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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 7, 2009 at 10:44 PM

Tuesday night random notes

I actually made it up to UW today to take in a little of the voluntary workouts the team is doing, where it became apparent the Huskies would be without two additional running backs for this season. That news of the day is explained in the entry below.
But there was more in the notebook from the visit to UW today. …
— First I’ll lay out quickly what the team does during their summer workouts. The team is typically working out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, running plays and doing other football-type drills either at Husky Stadium or the Dempsey Indoor. The players have worked out more days than that in the past but coaches suggested they cut back on the number of days this year to not overdo it and stay fresh for the start of fall camp, So the emphasis is more on working harder and better when they do work, not on going longer.
Today, the team worked for about 90 minutes or so. The session began with a lot of one-on-one type of stuff, the linemen going against linemen (all non-padded, to make clear), WRs against DBs, QBs throwing to RBs and WRs, that sort of thing. Then the offensive skill players worked for a half-hour or so against the back seven of the defense, each side running plays (QBs calling for the offense, safeties for the defense). Then, for the first time this summer, there was an 11-on-11 session of 15 minutes or so, again each side running plays. After that concluded, some of the players hung around for a few more individual drills, QBs throwing to WRs covered by DBs, that sort of thing. QB Jake Locker said afterward that it was a little sloppy with it being the first 11-on-11 session of the summer, and noted the no-pads aspect of it makes it hard for the offensive linemen. But he said he thinks overall the workouts have been going well.
— Speaking of Locker, he said he continues to be in negotiations with the Angels for a baseball contract but that nothing has been agreed to yet. He said something could happen as soon as the end of this week and that he wants the issue settled “as soon as possible.” The goal remains to sign a deal where he will finish out his college football career and then have the option to play baseball at some point if he desires with the Angels holding his rights for six years provided a deal is signed by Aug. 17.
— The only new players taking part in the drills that I noticed was incoming freshman WR James Johnson. He definitely looks the part and had a few catches in the team drills. “He’s working really hard,” Locker said. “He’s smart and athletic and the more time he spends out here the better chance he has of seeing the field this fall.”
— Safety Jason Wells stood on the sidelines watching the action but said he plans to soon get on the field. Wells, who missed spring practice with an Achilles injury, said he has been cleared to return to the field and expects to be ready for the start of fall camp Aug. 10. He said now “it’s just a matter of handling the pain.” He said the knee injury he suffered in 2007 that caused him to miss last season is no longer a real issue. Like just about everyone else, Wells senses optimism brewing. “It seems like we are all on the same page now,” he said.
— Former CB Roy Lewis, now with the Steelers, was the only former player I saw working out with the team Tuesday. He’s in town for the summer and will be a regular at the workouts. Lewis said he thinks “the attitude is a lot better” and that the players “are in a lot better shape” than the past few years.
— A few of you have already asked me how the departures of three players since the spring for academic reasons could impact UW’s APR score down the road. Obviously, it doesn’t help. But with 85 players (or close to that) on scholarship, a few academic casualties aren’t really that big of a deal and UW has been doing well of late (the score is computed on a four-year average) so it has a little bit of wiggle room. So this isn’t a real cause for concern unless it becomes a huge trend. (And frankly, there are so many ways to work around losing a few scholarships — counting guys forward or back, grayshirting, etc. — that I’m not even sure it’s that big of a deal even when it happens).
All for now.

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