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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 7, 2007 at 6:26 PM

Davenport, Russo injured

The first day of at least some pads — the Huskies went in helmets and shoulder pads — yielded the first two injuries of the season.
UW coach Tyrone Willingham said that receiver Anthony Russo suffered what could be a finger separation “and could be more than that” and that CB Byron Davenport suffered a hamstring injury. Willingham said Davenport’s injury could keep him out a couple of weeks, though he said he’d know more on Wednesday.
The injury to Davenport could be especially damaging as he is competing for a starting job opposite Roy Lewis and missing any time while adjusting to a new system will hamper those efforts.
Those injuries are on top of the news earlier in the day that LB Donald Butler is being limited while recovering from off-season knee surgery. Willingham said it is uncertain if Butler will be back today. “We have to see what the progress is,” Willingham said. “We’ll see.”
Otherwise, Willingham said he was “pleased with the competitive spirit” of the practice, saying it yielded some good competition across the board.
— To those of you have asked how specific players have looked so far, I hate to deflect the question, but it’s just so early to make any real declarations about anything. The coaches will tell you again and again that you can’t tell anything until full pads and full contact, which won’t begin to happen until Friday. Running backs coach Trent Miles said that again today when talking about the running backs, saying “I’m thrilled with what I’ve got so far, but it’s still early. We haven’t put the pads on, so it’s guarded optimism.” Every single coach will give you a similar comment. Judging players, especially the new ones, will be much more accurately done once the pads come on.
— I talked to E.J. Savannah today and asked him about his demotion to the second team behind Chris Stevens at weakside linebacker. He said he’s not upset, saying “I just took it as them wanting me to prove myself again and go out there and make some plays. It just means I’ve got to work harder, that’s all.” He said it could be related to conditioning, though he was pretty vague, and said he thinks he’s in better shape this year than he was last season at this time. He said he weighed in at 227 — he’s listed at 222 but said he wanted to gain a little weight. He said he spent much of the summer working on improving the strength in his neck and shoulders — he missed the 2005 season due to a lingering stinger problem — and said he feels a lot better in that area.
— The Seahawks are holding an open practice at Husky Stadium this morning with UW scheduled for just one practice in the afternoon. The Huskies will attend the Seahawks practice.
UPDATE (8 p.m.)
— To answer the question on how Locker looked today, we are in the period now where we get to see only the first 25 minutes of practice, which is mostly stretching and other conditioning, so I didn’t get to see any of that.
— I referenced talking to Miles above. Looks like that stuff won’t make it in the paper tomorrow, so I thought I’d pass along this quote on his early observations of the running backs: “(Brandon) Yakaboski and (Brandon) Johnson bring a little more power, (Curtis) Shaw has great speed, Willie Griffin is really good with his speed and his vision. they all bring something. This is a really talented freshman class and it’s something we feel good about.” He later elaborated of Griffin that “he’s tough, he’s got great vision, he’s got good feet and can change directions and can see things. He’s really got a good feel for the running back position and he’s very bright and very intelligent.”



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