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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 17, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Spring practice, day 10

Husky fans who attended today’s workout saw what for them would have been two beautiful sights — a sunny day, and Chris Polk speeding through the secondary.
The freshman tailback participated in his first practice since the third workout of the spring when he suffered an an injury to his lower leg. The Huskies were not in pads, so Polk wasn’t getting hit, but he looked good running around catching a few pases out of the backfield and running a few draws as the team did almost solely two-minute drill stuff today.
“He’s a very natural football player,” said coach Steve Sarkisian. “He’s got a good burst, good acceleration, good hands. Tomorrow (when UW will hold a full-scale scrimmage) it will be good for him to get back in pads and have to take the contact and do some of the physical things this game calls for. He’s going to need those final six practices to get going again.”
After practice, Polk spoke with reporters and detailed an injury much more serious than anyone knew at the time.
Polk said he his leg began swelling and putting pressure on his foot and making it numb. “It was pinching my nerve and my foot was completely numb and I can’t feel it,” he said. “It’s still numb.”
Polk said he spent a night in the hospital so that the swelling could be monitored to make sure it wouldn’t cause more serious issues. And it was then decided that the team would be careful with his return to the field.
Polk said the injury is still kind of a day-to-day deal and he’s not sure how much he’ll be able to do tomorrow. But he said today “it felt loose” and he was able to go.
He said he thinks that “in the race for the starting spot” he has fallen behind a little bit. “But assignment-wise I’m studying every night so when I come back it’s second nature to me. So I just have to let my talent take over 100 percent.”
Polk also revealed that he’s down to 205 pounds and that while listed at 200, he actually played last year at 215.
“I was big,” he said. “I feel a lot faster now.”
Even with Polk’s return, the defense got the better of the offense today, keeping it out of the end zone during the final team period.
The offense got close twice — Jake Locker once was ruled down when he scrambled and threw a TD pass to Jermaine Kearse, and Kearse later had another Locker pass knocked out of his hands in the end zone by Vonzell McDowell Jr., though the offensive players thought he had it long enough.
Locker joked that being ruled down “was kind of a conflict of interest.”
Said Sarkisian: “The defense did a good job today. They did a good job with their pressure again. It’s a little difficult when you’re not in pads with pass protection because it’s hard to get into guys, especially when guys like E.J. Savannah and Donald Butler and Mason Foster are blitzing. But I felt we could have caught the ball better. We were a little spotty catching the ball. But all in all, I think we are coming. I think we are getting better as a group. I like the way our quarterbacks are progressing. I’m really proud of them.”
IN OTHER NEWS
— PK Erik Folk was 6-6, gradually hitting from about 25 yards out to about 47.
— There were no new injuries. Sarkisian said Vince Taylor sprained an ankle Wednesday but could be back Monday. LB Cort Dennison broke his pinkie Wednesday and had a pin inserted and is likely out the rest of spring. WR D’Andre Goodwin is also likely out the rest of spring, Sarkisian said, with the hamstring injury suffered Monday, saying there is no need to rush him back and potentially have him hurt it worse.
— The No. 1 O-line was, left to right, Cody Habben, Ryan Tolar, Mykenna Ikehara, Senio Kelemete and Drew Schaefer.
— The No. 2 O-line was Nick Scott, Morgan Rosborough, Greg Christine, Scott Shugert and Mark Armelin.
— The defense was in nickel almost the entire practice which meant three linemen and five DBs. The three starting linemen were Darrion Jones, Cameron Elisara and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. The LBs were Butler, Savannah and Foster. The five DBs were Nate Williams, Victor Aiyewa, Greg Walker (all safeties) and Quinton Richardson and McDowell.
— The WRs and RBs rotate a lot so many get work with the ones, and they also were often in three, four and five-wide sets today. There weren’t any surprises there though Luther Leonard continues to get some increasing work with the backup unit. He dropped a pass today, however.
— DT NIck Wood also appeared to have a hand in a cast.
Craig Noble got a lot of work with the No. 2 DL.
— There didn’t appear to be any interceptions during the team period.
— Sarkisian said he hoped to get about 75-80 percent of the playbook in this spring and he said he thinks that will be accomplished. He said about 65-70 percent is in now. “We’ve put a lot on these kids and they have responded really well,” he said.
— Sarkisian said the scrimmage Saturday will be similar to last week’s, with special teams play at the end of each quarter, and about 20-25 plays in between.
— Asked where the team is at the two-thirds point of spring practice, Sarkisian said: “I think we are ahead of where I was really anticipating we were going to be. Our kids are plaing with the urgency and the intensity and the speed that we want. We are obviously still having mental errors and things like that, but I like the urgency they are playing with, the effort. We’ve got a lot installed on both sides of the ball and they are responding well. Tomorrow is a big day. It’s the second mid-term and I’m anxious to watch our guys tackle in space and with the ball in their hands if they can make plays, and our pass protection if we can hold up and make plays down the field.”
All for now.

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