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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 27, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Sarkisian reacts to Emmert’s departure, and a few more practice notes

It was a surprisingly clear day at Husky Stadium, an earlier storm having passed, the team on the field in just helmets, pads and shorts for Day 13 of spring practice.
With no full-contact work, the team made it through unscathed, other than a briefly scary moment when Jermaine Kearse went down clutching his leg. Turned out he just “tweaked his ankle,” in the words of head coach Steve Sarkisian, and will be fine.
That left the big news for after practice, when Sarkisian met with reporters for his first comments on the departure of UW President Mark Emmert to become the head of the NCAA.
Sarkisian has said Emmert’s vision for the football program played a factor in his decision to pursue the UW job.
Tuesday, he said he’s not worried that Emmert’s departure will change anything about the University’s support of the program.
“I have a firm belief in this University,” he said. “We are in great standing right now with our Board of Regents and everybody involved. They will hire a good person and they will come in and continue to lead the University the way it has been led since President Emmert has been on board.”
Sarkisian said that “I appreciate spending a year and a half with him and I know we will continue our relationship.”
Expanding on his relationship with Emmert, he said that “you always have a vision of how you want things to get done and get accomplished and through President Emmert, through Scott Woodward, they’ve always been about doing things the right, the way things should get done, but allowing me to do it in the style and fashion we wanted to do it, and I’m very grateful for that.”

As for his overall reaction, Sarkisian said: “I think it’s obviously a great opportunity for him and I think the NCAA is getting a good man and a bright guy that is going to lead the NCAA the way we all would hope it would get lead. We will obviously miss him here but I think he has put the University in a great place from an academic standpoint and an athletic standpoint and whoever comes into take his place is going to be in great standing.”
— Sarkisian expanded a little on what may happen in the spring game Friday. He said that there will be 15-minute quarters with running clocks that will only stop on a change of possession. He said teams will be chosen on Wednesday. He said he is going back and forth on how to divide the teams. “I want to make sure it’s entertaining for our fans but that it’s competitive, and I and want to give our kids the best opportunity to perform.”
— Sarkisian said that the game was moved to a Friday when the decision was made to expand spring football over five weeks, meaning it would end on the same weekend as the Windermere Cup. “The first thing is we didn’t want to get into a conflict with the Windermere Cup and there are obviously issues with that and it’s a great event and it’s fun to be part of, and so the decision came to ‘do we move it to a Sunday or can we do something unique and different?’ And when the thought came to doing a Friday Night Lights theme and really getting our students involved and getting the community involved and making it interactive — we’ll have some fun events throughout the game to get the crowd involved in the game and some different contests — it just seemed to make sense. We’ll find out after the game Friday it it’s a success or not but we are going in jumping in with two feet and see how it goes.”
— Asked what he thinks of the new spring practice format, stretching it out over five weeks instead of four to avoid back-to-back practices, he said: “I’ve loved it. I think we have been extremely healthy. We really haven’t lost guys this spring — had some things here and there — but for the most part we’ve been extremely healthy, been fresh in practice, practiced fast and physical, and our kids have been excited to practice. My one concern was stretching it over five weeks and drawing it out a little too long and maybe losing the interest of all the kids. But I thought our guys, even today it came down to the last play and the defense won and you could see the excitement and intensity. So I think all in all it was a success.”
— Asked what he wants to see out of the spring game, he said: “I want to see our kids play and play free, fun, physical football and play fast. Not play concerned. I want to see them just go out and play ball in the absence of fear and not (worried about) making a mistake and have fun playing football. They get to be in Husky Stadium on a Friday night and hopefully we get a great crowd out here.”
— Since the game will be replayed on TV a bunch of times, he laughed and said “I don’t want it to be 3-0, I know that much.” Asked if he was worried about tipping anything off to opponents, he said: “No. They’ve got 12 games of ours from last year and we are obviously not going to show any new wrinkles, but football is football and you’ve got to go out and execute and I’m not that concerned about that stuff.”
— Sarkisian said Thursday’s practice will be brisk, in helmets only, with just some special teams work and the first offense and defense going through plays.
— Asked about the emergence of Daniel Kanczugowski as the No. 1 right tackle of late, he said: “I think he’s done some nice things in the run game for us. He’s continually working on his pass sets to get comfortable out there, but he does do some nice things, especially on the back side of the run game to create some plays for us. What he’s shown for us is an ability to improve us there, but that doesn’t mean it’s over.” Sarkisian said seeing a walk-on working with the ones is proof that “the competition is on. It’s not about what you did ever before, or a guy getting annointed anything. You are going to earn your way on to this team.”
— The rest of the one OL looked the same as all spring with Kanczugowski for Skyler Fancher the only change today.
Will Shamburger was also working with the ones most of practice as a free safety alongside Nate Williams and Sarkisian said that “he’s probably our most improved player this spring from day one through day 13 now he is really our most improved guy. We’re letting him go both and he’s a very bright kid and he’s got great physical ability and is a very good athlete. He’s just making plays.”
— Other than Shamburger, the rest of the defense looked status quo.
— DT Alameda Ta’amu was back after missing Saturday’s scrimmage to take care of some academic work.
— CB Desmond Trufant continues to get a litlte bit more work and while he won’t play in the spring game, Sarkisian said he’s progressing well and could play if needed.
— Asked who is out for the spring game, he said all the guys who have been in red throughout spring, safety Greg Walker (who hyperextended his elbow recently) and RB Jesse Callier (knee). Also said WR D’Andre Goodwin is questionable. WR Jordan Polk, limited recently with a hamstring injury, was back today.
— The team did some of its most extended work on punts and the three returners were Devin Aguilar, Jordan Polk and Johri Fogerson.
— The play of the day might have been a diving catch by Chris Izbicki of a Jake Locker pass over the middle, probably 10-15 yards or so.
Marques Tuiasosopo was absent as his wife gave birth to their second child on Monday.
— The team is off until Thursday at 4 p.m.
All for now.



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