I was not able to attend practice today, but have gathered a few notes and quotes with the help of some of those who were.
Sounds like the most significant happening is a “little strained hip” sidelining Johri Fogerson that could leave the Huskies especially thin at tailback for the opener against Eastern Washington, with Chris Polk about a week-and-a-half removed from arthroscopic knee surgery.
UW coach Steve Sarkisian said it was too early to tell if either Polk or Fogerson will be able to play against the Eagles. If neither does, that would leave the Huskies with Jesse Callier and true frosh Bishop Sankey, who each got all the work with the ones in today’s practice.
Sarkisian said he thinks Sankey is ready if needed, saying he’s done what the coaches hoped so far.
“He’s definitely not afraid of anything,” he said. “He’s a tough-minded kid. He’s very serious. He prepares himself mentally and physically. I didn’t place expectations on these guys, I think that’s the last thing you want to do then you are always trying to gauge them to that expectation. I just want to let these guys come out and play and I think Bishop has done a nice job.”
And he said he doesn’t think Sankey would be in awe of having to play.
“Freshmen are a little naive to things,” he said. “That’s the beauty of being a freshman. You aren’t as concerned about all the extraneous distractions and things that could be going on around you. You just line up and run the ball or catch the ball or block or do what you have to do. And Bishop has been doing that.”
The injury is similar, if not the same, as the one that sidelined Fogerson for all but one game last season. He had appeared recovered and was having a good camp and looked ready to contribute this year.
In other personnel news. …
— Sarkisian said it was too soon to know the status of either Polk or Quinton Richardson, who each did some conditioning work on the side today (Polk running stairs, Richardson and Adam Long — out with an ACL injury but recently returned to do rehab — doing some lateral-movement stuff on the field): “I don’t know. Obviously, we get a lot of rest today, a lot of rest tomorrow. We’ll assess them early in the week. I’m not going to try to say, ‘Hey, we’re not going to make a decision until Thursday,’ or something. We’ll be able to tell I think by about Tuesday where there at. I am encouraged by both, I will say that. I think they’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. Chris did do a lot more movement stuff today than he had been doing, and he looked good doing it. So we’ll see how he responds.”
— Nothing new on Antavius Sims.
— Sarkisian said he was not ready to say a decision yet on a starting punter and hinted that he could find a role for both Kiel Rasp and Will Mahan. “We’ve got some situational stuff we’re going to do when the games come up,” he said. Rasp has typically gone first when the team does punting drills, for what that’s worth.
In other notes. …
— Practice ended about a half-hour earlier than scheduled, right before the usual team session. Said Sarkisian: “Just a little nugget for them. They’ve earned it. They’ve had a great training camp. Really good practice again today. We had a pretty good-sized mock game yesterday, and it was late with the Raise the Woof, they responded today. They really came out with a lot of energy, physically, and so we just felt like they deserved it.”
— Today marked the official end of camp, and Sarkisian said the team got accomplished what he hoped: “Well, the biggest thing is we got better. I knew Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, we had a pretty decent team and we had a pretty athletic team, but there were so many things to clean up, so many little things. And I thought as a whole, we got better as a football team. The way you get better as a team is you’re getting better individually. And I thought a lot of our young guys cleaned up a lot of the nuances of the team. It was a real tribute to our vets as far as teaching and brining those young guys along. And then the other thing I think we accomplished coming out of this training camp is, although it’s as physical as it was, I feel like we’re a fresh team. We didn’t come out of training camp with a bunch of injuries, and guys weren’t tired and fatigued. We’re fresh. We’ve got a couple guys on the mend that looked good in their rehabs. So I liked that. I think we accomplished that as well.”
— Asked about any surprises of camp, he said: “Well, that we’re a team. I’ve said this before, that we are really in this thing together. It was somewhat of a pleasant surprise, because you never know. Every team takes on its own personality year in and year out. This team is very close and very intimate. Their willingness to stand up in front of one another, whether it’s about a serious issue or for laughter, they are willing to do that. They get along great with one another, and the rapport with the coaches is as good as I’ve seen. So that was probably the biggest thing to me, that I didn’t know what to expect coming in and now, three weeks in after this thing and being through training camp, I can tell you we are a football TEAM — which is great.”
— Asked about the confidence the coaches displayed during Raise the Woof, he said: “I believe in what we do. I believe in our coaches, I believe in our kids. And by no means is that arrogance; I just believe in what we do. With the continuity of our coaching staff, and with our players living in this culture and practicing the way we do and preparing the way we do – I believe in it. I wouldn’t feel good about myself if, three years into this thing I wasn’t confident in our ability to get things done – not only on the football field, but off the football field. This challenge of college football is tonight and tomorrow too; it’s the first time these guys get to go home and be in their apartments. They are going to have to make some tough decisions tonight, and I think we’ve got the football team in place that can do this. So I’m confident in our guys.”
— UW is now off until Monday afternoon.