Rick Neuheisel notes and quotes - 4/22 PM

Coach Neuheisel addressed several issues after Tuesday's practice in the corner of the sun-soaked west endzone, including who has moved ahead in the battle at tailback.

On Tuesday's practice: I thought practice was good today, you know we've got two left. We banged and I think guys are tired and sore, but they kept pushing. If we can do that I think we will reap the benefits, and I think that's what we are trying to get accomplished with the few remaining practices we have.

On running conditioning drills after practice: That was actually because of the loafs from the scrimmage on Friday. We didn't have the time yesterday because the coaches had to leave to Tacoma. Today they did much fewer (than last week), the message was heard loud and clear, but until we get it to zero (loafs) we're going to keep doing it.

On allowing the backup quarterbacks to work full-contact drills: It's imperative that they play so the first time they are in a live scrimmage isn't in fall ball. Cody's had a lot of experience, he's been hit. There's no need to subject him to that, but the other guys haven't played - especially in the pocket and feeling the sense of knowing there is urgency to get rid of the ball - so I think it's good for them.

On Ty Eriks wearing a red jersey and being held out of contact: It was precautionary for a slight concussion. We want to make sure that he can finish Thursday and Saturday so we held him out today.

On Derrick Johnson: He's just nursing a sore leg. I think he'll be ready to go on Thursday.

On whether Tusi Sa'au will return this spring: I'm hoping. He was working like he was trying. I'm hoping that he'll practice on Thursday. The Spring Game is not like a game because it's not a game. If we can't have him Thursday but can have him Saturday I think we'll do that.

On the offensive line: The offensive line is coming along. I think they are responding to coach Dan Cozzetto. There is always a transition when there is a new voice, a new mentor. I think they are reacting to that. I think they are seeing some production in the running game, so that's encouraging. The most difficult job is for the older guys, the guys that have played in the offense with Brent (Myers). When there is a new sheriff in town, it takes some real mental toughness and we've got to make sure that we get that out of everybody.

On Shelton Sampson getting shaken up on Tuesday: He's fine. He got the wind knocked out of him.

On Scott Ballew getting reps at tailback: He came as a high school tailback and he was a heck of a high school tailback and we were down to two - and at the time we were down to one - so I wanted to get him in there and he always does nice things so who knows what the future holds for him.

On Chris Singleton: I would say that he's nosed ahead (of Sampson) but this competition is going well into the fall. We're getting both Kenny James and Rich Alexis back. But Singleton has been encouraging, and he's been durable which is good.

On Graham Lasee: He's done some good things. We put Manase Hopoi over at REB to see how he does, and we've moved Graham over to the Husky (defensive end). We'll keep watching how that is. It's just like the offensive line. We'll just try to see who are best four are and go play.

On the defensive line: I think they've done some good things. I told them today that we are going to go as they go. It's a tough position to play, and it's why the running game is so important because if you've got an effective one and do it and do it and do it you break the will of the opponent. The will starts on the defensive line, so they've got to practice harder than everyone else on the field and understand that that's just the way it is. The great Husky teams here have always had a great defensive line, so we've got to keep working.

On Francisco Tipoti: I'm pleased with his progress. He's not there yet, but he's shown signs.

On the backup quarterback position: That will be open all the way into the fall. I don't think we are going to make any decisions until then. We want both guys to be working their tails off during the summer and fighting to earn the second-team job. It's a healthy situation.

Spring Fling: Three other events will take place at the University of Washington on Saturday besides the Spring Game, all of which will be free to the public. The UW crew teams faces Cal at 9 a.m. for the early birds out there. Then, the UW baseball team then faces Cal at Husky Ballpark at 1 p.m. That is followed by the start of the UW softball game versus the defending champion Golden Bears at 2 p.m. The Spring Game will start at 12:30 p.m.

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