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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 21, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Tuesday practice notes and Sarkisian video

Tonight marked the final evening practice of fall camp for the Huskies (or the last on the schedule we have, anyway) and it came in what felt more like football weather. For the first time all camp, jackets were legitimately needed.

The Huskies also continued on their way to rounding into football shape as the team once again had nothing but good news on the injury front. There were no new injuries from the two practices the team held Tuesday, and a few more players got more work than we’d seen in a while, notably OL Erik Kohler and LBs Thomas Tutogi and Travis Feeney.

Kohler and Tutogi each got significant work in team sessions during the night practice, neither in the yellow jersey designating an injured player. For Kohler it was his first full team work of camp as he had suffered a kneecap injury on the first day of practice on Aug. 6. Tutogi had been out about a week with a knee sprain.

Feeney, coming off a head injury, wore yellow but got some significant work throughout.

“It’s great,” said UW coach Steve Sarkisian. “It feels like another day we are getting another guy back. What i was impressed with Erik, he actually went both practices today, this morning and this evening as did Travis Feeney although he was non-contact so we are kind of working our way back. As bad as it was early on in camp we are doing pretty good right now.”

Kohler spent some time working at center, and Sarkisian said that was mostly to give the line more options for alignments up front.

“The reality of it is, I don’t know if we are going to be in total shape with those guys, with (Colin) Tanigawa, with (James) Atoe, with Dexter (Charles), with Kohler to play just five guys,” Sarkisian said. “I think we have to prepare ourselves early in the season to play more, to play seven to potentially eight guys. And that’s what we have been working on here since Colin came back and Erik today. We are preparing ourselves for that. You saw a bunch of the team period we took Drew (Schaefer) out and put Erik at center, so we are just preparing ourselves for the things that come up. I feel like our offensive line has had a nice training camp to this point and now with more healthy bodies, the expectations should only become better. We should perform only better with the lack of fatigue. … we’re working him at center for those very reasons that we can really slot him in anywhere.”

Sarkisian said the way the line has performed through camp is evidence of the depth beginning to build.

“It’s taken us four years to get to this point through recruiting, battling some injuries and playing some walk-ons and different guys early on,” he said. “But to be at this point now where when we go on the road we are going to bring 10 linemen and they are all healthy and good players and we are redshirting a good group of guys, this is where you are supposed to be it just took us a little while to get here.”

The starting offensive line has been pretty constant throughout and remained so again tonight, going left to right, Micah Hatchie, Tanigawa, Schaefer, Atoe and Ben Riva. Kohler slid in at center for Schaefer at times.

As noted, it was a non-full pads practice so there was hitting but no live tackling. There was lots of run-game work and a lot of special teams work on special situations (such as covering bad snaps and things like that). The main punt returners were Kasen Williams and Jaydon Mickens. Shaq Thompson and Jesse Callier are among those working as kickoff returners. Callier told reporters afterward that Thompson is ahead of him on the depth chart at that spot.

NOTES. …

— Expect an announcement tomorrow that UW will host Montana in 2017. News broke of the deal in Montana earlier today. UW also plays at Wisconsin that season and will need another game for that season.

— Former Sonics star Fred Brown was among the visitors to practice (not sure why, but he was there).

— Sarkisian said UW has begun putting in the gameplan for San Diego State. “We’ve just started sprinkling in here the last day-and-a-half of starting to look at them,” he said. “They don’t know it but they’ve already started running the stuff that’s in the game plan — they’ll get that this Saturday. But basically everything we are going to run is in.”

— Sarkisian said the surgeries for Deontae Cooper and Hau’oli Jamora “should be coming up here soon.” What we’ve been told on Jamora is that he will have arthroscopic surgery to clean up the knee and determine if there is more damage there.

— Thompson did some work with the linebackers during individual drills and Sarkisian explained why: “It’s important especially in our run fits as teams try to use different shifts and motions and formations that force him to slide into the box to have to play in the box to understand our fits. It’s not about his ability to tackle or to close, it’s truly understanding his gap and the gap integrity in the defense to make his plays.”

Here’s video of Sarkisian’s post-practice interview:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1797791767001″][/do]

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