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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

March 31, 2009 at 8:40 PM

A few more thoughts on today

Now that my hands have thawed out, a few more notes to pass along:
Jake Locker handled most of the QB duties with Ronnie Fouch working with the second unit and Luther Leonard getting a few reps, as well. Locker said his thumb wasn’t really an issue though he said he’s not quite 100 percent yet. “It felt normal,” he said. “I was able to throw the ball downfield with as much zip as I have in the past. It didn’t feel any different today.”
— Locker, however, said he wasn’t totally pleased with his accuracy. “I had a tendency again today to throw the ball a little bit high so I just have to figure it out and control that. The coaches had me working on some things today and I was doing a little bit better towards the end of practice just working on my accuracy, making every throw right where I need it to be.”
— Here’s Steve Sarkisian’s assessment of Locker’s day: “Obviously some things we are doing are new to him and he’s working his way through it. I thought he did some really nice things today. He was fighting the urge to take off (and run) and he will get more and more comfortable in the pocket and then his accuracy will only increase.”
— The main observation made by most people was that the pace was a lot quicker, the team running from drill to drill with little wasted time.
— Also evident was the intensity of the coaches. There might have even been an unprintable word or two spoken by the head coach, something that almost certainly would have been the first since the 2004 Apple Cup. Said Locker: “They are younger so they are a little more energetic. It’s just a different style, something that is new to all of us. It is exciting and we are looking forward to it.”
— Players also noticed the fans, and all seemed to like the new open approach. “I love this atmosphere,” said E.J. Savannah. “I want people to come out here and check us out so c’mon check us out, you know? So come check us out.” Asked why, he said: “I always say that the ones that don’t want to play get exposed. And bystanders are the ones that got like a non-opinioned eye on you so if you mess up you are going to mess up in front of people who don’t know too much and they are going to tell you. So I think I like the honesty.”
— Savannah, by the way, said he weighed 247 when he returned to UW in December and now is at 234, though he said he thinks he was in good shape before but dropped the weight at the behest of the coaches.
— He also took the occasion to insist that there was nothing more to his broken arm injury of last year, which he said he suffered arm wrestling with a high school friend, than was initially reported. “It was as freak accident, I swear,” he said. “It snapped and I was like ‘arm wrestling?’ That was my exact quote — arm wrestling? No. I saw stories about I was arm wrestling in bars. That’s ridiculous. I was just arm wrestling with a friend, not even a big guy. It was just how we were doing it. We had our elbows in, friends were holding our elbows in to make it precise. It was just all bad.”
Senio Kelemete said he is down to 285 pounds and was surprised to find himself on the starting unit at one guard spot. He said the coaches came to him last December and asked him if he would be willing to make the move, saying they wanted more athletic players on the O-line. Said Sarkisian of the remade O-line: “When you look at that group, it’s a very athletiic group. We were athletic and quick and hopefully when we get the pads on we are able to get to the second level (of the defense) and that will show up even more.”
— Sarkisian said he anticipates Daniel Te’o-Nesheim playing both end and tackle and liked what he saw of both today. “We’ve got to move him around. He creates a lot of havoc when he’s (inside) because he is so quick and because our defense likes to move and slant so much that when he is moving on big guys in there he can create a lot of problems like he did today. He was in the backfield a few times today right at the snap of the ball, so we’ll see where he goes from here. But liked what he did when he was inside and he did some things on the outside that were encouraging, as well.”
— The coaches sometimes made the players do pushups or up-downs on the spot after plays they didn’t like. Sarkisian also made an impression by often getting right in the mix and pulling players aside to give them tips.
Nick Holt spent a lot of time with the defensive tackles with Johnny Nansen also working with the special teams. Holt’s voice was a booming presence throughout practice one that the players noticed. “We love the enthusiasm,” Savannah said. “We love coach Holt’s coaching style. My coach (LB coach Mike Cox), he always be on your ass but you’ve got to love it. It’s football.”
— A few offensive highlights were a long run by David Freeman, who looked just fine, and a long run by Locker (though with no pads, there was no real contact, guys down on the touch). Locker also had a nice pass to Kavario Middleton on a day when his throws to the tight end seemed the best of any area of his game.
Erik Folk was the No. 1 kicker but he had one blocked and a couple of others that missed.
All for now.

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