A year ago, Keith Price said he probably would not have made a throw like this — 60 yards down the middle of the field, into double coverage … and right where Kasen Williams wanted it.
The result was perhaps the highlight of Washington’s first eight days of training camp. With the pass slightly underthrown by Price, Williams slowed, turned back and reached above the tight coverage of Greg Ducre and Will Shamburger as he was falling back to haul in the 60-yard reception during an 11-on-11 drill inside Husky Stadium.
“That’s what all the offseason is about: being able to trust me down the field and letting me make plays for him,” Williams said after the Huskies’ eighth practice of camp. “I tell him (that) not every ball is going to be perfect, and he knows that. So when a play breaks down it’s about being able to trust me over the top. Me and him have been working a lot this offseason about that specific thing. I tell him my job is to make him look good, and that’s what I’m doing.”
That trust in his teammates, and in his receivers, was something Price has said he didn’t have at times during a so-so 2012. He’s worked hard to build that since.
“Kasen is always telling me, ‘Hey man, just give me a chance, no matter who I got (covering him),’” Price said. “It was kind of a gutsy throw, but it’s all about trusting your guys. Last season I didn’t do enough of that, and he made a tremendous play.”
Monday was the second daily-double of camp for the Huskies. They’ll have their first scrimmage on Tuesday afternoon, and coach Steve Sarkisian said he would have a better feel for the depth chart after that. It does sound like converted tight end Evan Hudson will stick on the defensive line, though a final determination will be made later this week, Sarkisian said.
Price was again sharp throughout Monday night’s practice, and he’s been pleased with the tempo of the new no-huddle attack.
“I think the past couple days, the (whole) offense has been on fire, not just me,” Price said. “I think the offensive line is doing a great job, a tremendous job. I think guys are just making plays for me, ultimately. I just need to put the ball there and that’s what I’m doing.”
Price also singled out Jaydon Mickens for a one-handed catch on a “bad ball” across the middle. Kevin Smith has “stepped up tremendously,” and DiAndre Campbell, John Ross and Damore’ea Stringfellow are developing consistently.
“I’ve got a lot of weapons around me,” Price said.
A few notes:
– CB Marcus Peters was in pads but did not practice. He wore a brace on his right knee after banging it in a collision with Campbell on Saturday. He’s expected to miss another day or two.
– TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins went back to the locker room with a jammed pinkie before returning a few minutes later. It’s not expected to be a serious injury. “We’ll see what it is. He’s got 10 fingers,” Sarkisian said.
– RB Dwayne Washington (head) did not practice Monday night, but Sarkisian said Washington practiced in the afternoon.
– I feel like I’ve already written too much about Ross, because it feels too easy to hype true freshmen sometimes, but at this point it looks like he’ll almost certainly be a contributor. He’s been consistent as a receiver, and he got more work in from the backfield Monday, breaking into the open against the second-string defense on one handoff. He’s also been fielding punts, along with Williams and Smith. In a word, Ross is elusive.
– Another true freshman, defensive end Joe Mathis, has also stood out recently. “JoJo Mathis is making a strong impression on everybody,” Sarkisian said.
– Senior PK Travis Coons made all four of his field-goal attempts, from 28, 38, 45 and 52 yards. Freshman Cameron Van Winkle made his first, from 28, but missed the final three, with his 45-yard attempt blocked.