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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 18, 2007 at 7:18 PM

Some additional notes

Sorry for the disjointed presentation of this today but the scrimmage ran a little late for my early deadlines and I didn’t have much time to get stuff up here initially while dealing with the stories for the paper.
Here are some additional notes and quotes
First, here are some thoughts from offensive coordinator Tim Lappano.
On Jake Locker: “I thought he really settled in nicely in the second quarter. He showed a lot of athleticism, made a lot of good decisions, threw the ball pretty accurate. Started out a little bit rugged but I think everyone was a little nervous in there including our centers for whatever reason. But I thought he settled in pretty well, threw the ball well, had a couple nice scrambles. We didn’t want to run him much today. To me he looked fast out there. We looked like we were on practice number 14 or 15, I thought we looked sluggish from my view up there (in the coaches box) but he looked pretty fast. Thought he looked real quick.”
On the offensive line: “Obviously we struggled. We got three or four holding calls, two really critical holding calls when we were moving the ball against our one defense. We can’t have sloppy hands. That was the first time we’ve had officials in and I’m glad we had them and we’re probably going to need them next week, too.”
On the three bad shotgun snaps: “There’s no excuse for that. We come out every day and practice those snaps and then we do that in a game situation, you can’t win games like that so we have to get those snaps taken care of. There’s no excuses for that. That kills you.”
On the freshman running backs: “I thought they all had their moments. I thought Willie Griffin got downhill a couple times during the regular part of it, a couple of nice runs where he showed nice vision inside and ran pretty physical, broke a couple of tackles. Curtis Shaw showed some speed and had some nice runs. Brandon Johnson hit a couple of holes nice. You could tell he had some camp legs because he couldn’t get his feet up a couple of times when he had a chance to really do some damage. You could tell he didn’t have his legs back. And Brandon Yakaboski I thought ran really physical. He slammed it in there a couple of times and ran hard. They all showed glimpses they could be pretty good backs in the future here.”
On whether J.R. Hasty is still the backup running back: “We’ll probably make that decision after we look at this and grade this film tonight. There are a lot of plays to look at and grade. This will be pretty critical for all that to help us sort that out.”
On the fact the tight ends didn’t do much: “There were some things we’ve been working on we didn’t put out there so a lot of that involves them and the quarterbacks. They won’t normally be that quiet but we were limited in what we did today.”
On Louis Rankin: “I thought he did a pretty good job, ran in there pretty good and was running pretty physical and I think he knows he needs to do that to be effective.”
On whether Chris Izbicki may play this year: “That would be hard. I think we have a lot of depth there and that would be hard for him. But he’s working hard, he plays hard, he’s competitive and we’ll see what happens. But I don’t know if we’ll take four (tight ends). We always take three.”
On whether the O-line that started the scrimmage is emerging as the starting O-line: “I’d say pretty much so. I think the majority of that O-line will be the starters against Syracuse. There’s still some evaluation that that left tackle spot. We’ll see. But that could be the starting group. Again, we’ll look at the film to see how those guys grade out. That will be pretty critical. This was good for us to get grades on those guys and really analyze it.”
More on the passing game: “We had a lot of dropped balls today. I thought Carl (Bonnell) threw the ball well too. They both missed a few but they also both made some nice throws that weren’t caught. That’s fatigue. They are tired, so.”
SOME OTHER OBSERVATIONS:
— As several of you pointed out, DE De’Shon Matthews had a nice day with at least one sack, a few more hurries and a forced fumble when he hit Griffin hard in the situational stuff that followed the formal scrimmage. “He’s just steadily coming,” Willingham said, though he pointed out that Matthews is “one of our long-armed guys” who needs to continue to put on weight. He is listed at 6-3, 245 pounds.
— As Lappano mentioned above, the playbook was a little vanilla with a lot of basic plays. I wouldn’t judge the offensive philosophy until they play a game or two and you see how things unfold. Scrimmages are not the time to unveil a lot of that stuff. We’ve seen some much more imaginative stuff, particularly in running plays involving the quarterbacks, just in snippets of practice that we get to watch than was out there today.
— Overall, I would say the D-line did get the upper hand on the offensive line. But these things are always a little hard to judge. The defense knows the plays well while a lot of the offense was kept underwraps. Also, the defense doesn’t blitz much or any of that, so it’s all fairly basic. But when there was a mano a mano moment late in the scrimmage, on a third-and-one with the one offense against the one defense, the defense stuffed it for no gain.
— Rankin fumbled one punt and the return spots still seem a little unclear. Roy Lewis wasn’t used at all with Brandon Johnson getting most of the kickoff return touches, returning one about 30 yards. I think Russo will be in the mix for the punt return job and it seemed obvious today there is no real clear runner-up at the moment. Johnson, however, did seem to show a lot of potential as a kickoff returner.
— Just based on what we saw today, I’d say true freshmen who have good chances of playing this season include two or three of the RBs, LB Mason Foster, CB Vonzell McDowell and S Nate Williams.
Cameron Elisara started on the D-line with Wilson Afoa out. Trenton Tuiasosopo started at MLB with Donald Butler out, and Cory Nicol was the other starting cornerback.
Michael Gottlieb was the tight end on the first play but all three of the regular TEs played significantly. I think that’s a position that will rotate quite a bit based on situations this year.
All for now but fire away with questions or comments and I’ll try to get to them later.

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