Dawgman Insider Blog: April 2011

Dawgman.com is turning into Jake Locker Central as almost every story revolving around the Washington football program is focused on their former quarterback, taken with the No. 8 pick overall by the Tennessee Titans.

Posted by Chris Fetters
6:26 pm

Video of Jake Locker NFL Draft announcement

Dawgman.com's Kim Grinolds and Dave 'Softy' Mahler from KJR950AM radio in Seattle were both at the Cedars Lounge and Restaurant in Ferndale to view Thursday's first round of the NFL Draft. They expected Ferndale's own Jake Locker to be drafted in the first round, and Grinolds captured on video the reaction when Locker was taken with the No. 8 pick by the Tennessee Titans. To view the quick reaction clip, click on the link below.

Locker announcement and reaction

Posted by Scott Eklund
8:00 am

Thursday morning and Jake Locker links

-- The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta does a good job of breaking down the Huskies drafted since 2000.

-- The Sport News' post-spring Top 25 is out with five Pac 12 teams listed -- Stanford, Oregon, Utah, Arizona State and USC.

-- The Eugene Register Guard Bob Clark has Washington ranked fourth in the Pac 12 North.

-- Jake Locker will be in Ferndale tonight to watch the NFL Draft.

-- Below is some video from Jake's E:60 feature...

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:25 am

Chris Polk (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Chris Polk Tuesday Quotes

Dawgman.com spoke Tuesday with Washington running back Chris Polk, who gave his thoughts on his Husky career to date, if he's happy where he's at so far, what he thinks of his offensive line this spring, and also who has made life tough for him on the defensive side of the ball, as the Huskies get set to finish off spring football this Saturday...

On no hitting - "It's kind of frustrating, but my body sure appreciates it. But I'm really just trying to perfect my craft and get back into that real grind mode. But it'll come in time. We've still got (fall) camp. I definitely want to, but we have to protect the team first. When it comes down to it, we're brothers. You wouldn't want to cheap shot your brother, and I wouldn't want them to do it to me. So I don't do it to them. Don't bite the hand that feeds. But we get to do that Saturday. We're going to leave it all on the field Saturday and hug it up afterward. Preparation-wise, we want everybody to go in there fresh and 100 percent."

On developing breakaway speed - "I have an extra gear, because our line is opening up holes and I'm actually creating some space and making more defenders flat-footed to actually showcase my speed. But I'm still working with our team to get better and we're just going to try to put ourselves in the best position. But I feel faster. I'm trying to get back to my high school speed. I came in here running a 4.3, so…I could run a 4.3 today, hands down."

On who has impressed him on defense - "The whole defensive line. Cort (Dennison) surprised me; Jordan Wallace has actually surprised me. Cort…especially with Cort, he's been there, he's played a lot of downs - he's really smart. He knows how I like to set up my blocks, and Jordan is a hard hitter. Also Timothy Tucker. They really don't know their jobs yet, but they are still playing fast and making great plays. That's going to come in time when they can play and don't have to think about what they do. That's going to come with experience."

On the seniors leaving the o-line - "It's weird, but I know my o-line is going to get it done. I trust them. They come out and bust their…they give 100 percent for me, so I'm going to give 100 percent for them. I trust them."

On being more confidence - "I'm more confident because I'm coming off the confidence of last year, and our o-line have really stepped up, especially the young guys, the freshmen guys are really stepping up and showcasing their abilities, their ability to really pick up the plays and snap right into it - to make the blocks and really run downfield. It's exciting. They give 100 percent, why can't I? I'm going to go as far as they go."

On if he's where he thought he was going to be in his UW career - "I'm right where I thought I would be, but I'm always pushing for more. Personally, I think I'm a little behind. I'm always striving to get better. I'm my toughest critic. There hasn't been a game my whole college career where I didn't think I did my absolute best. I look back on all the games last year and think that I could have had way more than I actually did. But that's just going to take me in the off-season to really get in the film room and perfect my craft and do the little things right all the time."

On knowing it would be this hard - "I had an idea it was going to be hard. In college, the talent level gets better. You're not the fastest guy on the field, you're not the strongest - so you're not always going to have the breakaway speed. You just have to keep your legs moving."

On the WSU game - "I haven't watched the WSU game since our week of preparation for the bowl game. I haven't watched it since then, because if I watch it I'll get mad at myself. There were a lot of plays out there where I left a lot of yards out there. I could have done way better. I tend not to live in the past, it's all about the future for me."

Posted by Scott Eklund
7:45 am

Drew Schaefer Quotes

Had the chance to speak with Washington's fourth-year junior center Drew Schaefer and he's what he had to say...

On how the line is coming together: "We are always a work in progress, even with experienced guys. This is the time of year when we can develop into a strong unit and try different things. With Senio (Kelemete) and Ben (Riva) out, it's just allowing younger guys to step up and get more experience. It makes us all concentrate a little bit more and we get to learn different positions which will help us down the road."

On how he handles the leadership role of playing center: "I like it. I like making the calls and being in control of stuff like that. It keeps my head in the game, not that it wouldn't be anyway, but it makes me concentrate on stuff that much more. I always have to be aware of what the defensive line is trying to do, their shifts and adjustments. It's sort of a chess game and I really like it."

On the younger linemen: "They are all coming along and I think they will really help us this season. We all want to play every down, but realistically you get worn down, you have injuries and stuff, so they are going to be needed this fall and them getting reps in practice right now will pay off down the road. With Ben and Senio out, we have guys like Colin (Tanigawa) stepping up and (Erik) Kohler is playing a different spot and Micah (Hatchie) and Skyler (Fancher) are both getting reps. As I said before, it will only help us down the road as these guys learn different spots."

On playing in the Holiday Bowl and how that has impacted their offseason: "It just makes us work harder. We got a taste of success and when you come to the University of Washington, you come to play in Rose Bowls and that's what we want to do. There are a lot of great teams in this conference, so it means you have to make yourself better every day -- watch film, work on your technique, lift, do the little things -- and if you do that, then you have a chance to really impact what happens with this team."

On the staff: "I love the coaches. They are so energetic and they are like players. You can tell they love the game. They love to teach and they love to make us work, but it all is about reaching our goals."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:07 pm

Quick Tuesday Practice Quotes (with added statistics)

Jeff Lindquist, Aziz Shittu, Matt Cochran, Matt Nilsson were some of the recruits I saw. Danny Shelton and Dexter Charles were there. Jim Lambright, Joe and Jennifer Montana, Jason Chorak were there too. There were also some coaches there from high schools around the area, as well as regional colleges and universities, like Simon Fraser and Portland State. Former OSU standout Richard Sigler was there, as it looks like he's helping Nigel Burton now down at PSU.

Senio Kelemete was back, but he didn't take all the No. 1 reps. Erik Kohler still took a bunch too. Ben Riva was still out, and Dan Cozzetto was gone on a personal matter. Jesse Callier was also out of red, but Johri Fogerson, Willis Wilson and Cole Sager took the reps behind Chris Polk during the team period.

Cort Dennison banged his head in individual drills, according to Sark, so they held him out for the rest of the day. Thomas Tutogi continued to get a lot of reps with the ones at MIK, followed by Tim Tucker and Victor Burnett.

There were big plays on both sides during the team period. Nick Montana found Jermaine Kearse open, and Kearse was able to catch it as Desmond Trufant went screaming past him. Kearse went 77 yards untouched for six.

Trufant would get his though, picking off Keith Price and going the distance. Nate Fellner also came up with an interception, off of Montana. And Josh Shirley again had a big play, touch-sacking Montana and forcing a fumble, which was recovered by Kohler.

Erik Folk was 4-5, with a long of 42. The miss was blocked.

A caveat on the statistics - remember these are very much unofficial. I tried to take them down where the sideline judges marked the player down (if they did at all) - so take them with a grain of salt.

Rushing: Price 4-40; Wilson 3-29; Polk 3-5; Sager 2-9; Montana 2 (-5); Fogerson 1-9

Passing: Montana 12-17 for 210 yards, one touchdown and one interception, long of 77 yards; Price 11-17 for 126 yards and one interception, long of 45 yards.

Receiving: Kearse 4-116; Bruns 3-35; Seferian-Jenkins 3-23, Polk 3-22; Aguilar 3-20; Smith 1-45; Domanski 1-15; Fogerson 1-12; Hudson 1-10; Campbell 1-9; Sager 1-7; Wilson 1-5

Sacks: Shirley 1 (-5)

Interceptions: Nate Fellner 1, Desmond Trufant 1

Forced Fumbles: Shirley 1

Posted by Chris Fetters
6:57 pm

Steve Sarkisian Tuesday Practice Quotes

Saturday review - "I appreciated Saturday's scrimmage. I thought our guys played, for the most part, pretty sound football. There weren't a lot of flags all over the place, and the turnovers weren't there. A couple of penalties here and there, but for the most part when you have that many plays in a spring scrimmage, they usually tend to be a little more sloppy than that. I thought we played sound football, good football, for the most part. We tackled pretty well. For the most part guys made plays when they had their opportunities. So all in all it was a good, physical scrimmage - which is what we wanted."

On Senio being back - "He looked pretty good today. I was pleasantly surprised. We thought this would be about the timeline to get him back going. He looked good. I don't anticipate him playing Saturday, we kind of don't need him to. But he'll have a pretty extensive practice Friday from the looks of it. All in all, the rehab is where it should be. He looks great."

On it being important to have him back - "Sure. From a leadership standpoint, a lot of those guys look up to him. He's played a lot of football and he has a real presence about him, so I think it was good to have him out there."

On Johri playing well lately with the thin depth - "We are pretty thin. I think, in a sense, it's been a little up and down, and we're just fighting the consistency with Johri. It's one great play, and then one not-so-great play. The challenge for him is to find the consistency, and sometimes that takes time when you haven't played in a while. You have to remember, he basically missed the entire last football season. There's been some good, bright spots, but there's also some definite areas for improvement."

On Dan Cozzetto missing - "He's got a personal issue."

On Cort sitting out - "He banged his head in individual, and it was really precautionary. According to our trainers said that if this had been a game, he probably could have gone, but it was good for Tim Tucker, Thomas Tutogi, Victor Burnett to get in there and some valuable reps. So it was fine. There was no need to hustle him back."

On Tutogi settling in at MIK - "We're moving him a little bit, but we're trying to get him some quality reps at the middle linebacker spot so that it's on film for the future, so that we can really study him in the off-season. I like his instincts in there, as we've touched on before. He plays the box really well, and just coming from experience and learning from a guy like Cort I think will be helpful for him."

On Skyler Fancher - "He's moving better than he has in years…from all the way back to that ankle injury. He's moving better. I think right now for Skyler is developing the confidence that it is stable, that he can do it. At times he lapses back and he doesn't trust the ankle as much, and in turn loses his technique and then ultimately will get beat by good pass rushers, which we have a few of those now."

On Fancher being a legitimate option - "I think so. He's earned it so far this spring. The beauty of it as he heads toward summer conditioning workouts and really honing those fundamentals and then into fall camp - I think he's definitely a viable option for us right now."

On feeling good where Jake Locker is right now heading into Thursday's NFL Draft - "I don't know. I don't get to pick. If I did, I'd feel great. But I don't get to pick. These are the longest days of his life that he's having here this week, preparing for it. But at the end of the day, he's such a great kid, he's such a good person, it's all going to work out regardless of what happens. But I'm hopeful that he gets to go to a place that really allows him to grow as a player and gives him a chance for longevity in the league. Because he deserves it."

On cleaning up special teams: "It was a huge point of emphasis for us. We really worked a lot of our kick return stuff and the nuances within it and not getting surprised by onside kicks and popover kicks and working our hand team stuff along with our returns. And I think our punt protection stuff has just gotten better and better and better as camp has gone on. We lost a lot of veterans off that punt team from last year so that's gotten much better.''

On what they'll do for returners: "That's a little bit more of a focus when we get back into fall camp because I've got to see what these new guys have to offer. I do know for kickoff return to have Kevin back there again and Jesse and the addition of Deontae Cooper, and Desmond Trufant has had a great kickoff return camp that those guys are exciting to me. In the punt return game obviously we still have Devin and Cody doing what they are doing. We've given Sean Parker more looks back there returning punts and then we've got a few guys coming in the fall that will help us there as well.''

On what they'll do for the spring game: "We're going to play a game. We'll have a few guys that will have to swing back and forth. But I want to give our fans an opportunity to watch a football game and I just feel like if you go out and scrimmage it's hard to follow what's happening and you only get an ooh or an aah when there is a pass play or something so we are going to try to play a game and give it our best shot, but I think it will turn out well.''

On Hartvigson wearing the cone around the track: "Just a team issue that we had to deal with.''

On what Maisel wrote about Sark knowing who he wanted at QB: "I was referring to the comment about talking to Pete was how I want to do it moreso than I know, I knew how I wanted to express it and I wanted to see how it sounds like to him when that time comes. I have great respect for Pete, obviously he is a tremendous mentor to me, and that's not the first time I've called him, believe me, on issues. He offered some good advice on how to handle it.''

On the QB situation still being status quo: ''Yep.''

Posted by Scott Eklund
2:05 pm

QB Jeff Lindquist is close to making a decision

Quarterback Recruiting Update

Over the next seven days, Washington football fans will be on pins and needles as Mercer Island (Wa.) QB Jeff Lindquist nears his decision. The talented signal-caller is choosing between the Huskies and Stanford and with that, several other quarterbacks with offers from the Dawgs may or may not continue to have them high on their list.

Here's a look at where things stand with the four other signal-callers with offers.

Posted by Chris Fetters
8:22 pm

Desmond Trufant (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Desmond Trufant Saturday Quotes

Dawgman.com was at Memorial Stadium Saturday to watch Washington do something a little different - practice away from Husky Stadium. UW fans were encouraged to come to Seattle Center and watch the Huskies go through a nearly two-hour practice. We spoke with Steve Sarkisian, as well as some offensive and defensive standouts on the day.

On being out in the sun for the first time in a while - "It actually feels pretty good just to come out and have a nice day. It's motivation to play better. It's a great day out here."

On his body language exuding more confidence right now - "It could be. I'm just trying to get better every day. I watched a lot of film of myself last year, just try to make improvements every day."

On it being easier having another veteran back there like Quinton Richardson - "It's great communication between me and him. We're always on the same page. We're always working to try and get ourselves better every day. Me and him are a great tandem, and we're just trying to take our play into the season."

On hearing from Nate Williams - "He says something every now and then from the sideline, because he's always at practice. But Nate, he's always cheering us on. When he feels like we need help, he helps us. Nate, he's a funny guy."

On James Johnson - "James is looking really good. He's been doing track, so he's gotten a lot faster from last year. He's a lot quicker. He uses his hands good. The receivers are getting better."

On Kevin Smith - "Kevin, he's a beast. His lower body is outrageous. He can jump out of the gym and everything. Guarding him is really tough."

On Cody Bruns - "We call him 'White Lightning'. That's what we call him, because he's so quick. We have a great balance of receivers, and Cody fits right in that slot position very well. He's very quick. They are going to be good."

On Devin Aguilar - "DA, he's a shifty guy. He'll cross you over. He's out here like he's playing basketball. He's a real crafty guy. They are getting us better every day."

On who is winning the war or words - him or Jermaine Kearse? - "I don't know. You have to ask Jermaine about that. We go at it every day - in the locker room, after practice, during practice - we're always battling each other. He keeps acting like he's going to stiff-arm me into the ground. He said he's going to plant me in the dirt like a seed. I don't know about that. He stiff-armed me one time in practice, I'll give him that. I'm just going to try and lock him up."

On who had the best smack talk in the Pac-10 last year - "Oregon State. Definitely Jacquizz Rodgers…he's a great player. He's always competing. That's always in his nature, you can tell. Me and him were definitely going at it."

On hearing from Cort Dennison - "We always hear Cort. He's one of the leaders of the defense. We're always hearing his voice, whether in a good situation or a bad situation. He's always going to step up for the team."

On what the QB's are doing well and what they need to work on - "They are both young quarterbacks, so they are still trying to learn the system, still trying to get their feel. But they both bring something different. Keith, he's a little shiftier. He can make you miss a lot. But Nick, he's got a strong arm. It's a combination of both - they both bring great things to the table. But they are still young, they still have to get better and get more confident. They'll be just fine."

On what game he has circled for this fall - "I'd say all of them, I haven't circled one in particular. I just want to be consistent throughout the whole season, no matter who we're playing - whether it's Eastern Washington, Hawaii or Nebraska. Whoever it is, I want to be that guy that's consistent every day. He's not just here some games, and he's there some games - I want to be there every game."

On having the fans being on the field after the practice, asking for photos and autographs - "It's great. It's something you dream about as a little kid, being able to play in front of people and people actually want your autograph, people actually look up to you. It's very humbling, in my opinion. It's great to be out here. I'm glad I'm a Husky."

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:54 pm

Keith Price Saturday Quotes

General comments - "I thought we were moving the ball pretty well. A couple of mistakes here and there, but I think overall it was a good day."

On why the offense was better than last Saturday - "Motivation. The defense kind of got after us all of last week. We wanted some revenge today."

On having chemistry with receivers - "I think it's great. They are all my close friends. We play video games, talk about different plays. It's pretty good."

On Kevin Smith - "He's a great athlete. You guys should see him play basketball, he can jump out of the gym. He's a great athlete and a great person."

On what the coaches are emphasizing - "Get rid of the ball…no sacks. That's what they are constantly harping on. When things break down, we have to throw the ball away, live to play another down."

On coaches being happy with how long he's staying in the pocket - "Coach (Sarkisian) has never put a restriction on it. He just said play. But we've been working on staying in the pocket. We've been doing a lot of pocket drills in individual…I think we're getting better."

On adding Kasen Williams to the WR corps - "We've got a lot of good receivers and a lot of good playmakers. It's going to be fun. It's going to be a long ride."

On what he knows about Kasen - "I met him on his recruiting trip. I've heard he's a beast, so we'll see."

Posted by Chris Fetters
3:21 pm

Steve Sarkisian Saturday Quotes

On the day - "I thought it was good for our fans to not have to be on the sidelines sometimes when they are at Husky Stadium…to be in the stands. It was a beautiful day, and throughout it I thought we got a lot of work done."

On getting through the monotony - "Sure, especially in spring practice and the way we do it when you space it out over five weeks. It's great because we get a lot of great teaching done, but it can get a little bit monotonous in terms of playing against each other over and over and over and stretching it out. For the first time doing it, you're always like - let's see how it goes, but I think this is something we should be looking at doing every year. I think as we start looking at next year and the renovation of Husky Stadium, this seems ideal for Spring Game."

On who stood out - "I thought Keith Price had a nice day today at quarterback. I thought he did some nice things. I liked what Chris Polk brought running the ball. I thought Jermaine (Kearse) really showed up. I thought Will Shamburger showed a lot of courage there on the back end. He really put his hat on people. And I think, I don't know for sure, but I think (Josh) Shirley had a couple more sacks, we'll have to look at the film. (Johri) Fogerson had a couple runs today too. He had one in a backed-up situation where he broke a long one, and had another one down the other sidelines, so it was good to get Johri going again as well."

On the offense improving from last Saturday - "I think so. I thought there was a little more rhythm as well to the offense today. I thought there was a couple opportunities where they drove and stalled right there on the fringe or the red zone where they settled for field goals. Through it all I liked the rhythm better, and excluding one of the late drive there wasn't a lot of penalties knocking themselves back. When they were getting a five-yard gain, it wasn't first and 15 because of a penalty, it was second and five, which is how the game should go."

On what they want to accomplish next week - "I'm going to assess that after watching the film. I'm going to find a few things to really, really focus on that we need to get done. One of which is getting back to the up-tempo stuff that we were doing earlier in the spring and revisiting that…really cleaning up all the nuances in the special teams game. We've spent a lot of time on it, so I have a feeling the Thursday practice before spring game will really be dedicated toward a lot of the special teams work to clean up a lot of the nuances of it, because we've got some new guys in there doing it. Through it all there's plenty of things to work on, it's just a matter of picking on what exactly it is so we have a focus for what the next three days are going to be."

On what Price did well - "I liked how he threw the ball downfield well. I thought his pocket presence was good, moving in the pocket…his command. I thought Nick did some nice things as well, but Keith showed some real pocket presence, and his ability to create with his feet to allow plays to develop even longer and make some plays."

On command of the huddle - "That's a work in progress. That stuff comes with confidence, more than anything. As you get more comfortable in there, it's not always easy. It's not always perfect because it can be the wrong personnel, the play call can be this, can be that, guys are lining up wrong…so that command that it takes in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage is critical and is evaluated daily. I think both have gotten better, but there's still plenty of room for there to grow in that area."

On maybe giving Price some live reps - "We're going to run our offense. And that's what we've been doing. I think Keith has a real unique style to his game to where he's not truly a runner; he's just kind of slippery and he buys time. He steps up well. They both step up well, but he's able to flush well. What's challenging in these settings, because the quarterbacks aren't live, is when to blow the whistle and when not to, to see the guy's game and what his game is all about. I tried to allow him today to play his game. There were a couple plays arguably where there could have potentially been hands - was he hit, or not? But through it all I wanted to see him play his game, and that's what it is. He's got a real point guard mentality when he plays."

On being happy where they are in their development - "Sure. Today was a real big step. We kept all the coaches on the sidelines, we signaled every play. It wasn't Nuss (Doug Nussmeier) or myself putting our arms around them and telling them the play. It's actually having to be on the field. That will be a big emphasis for us for those two guys the final three days of being on the field without all the coaches being there and watching them continue to develop. So that's going to be another step for them as well."

On the competition still being up in the air going into the fall - "When it feels right, I'm going to do it. I'm not going to put a timeline on it. We'll see where we're at."

On Garret Gilliland securing the WIL spot - "This is going to go all the way into fall camp at that position as well. We've got some guys that are injured in (Princeton) Fuimaono and with (Cooper) Pelluer at that spot. And then we also have Thomas (Tutogi) and (John) Timu and - this is just their first spring. They have eleven practices under their belt now, so that competition is going to go on for some time."

On Tutogi getting some time at MIK - "We're looking at him some at MIK, at Cort's spot. I think he's really built for that. He's a very compact guy. He plays excellent in the box and takes on blockers well, so we're giving him that opportunity to learn that position here in the second half of spring as well."

On what he expects from Deontae Cooper this fall - "Hopefully a really electric one…I think he has that ability. He's showing me every day - today wasn't a great day for him because of the lack of team stuff for the guys in the red jerseys - the ability to explode, to cut off of both legs. Part of it is just getting back into the offense. When you're sporadic, in and out, it's hard to get the rhythm of being in the offense. But hopefully he provides some electricity to our offense, a playmaking ability that we need. We have to continue to develop big-play guys. I definitely think he can be one."

On if trusting his knee is more physical or mental? - "I think it's both. It's not the easiest of rehabs, as we know. It takes time. But you have to get mentally right with that injury as well. He has the right mentality, but it's going to take a few scrimmages to get right, to believe that he can get going again. But it's proven - he's not the first guy to have an ACL, and a lot of guys have come off of them and a lot of guys have excelled - so I think he'll be fine."

On if there's a role for Cooper if every other RB is healthy - "Oh, yeah. He'll have a plenty big role."

On injuries - "I think we were OK. We were a little thin up front with (Ben) Riva and Senio (Kelemete) being out, but I thought the linemen did a nice job."

On if Riva will be back for the end of spring - "I don't know. It's concerning in the sense…I just don't want it to worsen. He's one of those guys that needs summer conditioning as much as anything to keep transforming his body. I don't want this thing to be lingering into summer conditioning to where he can't work out to keep getting better. We're going to assess it. He's had some good rest time now, so we'll see where he's at Tuesday."

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:30 pm

Spring Speak - Jonathan Amosa

Dawgman.com's Kim Grinolds spoke Thursday with Jonathan Amosa, a 6-foot, 229-pound junior fullback, who went from being a walk-on linebacker from Rainier Beach to a scholarshipped fullback who is now currently running number one on Washington's depth chart. He talked about the transition from defense to offense, going up against former Viking Alameda Ta'amu, and making the Dean's List.

On making the switch from Linebacker to Fullback - "It's pretty much the same thing as a linebacker - you take on the fullback. As a fullback, you take on the linebacker. It's been a fun journey so far - I'm loving every minute of it."

On being on scholarship - "I don't really know the details. I just know that for this year, I've got a scholarship for the full academic year. In the fall, I have to earn it back. I think so. I don't know, but I'm assuming that's how it works."

On his high school recruitment - "I was never offered out of high school. I went to Rainier Beach. Regardless, I knew I would come here and end up at the University of Washington."

On coming up through the ranks at UW as a walk-on - "It was definitely hard. You have to earn your respect as a player, and eventually you have to earn your respect as a man. You get respect from your teammates and your coaches. It's been a hard journey, but every time I watch the movie Rudy it's encouraging to me as a player and as a young individual."

On when he found out last year he was on scholarship - "It was in our team meetings, about the fourth or fifth day of (fall) camp. Coach Sark announced it during a team meeting, and I was actually the last guy he mentioned. I wasn't expecting it, I wasn't anticipating for it to happen. It just sort of happened. I just kept praying every night, and God is good. It was really a shocker. I was surprised. I was excited."

On the first person he told - "My Mom. She started crying."

On surprising the coaches this spring, especially catching the ball - "The biggest thing I can ask for is an opportunity. And I think coach Sark and his offensive style has given me that opportunity. In the past they've had Stanley Havili and a few other fullbacks, and I'm just honored to even have that opportunity to do what our fullbacks in the past have done before."

On if he's having fun playing offense - "I'm having a blast. I thank God for every morning that I get to come out here."

On hitting Alameda Ta'amu - "First time I actually hit 'Meda was actually the first day we had pads. 'Meda kind of ruined our play. I was going up, leading into the linebacker, and 'Meda showed up. That was the first time we hit each other; we never went up against each other in high school. I can see why our opponents have such a hard time."

On improving at Fullback - "I want to work more on detail, just being attentive to the details and our assignments. It's not so much the physicality; not every play has to be a bang shot - just doing my job. But really, I just want to help the team any way I can. If they want me to play receiver, play lineman, play tight end - I'll play that. I just want to help this team as much as possible."

On being more than a football player - "I identify myself as a Christian who just happens to play football. I love God and everything he's done for me."

On his UW studies and major - "American Ethnic Studies. I made the Dean's List in the winter, and that was a big boost for me. I'd never done that before."

On what's better - making the Dean's List or carrying the football - "I've got to go with the Dean's List. It's something my Mom and I talked about since I got here. My Grandma always wanted me to get my degree, so it's a personal and family thing. It's more for my family than for myself."

Posted by Chris Fetters
10:45 pm

Thursday Nick Holt Quotes

On what he saw from last Saturday's scrimmage - "I saw some of the guys, the younger kids, start to play a little quicker…play with a little more knowledge of what they're doing. They played pretty good. I'm talking about a couple of the new guys - Johnny Timu and Thomas Tutogi - more than anything. We're slowly, slowly, slowly getting down our base assignments down with our younger guys. Our older guys that have played a lot of football, they did their job, and some guys need to keep getting better. I saw some improvement by some of the younger guys, slowly. I wish we had 30 practices, because we need it. It's really a slow process, this spring."

On getting through the Dawg Days of spring right now - "Because we go every other day, we're fresh. It's a great teaching opportunity. It's a great teaching schedule, because we practice, but then we take the whole next day off. We meet - according to the rules and regulations - so it's a good day of meetings, and then we're fresh for the next day. I think our bodies feel really good, so hopefully they can keep on progressing. It's not like fall camp, where it's practice after practice after practice after practice, back-to-back-to-back. Spring ball is fun because you can teach better. You have more time, and you can take your time and teach this stuff a little better than you would during the season."

On the recent success of the pass rush - "Obviously when they don't have their full complement, that's going to happen. But that should happen. You should get a couple sacks when they don't have their full complement, or it's scary. Now I know we're all thinking, 'We're really, really good', but that's not the case yet. You get a false sense of security by having some guys hurt on the other side. But taken in a different light, it does give us some confidence and it now makes our guys believe that they can rush the passer, these new guys. They are now taking ownership and success breeds success - and that's what they're feeling, I think. Everybody's hungry now, so hopefully we're developing into…it's about time, guys that can rush the passer. And we have a little more speed on the edge now."

On Josh Shirley emerging as a legitimate threat - "He is progressing as we expected. He's not disappointed us whatsoever. He has a long ways to go in terms of the other stuff so he's a well-rounded football player - meaning against the run, and then he can rush the passer. Then he can distinguish between the two and not just be a third down player, where he can be in the game for 50-60 snaps. And that's what we're trying to develop. I think when it's all said and done…we've got four more practices here, and then a fall camp, I think hopefully by the time we strap it up in our opener against Eastern Washington, hopefully he'll be able to play for us quite a bit."

On John Timu and his development - "That's the hardest position to pick up in our defense - the linebacking stuff - because there's so much stuff. We try to make it simple, but there's so many adjustments at this level because you see so many formations. He's a really smart young man, and a smart football player. Because of his quarterback background and being that kind of a savvy player, he has some good football instincts and football knowledge. So he picks it up quicker than most guys. That's why his development is maybe a little quicker than some of the other guys."

On recruiting guys that might have been quarterbacks in high school, but pure athletes, like Timu - "We always felt here that you want to take kids with certain qualities. We always love big quarterbacks that are athletic, because they can play a couple positions. We always like that. Jake Locker, he could have been a great defensive player. You get a bunch of those type of players, you can plug them in at a lot of nice spots, because they are football guys. You've got to get size, though. You have to keep getting bigger. Hopefully Johnny will get a little bigger, but when you have that kind of savvy it's always good to recruit those type of guys."

On Thomas Tutogi and being able to plug him in right away - "We're giving him a lot of middle linebacker reps behind Cort (Dennison), and he's really picking that up good. Thomas is going to be a good player. He's a good physical player, he likes contact. He's got a lot of courage; he's a thumper. He's going to be a good player - he hasn't disappointed us at all."

On Garret Gilliland's improvement since the fall - "He's had a really good spring. He's just gotten bigger. He had a tough outing as a freshman. He was thrown to the wolves, he was thrown into the fire. We asked him to do some stuff we probably shouldn't have asked him to do, but we didn't have a lot of choices unfortunately. But he's grown up. He's got a lot of ball skills and has a lot of good instincts. He's competitive in his own right, and he's going to be a heck of a football player. He's a really good nice athlete for a linebacker - he moves well, he's got good cover skills, he runs, and he's physical. He keeps getting better the more reps he gets."

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:38 pm

Thursday Practice Report

Thursday's UW practice - the eleventh so far of spring - started out nice enough, but got blustery and cold near the end of the day.  Not a ton of dignitaries on hand today - there was a sponsors event happening in the Don James Center this afternoon, so some people that were attending that stayed over and watched the practice as well. Not too many dignitaries in the crowd, but I did spy both the Huard brothers, as well as O'Dea Head Coach Monte Kohler and a few of his players watching things.  Scott Gervais, brother of former UW RB Coach Steve Gervais - also known for his state championships at Skyline High School and beyond - was there with his two sons, Dalton and Rhys.

It was a shells and shorts practice, but the energy and spirit were still there in abundance.  Watching the one-on-ones with the WR's and DB's, there was plenty of talk going around, as well as physical play.  Kevin Smith got into it a little bit with Greg Ducre, but not too much, as Ducre is wearing a red jersey due to his off-season shoulder surgery.  Quinton Richardson was iching to get in the action, but he was held out after suffering a slight concussion at the end of Tuesday's practice.

It got even more spirited for the DB's during the 7-7 period, when Sean Parker picked off Keith Price in the end zone.  But the receivers had their moments too; Jermaine Kearse was able to win a jump ball situation with Ducre on a long pass from Nick Montana, to the cheers of the offense.

Overall, it was Price who was able to guide the offense to two touchdowns during the final team period, one TD apiece to Jermaine Kearse and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who was back from a bout of the flu, but he threw another pick - this one to John Timu - that offset his generally good day.  

Here's the very unofficial team period stats (keep in mind, it was shells and shorts, so no tackling):

Rushing: Fogerson 5-8; C. Polk 3-10 and a 1-yard TD run; Montana 2-(-14); Price 1-11; Kearse 1-8

Passing: Price 9-12 for 87 yards, two touchdowns and one interception; Montana 6-9 for 84 yards

Receiving: Kearse 3-42 yards and one 11-yard TD; K. Smith 2-50; Fogerson 2-21; Aguilar 2-18; Seferian-Jenkins 2-10 and one 6-yard TD; Bruns 1-18; Domanski 1-12; C. Polk 1-3; Wilson 1-(-3)

Josh Shirley had back-to-back seven-yard sacks to end practice.

Jesse Callier, who wasn't in red Tuesday, was back in red Thursday, although Steve Sarkisian said after practice that the sophomore RB got a lot of work in.  Zach Fogerson remains in red, so that meant Jonathan Amosa took a lot of reps with the ones at fullback.  Senio Kelemete was back out at practice, and the foot suffering from Plantar Faciitis was not in a boot, but he did not practice.  Kelemete may have given his boot to Ben Riva, who was wearing one on his right foot Thursday.  Sarkisian said after practice the RS frosh was suffering from a 'sore, swollen foot' and was day-to-day.

Posted by Staff
7:23 pm

Steve Sarkisian Thursday Practice Quotes

On Ben Riva - "He's got a sore, swollen foot right now. We don't think it's serious… just giving it some rest. It's kind of day to day right now."

On Jesse Callier back in red - "He did a lot more today than he had been doing. But again, we're just trying to bring him back. I don't want that thing to linger."

On Keith Price doing well during the team drill - "I thought really both of them did. They both did some nice things. Couple turnovers today, couple interceptions by the defense, which is actually good. We're getting our hands on balls. There was a big emphasis on red zone today, 7-on-7, and then there the end of practice. I thought the offense did some nice things. Big emphasis on more power, two tight-end formations stuff today that was good."

On Quinton Richardson - "He's got a mild concussion where we're treating it with all of the right precautions."

On when he hurt himself - "At the end of Tuesday's practice."

On Saturday's practice, and if there was a reason for moving it - "I've always kind of thought about it, but I wanted to try and wait for the right time. And I feel like when you announce those things too early, then it kind of gets a little watered down…the news gets made way too far in advance. It felt like the time was right for where we were. I felt like Saturday's practice and heading into Tuesday's…I thought we needed something to give us a boost shot and get us going. And I thought our guys came out with quite a bit of energy today on both sides of the ball and were very enthusiastic. I think we'll be that way again on Saturday. A change in scenery sometimes, that can happen. It sounds like we're going to have good weather, so it should be fun."

On being near the end of spring and having to get through the 'Dawg Days' - "It gets a little bit monotonous, in a sense. We're getting great work, and we're working on so many special situations within the game, and we're improving at them. But sometimes, it's the end of week four, and who are we play next? Oh, we're playing each other again. So sometimes you change the venue and it feels different. So that's why we're doing it."

On Skyler Fancher and Kanczugowksi backing up Riva at RT - "They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I thought Skyler had a good day today, probably his best day. All of a sudden you go with the ones and you have your best day, so sometimes that helps. And we can't forget about Erik (Kohler) at that spot, so we've got a lot of options there, and we just have to make sure we give them all enough opportunities to show what they are all about."

On running a lot of special situations - "We try never to go out to run plays just for the sake of running plays. There should always be a purpose, and we've done that - but I just think our emphasis is there a lot more this year than before. Our kids are really responding to it better, and in turn I think we're performing better in those situations."

On Deontae Cooper having a big opportunity to play right away and if that's something the coaches sell in recruiting - "Every spot is different and every opportunity is different. They all want to play, but the reality is you don't just want to play but you want to play really well when you get your opportunity. So that's the challenge, and some guys are more prepared than others for that. And I really felt like Deontae was that way. He had come from a very good high school. We knew his coach extremely well, he had carried the ball so much in a physical nature that I felt like he could handle the pounding. We had had him in a camp here during the summer, he showed that as well. So I think we realized that the opportunity was there for him and he realized that as well.''

On Jonathan Amosa - "He's been impressive. He's got a heavy head. He's not afraid at all. He shows a lot of courage. He catches the ball better out of the backfield better than I anticipated he would and he's really come along. I've been extremely impressed through 11 practices he has just improved at a very good rate.''

On Amosa moving to fullback - "It was a thin position for us. I didn't feel great about our depth at that position and at linebacker we had so many guys we knew we had to give reps too that I just felt like, well if he's going to get one or two reps a day at defense I'd rather him come to offense and get 20-25-30 reps a day.''

On the format for Saturday's scrimmage at Memorial Stadium - "It will be about the same. We've got to monitor it closely. Going to watch closely to see if we get Ben Riva back. If we get Chris Robinson back. All the sudden you start getting a little thin on the defensive line, on the O line we've got to be smart with how much we are banging on each other. So we've got to see. The plan right now is not to have any 7-on-7 work and just scrimmage but if I don't feel like we are going to get those guys back we may do a little more 7-on-7 and back off the scrimmage stuff just a tad.''

On having nine OLs available today - "It worked today. I think we'll get Derek Weston back, a walk-on who was ill today --- we've got a little flu bug floating around. We should get him back to get us back to 10. So we will  just monitor it and see what it feels like Tuesday.''

On if going to Memorial Stadium is a precursor for needing a place for a spring game next year - "We're going to look at it right this Saturday as a potential, what-would-the-spring-game-look-like next  year at Memorial Stadium, what would  if feel like and all of that. So that is part of the reason we are going over there as well is to see if this is a possible venue for the spring game next year.''

Posted by Staff
1:00 pm

Chris Fetters talks UW Recruiting with Softy

Dawgman.com's Chris Fetters spoke Thursday morning with Dave 'Softy' Mahler of KJR, and they talked UW recruiting - namely Jeff Lindquist, Josh Garnett, Zach Banner, and how things are looking for the class of 2012 in the state of Washington.

Chris Fetters talks UW recruiting with Dave 'Softy' Mahler

Posted by Scott Eklund
8:15 am

Antavius Sims Update

The one surprise from Signing Day in February was the addition of Ventura ATH Antavius Sims to the 2011 recruiting class. The talented athlete played QB for the Pirates the past two years, but it is expected that he will play corner for the Huskies. How is he coming along in his attemtp to get qualified? Dawgman.com spoke to one of his coaches recently to find out and here's what he had to say...

Posted by Scott Eklund
11:30 am

Sione Potoae (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Sione Potoae Quotes

On how he feels about his progress: "I'm still progressing. I'm still learning the scheme and trying to get my assignments down, but I love our scheme and how aggressive we are. I love coach (Nick) Holt. He's so high energy and he loves to get after the offense. That's what I love to do."

On some of his numbers: "I don't know what they got my height at, but right now I'm at 280 (pounds) and I'm repping (10 times) 315 pounds (on the bench)."

On the leadership along the defensive line: "Both Alameda (Ta'amu) and Everrette (Thompson) are phenomenal people and players. They just help me out with the ups and downs and in the film room they've been showing me different things I can work on and they point out the little details that can take you from being good to being great. It makes me better."

On the bond along the defensive line, especially the Poly players: "I feel it's more than that. It kinda breaks that race barrier because it's not just about the Poly's but the whole team especially guys who aren't Poly guys, guys like Andrew (Hudson) and Chris (Robinson) and Pete (Galbraith). We all get along and we all have one goal and that's to make the Huskies dominant up front."

On what he's looking forward to this season: "I can't wait to get out there and play more. I played a lot last year, especially as the season was winding down, but I want to play as much as possible. We rotate a lot, so I won't be in on every down, but when I have a chance to be in there I want to make plays to help my team. We want to win it all. That's our goal and something we are striving for."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
11:30 am

Everrette Thompson (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Everrette Thompson Quotes

On how he's feeling so far this spring: "I'm excited. It's been great out here. Last year I was injured (torn Achilles) so this year the coaches are just keeping track of me, making sure I'm not under too much stress and keeping me fresh. They are limiting my reps, so when I get a chance to get out and make plays, that's what I have to do."

On why he's so versatile: "This is my third year in the system so I know the whole front; what the coaches are trying to do; the concepts on the defense. That allows me to be more versatile I think. Also I just hustle a lot and knowing the defense better lets me play faster."

On being the elder statesmen along with Alameda Ta'amu: "I remember when we first got here and we didn't know a damn thing and now guys are looking to us to help them. We're just trying to pass along our knowledge to help the younger guys like the older guys, guys like Daniel (Te'o Nesheim), did for us when we first got here."

On Sione Potoae: "Sione always has a smile and he has a great attitude. He's got all the tools to be a great player. Football is a tough game and it's something you have to learn at all the time. People don't understand all the little stuff you have to learn. He might always have a smile, but he plays aggressive and he's an angry player. He turns it on when he's on the field and he's going to be a really great player."

On the Poly connection: "We're always looking out for each other. We trust each other. We connect with everyone regardless of race, but we have (Poly) guys from all over – from Hawaii from (Seattle) from California – so it's an interesting mix of guys, but we all want the same things and that's to be the best players we can be and to help lead the Dawgs to a championship."

On his goals for his senior season: "We want to win the Pac 12. Our goal is always to win the conference and go to the Rose Bowl. Other than that, it's about playing well, staying healthy and just enjoying my last season here."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:49 pm

Jermaine Kearse (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Tuesday Practice Notes

It was easily the nicest day we've had so far for spring practice. The sun was out and shining bright.

Found out during practice that Saturday's practice will be at Memorial Stadium. Coach Sarkisian said that similar to last Saturday's practice, they are going to try and get close to 100 scrimmage plays in on the day. When asked why he made the move, he said it was just a chance to mix things up again, give the team a fresh look and something new.

You can find out more by clicking on the link. http://www.gohuskies.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/ 041911aad.html

Austin Seferian-Jenkins was out with the flu, Steve Sarkisian confirmed after practice. Not sure when Austin will return to practice. Chris Robinson was held out after banging his knee Saturday during their scrimmage. RB Jesse Callier took off his red jersey today, but didn't do much at all during the final team periods. Sark wants to make sure they bring him along slowly so their isn't a relapse in the fall. And Zach Fogerson continues to wear red because he hasn't been cleared by doctors yet for the head injury he suffered last week.

Highlight of the team period was a 38-yard pick-six by Cort Dennison of Keith Price during the second play of the first drive. The defense also had six touch sacks during the final two team periods by my very unofficial count. Also during that first drive, DT Alameda Ta'amu blew up the middle of the UW offense, recording back-to-back sacks for a minus-11 yards. Josh Shirley, Pete Galbraith, Hauoli Jamora and Dennison also recorded a sack apiece.

Because Senio Kelemete continues to sit out while he recovers from his plantar faciitis injury, Erik Kohler is filling in at the No. 1 LT spot, backed up by Micah Hatchie.

The offense got their licks in too, but they never reached the end zone. Here's my unofficial offensive stats for the last two team periods during Tuesday's practice (QB rush totals includes sack yardage).

Rushing: Price 7(-29), Polk 3-5, J. Fogerson 2-8, Sager 1-4, Wilson 1-1, Montana 1(-3)
Passing: Price 9-18 for 115 yards and one interception; Montana 11-22 for 116 yards
Receiving: Kearse 5-80, Johnson 4-40, C. Polk 3-22, Aguilar 2-43. Hartvigson 2-13, Domanski 1-14, Bruns 1-10, Sager 1-9, Wilson 1-5

As was the case Saturday, the defense seemed to really rule the field during the first part of the team periods, but the offense came back and started to make some headway by the time it was all over.

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:24 pm

Steve Sarkisian Tuesday Quotes

On reviewing the tape from Saturday - "It was a lot of what I felt happened. I thought our defensive line did a nice job on early downs defending the run. We were able to play some 8-man front football at that time, relying on our corners to make their plays on one-on-one coverage. The offense got put into some really difficult passing situations, especially early with a couple penalties that hurt themselves. Our defense was able to rush the passer, and when you get into that mode, we see it all the time in games - it's like getting into a rhythm rushing the passer. And I thought we were able to do that.

"And I thought we were a little hesitant up front on the offensive line, maybe thinking a little too much. But through it all - and again what I was really impressed with - was the offense's ability to regroup. The reality is, we ran about 60 plays in that period at the end. When you think about it, 60 plays combined by both offenses, that might be a half a football - maybe a little less. For their ability to regroup and find their way on three out of their last four drives I thought was impressive on their end - to show some of that leadership that is needed. We don't just keep going backwards, they found a way to regroup and get things going. Those things might happen where you struggle, but that doesn't mean the game has to be over.

"Through it all, I thought it was good. I liked the physicality of the goal-line sequencing from Saturday. I thought both sides tried really hard. We weren't right a lot of the times for the first time being down there. I thought it was a productive day, but one where we can get better, and we will get better from."

On the backup corners - "I think Tony Gobern and Marquis Persley have really improved, and that's a real credit to coach Martin. They've really improved in their ability to play one-on-one coverage. And we've always loved Greg Ducre. Unfortunately he hasn't been able to be physical in this spring, but we've gotten a lot of valuable reps from him in coveraging and different things, covering guys and whatnot. He shows elite quickness and speed, and now his understanding of what we're doing has grown and grown. I'm excited about him when we get back to the fall and he can play physical football again."

On Austin Seferian-Jenkins - "He's just sick. I think it's the flu bug that's been floating around."

On the decision to scrimmage at Memorial Stadium - "We wanted to change it up. Sometimes you get into spring ball and it gets a little monotonous when you're going up against each other over and over in the same setting. We've switched it up some and have gone into the Dempsey to kind of change the scenery, and I just think - lets go down to Memorial Stadium. Some of our local kids have had great memories there playing in high school. And I think it'll be fun for our fans. Just something unique and different to spice it up."

On Nick Montana working with the ones during the team period - "We've been doing that all camp. You keep writing that Nick goes with the ones, I don't know why. They alternate everything."

On Erik Kohler and playing left tackle - "This is challenging right now. We're putting them - and this is a credit to our defense, let's hope we can keep doing this in the fall - we're putting them in a lot of one-on-one matchups. Because of a lot of the five-man rush stuff we're doing, if you're not right technically, and if you're not really locked into the scheme so that you're right in your technique, you're going to be beat by Jamora, you're going to be beat by Shirley. Those guys can rush the passer. They'll go three or four plays where they're right on it and are doing things right in the run game, but the problem is when they make a mistake - an Erik Kohler or a Ben Riva at right tackle - when we make a mistake, they get beat, and it's a sack. Hopefully we can continue to the point where we understand the scheme and understand the technique and the fundamentals that it's going to take to be sound over an extended period of time - not just three or four snaps at a time."

On any offensive leaders emerging after Saturday - "Thinking back, I don't think it totally came out in a vocal way, but one guy that day was Kevin Smith. He provides a lot of energy, and he did it with his play on Saturday. He had three or four plays in there that provided a spark for the offense and got everyone going. He didn't have to say a whole lot. It's just his demeanor, his personality.

"The other guy that hasn't been going, who I think also provides that to us, is Jesse Callier. He's got this bubbly personality about him, and it's in his style of play that's infectious. I thought once Kevin got going, I thought the offensive players were like, it's OK to play to have fun again and play football. And then Chris (Polk) makes his plays, and Austin makes his plays, and things just kind of went from there."

On taking Jesse Callier's red shirt off Tuesday - "We wanted to try to get him a little more stuff in…one thing that concerns me, whenever a guy has an ankle, if you keep pushing them back too soon, it can linger and linger, and then all of a sudden it's into the off-season conditioning and summer conditioning. I want to make sure we get that ankle healthy, because the last thing I want is, two weeks into training camp we're standing here talking about Jesse's red shirt still because of his ankle. So we're trying to get him right."

On Zach Fogerson's status: "He just hasn't passed the concussion test and it's a credit to our doctors; obviously we take it very seriously and until he passes it he's not going to get to practice."

On what they've seen from Zach Fogerson: "I wish we could keep it going because he's made so much improvement at running the ball, in protection, in catching the ball out of the backfield, in blocking, that I wish we could just stay on that upward trend so we've had a little bit of a setback, but hopefully we can get him back. We still have five really valuable practices to go and when you think about it that's a third of spring ball. It feels like we're almost done, but we've still got a third left so there's some valuable things we can get done still, but we've still got to get him back."

  On Senio Kelemete possibly being back before the end of spring: "I don't know. Obviously I'm not going to push. These reps that our guys are getting up front are so valuable. We're walking off the field today and there's mistakes on both sides and some good plays on both sides, but we're not losing and we're not winning, we're getting better and that's the idea behind spring ball. Would I like to have Senio? Sure, but at the end of the day, who's to say that something doesn't happen to Senio in week one of the season. All of these reps that we're getting now up front without him are invaluable for us if something were to happen in season, we're not going through growing the same growing pains, we're getting them done now."

  On the ‘Three for the Show' program on tonight featuring Jake Locker: "Obviously, I have all the respect in the world for ESPN and they've put on some great shows in this same fashion and style and I think we handle ourselves with class so through it all it will give a great insight obviously into Jake and everything he went through throughout the season and what he's going through to get ready for the draft, but also into our football team. They had a chance to be there through the good times, through some really low times to some really great times at the end of the year."

  On Jamora and Shirley's contributions: "I think they're coming. Hauoli has done a lot more of that because of all the playing time he got last year and I think Josh has really come on as well. I think one area for me that has impressed me is their ability to play the run. They are playing the run well. I think so much, you see 22 rushing the passer or 52 getting the sack and you think that's all they do, but the reality is they are in there on first and second down too and making their plays and defending the run. They're young wo we've got to continue to put them in situations where they can raise their Football I.Q."

  On the five man DL front: "Oh we're using it. It's been too good. Obviously, depending on the game and the opponent and situations it will play itself out more than at other times, but without a doubt it's part of our defense."

  On how important it is to have that element: "It's huge. It's something we really haven't had here for two years – a consistent pass rush. In year one we got it from Daniel (Te'o Nesheim) and his relentless effort while getting double and triple teamed. Last year, it took a while, but it finally started to come late in the year with Hauoli and then using Mason (Foster) at defensive and his ability to rush the passer. So now, what's cool is that it's not coming from just one place. We've got enough variety in there that it's just part of us now and hopefully we can continue to grow in that area because I think it will only help us on third down. I think we all can remember so many times where we couldn't get off the field last year and drives were extended. It obviously helps us there, but it helps on the first down pass-rush too where we got hurt some last year where guys would have play-action pass and have so much time to throw the ball and it puts your DBs in hard positions as well when you have to cover that long."

  On mixing things up again on Saturday: "We'll break it up into three scrimmage segments which will be broken up by special teams segments. We'll hopefully get about 100 plays again, 90 to 100 plays, but mixed in will be a segment of the special team that we want to focus on."

  On Chris Robinson: "It was from Saturday, when he banged his knee on the ground, it was a little swollen, but it's not serious. Again, this is a long term goal for him to get him right. He's played really good football and I just don't want him to have a setback where he sits out for a weeks at a time, so we sat him out today and hopefully we have him back for Saturday."

Posted by Kim Grinolds
11:45 pm

Evan Hudson Q&A

Height and Weight - "6-5.5, 260."

On trying to play both football and baseball in the spring - "I'm doing both, switching it up. When I can get away from there, I come here. I've missed a couple practices, but when I have an off day I can get out here. It's been pretty hard, but I'm trying to get my work in - get in and get out. If I can get into both of them some days, I've done that. It's pretty tough. I'm not out there hitting and stuff, so if I'm not throwing and stuff my coach lets me out early. He's pretty cool about it."

On pitching so far this spring - "I was a little rusty. I injured my shoulder last fall, so I couldn't couldn't really throw in the off-season."

On his best pitch - "Fastball. I've been clocked at 94, but I sit at 90-91…88-89."

On any football players that think they can hit him - "Willis Wilson always says he can, but I doubt it."

On why he's a tight end instead of QB, with such a live arm - "I've never played quarterback. I was always too big in the junior leagues. I was always playing with guys that are juniors now in college. I was always playing line or tight end, because I wasn't as athletic as them because I was three years younger or two years younger than them. So I never really got a chance to play quarterback."

On the MLB draft out of Bothell High School - "Out of the draft, a lot of teams talked to me…they said they would have drafted me, but the money they said they could have given me wasn't enough for me to forego college. I talked to them and told them that I would be glad to negotiate it again in three years, but I just want to go to college and play baseball, because I didn't want to take that low of money."

On how he came to UW - "As of September I was going to Wazzu for baseball on a scholarship - a 70 percent scholarship - but halfway through football season I decided that I really liked football and I wanted to go to U-Dub. We would always go to the games, and we were here at the 'SC game, and that's what kind of turned it. We were in the locker room and everything, and that was kind of awesome. So that kind of made me want to play football."

On being able to handle the football workouts as a baseball player - "I've always played football, I've played football since the second grade. It's always been my love as much as baseball. Kind of whatever season it is, that what I like the most."

On if he sees a football player or baseball player when he looks in the mirror - "I don't really know. I get out on the football field and I love it, but when I'm on the mound it's awesome too. Either one is a great opportunity for me, so I'll take what I can get."

On how the football practices have been going - "I'm doing pretty good, I feel. I'm getting my reps in. Me and Mike and Austin are all getting a ton of reps, so we're all getting a lot better. It's fun. I'm just trying to get as much work in as I can."

On Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Michael Hartvigson being jokesters - "Austin's alright, but Mike - I've grown up with him all my life. He's a clown. I can deal with him. I've been around him my whole life."

On what he's working on this spring - "My footwork…small technique. I'm getting the playbook down pat. Every once in a while there's a little mishap, but that's going to happen in spring because you're a little rusty. But I think just little things like footwork, hand placement…little things like that."

Posted by Chris Wells
11:10 pm

Kevin Davis will not enroll at UW

With Washington on a country-wide search for big men to fill out their class, they have officially dropped one of their current big man commitments, Kevin Davis. According to Tacoma Community College head coach Carl Howell, Davis is no longer expected to arrive at Montlake for the 2011/2012 season.

"No, he will not be attending the University of Washington next year," Howell said. "The UW will continue to evaluate him next season."

Although Davis was only a freshman at TCC, he was expected to complete his associate degree requirements this summer, making him more likely to be eligible to attend Washington in the fall.

However, if Davis is to don the purple and gold now, he will have to wait till at least the 2012/2013 season. He will then either be a redshirt sophomore or junior, depending on how he is used this year at Tacoma.

During his freshman campaign at Tacoma, Davis averaged 9.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.4 steals per game for the 26-3 Titans, while serving mainly as the first man off of the bench. Prior to arriving at Tacoma, Davis spent the spring quarter of 2010 at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho. He transferred back home to be closer to his daughter, Kaylanie.

In high school, Davis was slow to emerge on the scene, but he sparked Washington's attention after a tremendous senior season in 2009/2010 when he averaged 21.3 points, 15.3 rebounds and 6.6 blocks a game for Todd Beamer High School.

Washington will now continue their search for front-line depth with two spots vacant for next fall. One prospect that is currently on UW's campus on an official visit is God's Gift Achiuwa, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound power forward from Erie (NY) Community College.

Posted by Scott Eklund
1:00 pm

Saturday Podcasts

There were no guests on today's Dawgman.com radio, but Kim Grinolds, Chris Fetters and Scott Eklund talked a lot about spring ball so far and they also hit on some recruiting information.

Here is a link to the podcasts.

Posted by Scott Eklund
12:55 pm

John Gruden's QB Camp: Jake Locker

Former Husky QB Jake Locker was on with former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst John Gruden's QB Camp.

See below for the video...

Posted by Chris Fetters
8:29 pm

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Thursday Practice Report

For those looking to be out at Husky Stadium Saturday at 11, there's been a slight tweak in the schedule. To help smooth thing out for the coaches clinic that is running Friday and Saturday, UW's Saturday practice won't start until 1. And for those that went to last weekend's workout, expect a similar type scrimmage environment, where the team will work on specific down-and-distance scenarios, red zone, two-minute, four-minute, no-huddle, etc…

Their coaches clinic starts Friday, but there were already some faces out at practice Thursday - most notably Houston Head Coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin, who Washington State was looking at before they hired Paul Wulff, started his coaching career out in the Palouse as a graduate assistant at WSU, first under Dennis Erickson, and then Mike Price.

A former Cougar was in attendance, Michael Bumpus. He was joined by former Seahawk Courtney Taylor. Two incoming Huskies - Dexter Charles and Danny Shelton - were there, as well as 2012 TE prospect from Kentridge, Caleb Smith. Shelon looked trim compared to when we saw him back at the end of January, probably down 10-15 pounds.

The two players that were injured Tuesday, running backs Jesse Callier and Zach Fogerson, were in red Thursday, but Steve Sarkisian reiterated after practice that they are just being held out for precaution, and they are both expected back soon. Because of the sudden lack of depth at the running back position, Willis Wilson got a lot of carries Thursday, and looked quick.

Sarkisian was asked about the battle brewing between Michael Hartvigson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and he said he wasn't worried at this point about naming a starter, as both will be used liberally this fall. The true frosh Seferian-Jenkins, arguably the top tight end for the high school recruiting class of 2011, has continued to impress with his big frame, ability to find seams in the defense, and make tough catches with his soft hands. And for good measure, he was the last UW player to leave the Dempsey Indoor, because he put in extra time on the blocking sled.

The no-huddle period that Sarkisian and his staff introduced this spring appears to be reaping some benefits. Sark said after practice that it get the team energized, because they put it near the beginning of practice - but at the same time it helps the young quarterbacks - Keith Price and Nick Montana - get calm and settle themselves down for the rest of practice. It's a bit of an ironic twist, but getting things hyped up during the no-huddle has actually helped them dial it in and get the things done that need to be taken care of.

Price moved the team down twice in the no-huddle period, and Erik Folk converted on a 45-yard field goal to end the period on a high note for the offense. Will Shamburger should have had a pick against Montana during that period, and Price is lucky Quinton Richardson didn't take one of his sideline passes to the house.

During the team period, Josh Shirley looked to get some time with the one defense, opposite Hauoli Jamora. Talia Crichton, even though he was working mostly with the twos, seemed to put in a lot more work Thursday. Both quarterbacks looked good early in this drill, as Montana found Seferian-Jenkins for a big gainer. The redshirt frosh QB also found Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar, and put a pass right between Evan Hudson's numbers, but the man from Bothell couldn't gather it in.

Price also looked solid, making completions early to Kevin Smith (he also had a nice throw to Smith during the no-huddle period that finished up right next to the end zone), and Seferian-Jenkins - but he also had some incompletions along the way. It was definitely a bit of a mixed bag for the passing game, but Sarkisian seemed to be pleased with it after practice, and it was definitely better than what they showed on Tuesday.

Both Sarkisian - for the offense - and Nick Holt, for the defense, still bemoaned the lack of numbers when it comes to leadership. Holt said that the defense can't always rely on just having Cort Dennison do everything in that regard, and he's seeing players along the DL and secondary step up, but wants to hear it even more - especially from the safeties. And Sarkisian definitely wants leaders to emerge at all positions on the offense, so that if one of the leaders does go down, they have 'flattened out' the leadership curve so that others can fill that void without missing a beat. Watching to see who comes to the fore in the leadership positions will continue to be an interesting facet of practice to watch as Thursday marked the first practice of the second half of spring.

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:31 pm

Steve Sarkisian Thursday Quotes

On if there are others who can handle the mantle of leadership for the defense beside Cort Dennison: "I think so. I like what Everrette Thompson brings to the table. Quinton (Richardson) and Desmond (Trufant) and Nate Fellner. I like what Hau'oli Jamora brings. He's only started one year but he has a real presence, and obviously Alameda Ta'amu, as well. So we've got guys, I just think sometimes the Mike backer because he calls our defense is so vocal all the time that it is important to flatten out the leadership a little but so it's not one pinnacle that if something did happen to Cort, who is our leadership coming from now. So we are constantly trying to spread it out a little bit.''

On if there is a danger of falling into patterns with that: "I don't think so because each position group has its own natural leaders emerging. And that stuff evolves in and of itself, and those guys when they have their moments in their own meetings or position groups, they have their moments when they can be vocal and speak up, and then as practice goes on they are able to as well. So I'm not nearly as concerned defensively as what I expressed the other day about the offense about getting that leadership right to where we need to be.''

On Everrette Thompson: "I think he's having a very nice (spring). To his credit he doesn't play just one position --- we move him around quite a bit. I love his strength now --- he's finally got the leg strength needed to play in there and I thought he got better as the year went on last year. Through it all he had a good off-season. He's a very strong kid upper-body wise and he's got his lower body strength right and he has performed very well.''

On what he likes of the defensive alignments with both Hau'oli Jamora and Josh Shirley on the field: "I like it all so far. I'm trying to find a downside. Everything we do, not only are we looking for the positives but for the potential  negatives. The only thing right now really that has hindered us is just getting Josh comfortable in the pass game when he's not rushing the passer to where he feels really good because he's plenty good enough athlete to do it. But man he is a terror coming off the edge along with Hau'oli, and then with 'Meda pushing the middle it's tough.''

On Zach Fogerson and Jesse Callier: "Jesse really improved today. Zach had a mild concussion. Neither of them, it's not serious as concussions can be, it's not camp-threatening or anything of that nature and he should be okay and I would expect Jesse to be back very quickly.''

On the Saturday plan: "There won't be a full-blown scrimmage. It's going to be a very controlled atmosphere in the sense that we are going to have different scrimmage settings as the practice goes on, but we are not going to just put the ball down and play. We are going to focus on the situations of the game. Again, as we touched on at the beginning of spring, we are a football team that has played quite a bit of football but we are still very young in my opinion and we are really trying to hone in on the special situations of the game and understand those situations, so we are going to have a goalline period on that day that we understand, and some different situations. And then we will ove the ball like we do at the end of every practice. Really, when you add it all up, we will have a 100-play scrimmage, it just won't always appear like that to the naked eye because we break it up in segments and try to give our guys some rest. Because the challenge of it is, in spring ball we are 25 guys short who would normally be playing and it's easy to just go and scrimmage. But in the spring, that's when injuries occur because guys are tired, you don't have as many bodies, you are rotating them quicker and that's how guys fall down, get rolled up on and get hurt. So our emphasis has been on, we are breaking it up into segments, we mix it up with special teams and individual settings and different things so that our guys are fresh when we are scrimmaging and we get the best and most out of them.''

On if he'll have a full scrimmage this spring - "Potentially the Spring Game. We're three injuries away, we can't have two teams. That's the way spring ball goes. I'd like to do something like that - it would be good for our fans. But at the end of the day, I want our guys to go out and play really well and be healthy when it's all said and done after 15 practices."

On Victor Burnett - "He had a death in his family."

On James Johnson - "I thought today was by far and away his best day. I thought he did some nice things, especially underneath in coverages. I thought the passing game in general had a really nice day for the offense today, and there was a really big emphasis on that. But I thought James by far and away had his best day."

On James getting lost after his injury - "The other guys stepped up. And I don't think that's a knock on James; it's a credit to Jermaine and Devin and Kevin Smith and Cody Bruns. They kept working, and you can't fault them for that."

On the tight end battle, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins stepping up - "He did. The first one kind of spooked him a little - it bounced off his head. I like both those two kids. I'm not concerned about naming a starter there or anything. We're going to play with both of them, and both will be big contributors for us."

On Chris Robinson - "Chris has really been showing up, and we've been trying to get him more reps. He worked in with the ones quite a bit more today. He's a factor. Chris is a very strong young man, one of the strongest kids on our team. He's not one of the tallest guys, so he's low to the ground. With his quickness and power, he causes some problems on the inside."

On using the RB's in the pass game - "I think it's been really good. It's been one of our points of emphasis for us, and our guys have responded. Chris, and Jesse - when he's been able to go - and then obviously Johri, those three guys have caught the ball really well. Willis Wilson…we're getting Deontae going a little bit more when we're into our 7-on-7 setting, which has been good. To me, in the passing game, what's been encouraging to me is that we've been distributing the ball to five different people. All five potential receivers are threats now; we're not just isolated with one or two guys where they can get doubled and different things…the ball can get spread around, and in turn we're getting more singled-up matchups and guys are making plays."

On Kiel Rasp hitting the ceiling of the Dempsey Indoor - "I think he does intentionally, just to say that we should be outside. But I guess that's supposed to mean it's a good punt - I'm not sure. It does go high."

On where Will Mahan is with his knee - "He's been a lot like Deontae. This spring has been good for them just to get back in the swing of things, so when fall camp rolls around, they're just rolling. It's just back to normal for them, so I've been encouraged by what Will has been able to do."

On watching the punters during practice - "I watch them. Every day when they go to punt, I watch them. I'm evaluating them. It's not just about the striking of the ball, but the times and all the things. We're a big directional punt team, so are they able to do that? There's been a lot of evaluation that's gone on."

On seeing benefits from the no huddle period - "I think so. Our guys have responded much better every day that we've gone to it - they've responded better. We've kept our composure much better. The first two days, our composure wasn't great; we were a little helter-skelter. Now we're a little more comfortable in the environment, more calm and composed. In turn, we're executing better."

On getting energy from the no huddle period - "It's a good kick-start to practice. It gets us going and gets everybody excited. To me, it sets the tone for where we're headed for the day."

Posted by Scott Eklund
6:45 am

Washington signee Marvin Hall still working to get qualified

Spoke with Dorsey WR/RET Marvin Hall recently...here's what he had to say...

"Things are going good," Hall said. "I've talked to the (Washington) coaches pretty regularly. We don't really talk much about football though. A lot has been about me staying up on what I need to do and getting my SAT scores up.

"I've taken the test twice and I'm short on what my score needs to be. I'm taking the SAT class right now and I'm re-taking the test next month (May 7th). I'm feeling a lot more confident right now, but I have to keep working on things so that I can qualify."

He did mention to Dawgman.com that he plans to keep taking the test for as long as he can in order to get where he needs to be.

"I can't let this opportunity pass me up," Hall said. "I realize that and the coaches have been making sure I know that too."

On the lighter side, he told Dawgman.com that he recently ran a 10.82 (electronic) in track and that he feels stronger and faster than he's been since he got to high school.

We will continue to keep track of things and will update news as it breaks in Hall's attempts to qualify.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
8:18 pm

Everrette Thompson (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Tuesday Practice Report:

It was a great day in Seattle to go out and watch a practice at Husky Stadium. The weather was mild, and some dignitaries were in attendance, including former UW Head Coach Jim Lambright. UW Men's Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar was also seen, as well as one of his assistant coaches, Raphael Chillious. Former standout QB Bob Schloredt was also there, as was Dick Baird, Hugh Millen, Nate Williams, and UW AD Scott Woodward. Husky signee Dexter Charles was also at practice, as he hasn't missed one spring workout yet.

With Senio Kelemete out with his right foot in a boot, the result of his plantar faciitis going 'pop', it once again put the offensive line in a bit of a scramble. Erik Kohler took his first team reps, while the rest of the first and second teams looked similar to what has been run all spring.

During the first team period, Chris Robinson came in and started alongside Alameda Ta'amu, but then switched with Sione Potoae. They both got plenty of reps next to big 'Meda. Similarly, John Timu played a lot more with the ones at SAM, mixing reps with Jamaal Kearse. Taz Stevenson, still wearing red, mixed reps at the free safety ones with Nate Fellner, next to Sean Parker, who is also still wearing red.

Overall, it was a rough practice for the offense, who worked on some specific scenarios during the final team scrimmage period. First, the coaches had the offense start in the shadow of their own end zone, and they didn't have much success at all. For the first time all camp, neither quarterback really distinguished themselves from the other, although Nick Montana had some success moving the ball against the twos but was still only able to muster a couple of first downs. The number-one defense looked really stout, especially on the defensive line with a healthy Everrette Thompson.

The younger linebackers, led by Timu, Thomas Tutogi, Garret Gilliland, Jamaal Kearse, and Jordan Wallace, all looked very active and energetic.

Desmond Trufant was on top of his half of the field, batting down consecutive passes during the team scrimmage.

The last part of the team scrimmage was a simulated overtime period, where both QB's got two cracks apiece at trying to score, or at least getting a field goal put up on the board. The defense really stiffened their resistance, forcing field goal attempts from long range. Because Erik Folk wasn't warmed up in time, Eric Guttorp tried the first three field goals, the shortest coming from 41 yards, and he missed all three. Folk came on at the end to try a 44-yard kick when the offense stalled again, but his try was wide left. On one particular sequence during this period, Andrew Hudson started out with a tackle for loss on Johri Fogerson. Then Montana connected with James Johnson, but Anthony Gobern was able to stand Johnson up until the cavalry arrived in the form of Wallace, who laid a huge thump on the junior receiver. The defense set the tone physically and carried it out throughout the entire team period.

Sarkisian looked to the defense and called on Timu to kick one from 15-yards out, and he made it - to the obvious delight of his teammates in white. "I'm glad he made it," Sarkisian said. "If he missed, I would have called on someone else. Maybe I would have kicked it next. We had our field goal session earlier, and I wanted Erik Folk to get warmed up, and he wasn't warm yet. And they weren't easy field goals; we kind of kept going backwards in that period."

During the first field goal period of the day, Folk was 4-6 with a long of 48 yards.

Overall, it was a day for the offense to wipe off the books; during the final scrimmage session Montana was 9-14 for 63 yards and Keith Price was 5-10 for 31 yards, counting my very unofficial stats. But during the special situations, they really struggled; Montana was 5-10 for 33 yards and Price was 1-6 for 5 yards.

The running backs didn't fare much better, carrying the ball 17 times for 50 yards, led by Johri Fogerson's five touches for 20 yards. His younger brother Zach had three rushes for 15 yards. Chris Polk carried three times for two yards, and was part of what looked to be a fumble caused by Cort Dennison stripping the ball as he was going to ground. The play appeared to be ruled dead, but from my vantage point it looked like Dennison stripped it cleanly at the 35-yard line, where it was scooped up by Will Shamburger - who took it to the house for a 65-yard score. I don't think he got credit for the touchdown, however.

James Johnson caught three passes for 21 yards, leading the receivers. He also had a key fumble recovery of a Willis Wilson fumble that was caused by Jordan Wallace. Jermaine Kearse had two catches for 16 yards, Devin Aguilar two catches for 23 yards, Michael Hartvigson two catches for 17 yards, and Evan Hudson two catches for 12 yards.

Defensively, I had the defense coming up with three 'touch' sacks, one each from Thompson, Jamaal Kearse and Josh Shirley. Hauoli Jamora and Andrew Hudson also came up with one tackle for loss apiece.

The defensive play of the practice, in my opinion, was an acrobatic tip and pick by Desmond Trufant against Kevin Smith on a ball thrown by Price. It was a deep throw, and both Trufant and Smith battled hard for position. The ball was tipped by Trufant, who was able to find it in the air for the pick before Smith could get to it.

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:21 pm

Steve Sarkisian Tuesday Practice Quotes:

On Timu kicking FG at the end - "I'm glad he made it. If he missed, I would have called on someone else. Maybe I would have kicked it next. We had our field goal session earlier, and I wanted Erik Folk to get warmed up, and he wasn't warm yet. And they weren't easy field goals; we kind of kept going backwards in that period."

On why he did that: "We were in overtime and we couldn't move the ball and we couldn't make a field goal so we let a defensive player kick it and he made it. ... I wanted practice to be over.''

On if worried about the offense's performance today: "No it's not concerning. Those days are going to come. I thought our defense played well. I don't know if they did anything overly special. They just didn't make mistakes. They played sound, they had good gap integrity, they didn't give up the deep ball. They had their hands on a lot of other passes. The offense kind of kept shooting themselves in the foot with penalties and different things, and I thought the defense did a really nice job at the line of scrimmage in the run game, and pressured the quarterback in third-down situations. All in all, they had a nice day."

On if it's a silver lining to get more work for the young guys on the OL: "Yeah. Senio has played a lot of football. In a perfect world I would love to  have him every practice. But the reality of it is we have a lot of young offensive linemen who need these valuable reps of running our offense. They got some good reps in bowl preparation and now they are getting some more of really running our offense and not reading stuff off of a card. So through it all these reps are going to be valuable for us, not only now but when fall camp rolls around because they will get another installment of running out stuff. So I'm okay with that. Senio, it's not serious to me so I'm okay with him not being there.''

On Senio's timetable: "Realistically, healthwise he could practice before the end of spring practice and probably even play. I don't know if we will do that. I'm going to let that thing really heal. He might do some individual stuff, but I'm okay with him not being out there right now.''

On having to shuffle guys at the line a lot since he's been here: "A little bit. But that's wherever you go. We'd all like just to have five guys play the whole time and that's it but the reality is you have to contingency plan and that's part of it. I think Erik Kohler's got a bright future and could be a potential starting left tackle in this conference and we are finding out his strengths right now and some of the things he needs to work on at that left tackle spot because I don't know, the first play of the year Senio could get hurt and we are going to need a left tackle so Senio is getting that work now.''

On the offensive struggles - "We have to understand the difference between 7-on-7's and team period, where we're at with field position, and all the things that come with it. It'll come, and they'll learn it. Those two kids have come a long, long way. I'm not as concerned with the long haul of that; as any coach would be, I want to fix it. That's part of coaching, so we have to continue to battle to fix it."

On getting the ball to more players - "That's the natural progression is when you start to be able to disperse the football to five different players, and you utilize tight ends and fullbacks and different things. Now when those tight ends are running shallow crossing routes or different routes, and they get that attention, that creates big voids for receivers down the field. And that's what happened today."

On Everrette Thompson - "I think the whole d-line today had probably their best day. And it starts with Alameda in the middle, but then it's really about Everrette. Everrette provides a great deal of leadership for those guys, especially our younger players Hauoli (Jamora), Josh Shirley, Andrew Hudson, Lawrence (Lagafuaina)…so those two big guys in the middle can really kind of anchor things down. It creates a tough matchup for anybody, and especially for our offense today."

On the personality of the O-line - "I'd like to think we've got a little bit more physical, a little bit more nastiness to us. It didn't quite play out that way today. But we'll be OK, we'll bounce back. I'd like to think that we have enough mass, but also enough athleticism - and then a real aggressive nature about us. These guys have that offensive mentality that you like to have, and they are really jelling and coming together that way."

On Jesse Callier - "He just rolled his ankle, he's fine."

On Zach Fogerson - "He just banged his head there, and it was really precautionary. I don't think it's serious, but we'll check him out."

On Ta'amu disrupting things - "He was that way today. This was far and away Alameda's best practice. He was really disruptive. He hurt us in the run game, and what he's able to do in the pass game, he collapses the pocket to the point where the quarterback has a difficult time stepping up, and it flattens out. Now our edge speed guys, the Shirleys, Jamoras and Hudsons of the world can really come off the edge and be effective."

On Alameda beating four guys in the Holiday Bowl - "Just about. He's a big man, and to watch the scoop on the fumble early in the game showed a lot of athleticism as well."

On addressing specific concerns - "I'd like to see a little bit more leadership start to emerge on the offensive side of the ball. I think we're talented, I think we have a really cohesive group, a group that's together. I'd like to see a couple of our veteran guys emerge and instill their will on the group a little more. That's something that hopefully we can manufacture some as we move a little further into spring now that we're at the half-way point."

On taking the red shirt off of Sean Parker - "I'm not as concerned about that. He's getting so many valuable reps. I want him, when we come back for fall camp, to be 100 percent so he can really go - but we're putting him in all our team settings that aren't live, and he's getting great reps. He's really practicing well, because that's a hard thing to do. You're in there, and the natural instincts of a football player is to want to be physical, and he's a physical guy by nature. Credit to him for practicing the way he's been practicing, and credit to the other guys - especially on the offense - for understanding the situation he's in and not hitting him. I'm not as concerned. My bigger concern is to make sure he's 100 percent healthy when we come back for fall camp and as we start heading into the season."

On not skipping a beat, despite missing games - "He looks great. He's come a long, long way. He really has. To his credit, he did a nice job of being an understudy to Nate Williams, who was a very bright player for us, and is really working at studying the game and understanding that there's more to it than just knocking someone out. To his credit, he's come a long way."

On Sean Parker's brand of leadership - "I'm going to hold back on that one, because I still think we haven't seen all of his leadership yet. I think he's learning his way and feeling his way. I think his leadership will come. I think he's a very confident kid, he's very bright. He's very accustomed to winning; he comes from an extremely successful program in Narbonne. As we move forward, we'll see more of his leadership emerge, but at this point he's more concerned at getting better himself and just doing his job really well."

On who could emerge as offensive leaders - "I'd like to think our veteran guys. Obviously it's not great not having Senio out there, because he provides some of that. But I'd like to think the Drew Schaefers, the Jermaine Kearses, the Devin Aguilars, the Chris Polks of the world who have played quite a bit of football for us, could be those guys. But it doesn't necessarily mean it has to be them. Natural leadership will come when we decide on a quarterback, and that quarterback can provide that. And some of our younger players I think have some real leadership qualities about them, and that will come with time. As coaches, we want things to happen sooner rather than later."

Posted by Scott Eklund
6:00 am

Joel Thomas (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Had a chance to speak with Joel Thomas recently and he gave me some thoughts on his guys...

On the competition level among the running backs: "I always reflect on things and see where were at a year ago and I think our group is definitely gaining some depth. Obviously we have a little more experience than we've had in the past, based on guys who have actually played. Johri (Fogerson) played a couple seasons ago; Jesse (Callier) played extensively; Chris (Polk) obviously with his play; we're getting Zach (Fogerson) into the mix right now playing a little fullback and also a little running back, we like what he does there, so we really like what we're seeing from the group right now."

On this being Polk's first full spring since his freshman year: "He's done some nice things. I think he's got a little extra spring in his step and is kinda excited to be out here. One thing I've noticed is that typically when the third year comes around, the game typically slows down a lot for everything that's on the other side of the ball. That picture becomes a lot more clear and I think he's playing a lot faster because he understands what his job is and what he needs to get done."

On Deontae Cooper: "He's champing at the bit. I've been in his situation before, missing spring ball with an injury, so I know that's the hardest thing taking that next step to actually playing and getting back out there. He'll be fine. I don't see any hangups."

On getting mental reps: "That is as important as getting the actual carries right now. As coach Sark says, 'when you know, you go' and if we don't know what our job is, we don't play fast and I think the more he doesn't have any hesitation in his job and he understands where he's supposed to be, the faster he will play and he won't think about his knee."

On Kimo Makaula: "We're still doing research on him right now. Between the three guys getting reps, we're gathering all of the information we can to pinpoint something by the end of spring practice."

On Jonathan Amosa: "He's not scared of contact, but (Saturday) he had a couple assignment errors, so we need to correct those and then see how he does at soaking that stuff up and learning. He's a good player though."

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:00 pm

Ryan Tolar (65), Greg Christin (61) and Cody Habben (71)

Saturday Radio Show Podcasts

Ok, so it's a bit late in being posted here on Dawgman.com, but didn't want to go without posting the podcasts from Saturday's Radio Show which featured Ryan Tolar, Cody Habben and Greg Christine.

Click on the link to go to the podcasts...

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:00 pm

Senio Kelemete (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Steve Sarkisian Quotes

On the quarterback battle: "I think they've both made steady climbs and have gotten better. No day has been perfect and it never will be. I thought that we had a few more mental setbacks than we've had the first five days. For whatever reason, I'm not exactly sure, we have to figure that out, but there were a few more mental mistakes than they've had, but they're both doing some really good things. I've been pleased, especially from the standpoint of we're not turning the ball over and that's one of the big keys at that position."

On whether Price and Montana can be ‘too nice': "They're both great guys; they're both very competitive though so there's a lot of ways to exude confidence and moxie and, I guess in today's modern verbiage – Swag – there's a way of doing all that and not being arrogant and I think they both have the ability to do that. That's what makes a good leader and quarterback and all those things, so I don't think they're ‘too nice' by any means."

On how nice it is to have tight ends again for the offense: "It showed up again today. It's really unique. We keep talking about it after every practice. It hasn't changed. Those guys are making their plays whether it's Austin (Seferian-Jenkins) or Michael (Hartvigson) or Evan Hudson or Malion Barnett, they're making their plays and it's making us a more complete offense. I'm sure there might be some that would think we aren't throwing it to Jermaine (Kearse) enough or Devin (Aguilar) enough or Kevin (Smith) enough, but that will come in time. We're still figuring out who we are as an offense and how much we can do at that position."

On how much that helps a young quarterback: "When you have a big target like that and you can throw the ball in-between the hashes, especially in this stadium on days when it can be windy and rainy and you have those throws right in front of you, over the middle, it can be a quarterback's best friend and so it's been an emphasis for us and a focus for us."

On how the tight ends are blocking: "They're blocking, in pass-protection, they've done a really good job and in the running game, it's been good, but we'll get better. So much of tight end blocking, especially when they're big guys like that, is footwork and fundamentals and hand-placement and that's where we get a little spotty, but I have to remind myself that Michael Hartvigson really missed the entire season. He had training camp, got hurt and missed that whole season of developing his fundamentals and Austin has been in college for two weeks, so many things come down to the nuances and the fundamentals of the spot that it takes time. All-in-all, I love their ability to compete and to battle. They're tough physically and mentally, which is key, so I've been pleased with them blocking, but I know there is great room for improvement."

On whether Seferian-Jenkins is ahead of where they thought he'd be: "I would say maybe a little. To think that he's been in school for two weeks, he's already had six college football practices, he's moved out of his home, he's living in dorm. I don't think I could ask for anything more than he's given us. He's had a great demeanor about himself. I love how he presents himself. He's mature. It just hasn't been too big for him and that part of it is what is encouraging to me. I know he's going to make some mistakes. We don't think he's going to be perfect, but it's his approach to whether he makes a mistake or makes a great play, he's steady, he doesn't change and that's what you want at that position."

On setting a tone: "Especially on Saturdays. Our routine, it's easy when you're going at four in the afternoon, four in the afternoon, like that, but when you have, all of the sudden it's 11 in the morning and it's on the weekend, and I just want to make sure our energy level is right where it needs to be and sometimes that comes from me to set the tone."

On making practice chaotic:
"I like to create a little bit of chaos for them and see who responds and who can remain focused yet upbeat and energetic or who gets frazzled. So it's constant evaluation even though it looks a little chaotic.''

On Senio Kelemete being in a boot: "No, it's not concerning. What the injury is, he's got his plantar fascia was pulled. And those things really never heal until they finally pop and then it heals 100 percent full and so you are hopeful really when you have a pulled one that it pops sooner rather than later and you can start the healing process. His finally popped so now his is really, truly on the mend instead of just playing through the pain he is actually now healing. So he might be out in the short term here through a few practices but the end result is that we will get a 100 percent healthy Senio. ... It happened today. We knew it was a matter of time, it never just goes away it will always have been there so it finally popped for him. It's pretty painful. I've actually done it myself so I know what he was going through but the end result is that thing will heal 100 percent and it won't be a lingering, nagging injury come fall camp. It will be 100 percent.''

On the execution of the no-huddle period:
"It was a little sloppy comparatively to the last practice. I thought the last practice was a little better. It started kind sloppy and then it got going, but that's going to take time when you are doing some new stuff like that and we will continue to evaluate it to see if it's something we want. I know it's excellent for our defense because we see so many no-huddle teams and to get the exposure to the uptempo and having to get lined up and communicated, so as we tinker with it on offense we will assess how effective it truly is. But I would like us to be a little more efficient with the mechanics of it. But for a second day I will live with it.''

On the no-huddle opening up offense: "I think there is something to be said about that, that depending on the down and distance if you are in it it and run a play on third down and you convert and first and 10 again and they were in nickel on the snap before and now you can stay in it and now you've got a tight end blocking that nickel DB, things of that nature, there are some advantages to it catching them in personnel groupings.''

On not even being able to use certain parts of the playbook last year without a tight end:
"There was a lot. A great deal. We are running a lot different stuff that probably not just in our eyes we could see but the general public can tell that too that it would almost appear at times like a different offense. The reality is we have had these plays but there was no point in putting them in and wasting everybody's time if we couldn't execute them.''

On what to do now with the line without Senio:
"It gives Erik Kohler an opportunity to get to a position at left tackle that he potentially he might be down the road. It also gives Micah Hatchie some more reps to get himself going. And it gives guys like Tanigawa and Riva a chance to be in there with the ones together when Kohler is over there at left tackle. It's good experience for Erik. In a perfect world I'd love to have Senio out there but the reality of it is he's played a lot of football and it's okay if he's not there and we can get those other guys some reps.''

On the Trufant interception: "I wanted to talk about it because in my opinion even though he was running with the ball he never really had possession of the ball and so the officials came together and the one guy thought very clearly he never possessed the ball so we just did it. We treated it as if it was a replay. It really didn't have an effect on the play because where it was recovered was really the same yard mark.''

On the linebackers:
"We are rolling them through pretty good. Obviously Cort is steady. Garret Gilliland is getting a ton of reps. Wallace is getting a ton of reps, Jamaal kearse, Tutogi, Timu. The challenge for these guys, like some of our younger offensive players, there is a lot going on right now. We are talking about installation on defense, installation on offense, we are talking about different segments of the game, talking about no-huddle, talking about all of the things that are going on, so they are doing some really good stuff, they are just making some mistakes. Ultimately the goal is to clean up those mistakes practice after practice so that we can really see who they are. Trhrough it all, I think they are playing pretty good. We are just trying to find some more consistency.''

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:00 pm

Cody Bruns Quotes

On punting vs. Cal: "I knew that if (Kiel) Rasp went down that I was going to have to kick and then when I saw him laying on his back I was like 'oh shoot, I might have to go in'. I went and practiced on the side because I hadn't punted in something like three years, besides practice, so it was a little different. It was good though because it happened so fast and I really didn't have a chance to think about it."

On his jack-of-all-trades role:
"It's my last hurrah and I'm making the most of it. I will do whatever I can to help out so it's something that I just like to be ready for."

On the difference from when he first got to UW:
"Just winning games, being competitive, lots of people, a lot of excitement. It's nice to wear your stuff with pride and a lot of people around here care about this team so it's great to be part of it."

On who is jumping out so far:
"Jermaine (Kearse) is doing a great job and I think Kevin (Smith) is doing a great job of stepping up and then defensively (Desmond Trufant) is doing a great job and (Quinton Richardson) is also doing a great job, so it's all all out team effort."

On Kasen Williams: "Yeah he's a big kid and he's really athletic. I'm definitely looking forward to playing with him this year."

On winning the Apple Cup: "It was big. It was tough breaking my collarbone, but just getting the 'W' and then going home and enjoying that because there's so many Cougs where I'm from and not having them be able to talk at all, that was fun."

On the game he's looking forward to this fall: "You never look past the first game,but it's going to be fun going to Lincoln (Nebraska), but we're focused on Eastern Washington, the national champs, so we won't look past them."

On Nick Montana: "I think Nick and Keith (Price) throw great balls. I think Nick's velocity comes harder than you expect it,. It has that fluid motion so it gets there harder than you expect it, but I think both of them are doing a great job. They're both leading us and making plays."

On him blocking more: "You have to take pride in your blocking, especially in this offense, so it's something I've worked on and it's fun."

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:00 pm

Nick Montana (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Nick Montana Quotes

On the no-huddle offense: "It's tough, but I like it for a little change up. Just catching your breath and making sure you've got everybody lined up and stuff is a little challenging, but I like it."

Oh if he thinks about his standing in the quarterback competition:
"Nothing like that. I just try to get as far as I can, progressing myself and with the team. I'm competing with Keith (Price). He's a great quarterback and he's making me better every day. I don't see it as a competition like everyone is making it out to be. We're just going out there to have fun and for me to be the best player I can be."

On how nice it is to have Austin Seferian-Jenkins around: "He's ridiculous. He makes some sweet catches. It's hard to throw a bad ball to him, he's such a big target. Yesterday we were throwing little posts into the endzone and you just put it up anywhere, if it's over the linebackers, he's going to go up and catch it."

On having tight ends being a part of this offense more: "The defense has to be more aware of that. They won't be able to double Jermaine (Kearse) or DA (Deviin Aguilar) on the outside, because we have threats coming from all angles."

On his biggest area of improvement:
"Just defensive recognition and getting more comfortable on the field. Seeing it and knowing the weakness. Just talking to a couple people, a few other quarterbacks like Jake (Locker) and some of the older guys, told me the game will really slow down when you get that aspect (down)."

On the game slowing down:
"I'm a lot more comfortable than I was last year at this time and even at (Fall) camp last year. I feel like I have a good feel of the offense right now, getting through my progressions and finding somebody. I'm pretty far along when it comes to (reading) the defense, but there's still a lot more I can do so that's what I'm really focusing on. I feel like if I get that down, that will be pretty big for me."

On how he gets that down:
"It's everything -- a lot of film, repetition and just seeing it and feeling it when you're on the field."

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:00 pm

Keith Price Quotes

On having a tight end: "It makes the game so much easier. You can just throw a ball up there and they can go up and get it. It's good to have two big tight ends. ... I never noticed how much we didn't use the tight end in our passing game until now. Now we've got plays just for them.''

On his progress this spring: "I still need to get better. There are still some things I need to learn and just keep getting better and I think with repetition that will come.''

On balls being tipped at the line:
"The defense played good. They had active hands and they got a couple of hands on balls and if they didn't get hands on them they were big plays.''

On if the offense has been tweaked for him: "It's exactly the same.''

On what he wants to work on the rest of spring: "Just speeding up my reads, that's my main thing, just playing faster in my mind. I'm on the right people, it's just a matter of getting to them faster.''

On rotating with Montana: "We are rotating reps. He gets the ones one day I get the ones the next day. It's equal.''

On his battle with Montana: "We work together. I don't see myself above him or see him above me. I think we don't even look at it like that. If he sees something on the field I didn't see he will come back and let me know, and vice versa.''

On being coached to say the right thing:
"No, it's just a natural thing. We are not selfish.''

On worrying about where he stands in the QB race:
"I don't worry about that at all. We are all on the same team.''

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:39 pm

William Chadler (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Thursday Practice Report

Coach Sarkisian moved the team inside for the second-straight day, and they were able to get a lot accomplished in their two-hour workout, focusing a lot on special situations - like sudden change plays, third down situations, and red zone opportunities. The weather didn't look very promising in the morning, but by the time the move had been made, the skies had opened up, and it was a very nice spring Thursday in Seattle.

Plenty of fans and recruits showed up - highlighted by Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll, who showed up mid-way through practice and watched the rest with Joe and Jennifer Montana on the far sideline. Dexter Charles, Bishop Sankey, and Evan Zeger were the 2011 signees who were spotted at practice, as well as 2012 prospects Nathan Dean (Juanita), Caleb Smith (Kentridge), Sam Flor (O'Dea), Keivarae Russell (Mariner), and 2013 prospect Darrin Laufasa (Juanita). Russell was seen giving UW RB Coach Joel Thomas and FB Zach Fogerson hugs when he saw them after practice.

All the players held out by flu Tuesday - Colin Porter and Ben Riva - were back in action, as well as TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who was held out at the end of Tuesday's practice with a slight quad pull. It definitely helped the OL continuity, but during the 1-1's they still struggled to find a consistent pass-blocking presence. Talia Crichton and Chris Robinson appeared to work more again Thursday, but Pete Galbraith still played at the No. 2 DT spot with Lawrence Lagafuaina, who were backing up Alameda Ta'amu and Sione Potoae.

On the second play of their team period, Nick Montana was picked off by Garret Gilliland on a pass intended for Kevin Smith that was tipped. Gilliland ran upfield, and as the whistles blew, he let up. Center Drew Schaefer then lit Gilliland up, prompting a flag from the referees in attendance. It also prompted a harsh exchange between Schaefer and Cort Dennison, where it looked like Dennison also got flagged. It was a spirited play, and also a heads-up play by Gilliland, who is so far having a heckuva spring, but one where Sarkisian won't be happy when he watches it later that night on film. Both sides have to show more composure on sudden-change plays and the aftermath.

It sure looked Schaefer paid the price for his hit, because Dan Kanczugowski took the rest of the reps for the day.

During the team period, Keith Price was the only QB to navigate the UW defense for a touchdown, scoring on a 6-yard run. Very unofficially, Price was 5-9 for 40 yards, while Nick Montana was 6-9 for 45 yards, and the one interception. Price also had a three runs for 40 yards, including the score.

William Chandler led the pass-catchers with three grabs for 23 yards. Cody Bruns had two catches for 26 yards, Jermaine Kearse had two catches for 20 yards, Marlion Barnett had one catch for 12 yards, Seferian-Jenkins had one catch for 8 yards, James Johnson one catch for 7 yards, Johri Fogerson one catch for five yards, Kimo Makaula one catch for four yards, Kevin Smith one catch for three yards, and Michael Hartvigson one catch for two yards.

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:06 pm

Steve Sarkisian Thursday Quotes

General Comments: "I thought it was a physical practice, our most physical one yet. It was a good practice in the sense that we practiced so many special situations. Whether it be no-huddle offense, to red zone, to third downs, to sudden change after a turnovers. We focused on a lot of the special situations - but yet what I enjoyed about the practice is that our guys weren't enamored with the special situations and thinking about that. They still played fast, physical football. And all in all it was a very competitive day, a good day. It was good all the way around."

On Kevin Smith - "What I like about him is that he's an extremely physical kid. When you see him he's got a strong build to him. He's got tremendous hands…jumping ability…strong. I also like the fact that his upside is so great. He's still new and raw to the position, so all those nuances he talks about, every day he picks up one, and another, and another. As the days go on, he continues to improve. It's very encouraging."

On Dan Kanczugowski getting center reps at the end: "I was just giving him reps."

On Chris Polk getting rest at the end: "I'm just trying to limit the hits on him. He's proven what he can do in live tackling situations."

On Zach Fogerson: "We're just seeing what he can do. We're trying to gather as much information as we can about what his strengths are, what his weaknesses are, where we can improve him. He's a really talented kid, and he's got a lot to his game. If we can continue to expand his role, it's pretty taxing on a defense when he's in there because he does so many different things."

On how dynamic the offense can be with the fullback added - "It's a real threat, especially down here in the red zone, which was a big focus for us today. I think it's the addition of the fullback and the tight end. If you noticed in our 7-7 period, I think Austin (Seferian-Jenkins) caught a couple of touchdowns down there. Those targets are big for us, where you have to defend all five players, and not just a couple of wide outs that are there."

On how Seferian-Jenkins is doing - "He continues to improve. I've been really impressed. For us, these first five days of installation are never very easy. And for a kid whose a week and a half into school now, and playing college football and all of the things that are going on, moving away from home - he's really handled it with a real sense of maturity. He's a bright kid, but he's very mature. He's not too emotional, one way or another. All in all, he's performing at a very high level."

On ASJ 'swimming' with all the teaching he's getting so far - "Of course he's swimming. We just continue to coach. We view as teachers and educators first, coaches second, and we have to continue to teach and educate. The thing about Austin, what's encouraging to me, is that he doesn't make the same mistake twice. He takes to good coaching, and we're appreciative of that. We're appreciative of the effort that he gives. He's a real 'try hard' guy."

On Evan Hudson fitting in to the TE mix - "I think so. He's doing some good things."

On dropping in on class - "I try to do it a minimum of once a week, sometimes a couple times a week. I think it's important to have a presence on upper campus, not only for our current players, but also for our student body to show them that we're student-athletes, and not just football players - and we take pride in that. I went to Com 202 today, it was a good class."

On having a better interview today because of learning some things in class - "A little bit."

On sneaking in: "I sneak in initially because I want the feeling to see who we are and make sure we are representing what we want to represent and how we represent. But then I want them to make sure the word gets out that they know I am on upper campus so it's kind of two-fold that way.''

On attendance being up now: "Oh, we are through the roof right now. What is exciting for me, in my humble opinion, who we are on the field really works hand in hand with who we are off the field. What's exciting for me is to watch our GPA go up as our wins go up and our level of play goes up because I think if we are the people that we are on the football field the same people that we are on the class room if we are really competing at it and caring about it and working to be successful at it on a very competitive campus as we all know, we have to battle, we have to compete. And our guys have done that. And through it all the results are there and they are able to take that same mentality on the football field and that same preparation for football, and in turn we are reaping the benefits, we all are, we are getting it done in the classroom and on the field.''

On Cort at TE today: "That's just in quarterback drills, him catching some balls. We try to make a point, we're trying to do a better job of if you are not in the special teams for that day to be part of something. And that something a lot of times happens to be quarterback drills, so they get involved that way. ... They get to catch balls. They love it.''

On Lawrence Lagafuaina: "I think Lawrence looks great. He's the lightest he has been since we've had him, he's down under 320 now. He's playing quick, which is what we thought he could be. And he's getting better, and that's a tough position. Look at  how long it took 'Meda to get to where he's at, and so I thought Lawrence was really good today. He had 2-3 good tackles in the backfield, showing his quickness, and it would be great to be able to spell Alameda and be able to rotate those guys a little bit and have a real force to come in and keep Meda fresh so he can be dominant player in the fourth quarter as well. So I've been very encouraged by Lawrence.''

On if he looks good at 315: "I think so. He looks good right now. I think he will continually get stronger as he matures and as he grows so that that body weight will change some and it might fluctuate a little higher and come back down. But if we can hover it around 320 I think that would be good.''

On what the team may do Saturday: "Similar to today. We'll have a lot of scrimmage settings, but it won't just be an outright straight scrimmage. We'll break it up some because there is going to be some periods where I want the guys that are in red jerseys right now to be able to practice and not just be stuck standing on the side watching, they'll be involved.''

On if he'd want to go inside more the rest of spring: "We'll look at it.  But it looks like it's going to be pretty nice Saturday so we'll probably be back out there. We'll see. Today the thought was there was some potential for rain and whatnot and there were some things we really wanted to get taught today that were new to us that I really didn't want the distraction of the weather right now.''

Posted by Chris Fetters
8:10 pm

Coach Baird talks about first full-pads practice

I spoke with coach Baird about his first impressions of spring ball, what he liked and what he might be concerned about.

Coach Baird talks about first full-pads practice

Posted by Chris Fetters
8:02 pm

Tuesday Practice Report

The theme of Tuesday's first full pads practice was 'Swept Away'. After about 75 minutes of working outside in Husky Stadium, the wind gusts were just too strong - forcing the Huskies to the Dempsey Indoor to finish out the rest of their workout.

Watching the cameraman up on a scissor-lift just off the east end zone when the gusts were at their strongest, you could tell UW did not want a repeat of the tragedy that occurred at Notre Dame last fall. So they packed it in, headed indoors, and went from there. They focused a lot on third-down situations, and even let the teams go live for roughly the last 15 plays or so.

It also didn't hurt that the Huskies had at least one very interested spectator from California - San Clemente QB Travis Wilson, who was bundled up for most of the practice watching from the stands, but then was able to warm up a bit inside. Future Huskies Kasen Williams, Dexter Charles, and Connor Cree were spotted watching practice too, and Williams chatted up Wilson a little bit. Former UW QB Damon Huard, now a major gifts officer for the Tyee Club, also spoke to Wilson and his family. OL/DL Josh Mitchell from Mount Si was also seen at practice.

Former Seattle Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander was seen at the Dempsey Indoor for the second time in a week; the first time was during last Wednesday's Senior Pro Day. He spoke to the running backs after practice. And speaking of seniors, Jake Locker, Austin Sylvester, and Brandon Huppert were all seen watching practice from the sidelines. Former Kennedy star Tre Watson was also at practice, and it sounds like Watson may try and walk on at Washington this fall. Watson had spent time at Central Washington in 2010, and before that West Hills College in California.

Here's a VERY rough estimate of how the quarterbacks did during their scrimmage time indoors: Keith Price 8-10 for 152 yards and 1 touchdown; Nick Montana 8-11 for 83 yards. The big play of the scrimmage was a 78-yard beautiful throw and catch from Price to Kevin Smith.

It was hard to get a great gauge on how things were going offensively because the OL was beset with guys out with the flu - namely Colin Porter and Ben Riva. Austin Seferian-Jenkins suffered a slight quad pull at the end of practice, according to Steve Sarkisian, but it's not expected to cause the freshman TE to miss more than one practice.

Without Riva on the edge, it gave the pass rushers like Hauoli Jamora, Andrew Hudson and Josh Shirley license to run rampant. And they did.

Daniel Kanczugowski filled in for Porter, while Erik Kohler took reps at the No. 1 RT spot. Walk-on Derek Weston filled in for Kohler at left guard.

On one particular play, Shirley rushed Kohler clean back to the dummy quarterback, sending the sophomore lineman on his back. Kanczugowski didn't take kindly to Shirley's final push, causing Shirley to take off his helmet and throw it two-handed at big No. 63. It was from point-blank range, and Kanczugowski had his helmet on, so nothing more came of it.

What we did get a good first glimpse at was pass protection for the running backs and fullbacks. Cort Dennison imposed his will on Zach Fogerson, taking the redshirt frosh down to the turf with a crunching blow. Fogerson will need to step up and make sure he can handle rushers at the point of attack. He's gifted enough physically; now he just has to perfect his technique.

Fogerson also had some troubles on the next drill, which had the backs coming out of the backfield and into the flats for passes. He got stripped of the ball by Tim Tucker, and had to scramble to get it back in his possession. Tucker also had a good piece of work during the scrimmage, coming up with a two-hand 'sack' of Price.

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:20 pm

Steve Sarkisian Tuesday Quotes

On why he moved inside: "I think the biggest thing is in spring ball especially we only get 15 practices and you need to seize every opportunity that you have to be out here and maximize every opportunity that you get. I'm not concerned about being a mentally or physically tough football team. We have proven that and we will continue to grow in that area. But it's about being efficient and getting quality reps, so that's why we came inside. I didn't want to just prove to the guys or I don't know whom that we are a mentally tough team. I'm not concerned about that. And it wasn't really about the cold but the wind and the ability to throw the football, so that's why. Abnormally strong wind gusts.''

On looking at the guy filming in the tower: "Yeah, I was a little concerned and I wanted to get him down first. And then when we moved in here I didn't want to just practice without getting the film so we had to wait for them to come in on here. A little abnormal for us and initially kind of slowed the pace of practice down in here but once practice got going again it was fine.''

On Porter and Rivva: "They were just sick. They've got flu-like symptoms and we just don't want it to be spread. I think they will be fine by Thursday.''

On Seferian-Jenkins: "He had a little quad pull. We don't think it's serious, and again we are just in practice four of 15 and the last thing I want to do is really pull that thing and miss three or four of them in a row and kind of fall back so we just said let's sit him down now and get him back Thursday or at the latest Saturday.''

On Talia Crichton going more: "Definitely a lot more work which is extremely encouraging. I think what has been a good job by our coaches and trainers is that a lot of our guys that have been non-contact guys is that they are still getting quality reps. So unfortunately they aren't able to go at the scrimmage settings when we go at the end of practice but they are getting so much of this other work that we are getting better because of it.''

On Senio Kelemete going more: "Yeah he is. He really came back from that thing well. It's not 100 percent but he's a tough guy and he's getting through it. He's fine.''

On what he saw today: "That we've got to get used to playing football again. We will tackle better as we continue to go. A couple of times our backs in the open field, it is different when you are running and just getting tagged off, all the sudden you are getting tackled by safeties and corners. So those secondary cuts and moves to create long plays I think will come with it. But I like the edge and the speed rush stuff that we saw out of Josh Shirley today. I thought he really showed up and showed some nice things. I thought we did some pretty good things in the run game offensively. And all in all I think our interior tackling will get better but I was encouraged by our secondary in the open field making some nice tackles."

On the physicality of the team getting better: "I think so. I think our guys have adopted that mentality that this is who they want to be. We still have a ways to go to actually get to that point but they have adopted that mentality and now it's  that fine line of playing really hard, tough, physical football but understanding that these are our teammates and they practicing to get better and I thought they've done a nice job so far but I think we can be even more physical at the point of attack so we will continue to work at it.''

On turning them loose - "We turned them loose for the last 15 plays today. We'll have days…a little different format even for this weekend when we scrimmage. It won't be a full-blown, 80-play scrimmage. We'll have segments and different things. I want it to be more controlled than what we have been when we've just been letting them go. As much as we want to be physical, we're trying to raise our football IQ as well. So there's a lot of teaching going on; I've been real proud of the coaches and our players. There's a lot of teaching on the nuances of the game that are going on right now. I think our kids are responding extremely well. Today was a huge emphasis on third down and understanding the distances within third down and what we're trying to get accomplished in those distance. Our guys handled the period really well, so we'll have another one of those this Saturday as we keep moving forward."

On how easy it is to sell the physicality after winning the Holiday Bowl - "I think it's a little easier to sell, but ultimately it's not just about being physical. The best way to be physical is to know what to do and know what your assignment is, so you can play really fast and physical. And the challenge is, if you don't know that has a tendency to slow you down…or, you play too reckless, and you're assignment-blown. So the challenge is to teach really, really well so we know what we're doing, and then we can play fast, physical football. That's been the task for us, especially early on this spring."

On Chris Polk's progression - "I think it's been good. Through it all, Chris has a real want-to about that aspect of the game. When you have a want-to for something, it comes a little easier. I think he wants to do that stuff. I've been really impressed with his route-running. I'll have to look at the film today to see how he was in pass protection, but without a doubt his route-running and catching the ball out of the backfield and in check-down situations has really increased."

On any discernible difference yet between Price and Montana - "I've seen some things. I've seen some areas where we're doing some things pretty well. I still see some hesitation in our game where we need to improve. The beauty of what I like about it is that we're improving and we're not continually making the same mistakes. And that's a sign of guys wanting to learn and understanding the teachings of what's going on. And they've both shown that now in their time that they've been here; the challenge is can they do it in this short amount of time in spring football. And so far, so good."

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:00 pm

Andrew Andrews Monday night quotes

Kim Grinolds spoke to Andrew Monday, and got some information on his matriculation to Washington, how he did on the season, and more.  

On his season at Benson Tech: "We lost the state championship game in double OT (to Corvallis). "I think this season was a success." (Note - he scored 41 points in the game, going 15-26 from the field, scoring six three-pointers)

On his statistics: "I averaged 24 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds."

On how he thinks he did: "I think I played pretty good. I had a couple of up and down games, but I think I was pretty consistent."

On keeping in touch with the UW coaches: "It was usually around twice a week."

On who he would talk to: "I would talk with Coach Romar, Chill (Raphael Chillious) and (Jim) Shaw."

On what they would talk about: "They were proud of me. They said I played really good in my games and were sorry we didn't win it all. They told me I needed to work on getting lower with my flexibility and my lateral quickness."

On expecting Isaiah Thomas to turn pro: "Not really. I knew he was good enough to go, but I didn't know if he was going to go out, or if he was going to stay."

On his conversations with Romar about coming to UW this summer: "He kept asking me, if something opened up would you come? I wanted to go to prep school, but I told him yeah. When Isaiah told him he was going to the league, he told me something opened up if I wanted to come - and I said yes. So that was pretty much the conversation. Then he talked to my Mom and gave her all the details."

On why he preferred the prep school route initially: "Just to play against better competition before I stepped foot on a D1 campus - just to see where I'm at and what I need to work on as far as playing against higher-caliber guys."

On making the decision to come to UW now: "It feels good. It still hasn't hit me yet, because I'm still trying to get better every single day."

On when he expects to come to UW: "(Romar) told me the end of July."

On what he's doing from now until he comes to UW: "Right now I'm just working on my flexibility, getting stronger in my legs and in my core."

On knowing much about former guard Will Conroy, who Romar has compared him to: "Just that he was a good player, that's all. I haven't heard that much."

On who he knows at UW: "I know the recruits, Tony Wroten and Hikeem Stewart. And Terrence Ross and Antoine Hosley. They were just down here - we went to a couple of open gyms together."

Posted by Chris Fetters
1:00 pm

Romar talks to Softy and Fain in Houston

Softy and Dick hosted Romar on Radio Row in Houston.  Here's some highlights of their conversation.

Romar said he was with Kemba Walker this summer, and later in Maui. "The kid that he is, I was kind of pulling with him."

On Brad Stevens: "Right now he is one of the greatest coaches in our game. He has to be in the top-5, top-10.  When you talk about Brad Stevens at Butler, that is a guy you want to invest in long-term."

On VCU paying Shaka Smart $2mil/year: "That's market value. Whether he deserves it or not, that's not the issue." 

On anything he would have changed this past year, Romar said he would have liked the in-bounds play to do over again against UNC; also would have liked to sit Abdul Gaddy in practice before he got hurt.  Obviously that changed things for them a lot this year.  

Romar said he doesn't know if they have a better scorer at Washington than Terrence Ross. "Right now, everything is potential." 

Romar said 'anything can happen' with regard to Isaiah Thomas; he talked to him an hour ago and he doesn't believe he's coming back to UW.  He confirmed that he still hasn't hired an agent yet; he said that it could just be that he hasn't figured out who he wants to hire.  Thomas has until May 8 to keep his name in the NBA Draft.  After that, the NCAA will take away his final year of eligibility.  Romar also said that, based on who he is talking to, he expects Thomas to be drafted.  He wouldn't specify where.  Thomas told media on Thursday that he's hearing mid-first round to early second.

He said that Brandon Roy would have gone his junior year, but didn't because of his injury; he also said that Jon Brockman had a chance to leave early, but late second-round/free agent eval was enough for Jon to withdraw name; he also said that Nate Robinson wanted to leave after his sophomore year, but stayed.  At the end of his junior year,  the Dawg Pack was chanting 'one more year', and his mom was saying 'this was one more year'.

Romar also confirmed that Andrew Andrews will enroll at UW in the fall, but will probably redshirt.

At the end of the interview, Softy asked Romar about the 2010-2011 schedule. "It's going to come out pretty soon. We have a few exciting games on there."

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:45 am

Spring Practice: First Week Observations

Here's a look at five things that we noticed while attending two of the three practices last week...

Scott Eklund:
1) TEAM SPEED - The team speed is much better than hit has been. Jesse Callier is fast, but Anthony Gobern might be faster. Chris Polk looks much more explosive than I've seen him in past years. Yeah, he's explosive in-between the tackles and has always been tough to bring down, but when he gets outside, in the two workouts I saw he was able to get in the edge and then move down the sidelines. Most of the receivers appear faster and the linebackers have really been showing their speed and athleticism in the practices.

2) OL SIZE/ATHLETICISM - There are only 10 (11 if you count Dan Kanczugowski) scholarship linemen right now, but it's nice to see that each one that is out there actually looks like a D-1 player. I love the foursome of Senio Kelemete, Erik Kohler, Drew Schaefer and Colin Porter and if Micah Hatchie or Ben Riva is able to step up and be the rock at right tackle, this offensive line has a chance to really surprise people.

3) PRICE LOOKS GOOD - Keith Price is entering his third year in the system and has looked good. He's been decisive, accurate and the threat he poses as a runner definitely makes him an intriguing signal-caller. It's only a week in so things are definitely going to change in the coming weeks, but at this point he definitely looks like he's more ready to take over the reigns of the UW offense after three practices. We'll see if Nick Montana steps up his game even more. He's made some nice throws and definitely is stronger than he was at this time last year, but he still looks a bit shaky in his decision-making. That will come with time and I'm sure he's going to be a factor all the way into fall camp.

4) UW HAS A LOT OF TALENTED YOUNGSTERS - I have a feeling that we will all look back at the 2010 class will end up being the cornerstone of rebuilding effort of the Husky football program. With all of the OL that will contribute this year or in the next couple years, the two standout RBs (Callier and Deontae Cooper), the talented defensive players (like Garret Gilliland, Hauoli Jamora, Sione Potoae and Josh Shirley) and wide receivers Kevin Smith and DiAndre Campbell, the coaches have infused this program with speedy, talented and competitive athletes that are becoming used to winning.

5) DUCRE HAS A CHANCE TO BE SPECIAL - Gregory Ducre has looked fantastic so far in the three practices and word is that CB coach Demetrice Martin has been very happy with his performance. It is a good thing he can still take some reps in the non-contact drills, allowing him to at least work on his technique while also continuing to learn the defense and coverages.

Chris Fetters:
1) CONTINUITY BREEDS CONFIDENCE - The first thing I noticed Tuesday is just how workmanlike it all was.  There wasn't a missed-beat, a dropped step, some puzzled looks wondering what to do next.  Everyone knew what to do, everyone knew where to go, everyone knew their roles - from coaches, to players, to trainers and the rest.  That's what continuity brings you - an emphasis on teaching points, because the fundamentals of practice are already well-established.  Cort Dennison said it a week ago - it just feels like week four of the Holiday Bowl practices, and that's a great thing to hear.

2) IT'S WEIRD SEEING 10 ON DEFENSE - It's not Jake Locker - that's John Timu.  There's no 10 on offense anymore, and that's going to take a while to get used to.  No offense to Keith Price and Nick Montana, but they'd be the first to tell you - they don't look the same as Locker, they don't throw the same as Locker, they don't have anywhere near the presence that Locker had on the offense, and on the rest of the team.  At this point I'm having difficulty determining what UW is going to miss more - his on-the-field game, or overall leadership.  It's probably both.

3) ADVENTURES IN LINEBACKING - Outside of Dennison - and one start by Garret Gilliland - UW is totally green at the linebacking corps going into 2011, and Mike Cox has already alluded to the fact that he's having his patience tested by the young mistakes already.  But in the interests of full disclosure, Cox also said he felt like the LB's were better mentally to start spring than he anticipated, so that has to be taken as a positive.  But the numbers and production this years's 'backers have to replace is nothing short of staggering.  They are as talented physically as any group at UW right now - what needs to happen now is a couple of those youngsters like Princeton Fuimaono, Jordan Wallace, Gilliland, Timu and Thomas Tutogi have to get on the Victor Aiyewa learning curve.  They have to play older than their years suggest.  

4) RELYING ON THE RUN GAME - It's no secret that both Price and Montana will be leaning on Chris Polk, Jesse Callier, Deontae Cooper, et al... to open things up in the play-action passing game.  Polk was as good a running back as any in the country at the end of 2010 - as his 280-yard effort in the Apple Cup would attest.  It was only about 150 yards above his career high up to that point - simply amazing.  It would be unrealistic to expect much more out of the supremely-talented junior, but just three practices into spring and he looks so NFL-ready it's sickening.  He's healthy, he's fast, he looks bigger than last year, and I would be floored if he got less than 20 touches a game minimum.  And there's not just one X factor here - there are two.  The first one is obviously Cooper, who was showing signs of being the best breakaway threat UW has had since Paul Arnold showed up as a frosh in 1999.  The second X factor is Zach Fogerson.  Steve Sarkisian has wanted a Stanley Havili-type FB in his offense, and now he's got one.  Fogerson could be that bruising fullback on lead plays, or as a single back that could go run wheel routes.  He's that athletic.

5) IS THERE A PILL FOR THE INJURY BUG? - It's amazing, but Murphy's Law most definitely applies to injuries and spring football, and UW has got the injury bug bad.  Frankly it's surprising to me that it hasn't hit on offense (yes, I'm knocking wood right now), because the Huskies' defense is just decimated.  Talia Crichton, Semisi Tokolahi, Chris Robinson, Cooper Pelluer, Princeton Fuimaono, Sean Parker, Greg Ducre, Adam Long, and Taz Stevenson all are at least partially out for spring.  That's NINE players on defense - and not only that, but you could make a case that they might be the nine guys that needed the work the most.  Crichton needed it to get back on track after having a strong freshman season; Tokolahi was becoming a man-child inside before getting his ankle rolled up in the Apple Cup; Fuimaono made the first tackle on the opening kickoff of the Holiday Bowl, and was slowly coming along as a linebacker for the future; Parker - one of the highest-rated recruits from the 2010 class, was having a strong freshman year before stingers sidelined him; Long made the biggest 'heads-up' play in the Holiday Bowl, as he put the Huskies' lead out of reach by knocking away a Nebraska pass in the UW end zone on fourth down with his helmet; Ducre was being used as a fourth cornerback, as well as special teams; Stevenson was also being used as a free safety behind Nate Fellner, as well as special teams.  Pelluer and Robinson were expected to be used a bit this fall as quality depth, but now their development has been hampered.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
4:00 pm

Kevin McGuff to UW (AP)

McGuff to coach UW women

SEATTLE - Kevin McGuff is crossing the country to be the new leader of Huskies women's basketball. And he can't wait.

The 41-year-old Ohio native, who turned Xavier from a sub-.500 team into a national powerhouse, has agreed to a five-year contract worth an average of $475,000 per season to lead a new era at Washington.

McGuff led Xavier to a program best No. 5 national ranking this season and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. The last two seasons at Xavier, McGuff's team went a combined 59-7. He officially became the Huskies' ninth women's basketball coach Saturday night when he signed his memorandum of understanding on contract terms with UW.

To read the rest of Gregg Bell's story on Washington's new Head Women's Basketball Coach, click on the link below.

Huskies hire former Xavier coach Kevin McGuff to lead women's basketball

Posted by Scott Eklund
5:00 pm

Johnny Nansen Quotes

On the defensive linemen trusting each other: "That's so much easier when you worry about what you're doing and not everybody else. We had a veteran group and I think they guy that really tried to do more than his own job was Everrett (Thompson), but I think when you look at Everrette that he's experienced enough to the point where he does understand everybody's role and it helped us last year. In the last four games, he played out of his mind when he could just concentrate on one thing."

On the expectations for Alameda Ta'amu: "I think he should be All-Conference to be honest with you. He's got all the potential. You look at the last two games and he basically dominated those two games and that's the challenge, that's what I'm telling him every day in the huddle. If you're going to be an All-American, you have to play like it. You have to push it and I think he's starting to respond and it's a joy to coach him."

On his performance down the stretch: "I think that's just ‘Meda growing up as a football player and he knows the importance and being a dad is helping him on the football field, motivating him, and things like that. You see it in his workouts and now in practice you're seeing that more and more."

On starters playing special teams: "In order for you to compete in this conference, you've got to be great on special teams, and I think we're all on the same page now. Our challenge is, if you start on offense or defense, you should be starting on special teams, at least two of them, to give us a chance and if some of the young guys step up and play like Princeton Fuimaono did last year."

On Everrette being healthy: "No doubt it is helping us. Not only on the field, but in our meetings, he's really our leader and he's like our middle linebacker on the D-line. He gets everybody lined up and he understands the defense, our scheme and things like that, and you can see it. We depend on him so much."

On Sione Potoae and Hauoli Jamora: "They are so much ahead of where we were when we first started out. They're growing and now it's a challenge to push it to the next level. They are guys we are counting on to get us to that next level. Hauoli is challenged every day that he's not a sophomore, he's a veteran and we need him to be a leader. You'll see at practice that we're hard on him, but he's hard on himself and that's the thing that we love about the kid. He's great, he's coachable and that's all you can ask for as a coach."

On the talent they've brought in along the defensive line: "I don't even remember two years ago. When we first took over, we set a priority of the fact that, in order for us to compete at this level and to win championships, we had to add more speed and talent along both the offensive and defensive lines and we've done that, but it's always a work in progress for you and it never ends."

Posted by Scott Eklund
5:00 pm

Alameda Ta'amu (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Alameda Ta'amu Quotes

On who has impressed him the most: "The little freshman All-American, Hauoli Jamora, and Lawrence (Lagafuaina), he's down to 315 now and he's where the coaches saw him at in camps and he's just out here moving. He's making me scared for my position."

On helping his teammates: "If I can handle my spot inside, it will help Cort (Dennison), keep him free, so he can make plays. Our team could be the best ‘get off' team in America and if we do that, the linebackers can play fast."

On goals for the team this spring: "Football intelligence, for everybody to learn the game more and know why we're calling this play and what situations we're in so we know what is coming. So when we're in the red zone and we know coach is going to call this play and we're ready for it."

On the young offensive linemen: "Colin Tanigawa and Colin Porter, strong guys, you see them in the weight room and you can't believe they are only freshmen, especially Porter, he's going to do big things. Porter is the only one I feel that can match my strength along the o-line. One person that has gotten better though is Drew Schaefer. He's much smarter and he knows how I play and what the situation is he knows what I'm going to come with."

On Everrette Thompson: "Everrette has been Superman since we got here. He was injured in his freshman year and he came back for the season. He does work that nobody sees. You can see it, he's tossing people and I think he's going to have a big season this year."

On having fun: "It feels like it's me and Everrette's D-line. It's our's, it's our team. We're seniors and it's fun when young guys listen to you."

On Dennison: "He's a good A-hole in a way. He'll yell at you, but at the end of the day we all love each other."

On Andrew Hudson and Josh Shirley: "Those two stay in the weight room. Josh Shirley, you wouldn't think he can lift that much, but I'm in the weight room and he's putting up as much as I am. I'm looking at him like he's crazy, but no, we have a lot of speed off the edge this year."

Posted by Scott Eklund
5:00 pm

James Atoe (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

James Atoe Quotes

On coach Cozzetto: "I knew I'd get a great coach and that he'd push me and when I got here that's exactly what I expected."

On his height and weight now compared to when he got here: "I'm 6'6.5", 323 and when I got here I was 6'6", 355. It's been pretty tough for me. Eating healthy is pretty expensive, it's $6 for yogurt, but it's been good for me and I feel a lot better now that it's gone."

On what he's been working on: "I think I improved on my footwork a little bit more. Just getting my steps down and growing into my body, now that I've lost the 20 pounds, and trying to be more comfortable with it."

On working on getting low: "A lot of stretching, after and before."

On the Cascade front: "We have a lot of fun. It's a great group of guys. We have a good vibe with each other since we got here."

Posted by Scott Eklund
5:00 pm

Steve Sarkisian (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Steve Sarkisian Quotes

On the importance of Alameda Ta'amu playing well: "Hopefully it keeps people off our 'backers, which is the key and it's why we need to continue developing our linebacker position so we have better tacklers there, it forces the ball to the edge more and that's why we're trying to concern ourselves with maintaining our edges and not letting the ball get outside now and to keep it funneled inside so that he can have an impact."

On the expectations for Ta'amu:
"He should really be an All-Pac 10 player for us. That's the way he played the second half of the season and I would imagine he will continue down that road. He has that potential no doubt."

On the stability along the offensive line:
"I like the ongoing competition, guys battling for spots and continuing to work at it, but ideally to find that continuity of the same five guys being able to play, realistically not many teams can go 13 games with the same five guys, things occur, injuries occur, but if we can keep that continuity with guys not having to bounce around that much we should be better off for it."

On more depth along the OL: "There's definitely more depth. Some of those guys are going to progress a little quicker than others, everybody's at different stages, but that doesn't mean they can't be really good players, which I think they can be."

On Ben Riva so far:
"He's got a real nasty, mean streak to his game. He wants to be great. He works at it, not only on the field, but in the weight room and in the film room. He's got a real passion about him and it's paying off."

On the first day of shoulder pads: "I thought we practiced with really good energy, really good tempo. It was intense, it was physical, but we did a good job of staying off the ground. I liked the intensity. Obviously there was a big emphasis on the Red Zone today and being down in tight and I thought for the most part we made good decisions from the quarterback position down in here where we can make some mistakes. Our defense had their hands on the ball a couple of times and in a perfect world, we should catch those. We need to start catching those balls and that's how we take that next step of even creating more turnovers, so we'll keep working at it."

On Tuesday's full-pads practice: "Other than going to the ground a little bit more, I don't think you'll see much of a difference."

On how they are using Zach Fogerson: "That fullback position traditionally for me has been one of versatility -- a guy that can do a lot of things really, really well -- and he has that ability and everything we've asked him to do so far, he's answered the call."

On how close they are to getting to where Sark wants the offense to be:
"I think we're close. We're still young. We're talking about two freshmen at tight end, a true sophomore at fullback, so we're young, but the idea is we are evolving to what we want to become."

On how Austin Seferian-Jenkins can change things: "Even when he's really covered, he's such a big target, he has the ability to go up and make plays."

On the positions who are playing well:
"I like what our running backs are bringing so far and it's not just Chris (Polk), they're all getting their carries and looking good. Our tight ends are coming along. I think as we get into our pads that we will play even better at defensive end, they were thinking a little too much today, we need to get them to play just a little faster and I like what our two corners are bringing. I don't see a lot of balls getting completed on Quinton (Richardson) and Tru (Desmond Trufant)."

On James Johnson: "He's competing really hard and sometimes when you compete too hard, you can try too hard and he's had a couple of drops here that he doesn't want to have and we don't want him to have, so I just want him to be able to relax and step back and play the game and not think that every catch is the bottom of the ninth with two outs."

Posted by Scott Eklund
5:30 am

Jeff Mills (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Jeff Mills talks about the safeties

On Sean Parker's injury and impact: "He'll be just fine. If we were playing this week, he'd be playing, but we don't have a game for five months, so there's no reason to put him out there and get him all dinged up. He's so smart and physical and he really has picked up the tempo with things. We love what he brings to the position and feel he'll be a real big asset this season with his Football I.Q. and his playmaking abilities."

On Will Shamburger's role: "Will is battling and he's someone we expect a lot from this spring. These (spring) practices are big for him because he can show us how he's progressed. He's had an outstanding winter. He's really added a lot of strength and I think he's back 100-percent now on his knee. He doesn't have the brace anymore and I think that will help his flexibility and his ability to really come up and play with fire and passion and not think too much."

On some of the injuries to his players: "It's football you know. It's a tough-guy sport. Taz Stevenson is coming back and he'll be fine. He's getting those mental reps and things like that, but yeah, we'd love to have him out there. Sean, I already mentioned, he'll be fine. We are just being careful with him. We expect our safeties to be tough and to be hitters, but they also have to be leaders back there. We've got some talented guys, but they need to show us day in and day out what they can do. It's a real battle out there, so it's a good problem for us to have so many guys who we think can play at a high level."

On some of the other players at the position: "Justin (Glenn) is a real versatile guy for us. He can play safety or corner and he's going to do a lot of that this spring. He had a tough time last year with his leg and wasn't totally healthy, so this spring will be good for him to show us some things and Greg Walker, he can play either position for us, but he'll be at strong safety and he's real valuable to us on special teams. We've also got some special guys coming in this summer too (Evan Zeger, James Sample and Travis Feeney) so there is a lot of competition and battling going on. It's a great situation for us to be in, but now we have to put it all together and get the right guys out there."

Posted by Chris Fetters
3:00 pm

Michael Hartvigson (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Playing catch-up

We wanted to make sure you had a spot where you could find all the news and notes from what ended up being a very busy end of March. On Wednesday, Washington football held their Senior Pro Day, where Jake Locker, Mason Foster, Victor Aiyewa, Nate Williams, and others worked out at the Dempsey Indoor Facility in front of scouts and representatives from 15-20 NFL teams.

On Thursday, Isaiah Thomas declared for the NBA Draft, Dawgman.com's Scott Eklund had a story on a 2012 out-of-state quarterback prospect that visited UW during their first day of spring football, and we also had a full day with practice reports, coach and player quotes, and more. So click on the links below to catch up with all of Wednesday's and Thursday's happenings around Montlake.

Thursday Spring Football Practice Report

Steve Sarkisian Thursday Practice Quotes

OL C. Porter Thursday Practice Quotes

RB D. Cooper Thursday Practice Quotes

Visit to Montlake Opens Miles' Eyes

Lorenzo Romar on Isaiah Thomas' decision to declare for the NBA Draft

Dawgman's look at how Washington's 2012 back court might look like in Thomas' absence

Isaiah Thomas says goodbye to Washington

Thomas to enter name into NBA Draft

N. Dean hauls in first offer

Commitment Impact: T. Owens

Huskies back on the NFL Warpath

Husky Pro Day: The Experts' Take

UW Pro Day Photo Gallery

Mason Foster ready to take next step

Dawgman.com Top Stories