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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 20, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Wednesday practice notes — Locker again sits it out

It proved a winning formula last week to have Jake Locker sit out most of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday to get past an illness and let a thigh bruise heal.
So UW coach Steve Sarkisian doesn’t seem to be sweating it much that Locker is again sitting out this week.
Locker did very little today — nothing other than some of the pre-practice walk-through stuff — as the Huskies held a two-hour full-pads practice.
Sarkisian said there is no one specific injury holding Locker out saying “It’s his whole body, more than anything.”
Sarkisian said Locker “took some pretty good shots last game.” That included one to his left shoulder late in the game, though Sarkisian wouldn’t say that was among Locker’s sorenesses at the moment.
“There’s more than just one,” he said. “He’s pretty sore.”
Sarkisian noted that holding him out worked last week.
“There was something to being, last week, being able to hold him out and him feeling fresh on Saturday,” Sarkisian said. “It’s trying to go along those same lines. But he’s pretty sore. We’re just trying to protect him that way.”
Sarkisian said he didn’t think there was any doubt Locker would start Saturday.
But he said there was a chance Locker wouldn’t be 100 percent for the game at Arizona.
“I think he could be limited, yeah,” Sarkisian said. “We’ll have to assess it as the game goes on.”
Sarkisian said Locker would get more work tomorrow and that having him take today off was part of the plan.
He said again that knowing that Locker practiced little last week then played well “gives me some confidence” this week. “Knowing that he got really good reps mentally, which is what he’d been doing last week. He’ll get some good reps tomorrow. He’s a fifth-year senior, he’s got a wealth of experience, and we’re not running all these brand new plays. The game plans carry over for him, so it’s a little easier for him to not be out there at practice and perform well (in the game) than maybe a younger kid.”
Sarkisian had said earlier in the week that players need to practice to play. But he said “it’s a little bit different” when it comes to Locker. “He’s kind of like an NFL veteran. Those guys have played so many years, they’ve got so much experience. It’s not about him being mentally sharp. That’s what your concern is when they don’t practice. It’s not that they aren’t physically ready come Saturday; it’s that they aren’t mentally ready come Saturday, and they make the mental mistakes. Jake’s got enough experience where he can still stay mentally sharp even though he’s not getting the reps.”
Keith Price took most of the snaps during the team period, with Nick Montana getting the rest.
“I thought Keith had a great practice today, so we have the utmost confidence in him,” Sarkisian said.

Johri Fogerson (hip) did not practice and was ruled out.
— WR Devin Aguilar took part in practice and Sarkisian said he should be able to play. Erik Kohler also worked with the second unit at tackle and also may be able to play. “I thought Devin did some things today that continue to show me he will be available to us,” Sarkisian said. “I don’t think he’ll be 100 percent Saturday night, but I do think he’ll give us enough where he can contribute. And Erik as well. I don’t forsee Erik being able to play an entire football game, but I do foresee him giving us some snaps and some series in that ball game.”
— Kohler’s return raises the obvious question of what they do with the line once he is healthy. Sarkisian said that “he’ll have to earn his job. Nothing is anointed.”
— For now, the line remains the same as a week ago (and now that it has stayed that way through what are the two heaviest days of practice, I wouldn’t imagine it changing). Sarkisian, though, said it could change from week-to-week depending on performance and health. “We’re just trying to find the best makeup of what guys do well and who they’re next to,” he said. “And to give us the best chance to be successful. When Erik comes back, the shuffle may be back on again. Or it may not be, if he can’t earn his way back on the field. We’re at the halfway point in the season, and there’s still six games — potentially seven games — left to go. So I could easily foresee that thing moving around more than once before the season’s over.” Sarkisian said Kohler can play both guard or tackle, adding to the options.
— Sarkisian noted that all of the OLs have gotten a lot of work at multiple spots all year. “That’s because in training camp, if you remember, we did a lot of this,” he said. “We continually moved guys around, continually gave them opportunities at multiple positions, so we would have this at our disposal when injuries occured.”
— Eventually, he said, he would like to find a group and stick with it, but that time hasn’t come yet. “When we’ve got a group three years from now that’s played together for two, three, four years, then we’ll get good continuity,” he said. “Right now, we’re just trying to put the guys out there that give us a chance to be successful.”
— Asked what he liked about last week’s grouping (you can tell it was a day for everyone to write about the O-line), he said: “I liked the way we took care of our edges. I thought we were stout at guard against good defensive tackles. We weren’t assignment perfect, but we were stout. And I thought we were all on the same page for the most part with Greg (Christine) making the calls.”
— The OL will have its hands full this week with an Arizona defense that leads the conference in sacks, led by ends Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore. Said Sarkisian of that duo: “They just, they play really hard, one, which is a great trait to have. And they are talented. They play very hard. They have great speed. The power rushes. They have all of the pass-rush moves — the power rushes, the spin moves, the up-and-unders, the bull rush, which makes them a tough matchup.”
— WR Kevin Smith turned in one of the plays of the day with an in-stride grab of a deep pass, showing that he may be getting closer to returning. He’s sat out the last two games with a dislocated thumb, though he still has a cast on one hand.



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