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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 7, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Wednesday practice report — secondary still in flux

Another day, another injury in the secondary, and just that much more uncertainty in the back end heading into Saturday’s game against the Arizona Wildcats.
As reporters walked out to practice Wednesday they were greeted by the sight of free safety Greg Walker sitting on a trainer’s table, his right knee in a wrap. Walker officially suffered a twisted knee during the pre-practice and sat out the rest. UW coach Steve Sarkisian said it’s not serious but they didn’t want to make it worse.
Walker was runnig with the starting unit with Nate Williams still out with a concussion — both Williams and WR D’Andre Goodwin did not pass tests to return to practice with concussions suffered at Notre Dame and remained sidelined.
So that meant that true freshman Nathan Fellner worked as the starting free safety throughout practice alongside Victor Aiyewa, who is in the lineup due to a season-ending injury to Justin Glenn, who had surgery today (the positions don’t necessarily match as they are mixing and matching guys now).
“He had a great practice and fortunately for Nate he has really come on the last three weeks and gotten a lot of reps and he really performed well today,” Sarkisian said.
Sarkisian said Williams could be back for Thursday’s practice, Goodwin as well, and if they are they could play Saturday.
“We’ll test them again tomorrow,” he said. “We’re just taking all the precautions. Any time there is a head injury involved we’ve got to be cautious with what we are doing, so we’ll test them tomorrow and see how they do.”
Defensive coordinator Nick Holt said he would feel just fine if he had to go with Fellner, a graduate of Clovis West High in Fresno who is the grandson of former WSU and Fresno State coach Jim Sweeney.
“We’ve been wanting to get him in for a long time because we think he has the ability to be a really good football player,” Holt said. “He’s a really natural free safety and he has better speed than some of the guys that are playing and hopefully he can showcase that. It’s just him not making blunders for long plays as far as getting the ball thrown over our head — he’s very aggressive. But I’m looking forward to seeing him play, quite honestly.”
Safety wasn’t the only spot in flux Wednesday as the Huskies continued to experiment with Adam Long at one corner spot opposite Desmond Trufant and ahead of Quinton Richardson.
However, both Sarkisian and Holt said that wasn’t a lineup change, just the coaches wanting to get a good look at Long, a redshirt freshman from Los Angeles.
“We don’t want to get stuck in a situation where we get beat up at corner (in terms of injuries) and guys haven’t gotten reps,” Sarkisian said. “So we’re getting Adam Long out there. He’s been performing well and he had a nice practice today.”
— Sarkisian said the football career of lineman Craig Noble is over. Noble has a heart condition that will prevent him from playing again, Sarkisian said. He didn’t want to give the exact details because he said he didn’t know them well enough to accurately repeat them to reporters. “It’s not life threatening, but I know he can’t play football,” Sarkisian said.
— RB Johri Fogerson missed practice for the second straight day with the flu and Sarkisian said he didn’t know when he’ll be back. “We’re just keeping him away,” Sarkisian said. “I don’t know how long that thing works, how long that hangs with you. We just don’t want anyone else to get it.” If Fogerson is less than 100 percent Saturday that would likely mean the first appearance at RB for Demitrius Bronson, assuming that they decide to give a few carries to someone other than Chris Polk.
Anthony Boyles seemed to get a long look with the WRs today with the main offense — he has been working with the scout team in previous weeks. “We’re shuffling some things around,” Sarkisian said. “He’s had a couple of nice practices and again, the way we operate is to keep competition alive and to do that you have to keep giving guys opportunities. … Anthony is praciticing well so we’re giving him some more opportunities.” And if Goodwin is still out, that could mean a chance on Saturday.
— Finally, in one last unfinished business on the Notre Dame game, I asked Sarkisian why he didn’t call for a review of the two-point play. He said since there was no replay board there, he never saw it other than live. “I couldn’t tell,” he said. “I had a feeling, but I couldn’t tell and I couldn’t risk burning our last time out knowing we needed a field goal to tie the game with 1:20 left. I couldn’t do it.” And he said the coaches in the press box couldn’t offer any help as they didn’t have access to a replay, either. ” They had no view in their box, nothing,” he said. “All we got was one live shot.”
All for now.



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