donovan among the fan base — how do you address that?" was the first question.

Lake spent the next half hour trying to stay positive about his team's precarious situation and even deflect the insinuation that Donovan is almost solely to blame. The best way to do that is remain vague in your replies or personally accept all guilt for the football misdeeds.

The coach did both.

He didn't used the word him; he chose I and we.

"I understand that frustration," Lake said, referring to the growing fan discord. "But it's our job to get our offense going and show results. It's needs to start this Saturday."

The second-year Husky coach was asked about the delay-of-game penalty on his offense on the very first play in Ann Arbor. He didn't bring up Donovan.

"It's unacceptable," Lake said, mentioning something about preparing for but failing to be road ready. "We need to coach better. It starts with me."

He was asked about the hiring practice involving Donovan, who came from the Jacksonville Jaguars after previously getting fired at Penn State and succeeding at Vanderbilt before that. The UW coach told how they talked about making things fit with scheme and personnel, knowing they would have a young college quarterback at the center of it rather than an NFL veteran trying to digest things.  

Lake was quizzed about his ability to have a final say on the offense and what goes on each week. The coach explained how he offers input leading up to the game to the leaders of all three phases of his team, which also includes defense and special teams. 

Yet he leaves his different masterminds alone when kickoff approaches.

"On game day, our coordinator needs to go and needs to call it," he said. "I've been on different staffs, where the head coach meddles on game day and makes it even more chaotic."

Lake was even asked how much power Donovan has in drawing everything up and maintaining the offensive direction the team will take. Is it collaborative or does the coordinator have the final say?

Sensing where all this discussion was going, Lake finally played defense while talking about his offense and the beleaguered guy who designs it.

"If you're pinning any blame, pin it on me," he said. "If that's what you're trying to say. Everything goes through me first, OK. So if you want to pin blame, just put my name on the article. I'm the one to blame."

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