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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 23, 2009 at 9:51 PM

Revisiting the comfort ratings

A couple of weeks ago, a reader asked if I would compile all of the “comfort ratings” I did for each position into one handy blog entry.
Sadly, I forgot — my wife’s birthday is in August and she can attest that this is my worst month for remembering anything due largely to the confluence of a new season and the end of summer with the kids and getting them ready for a new school year.
Anyway, thought now might be a good time to reprise those ratings now that we are two weeks into camp, looking at where I rated them then and assessing whether UW fans might feel more, or less, comfortable now.
To refresh the memory, I rated each position on a scale of 1-10, with one being most comfortable, 10 the least.
QUARTERBACK — 3 (this is the number I gave at the time). Should Husky fans more or less comfortable now, or the same? More, if just by a little. This was already pretty high, based on the assumption that Jake Locker would pick up where he left off in the spring. There have been a few rocky days, but overall, Locker seems to be progressing as hoped. And in assessing the position as a whole, Keith Price has shown so far that he could have a pretty good future, giving the team a solid long-term option going forward.
RUNNING BACK — 3. And this is another position where you’d probably say you are more comfortable now, especially with the move of Johri Fogerson from safety, which initially seemed done to add depth but may have done a lot more than that as Fogerson has played so well that he’s likely to get significant action this season. But that rise on the depth chart is mostly because he’s played well, not because any of the other guys have slacked off. All have looked good at times and the biggest trick for UW coaches will be figuring out how to maximize the abilities of each and get everyone enough touches. One negative has been starting FB Paul Homer missing a week or so with a hamstring injury. But he appears to be on the road to recovery, and if there’s one guy who probably doesn’t need all the camp time to learn the playbook it would be Homer.
WIDE RECEIVERS — 5. You probably feel about the same. While there have been some issues with dropped passes throughout camp, which helped lead to the recent shakeup in the depth chart, the fast rise of James Johnson and the continued progress of Jordan Polk helps mitigate that a bit. Also factored in here is that the tight end position looks strong with Kavario Middleton arriving to camp in better shape than a year ago and Dorson Boyce also showing he should be able to contribute this year.
OFFENSIVE LINE — 7. About the same. The question marks facing this unit when camp started are still there — notably, will the young right side hold up and will there be enough depth should injuries strike? There have already been a few minor injuries and UW coaches showed a little impatience with the progression of Drew Schaefer at right tackle by moving Nick Scott into the starting lineup for a couple of practices. But Schaefer is now back and for now, the five that began camp as the starters remain in those roles.
DEFENSIVE LINE — 7. Better. The defensive line has generally gotten the better of the O-line, meaning its comfort level ought to probably be a little bit higher. Everyone has stayed healthy so far, and coaches have lauded the improvement of Cameron Elisara. There also seems to be some quality depth emerging, especially with some of the true freshmen playing well enough that coaches say they probably won’t redshirt.
LINEBACKERS — 2. About the same. This was already the highest on the team, so it couldn’t improve much. The play has been fine, but E.J. Savannah has suffered a couple of injuries that could prove nagging through the season. And backup SLB Matt Houston, who had been playing well, suffered a biceps injury that could have him out a month — the only loss to injury so far of a player at any position that could hold him out for the opener. However, the quick progression of Jordan Wallace may add some unexpected depth.
SECONDARY — 8. About the same. There has been the positive of Justin Glenn appearing to solidify the other cornerback spot and Greg Walker the other safety spot, with David Batts showing enough to indicate he may also factor in there. But the Huskies did lose Dominique Gaisie to grades since our first assessment. And while there haven’t been any major injuries, both Jason Wells and Victor Aiyewa have missed some significant time of late and that doesn’t bode real well given the recent injury history of each. And there is also still a lot of youth here that’s hard to know how it will react come gameday.
SPECIAL TEAMS — 8. Better. After some early struggles, PK Erik Folk has gotten more accurate, and there’s no question that his leg strength is the best UW has had since John Anderson graduated in 2002. And Will Mahan has been solid enough throughout camp to indicate that the punting should be all right.
Overall, I have none of the spots as worse than when camp started. That may seem kind of pie-in-the-sky to some, but one of the key reasons for that is that the Huskies have had the good fortunate so far to avoid any really significant injuries — as noted above, Houston appears to be the only player who has suffered an injury in camp that would hold him out of the LSU game.

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