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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 18, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Tailbacks wait for their time

A minor surprise in the first two games has been the way the tailbacks have been used.
After coaches had talked early on of having a “committee” approach, basically only two have seen significant time when the outcome was in doubt — Chris Polk and Johri Fogerson.
UW coaches admit they thought they might use more tailbacks but said that the play of Polk and Fogerson — the latter making big plays in the passing game — has made them had to take out.
“If a guy is running well we are not going to pull the ball out of his hands,” said running backs coach Joel Thomas. “The way (Polk) ran against LSU and at times against Idaho, he showed why he was one of the higher recruits at Washington.”
Among those who have been left primarily on the sidelines is Curtis Shaw, who may be the fastest of the backs. Shaw, however, hasn’t shown the consistency in every area of the game, such as blocking, to get on the field more.
He also had a fumble of the opening kickoff the second half last week.
Shaw, however, was gratified that the coaches put him right back out there, unlike what happened when he had a fumble in a similar situation against Ohio State in 2007 and basically was consigned to the bench until being moved to receiver.
“It’s always good to let a person make up for his mistake when he makes one,” Shaw said. “He’s got to prove himself again that he’s trustworthy. I’m just glad that they did that.”
Shaw said he doesn’t consider himself as having trouble with fumbles saying of the one against Idaho that “it happened so fast” he’s not sure what happened.
He got his first carries later in the game, rushing for 19 yards on five carries.
“I think I proved myself,” he said. “I didn’t score or anything but I didn’t fumble so I feel like I redeemed myself. It was a relief.”
As for getting more carries earlier in the game, Shaw said he’s content to wait his turn.
“I can’t argue or complain about it,” he said. “It is what it is. You get it when the coaches feel you should get it. .. . Everybody gets a chance (in practice) and you place yourself on the depth chart with how you play on the field. So everybody gets a shot.”
Thomas said he still envisions all five tailbacks playing a role on the team this season, including true freshman Demitrius Bronson, who has yet to play.
Asked this week if Bronson might redshirt, Thomas said no.
“He’s ready to roll,” Thomas said. “He’s getting better. Obviously early in camp he had a couple of issues with the ball (fumbling) but he’s got that fixed up and when the team is ready, you will see him running down the sidelines having success.”

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