As some of you who have been to a practice this spring have noticed, the Huskies have a session almost every day where they take off their helmets and then run through plays.
After a couple of days of meaning to do it — often, reporting is merely remembering which question to ask — I finally got around to asking UW coach Steve Sarkisian about it after Thursday’s practice.
For those who have been wondering if there is a change in how things are being run this spring, this may be the main one.
Sarkisian said it’s something new they came up with during the off-season, saying the point of taking off the helmets is to emphasize that it’s a non-contact drill in which the point is to learn the plays, not worry about making a hit.
“It’s just a walk-through,” he said. “It’s somewhat of a fit drill walk-through (meaning, players have to fit where they go on the play) where the offense is really running the same play three times in a row and the defense is putting three different defenses at it, and we’re just trying to expand our football knowledge and how things fit together, so it’s a very slowed down pace where we really try to teach.”
Of taking off the helmets, Sarkisian said: “It makes guys not want to butt heads and (the drill) being more than what it needs to be. It’s not a contact team period, it’s a walk through. It’s about teaching at that time.”
Sarkisian said the session takes the place of one where the No. 1 offense and defense worked against the service, or scout, teams that would look at the plays off a card.
“We thought it would be a way to bring the two groups together and split up ones and ones and twos and twos and service each other where they are getting valuable reps and not reading a card and doing something on the opposite side of the ball,” he said.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Another player who has caught Sarkisian’s eye this spring is DE Talia Crichton. “He’s a little bit bigger, a little bit quicker, his comfort in rushing the passer is there. I think he just keeps getting better. He’s playing faster football. I really like what he is doing.”
— Ted Miller has this story on Mason Foster from his visit to UW earlier in the week.
— I talked to Cameron Elisara a little bit for the notebook that ran in today’s paper. Elisara said he hasn’t had any issues with his neck/stinger issue of a year ago. He said there was no off-season surgery, explaining that it’s a nerve problem that simply needs rest. Playing at defensive end, where the head-to-head contact maybe isn’t as consistent and intense, could also help, he said. “They thought it would be easier on my neck,” he said. “I haven’t felt it at all (this spring) so I’ll just try to keep that going.”
— Sarkisian named Jake Locker the player of the day on his Daily Top Five. For the play of the day he cited a pick-six by backup LB Jordan Wallace. That came on a pass from Nick Montana, who otherwise seemed to have a pretty decent day. There was one play where he brought the ball down and quickly scooted through a hole to the left for a sizeable gain, seeming to show some good maturity to not force a pass.
— Crichton also had an interception of a tipped Locker pass when he dropped into coverage.
— One of you mentioned an Elisara open-field tackle of Jesse Callier. I saw that play and it was indeed an example of how Elisara seems to have the quickness to play end if needed.
— Sorry, but here’s another BYU QB link, a battle I find fascinating. Sounds like it’s again a three-man race.
— Jon Wilner did some nice work in compiling the non-conference schedules for every Pac-10 team for the next four years.
All for now.