The Huskies are off the field following their first practice of the 2012 season.
It was a roughly two hour, 15-minute workout in a blazing sun on the East practice field, and as is required on the first day, shirts, shorts and helmets.
That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a little physical, as the coaches a few times had to remind players about making sure they didn’t overstep the no-contact practice boundaries.
“Oh these guys, man they have been like some dogs tied up on the porch and we finally took the leashes off and they are going and they want to go and I love that about them,” said UW coach Steve Sarkisian. “We just have to learn how to practice when we are not in pads. So it’s great that we had a couple of examples to show them and we will show it to them again tonight on film and we just need everybody to learn that so it doesn’t repeatedly happen.”
There was also what looked like a potentially scary moment for the Huskies when starting OL Erik Kohler — who spent much of the day playing center — screamed in pain and grabbed his right knee during a one-on-one drill while he was battling Danny Shelton. Sarkisian, though, said Kohler merely had his kneecap pop out and back in and should only be out a couple of days. S Sean Parker also left the field before practice ended due to dehydration. Otherwise, no apparent new injuries.
A few guys returned to practice for the first time in a while, notably RB Deontae Cooper, out since Aug., 2010 with two ACL injuries to his left knee. Cooper got out there for a little early work though he did not take part in any team sessions as the team eases him back. The same was true of players such as WR Kevin Smith, DE Hau’oli Jamora and OL Colin Tanigawa, who all were back but limited.
“We want to do enough to get their confidence but not go too far,” Sarkisian said. “So it’s going to be a gradual process, but I was pleased with that.”
Sarkisian’s overall assessment of the first day? “I thought it was a really competitive practice. I thought we saw the playmaking ability of some of the guys on this team, some guys making plays down the field in the pass game and then some guys making plays for the defense with some turnovers, which is encouraging. From an overall efficiency standpoint of practice I thought it was really good for us to manage one field and to get a lot of work done with a lot of football players at one time I was pleased with.”
As the coach noted, there were a handful of turnovers. Those included an interception by true freshman safety Shaq Thompson, who stepped in front of a Derrick Brown slant pass intended for Jamaal Jones.
Asked about Thompson’s play today, Sarkisian said: “First day, you know? I think he is like a lot of our young kids where they have moments where they do some really cool stuff like Shaq did and then there are moments where they would like to have some plays back. But I think we saw Jaydon Mickens do some things, saw Kendyl Taylor do some stuff today, Erich Wilson had a couple runs in there. Pleased with a lot of the young guys and Shaq had his moments, which were good.”
A few other turnovers included a John Timu interception of a Keith Price pass that went in and out of the hands of James Johnson; a Josh Shirley return of a fumble by Jesse Callier; a Tre Watson force of a fumble by Austin Seferian-Jenkins; and a Watson interception of a Brown pass.
The offense, though, had its moments. The play of the day might have been a Price pass to Cody Bruns on a flag route just over the arms of Parker for a long gain. Taylor also had several good catches.
The lineups had their expected shuffling, though no real surprises when it looked like the first units were out there. The first team defense was pretty much as it ended the spring, with Talia Crichton and Shirley at the ends and Andrew Hudson and Shelton at tackles; Timu, Nate Fellner and Princeton Fuiamono at linebacker; Justin Glenn and Parker at safety and Desmond Trufant and Greg Ducre at cornerback.
The No. 1 offensive line early on went, left to right, Drew Schaefer, Dexter Charles, Kohler, James Atoe and Ben Riva. After Kohler went down it was Micah Hatchie, Charles, Schaefer, Atoe and Riva.
Of the new offensive linemen, Shane Brostek seemed to be getting the most work with the second team at right guard.
There was also some kicking, and it’s not always easy to tell who is who with Travis Coons and Korey Durkee each wearing No. 46. Each got seven attempts and Coons was 4-7 and Durkee 7-7, according to what it looked like from where we were. Sarkisian noted that there were some timing issues for both.
Here’s video of Sarkisian’s post-practice interview, followed below by a couple of scenes from practice:
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Here’s a quick overview of practice:
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And a quick look at the quarterbacks:
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