Keith Price rediscovers trust in himself, Washington offense

After enduring a disappointing season that ended on an interception in Las Vegas, the trust seems to be back for Washington senior quarterback Keith Price.

It was telling that Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian said after the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas that Price needed to "deliver the ball with trust in the system and in the players to make their plays.

"We have to get back to the basics of that position," Sarkisian said in December.

Price had thrown late interceptions in losses to Apple Cup rival Washington State to end the regular season and Boise State in the postseason. Instead of riding the momentum of a winning streak going into 2013, Washington found itself again unable to top the seven-win plateau, and Price was on the receiving end of plenty of criticism after regressing badly in his second season as a starter.

After throwing 33 touchdowns against 11 interceptions in his first go-around, Price had 19 scoring tosses and 13 picks last year. The whispers went from whether Price could be a first-round pick to whether he could lose his job to touted recruits Cyler Miles or Jeff Lindquist.

Without that belief, as Sarkisian had correctly deduced, Price wasn't himself, something the senior signal-caller admitted to the Seattle Times.

"I didn't trust the guys around me," Price said. "I didn't trust the calls. I didn't trust myself and my preparation."

Following a strong spring where he rediscovered that rapport -- though it didn't show in a decidedly vanilla spring game where Price was 5-of-14 for 56 yards and one touchdown -- Price sounded confident at Pac-12 media day.

"I think this is when I perform best, when people are doubting me and people don't think I can do what I did," Price said. "I believe I'm going to be better than I was in 2011, but that's just me."

Price can also trust his body again after being hindered by a series of nagging injuries that limited his ability to move behind an offensive line that ranked in the bottom 20 nationally in sacks allowed last season.

"I believe him, because last year he was telling me he couldn't do some of the things the rest of the team was doing," Price's mother Shaundra said. "But now he feels more comfortable that he can use his legs again. Last year, he couldn't do that."

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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