Holt needs to be accountable

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt needs to apologize. First to his team, then to Huskies fans.

When the Huskies defense had a massive breakdown that allowed Arizona State to score a game-winning touchdown on a 50-yard pass with 5 seconds remaining to win 24-17, the responsible party -- Holt -- failed to show up for postgame interviews and tell reporters, "We were out of position. That's entirely my fault. I need to coach them better so it won't happen again."

If Holt needs a role model for how to demonstrate steadfast, admirable accountability, he only needs to look at head coach Steve Sarkisian, who admitted immediately after the game that he managed the clock poorly in the waning moments, which allowed the Sun Devils an opportunity for the game-winning play.

Meanwhile, Holt was seen berating a player and a television cameraman, neither of whom signed a three-year, $2.1 million contract to make sure his players know where to be in situations such as a late-game prevent defense when only a deep pass beats you.

Sarkisian also might want to suggest to Holt that the Tasmanian Devil routine on the sideline needs to end.

[Editor's note: It was originally reported that Holt was flagged for a penalty on the sideline for the second time this year at Arizona State. That was based TV and news reports as well as an eyewitness from the game, but a report from KJR-AM in Seattle said that the penalty was not on Holt but on another person on the Huskies sideline].

We get it. He's fiery.

He's also just turned 47. He's a man.

Holt has done some nice things with the Huskies' defense, most notably he's gotten them to fight and play hard, which they haven't done for a long time.

Most observers are well aware that the Huskies' D is outmanned and lacks speed, though it probably would be a good idea if Holt would allow people to reach that conclusion by themselves instead of him volunteering it more than a few times.

Holt took the Washington job so he could step out of Pete Carroll's shadow at USC, where he was the coordinator but yielded play-calling duties to Carroll.

But stepping into the spotlight includes responsibilities.

One of those is to be accountable when things go wrong. Another is to always have his players' backs.