Practice is over for today, and while it was about 50 degrees and dropping on the field, the UW coaches tried to get the players in the mood for what awaits Saturday, playing a steady stream of California-themed music — California Girls, California Dreamin’, etc.
And for the second straight day, watching practice indicated that Jake Locker won’t just be going to UCLA for a vacation. He took part in all of practice, doing the usual splitting of reps with backup Ronnie Fouch. He didn’t run much, though he did roll away from pressure a few times, and didn’t seem any worse for the wear. Given the limitations of practice, it was hard to tell if he could really let it rip running, but in terms of the basic QB stuff — dropping back and throwing, etc. — he seemed fine.
Otherwise, it was our day to talk to defensive players and coaches, which meant our weekly visit with defensive coordinator Nick Holt. He spoke for about 15 minutes on a wide range of topics, and for this post, I’ll just pass along the most newsworthy personnel highlights and I’ll save some of the scouting report on UCLA and general comments for later.
— Holt said it’s uncertain whether Anthony Boyles, who continues to see time at CB after switching from WR, will play against UCLA. “Maybe, maybe,” he said. “It’s a long road. You kind of wish you had done it a long time ago. But you know, if he can get in and do some good things all the power to him. But it’s hard to throw a guy in live bullets and expect him to play really well. You have to keep it real simple that’s for sure.”
— He said it’s pretty much the same situation for Alvin Logan, who has been moved to weakside linebacker. “He’s in the same boat. We probably should have done it a while ago, but we made the move and it’s a good move for both those guys for the future. Is it going to help us right now, this minute, in a game? I don’t know that yet. But in the future it will.” Holt said Logan weighs at least 220 and is more than big enough to handle LB.
— Speaking more on Boyles, he said he could be used in spot duty on taller receivers or when opponents use three-receiver sets “to get more speed on the field and play man-to-man. He could do that and that’s probably the biggest reason why we would put him in the game to get better matchups than the other guys.”
— He said Cameron Elisara has not yet been cleared to play while battling a stinger, and with DTs Everrette Thompson and De’Shon Matthews still battling a flu bug (they practiced today but aren’t 100 percent), the Huskies had some times when Daniel Te’o-Nesheim played at tackle alongside Alameda Ta’amu with Andru Pulu and Talia Crichton at ends. Holt said he didn’t know who would start at end but said “don’t be surprised” if either Pulu or Crichton — or both — get the call. “They play hard, make tackles. They show up. They will make their mistakes, but they have a sense of urgency of playing hard.”
— As for having Te’o-Nesheim inside, he noted he plays inside often in pass-rush situations already and that “we get some matchup problems with some of the other opponents with Daniel inside, which is good.” And he said DTN “could play a lot (inside) if those two guys (Pulu and Crichton) are playing.”
— He praised the play of Ta’amu saying he has “changed his body since last year, since I’ve been here. He’s really slimmed down a lot. He has a ways to go but he’s working at it.”
— He said it’s been a frustrating season for Thompson, who has battled a foot injury all year and now has the flu. “He’s been hurt the whole year,” Holt said. “You can watch him, he still doesn’t look full speed. But we need him. We probably should have rested him this year, gotten that thing 100 percent. He’s played solid at times but I expect him in the future to play really good football because he’s tough, smart and wants to be good and that’s half the battle. But he’s not 100 percent, I don’t think.”
— A discussion of the young cornerbacks playing led to a question of why junior Matt Mosley — who has six career starts — has not really seen any action this season. Holt said Mosley has “had some issues off the field. Nothing major. But it’s just when his number has been called he’s been hurt or other guys have done a better job. When it’s been time to go or his number has been called, he hasn’t come through for us.”
All for now.