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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 12, 2007 at 10:03 AM

Mailbag time

Lots of questions coming my way this week and I’ll try to get to as many as we can. Here we go:
Q: What’s the deal with Johnie Kirton? He hasn’t had a pass thrown his way this season?
A: By all accounts there’s nothing physically wrong with him, just so far, the action hasn’t come his way. Part of that is that the tight ends weren’t a major part of the game plan against Syracuse, and the entire playbook was reigned in once the lead grew large. The TEs were used more to block against Boise State. Kirton was the first TE in the game against Boise State, however, indicating no loss of faith from the coaches or anything. The entire passing attack is still a big work in progress so I would imagine Kirton and all the TEs will get more invovled later.
Q: What’s the deal with J.R. Hasty? Why isn’t he playing more?
A: Hasty didn’t play at all against Boise State with coaches saying his ankle injury still has him slowed. OC Tim Lappano referred to Hasty’s ankle as still “heavily taped” on Tuesday and said that’s why he wasn’t doing more. I talked with Hasty on Tuesday and he said he’s fine and that the ankle isn’t an issue any longer. He said he hurt it a couple days before the Syracuse game but has recovered now. He expressed no unhappiness over not playing, saying ‘we won, so I’m not crying about it.”
Q: How about Louis Rankin? Is his ankle still an issue?
A: Interestingly, while coaches say Hasty’s ankle is why he’s not doing more but Hasty says he’s fine, Rankin’s is kind of the opposite case. Rankin said after Saturday’s game that he had tweaked his ankle against Syracuse and that had something to do with his tentative running against Boise State. Coaches, however, have said they didn’t think his ankle was a factor in his running, attributing it more to Rankin reverting back to his old ways of trying to “hit a home run” every play. As for whether Rankin is healthy this week, we’ll check today, but nothing seem out of the oridinary in the bit of practice we got to watch on Tuesday.
Q: Anything new on Erik Folk?
A: No. At the moment, he’s still apparently sidelined with a back injury, though I’ll check this week to see if he’s beginning to do any more. With the place kicking seeming to be going all right, Folk could be headed to a redshirt year.
Q: If the Huskies win all their games, can they leapfrog the teams ahead of them in the poll to get into the national title game?
A: Got to like the optimism but I’m not sure even Tyrone Willingham thinks this team is capable of anything like that right now. But to go with the premise of having to pass so many teams, I would think the Huskies would be able to do it thanks to the schedule they play. I wouldn’t worry about East Coast bias this year. As all the links we’ve been passing along here indicate, UW is more than on everyone’s radar, so if the Huskies keep winning, they’ll get their props. If they win the next three games, I would think they’d be a top 3-4 team. Win this week and I would see them around 15 or so. Win the following week and they’d creep a little more, then beat USC and they’d be right near the top. But that is a lot to ask, obviously.
Q: Do you think the Huskies have an advantage with Ohio State having a short practice week by leaving on Thursday to come out here?
A: Not really. That’s a very move to leave a day early when passing three time zones. UW has done it for every game I can ever remember it playing back east. It
s even easier to come this way since OSU can practice there on Thursday then still get on a plane and get out here before it’s too late Thursday. And no, I won’t be able to attend their practice on Friday. Visiting team practices at Husky Stadium are almost never open to the media (one exception is USC which gladly let us watch a few years ago when it had Bush and Leinart and everybody).
Q: What’s going on with the receivers? After reading so much about what a great camp a lot of them had, I was expecting more.
A: As is always the case in football, everything is a team-wide deal. It’s easy to say the receivers didn’t do their job well against Boise State because of all the drops (at least five depending on how you score a few). But the receivers weren’t called on to make a lot of big plays in that game in part because coaches are still trying to ease Jake Locker into the passing game, so not a lot of deep throws were called. I would imagine more will be called over the next few weeks. The receivers, however, have to show they can get open consistently first, as well, which will be a real test against the secondaries they will face the next 3-4 weeks. Also, the coaches have been pleased overall with the receivers due to the downfield blocking they are doing, which is more important than ever in the spread option. That kind of stuff is a big reason why Anthony Russo was the team’s offensive player of the week this week in the eyes of the coaches.



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