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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 2, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Thursday practice over

For an hour, it was an open practice only for the hearty as a drizzle turned into a steady rain at Husky Stadium.
But the Huskies then beat the elements in what might have been the first audible called by Steve Sarkisian as UW’s coach as the team headed into the Dempsey Indoor to complete the rest of the workout.
Sarkisian said if it was a game week, the team would have stayed outside — UW teams have long prided themselves on working through the conditions. But with games still months away, he said it was more important to get the work in.
“You only get 15 of these practices and we have to maximize our time,” he said. “I’m not worried about being a physically or mentally tough football team. That will come. I know we’ll get there. These are valuable reps we are getting, We needed to get in here with some good air. We thought it (the rain) would slow down but it kept coming.”
The fans who made their way into the Dempsey — a good couple hundred or so — saw an exciting end to the practice.
In the points system devised by the coaches to have every practice end with a winner, the score was tied 12-12 between the offense and defense going into the last play.
The two sides were brought together and told the next play would determine the winner and then as the huddles broke, secondary coach Jeff Mills raised his hands in an attempt to get the fans on the sidelines to start cheering. Everyone hesitated at first, obviously unsure by precedent if that’s what they were really being asked to do. But everyone finally caugh on and the Indoor filled with clapping.
“I want to make this as game-like as possible,” Sarkisian said. “I want as much pressure to put on these guys as possible. That was a pretty good setting for the last play there, the crowd was getting into it, the team was getting into it, and being in here made it even louder. It made for a nice setting putting our kids in a position of understanding what pressure is like and being comfortable in it.”
The suspense didn’t last long as Jake Locker hit Jermaine Kearse on a quick slant pass to give the win to the offense — the offense needed only to have a positive play to get the win. As Kearse caught the pass and headed downfield, most of the rest of the offense followed, bragging rights theirs for the next two days.
“Coach Nussmeier (OC Doug Nussmeier) went to an empty set and Coach Holt (DC Nick Holt) had a pressure on and it was a play by Jake and a nice job by Kearse,” Sarkisian said.
OTHER NOTES
— There didn’t appear to be any new significant injuries and the depth chart looked the same as the other day with no changes in the starters.
— PK Erik Folk had another rough day, again going 1-5, all four missing either left or right from varying distances (all from 46 yards or in and in the Indoor). Sarkisian said he’s not too worried about it pointing out that there are some changes in what the kicking unit is being asked and that the timing still isn’t quite there.
— Sarkisian said the tailback job is wide open and all the backs are getting liberal use. Curtis Shaw had one of the highlights of the day with a nice off-tackle run for about 30 yards or so before he was touched. Brandon Johnson also had a long run off-tackle. Terrance Dailey remains sidelined with a shoulder injury, Sarkisian said, but otherwise all the backs seem to be getting equal work, including Chris Polk and Demetrius Bronson.
— Polk said later his shoulder injury is fine but that he’s had a high ankle sprain suffered in conditioning that’s been bothering him.
— Kearse had two other catches for decent gains during the 11-on-11 action as well as a 20-yard gain or so on a reverse in appearing to be the offensive start of the day.
— Sarkisian singled out Daniel Te’o-Nesheim for his work on defense, mostly at tackle but at times at end. Usually when he went to end. Craig Noble came in at tackle.
— WR Anthony Boyles drew the ire of coaches a couple of times, once for appearing not ready to catch a pass from Locker in a drill that went off his hands, another for not lining up correctly. After the second incident, however, he came back on the next play to catch a pass from Locker.
— S Victor Aiyewa, working with the second team, intercepted a pass from Ronnie Fouch but then fumbled when hit, apparently by Johnson.
— CB Quinton Richardson picked off a tipped pass from Fouch and returned it for a touchdown during a drill.
Nick Wood appeared to get some significant work with the second unit at DT.
— The Huskies practiced punt returns for a while and the retuners were Devin Aguilar, Jordan Polk, D’Andre Goodwin, Vonzell McDowell, Richardson and Shaw.
— It probably shouldn’t be news anymore that this is an animated group of coaches. But OL coach Dan Cozzetto reinforced the point with some rather loud instruction to his charges early in practice at one point saying that “I don’t know what you did last year but you’d better pay attention now.”
— WR Alvin Logan didn’t practice, spending it working with trainers.
— Bronson was getting a lot of work as an up man in punt formation, signaling the coaches are already carving out some roles for him.
— Sarkisian said the team will have five new walk-ons join the team Saturday, the result of a tryout on Tuesday. None are kickers, he said.
— The team takes tomorrow off then has another practice Saturday at 1 p.m. at Husky Stadium in shoulder pads and shorts.
All for now.

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