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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 12, 2006 at 3:44 PM

A new arrival, DBs, and more (updated)

Tyrone Willingham ‘s daily meeting with the media is over, and the coach confirmed that there has finally been some movement concerning the status of some of the players who have been out for academic reasons.
Defensive end Anthony Atkins, a junior-college transfer who was with the team last spring, but has been academically ineligible all fall, has been cleared to begin practicing with the Huskies. He will almost certainly redshirt this season and will remain at defensive end, Willingham said. Ashlee Palmer and Aaron Mason remain in limbo.
Willingham also said walk-on Troy Perry, who had been playing receiver, will move to the secondary to add some depth to that spot.
And in service to some of you who have asked why the UW defensive backs seemed to be playing so far off the receivers against Oklahoma, I asked Willingham about that today.
“There are times that they are off, but there are times they are playing bump and run too,” Willingham said.
He went on to say that down, distance and personnel grouping all play a factor in how the coaches decide to line up the defensive backs. Dashon Goldson, for instance, isn’t 100 percent due to an ankle injury, yet continues to play.
“You try to put him in the best situation based on his abilty and, in this case his health,” Willingham said. “If you notice, the one time he got beat for a touchdown [the 35-yard pass from Paul Thompson to Malcom Kelly in the third quarter that put OU ahead 20-13] he was in bump and run and maybe that was a mistake. Maybe that was our mistake and we should have told him to back off based on his condition.
“There’s very little that doesn’t factor in [to those decisions],” Willingham said.
I also reviewed the game again last night and it seemed to me UW was better off playing off the ball. Another time the Huskies tried to play bump and run turned into a 42-yard completion from Thompson to Kelly in the fourth quarter.
Someone else asked about the possibility of any 7 p.m. games this season. I think there is a great chance of at least one, but none of that has been decided yet and won’t be until a week or two before game time.
UPDATE — Forgot to mention earlier that there were some injury updates today, as well. Willingham said WR Cody Ellis (clavicle) may return to practice next week.
He also said TEs Robert Lewis and Michael Gottlieb remain unlikely to return for at least two more weeks.
He also talked a little about Dashon Goldson saying he appreciates how Goldson is attemping to play through his injury. “I love the way he’s battling,” Willingham said. Asked if it made sense to sit Goldson down for a week or two to get it healthy, however, he said no. “We can’t afford to do that,” he said, a nod to the fact that the team has few personnel options at the cornerback spot.

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