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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 5, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Thursday practice notes: Jake Locker starts, Jordan Wallace sits

Maybe it was obvious to most Husky fans, but it wasn’t official until just a few hours ago when coach Steve Sarkisian said quarterback Jake Locker has made enough progress in his recovery from a right deep thigh bruise to play Saturday at UCLA.
All week, Sarkisian said he needed to see how Locker responded and he looked great in practice. He wore a black protective sleeve around his calf (I’m told that’s because fluid from a thigh bruise often drains down into the calf and the sleeve pushes it out) but otherwise you couldn’t tell he’d been injured Oct. 24 against Oregon.
He literally bounced all over the indoor field and during one play when the protection broke down, skipped out of the pocket and raced 20 yards before a defender touched him.
Not sure if we’ll see Locker running around Saturday like he did tonight. However, Sarkisian said he’ll have the full playbook at his disposal and will not be limited as a play caller because of Locker’s injury.
“We’ll look at that,” Sarkisian said. ‘We’ll monitor it during the game as well.”
— DT Cameron Elisara, LB E.J. Savannah (hand) and LB Jordan Wallace (knee) will not travel to Los Angeles this weekend. Wallace “tweaked” his knee in Wednesday’s practice.
— WR Jordan Polk (knee surgery) has been cleared to play.
— — Sarkisian said he’s considering starting senior strong safety Jason Wells, who hasn’t played since 2007 because of an assortment of injuries. The UW coach plans to rotate five players at safety including Wells, starting free safety Nate Williams, Nate Fellner, who started at strong safety last week, Victor Aiyewa and Greg Walker.
(What are you looking for out of Wells?) “Just the veteran leadership that he provides. He’s got great football IQ. He’s got a good feel back there of getting lined up. And he has a presence. There’s no doubt. Anytime you have a senior playing free safety, there’s a definite presence back there.”
(When did you know he was improving?) “We saw it in the last few weeks. We just didn’t want to press him and push him back to quick. I thought we might have done that in training camp, but from the last few weeks and the last week especially, he really showed that he was capable of going and he’s had a nice week of work.”
(Worried the team will be rusty?) “I don’t think so. We practice at a very high and intense level this week. If anything, it helps us just to get refreshed. I thought our guys battled extremely well. It was evident. It was a very intense practice this week. Sometimes a little chippy, but that’s okay. That just means we’re starving and hungry to go play.”
(On the road losing streak.) “I think we’re close. I think we’re close. We’re understanding what it takes. There are only 64 guys plus our staff, there are not a lot of people so you have to rally behind one another and stay in the game completely. If you’re not playing you still need to be a part of it emotionally to give the support that’s needed.”

(Is this trip homecoming for you?)
“Sure. My family and friends are all down there in Los Angeles, so it’s a great opportunity from a homecoming standpoint to see them. I’ve got some great memories, some fond memories from playing and coaching in the Rose Bowl and being part of some special wins there so it’s exciting to go back there and play. ”
(Who is your family rooting for?) “Oh, the Huskies.”

(Didn’t a couple of them go to UCLA?)
“Yeah, yeah, just on a piece of paper, not at heart.”
— This is becoming a weekly ritual for Sarkisian. He stands at the 20 yard line and tries to toss a football about 40-45 yards away into a trash can.
Today it took the coach six or seven tries before sailing a pass into the garbage bucket. He hit the can on all but one attempt. Not bad for the former Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback. Sometimes I wonder if he’s not the second best passer on the team.



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