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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 15, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Thursday practice notes — Huskies back on the field

The calender reads Thursday. But as the Huskies took the field today at the Dempsey Indoor, the practice schedule read like a Monday, the Huskies beginning their preparation for the Alamo Bowl with a short, no-pads workout.

With 10 practices left (nine after today) UW will hold two gameweek sets of practices. So with today being the first of the week, the practice resembled what would usually be a Monday.

UW coach Steve Sarkisian, who has spent most of the past few days on the road recruiting, said it was good to be on the field again.

“There’s been a big push here at the end of the school year, with finals for the players, the coaches have been out there recruiting,” he said. “So it’s great to get back and focus on football again. That’s what we love to do.”

But as UW did so today, there was a familiar face missing — cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin.

Taking his place today was safeties coach Jeff Mills and graduate assistant Donte Williams, who until now has worked with the linebackers but was a defensive back at Syracuse.

“He (Mills) takes the whole secondary, but our graduate assistant Donte Williams, his specialty is corner play,” Sarkisian said. “So it’s natural for him just to slide right in and do a lot of the individual that way. So we’ll be OK.”

Asked about replacing Martin, Sarkisian said there is no urgency: “Again, short notice here. Obviously, a lot of focus on the team and the bowl game right now. But it hasn’t gone unnoticed. So we’ll take our time. More important than making a quick decision is making a great decision, and finding a quality replacement and somebody who can come in here and help our corners be successful, not only on the football field but in life and in the classroom.”

Sarkisian insisted there were no hard feelings and that it was a matter of time before UW lost a coach: “That’s the profession we’re in right now. I’m not shocked by it, by guys moving on. Believe me, I’m the first to know. I’ve bounced around enough as an assistant, and as you’re trying to move your way up this ladder of the coaching profession, so I understand it.”

And asked about if he thought about keeping Martin through bowl, he said: “I’ve been there as a coach, and having to do that, when I obviously took this job, and I think it can be difficult. It can be challenging. We’re in a little bit different of a situation than I was then, when I was a coordinator moving on to be a head coach. When you make a lateral move like that, I think at times, I don’t know if there’s a sense of animosity, but it can just be uncomfortable. So I think it was best for him, and probably best for us, to do it now.”

You can see some of Sarkisian’s session with the media today in the video below, with some more quotes after the jump:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1330197810001″][/do]


On if Keith Price is getting healthier: “I think he is moving much better. But I’d agree with his assessment. He’s not 100 percent. He’s moving better, which is important. And we’ve still got quite a bit of time until we play.”

On what’s most noticeable about Price being healthier: “What I notice, I think as much as anything, is the accuracy down the field throwing the ball. He’s an extremely accurate guy, but when you really have your legs back underneath you, especially when we can move him around, not just be stationary but get him moving around outside the pocket, it’s those throws down the field that are probably the most critical for him to have his legs with him. And we’re seeing that. We’re seeing today a lot of movement stuff outside the pocket but still throwing the ball very accurately down the field.”

On Will Shamburger, who is still in red with a stinger: “It’s better. We’re not there yet. Obviously, with Will still being in red isn’t the most encouraging thing I’ve seen, that’s for sure. But to get some of those guys with the stingers and the soreness in the neck areas, it’s the grind of the football season, to get them back is big for us, especially on the defensive side of the ball because of the tempo and speed that Baylor plays at. It’s going to be critical for us to rotate guys early in the games so that we’re fresh late in the game. As many bodies as we can have is big for us.”

On Taz Stevenson being back on the field: “Yep. Taz is out there going and running around. All those types of guys are huge and critical in this thing.”

On having had three years of continuity on staff before Martin’s departure: “It’s been big. Obviously, just from the development of our program. Understanding our philosophies, our beliefs, as well as our schemes, and the communication side of it all and understanding that. But again, this is the first time for us, it won’t be the last time, obviously. And it’s not as if other teams around the country it doesn’t happen to them. So we’ll be OK.”

On the defensive line guys getting healthier, like Alameda Ta’amu and Semisi Tokolahi: “Semisi, that’s just been a long haul, and we know that, and it’s going to be a long haul for him. Alameda, with the thumb and different things and all that…the ankle, all those things…just rest in general only make it better for him. So sure this time is great for them, but one of the keys for us now as we move into this week is, we’ve gotta get our football shape back. You know? With all the time off that great and the relaxation, but now we have to get our football shape right.”

On the longer injury guys, like Hau’oli Jamora, Johri Fogerson, Adam Long, etc.: “They are all doing a nice job. We’re still a ways away with all of them. Adam looks good, he’s sprinting and doing a lot of good looking stuff, but we’ve still got a long ways to go.”

On how close they are knowing to whether or not a player like Jamora will get his year back: “We have to submit a waiver on each one of those guys. The process is underway and when we get the declaration on each one of those guys, that’s when we release it.”

On if the NCAA has a set time where they have to let a school know of their decisions, re: redshirts: “To be honest with you, I don’t know that. That’s more of a compliance-type question.”



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