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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 19, 2006 at 7:37 PM

Scrimmage update

As the post below first reported, Washington’s practice today — which included a lot of scrimmaging that was open to the media — was marred by a potentially serious injury to junior defensive end Greyson Gunheim.
Gunheim hurt his right knee while playing on the kickoff coverage team and had to be helped off the field. He sat with ice on his knee for much of the rest of practice and didn’t play again.
Coach Tyrone Willingham said the injury could be “severe” but that the extent won’t be known for a day or two.
Doesn’t need to be said how much this team needs Gunheim, the team’s most proven pass rusher. Brandon Ala would be his replacement, and after that, the experienced depth gets real thin at end opposite Daniel Te’o-Neshiem on the other side.
As I’ll report further in our paper tomorrow, cornerback Dashon Goldson also sat out the scrimmage with an ankle injury that has bothered him all camp.
It may not be a big deal and Willingham said he wasn’t overly concerned. But secondary coach J.D. Williams sounded a little pessimistic about it when I talked with him earlier in the day.
Goldson didn’t appear to take part full-speed in any part of practice, not just the full-contact stuff.
Other observerations:
— Though there was a lot of full-contact action, this wasn’t a game-like scrimmage, which didn’t help the offense find its form as the defense had the upper hand all day. Mostly, situations were set up — hurry-up offense, goal-line, etc. — and the offense had three downs to get a first down or leave the field, and a new quarterback took over. So it was hard for the offense to get much of a flow. Also, the new timing rules — the clock starts when the official waves his hand on changes of possession rather than when the ball is snapped — were used and Willingham said he thought the offense had some trouble adjusting.
“You don’t get into a normal flow of the game like you would,” Willingham said.
— Still, the defense had the upper hand throughout, with the likes of DT Wilson Afoa, DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and DE Caesar Rayford standing out the most. Rayford’s name hasn’t been mentioned much this fall, but he seemed to have a good day today. And Rayford could become a key player if Gunheim is seriously hurt.
— There were no real surprises in the starting units or in the backups. With Goldson out, the corners were Matt Fountaine and Roy Lewis, and Jason Wells continues to run as the starting strong safety with Ashlee Palmer out. I’ll put a new depth chart up with any revisions that were evident in the next day or so.
— Isaiah Stanback didn’t look sharp throwing the ball at all early on — the entire timing with his receivers seemed off for a while — but caught his stride late when the offense was put in its most game-like situation, with the ball placed on its own 27-yard-line and no time constraints. On that drive, he completed three passes on third downs to lead a TD drive against the No. 2 defense, concluding with a 16-yard screen pass to Louis Rankin.
— Carl Bonnell and Johnny DuRocher didn’t have real sterling days either, though Bonnell looked the better of the two. Jake Locker worked as the No. 4 QB and had a couple of nice plays, including a 71-yard pass to Marlon Wood that was the prettiest offensive play of the day. He also had one nice run of about 15 yards and showed some composure by leaping to catch a high snap during a two-minute drill and turning it into a positive play.
— Johnie Kirton was used as a tailback on a fourth-and-2 play, but the play came up just short of a first down. Otherwise, he wasn’t used as a running back.
— Other than Gunheim, there didn’t appear to be any new injuries though there were a few players who sat out who haven’t previously been listed as being hurt, notably WRs Marcel Reece (foot blister) and Cody Ellis (slight fracture of the clavicle).
— The play of the day might have been turned in by walk-on linebacker Linus Chou on kickoff coverage as he blew through a block by Luke Kravitz, then turned and ran a few yards to make the tackle.
— Sean Douglas had a great day punting and assuming his problems with sometimes getting the ball off slow are corrected now that he has a new snapper, he should have a big year.
— Marlon Wood was the primary punt returner followed by Sonny Shackelford. Wood and Matt Fountaine appeared to be the starting kickoff returners.
— True freshman who played a lot in key situations were DT Cameron Elisara and WR D’Andre Goodwin. But both also played at positions were starters were out due to injury so it’s hard to tell where they really stand on the depth chart.
— Willingham allowed the media to watch this practice, the first we have seen this year other than the first one of the season, when the players weren’t in full pads, which is why we have full reports on this scrimmage. But the regular drill is that practices and scrimmages are closed other than the first 25 minutes.

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