Recruiting Blog - 8/26
Where does Washington stand with several of the top targets on their recruiting list? Dawgman.com's Scott Eklund takes a look at things in our latest Recruiting Blog.
Lakes OL Zach Banner (Scout.com)
Saturday Radio Show Podcasts
Scott Eklund and Chris Fetters spoke Saturday morning with Scout.com's West Recruiting Manager Brandon Huffman, who broke it all down for us with respect to Washington's 2012 recruiting class, as well as where many of the top west coast targets may end up when it's all said and done.
To listen to Dawgman's Saturday radio segment with Scout.com's West Recruiting Manager Brandon Huffman, click on the link below.
DawgmanOnKJR interview - Brandon Huffman
Thursday Morning News Links
-- Chris Fetters wraps up Wednesday Night's Pracitce in this report.
-- Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald takes a look at the pressure two young linebackers face in replacing Mason Foster and Victor Aiyewa.
-- Oregon Live posted the takes a look AP's Pac 12 North Preview of the Washington Huskies.
-- ESPN's Ted Miller reports that Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott had some interesting things to say regarding the NCAA and it's ability to police itself.
-- Miller also has a round-up of what happened during the offseason at Washington in his "While you were on vacation" series.
-- Here is the story I published on Liberty (Hillsboro, Or.) LB Brett Bafaro's visit to UW on Wednesday.
Demetrice Martin (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Demetrice Martin Wednesday Quotes
On the other CB spot - "It's open to competition, and it's kind of good, because competition gets everybody better. Greg Ducre, Tony Gobern - those guys are stepping up big-time and fighting for the position…one has a good day, and the next one has a better day, and the next one has a better day. Everybody keeps getting better."
On Gobern getting more reps Wednesday - "Yesterday was Greg, today was Tony's turn. We want to see how it is when those guys are in there with the ones, the first d-line, that type of thing so we can see the different type of coverages and the different techniques they are using. It will all end up equal time. At the end of the day, they'll both have equal reps with the ones and we'll assess it from there."
On Marcus Peters figuring into the mix - "Marcus Peters is stepping up. He's a young guy, but he is very promising. I'm excited to see how fast he grows within the scheme; he's still swimming right now, as most of our freshman are - but athletically he can do it. It's just grabbing the scheme, and doing that type of stuff."
On Quinton getting mental reps - "He's doing a good job in terms of taking mental reps, keeping those guys in tune and locked in and trying to be a coach off the field. That always raises your game up when you look at it from a coach's perspective."
On Adam Long - "That's another guy I'm missing. Can't wait until he gets back soon. I'm not one to go about how fast the rehab of the knee is, but he's rehabbing his butt off in California, and he's on his way back. He called me super-excited…as a matter of fact today…'coach, I'm watching film and I'm seeing stuff the way I've never seen it before, I can't wait to get back'…so I'm excited for him to join the crew back again."
On missing bodies and that being a challenge - "I can't say that it's not…juggling reps and watching guys, we feel like we do the most running on the football team, as far as special teams and all that stuff combined, it gets taxing on us. But it's football. You're only as strong as your weakest link, so whoever is quote unquote, the weakest link, gotta step up."
On feeling like he's snakebit, with all the injuries - "Yeah, you have to get back on the road recruiting. That's the only way we can fix it."
On Tre Watson - "He came around and he hung out all spring and asked for a chance to walk on. He just hung around and kept coming…he's one of those persistent kids. I'm glad we gave him an opportunity, glad we took a chance and allowed him to try out with the other walk-ons. He's going to be a good one…too bad he's got to sit out this year per the transfer rules…he has to redshirt, but he's a great pickup."
On why he has to redshirt - "He has to, because he was on scholarship (at Central Washington)."
Greg Ducre (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Greg Ducre Wednesday Quotes
On Tuesday's scrimmage - "I felt pretty good getting in there with the ones, different tempo as well….just learning, learning, learning more, getting more experience."
On sitting out spring - "I think it helped out a lot. I got more visual reps…very mental when I was watching, so I think I'm back. Everything feels good right now. I'm staying in football shape so I can be a good player."
On starting against Eastern - "I'm just thinking of the task at hand, which is practice by practice…just really trying to help our team out, and that's about it."
On working with Trufant - "It's going pretty good. He's just showing more about how he and Q work together, and we're building off that. So it's going pretty good."
Desmond Trufant (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Desmond Trufant Wednesday Quotes
On last play - "I just got flipped, pretty much. Literally. We were both diving to block the field goal, and my legs got caught."
On the chemistry with Gobern and Ducre - "As a group, we're pretty tight. We're always joking, we're always laughing. They can always ask me questions if they have any problems, and I can ask them questions if I have problems. We're a pretty tight group. There's no individuals. Everybody's getting better. There's always competition, regardless of who it says are starters on the depth chart. Everybody's always competing."
On Marcus Peters - "He's got his hands on three balls the last practice. He's all over the field, in my opinion. He's getting more confident with the plays, pretty much. And that's making him play faster, and better."
On adjusting to the two-a-day schedule - "We get breakfast, and then we have lunch at 11. And then we have a break. We have meetings at two, and then we have dinner at 5, and then we come out here. I think it's pretty much the same schedule as last year."
Steve Sarkisian (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Steve Sarkisian Wednesday Quotes
Film session and what he saw from Tuesday's scrimmage - A few things. One, I was impressed with, early in training camp like that, we really tackled well. We missed some tackles on the perimeter and things that we worked on today, but for the most part we tackled pretty well. That's one of the keys to training camp. When we have our opportunities to tackle, we need to maximize them and use good form and trust our technique so we can develop that confidence there. That was the first side of it. The second side of it, I thought the quarterbacks were really efficient in the game. I liked their ability to get to their secondary reads and not get focused and stuck on one read here and one read there. I liked what the backs brought in general. I liked what the backs brought, I thought they ran hard, ran with purpose. I think from a special teams standpoint, we were a little tentative. So we've got to do a better job come Saturday, when we go again and get in the scrimmage settings on teams. We'll really let it go and let it loose and play, so we can identify those guys that are going to be our key contributors on special teams. I think we have a good idea, but we need to maximize those guys and really get them going. All and all, for a scrimmage that was a week, 10 days into training camp, I thought it was a pretty good scrimmage.
On Kevin Smith's long return being symptomatic of a tentative special teams - It was a little just choppy. Are we playing live? Is it practice tempo? We wanted to play live and see it all come together, and it was just a little choppy. So I've got to do a better job of telling the guys of saying, ‘Let it go and go play' so we can get a real for what it looks like.
On having the second practice of two-a-days at 7pm - No, no, no, it's totally structured that way for a reason. Our goal is to maximize our rest time between every practice and to ensure the fact that we get two meals in our guys between every practice. So, if we can go in the morning, we can ensure ourselves that we can get lunch and dinner before the next practice and we really get tehm off their feet just so we maximize our opportunities when we're here. We're fresh. I think we're seeing that, you know, and guys have been in good shape. They're really running and playing fast football but that's the reasoning behind it. Two meals in between every practice and getting them off their feet."
On whether the schedule is the same as last year - No, we did. It's the same, same format.
On Anthony Gobern getting a long look with the 1s - Just a little bit of a reward there. I think he's come a long, long way and he did some good things again yesterday and, you know, we preach competition around here and we have to practice what we preach. If we're really allowing guys to compete for jobs we have to give them those opportunities.
On the competition between Gobern and Greg Ducre - They're battling, it's great. It's great. I love it.
On Timu anchoring down a spot at linebacker - What we've actually done here today, actually the last two days, we actually moved [John] Timu to SAM and flipped [Princeton] Fuimaono to WIL to get Johnny covering the tight end a little bit more. He's a little faster than Princeton, a little longer and then it allows Princeton to get in the box a little bit more where he's more comfortable next to Cort [Dennison]. So, we're looking at that the last couple of days to see what that feels and looks like.
On Justin Glenn competing for a spot at safety - He is. He's making plays. Again tonight with another interception. Again, competition is what we thrive on here and we'd be wrong not to reward guys with stuff like that. When they're making their plays if they just feel like ‘man there's nothing left, what else can I do, I'm just stuck in this spot,' so he's done a nice job.
On Glenn being healthy - Really, really. He looks good. He really does look good. I think he is playing without fear. There was a time there -- even though he was back -- I think he was still fearful of his foot, his ankle, and what that could entail, what might happen. And I don't think he even thinks about it any more.
Do you still love Nate Fellner? - I love Nate Fellner. I love him. That's what makes Nate unique. He's a got a real streak in him that makes him special, and he's tough. But he's got to play within the guidelines and parameters that we set for each practice. It wasn't a scrimmage tonight, so we had to stay up. This was not a scrimmage. We weren't supposed to be on the ground, and he had a tendency here today to have them go in the ground when he was making his tackles, and that's not OK.
On getting over the discipline of Fellner - Oh, yeah. I'm over it. I love our guys. But we're learning, we're teaching. And we've got to learn. That's part of this deal, and we've got to get better at that.
On his philosophy toward tackling in the pre-season - Well, I think you have to do it. We'd be remiss if we didn't. I don't think we have to do it every day. I think you can play good, hard-nosed, physical football and stay off the ground. I'm not as concerned as the tackle per se, with the runner and the tackler. I'm more concerned when they fall it's the other guys around them that get rolled up on, that get rolled into. When you just work on staying up and you wrap up and you get a strip attempt then you let the man go, then we are not on the ground and I am not as concerned about ankles and knees and things of that nature. This is the best we've ever been -- but we've got to continue to coach it.
On figuring out the punter situation - We're going to go through Saturday. This was a total two-week deal for me, as a lot of these position battles were. We'll go through Saturday. Neither of them has given us a reason to say, 'Hey, you're out of it,' you know. They are doing a nice job. I hope as the season goes on there is a chance for both of them to be part of this thing, because they both deserve it. They both are great punters. We are fortunate to have both of them.
On trying to find time for Johri Fogerson and Jesse Callier - It's a little bit challenging. Bishop (Sankey) is a little bit similar in a sense to them, as well, although I think Bishop might have a little more downhill mentality to his game. So we've got to find our opportunities. I think the first area where both Jesse and Johri are really going to help us is on special teams. And we really saw that from Jesse last year where he was really a factor on special team, not just returning kicks but covering kicks and making his plays, and Johri is fitting right into that as wel. But he will find a role and he will get on the field for us.
On if Johri is healthy - He looks it. I was concerned coming into camp. I have to be honest with you, because I didn't think in spring he was 100 percent. There were times when he got out in the spring and you could almost see him laboring with that leg and the hip. But I have yet to see that in this training camp. When he has gotten out he has looked fresh and made really solid cuts, explosive cuts. So far, so good.
Evaluating other CBs in place of Richardson, and how much chemistry they have with Trufant - It is hard to say that, they are not together a whole lot. The only time they are really together from a chemistry standpoint is slot formations and things, and when we are in man coverage and they are working their stuff together. I don't know if there is chemistry per se between the two cornerbacks as much as there is chemistry with the safeties and the corners on those particular sides when they are working their stuff. I don't see that mixing as much. I do think Desmond has had a tremendous camp. He has performed at a high, high level. I don't think Quinton being there or not has affected the way he played. I think he is doing a nice job.
Richardson on the sideline - He is doing great. He is in to practice. He is rehabbing like crazy. He was walking around today not on the field without his boot on already. He'll make it back. Again we are not as concerned about that.
Death of high school coach - My really good mentor of mine – Fred Petersen – passed away over this past weekend. He is family to me. I want to make sure I am there for his service, and be part of it with my family, his family and our entire community. It is a very close-knit community and family, and I need to be there.
Wednesday Practice Notes
Full pads tonight.
Sark said that he will be at practice tomorrow but he left late Wednesday night, because he'll be attending the funeral service of his high school coach, Fred Petersen, who passed away last week. He will be there with his family. But because of the services, practice won't start until 4:30.
Quinton Richardson has his walking boot still on, but was very active, helping the defense out with calls and doing everything he can to keep his head in the game. Sarkisian said after practice that he saw Quinton walk today without the boot on, so he's encouraged with the improvement in his high ankle sprain already. Definitely too early to write his name into the starting lineup for Eastern Washington, but the signs remain positive.
Sark said he was also encouraged by what he saw watching the film of Tuesday's 93-play scrimmage. Said they tackled well when they had their chances at the line of scrimmage, and the quarterbacks were efficient. Said special teams appeared 'tentative' to him, and they want to work on that more, said he needs to do a better job explaining to the team that the coaches wanted to see them go live instead of practice, or 'thud' tempo.
Anthony Gobern got a lot of reps Wednesday night at the No. 1 CB spot opposite Desmond Trufant. Sark said it was kind of a 'reward' for what he's done so far, and Demetrice Martin reiterated after practice that it's all done as part of the CB competition.
Sark mentioned that the last couple practices, they've looked more at John Timu at SAM, and Princeton Fuimaono at WIL. They like Timu's size to take on the tight end, and they also like what Fuimaono gives them closer to the box, which he is at the weakside position.
Sark definitely was as animated as I've seen him in some time half-way through practice, as he banished Nate Fellner to the far end of the practice field for the remainder of play. Sark later explained it was because Fellner was being too aggressive in taking players down to the ground during a practice where the main objective was to wrap up, but keep the players off the ground. Sark also said he 'loves him' and was already over it, but he wanted to make sure Nate understood the guidelines for practice, and that taking guys to the ground was not OK.
In his place, Justin Glenn had a pick of Keith Price on a deep pass, and continues to look strong. Sark said he continues to thrive, and he's playing without fear.
Sark also noted that neither Will Mahan nor Kiel Rasp have done anything to knock themselves out of the running for the punter spot, and that he was giving himself two weeks to figure out what he wanted to do at that position. Sounds like he's given himself until after Saturday to come to a decision one way or another on the spot.
I'll have more, including full Sark quotes, and quotes from Desmond Trufant, Greg Ducre and Demetrice Martin later tonight. Focus is on the corners.
Jimmie Dougherty (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
On DiAndre Campbell: "He just keeps getting better every day. Every day the kid comes out here and makes the most of his opportunities and that's really all you can do especially with this group and all the depth that we have and spreading out the reps is a challenge and when you get the chances you better make plays. He's done that."
On the depth at wideout: "I think it's going to really help us stay fresh this year, being able to play five or six guys. The challenge is going to be able to keep them all happy, so to speak, they're all competitors, they all want the ball, but they need to understand the bigger picture and that they're part of the team – whether it's a backside route or blocking for a running back they have to embrace that role and get their catches when they get opportunities. They are all earning those opportunities and when they do that in practice it means we have to honor that by finding them plays in a game.
On Jermaine Kearse: "He's had a great camp. We're talking about a guy who has caught 113 balls in two years and he's made a ton of plays for us. We back Jermaine 110% and he's got stuff to work on just like everyone else does. When you're a receiver and you drop the ball, everybody knows it, but if you're a left guard and something happens, people don't know it all the time. But at receiver, you're a showman, an entertainer and you're out on the stage by yourself and you have to be able to perform when the pressure is on and Jermaine is working really hard to cut down on those drops. He's going to be a big-play guy for us this year and he's going to help us win games, bottom line."
On Devin Aguilar: "The injury bug has caught up with him a little bit, with his glute, but you saw him make a couple of plays today and I was happy for him when he made those. Hopefully he can get back to 100%, it's nothing serious, but I think it's just something he'll have to fight through, but you saw him make plays and the kid has got talent."
On James Johnson's camp so far: "James is a guy who has worked hard to get him in the shape he is in right now and worked on the mental side of things to get to where he is now and how he's playing with confidence he's playing with right now. If I had to choose a guy who had the best scrimmage, it was probably James. He's having a great camp."
On Kevin Smith: "He's got an unbelievable amount of talent. For him it's all about the mental aspects of the position, the details and the nuances of the position, and I think he's just grown leaps and bounds from where he was last year, in knowing the offense, knowing how to run the routes we ask him to run and just his overall comfort level. You see him out there with his natural athletic ability and him making a play on a corner route and he's just a special player and athlete. He's going to be a big time guy for us this year."
On Cody Bruns: "Brunsy is just a guy that keeps plugging away. You know he's always going to be there and be ready to go and I love him and I couldn't say anything but good things about that kid. Everyone respects him and that's because he's such a great guy and a great player."
On Josh Perkins: "Josh is just a pup. At this point he's a redshirt guy, but you look at his size, obviously he's a guy who is exciting to have in the group because I think he's really going to grow in the next year into a guy that just gets better and better. He reminds me a lot of Diandre Campbell in that he's a player with talent, but it just needs to be refined and when he does that he's going to be scary good."
On Kasen Williams: "I just tell him to keep going up and catching the ball like he has been. What a physical talent and another guy who is battling that learning-curve and he's ironing out that mental side of things and once he gets that, watch out."
On how physical Williams is: "If you shake his hand, the kid has strong hands and he's strong as an ox. Half of blocking is your attitude and your ‘want to' and he's got all that stuff and more and what he brings to the table is special."
On William Chandler: "I could put him in at any position on the drop of hat and he'd do the right thing. He's going to excel in whatever he does. He's a lot like Cody where he's holding and stuff like that. It's always about what helps the team the most."
On the group overall: "I'm really blessed to have a group of kids that it isn't always about ‘me' but they focus on the team and how they can help the offense and what their roles are. I've really enjoyed working with these guys so far and I'll just keep working with them to make sure we help this team out any way that we can."
Dan Cozzetto (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Dan Cozzetto Tuesday Quotes
On where his guys are at - "They've worked hard. They are doing a lot of good things, and they are communicating as well as any group that I've had here. Obviously being in the system a long time, that helps too. We're working on getting our pad level down, working the line of scrimmage, attacking the line of scrimmage more - but they've done a good job of pass protecting, and playing together, keeping that group together, helps."
On the first five solid - "Pretty much. As we're looking at it, we're trying to develop a true backup center. We used Colin today; we used Mike Criste today. I wanted to get to Colin Tanigawa, but we didn't get to it. That's kind of where we're at. We got a chance to look at Ben Riva, and especially looking at the backup for Senio in Micah Hatchie. He's having a very good camp. He's a very talented kid."
On the second group - "Skyler has come along. He's gotten healthier, which has been a plus. And then there's Nick Wood, who has come off that hip injury, and he's had a good camp. But he tires out a little bit with his hip…bringing Ben along maturity-wise, he's grown so much and filled out, but his game isn't where I think it needs to be. He needs to study and continue to work hard. Colin Tanigawa is the biggest surprise as far as a guy coming out of a redshirt year, stepping right in there and doing the things that he's doing."
On if Tanigawa doing well was a surprise - "The defense had him all year, and they said he's something special. He doesn't back down from anybody. He goes up against that 3-technique Alameda, and Danny Shelton, and he holds his own. He's a great leverage player, he has quick hands, he's smart…he's been the biggest surprise of that front."
On being able to anchor the right side with Porter and Kohler - "That helps when those guys can play together. We've been trying to get guys that can kind of hold their positions and keep them there. That helps us a lot. Kohler's playing with Porter, and Senio Kelemete's brought Tanigawa along, and that seems to be a good fit. And keeping Drew in the middle, that's critical. I don't want to ever pull him out of there again and have to play him in the situation I had to play him in last year. He's done a good job. Drew and Senio are the leaders of that group."
On Fancher going inside - "He had that awful injury the previous season, and then he re-injured it again running down the burglar…that didn't help him. He's working hard to get better, and I think playing inside helps him a lot."
On getting bigger and more powerful - "Unbelievable differences. But they've put on good weight. Ivan and his crew have done a great job with those guys. They spend more time with those guys than I do. They have them all the time so it's critical that Ivan and I and Sark are all on the same page on what we want accomplished here. The type of body type that we want them at, the strength level that we want them at. The legs. When I came here there were no 400-pound bench pressers, no 600-pound squatters. And now we are looking at quite a few right now and great leg strength, which is critical. You are seeing a different type of body out here now, guys that can run and change direction. They are not sloppy and fat, they are cut up, kind of like I'm used to and what I think Sark wants. That's what I want.''
On Porter being special - "Oh no question (he can be in that group of good UW linemen) Supi Malamala and Benji Olson all those guys, sure. And he's a Washington kid, what a great deal.''
Is it unfair to put that expectation on him? - "He should be. He should be. If he continues to work, he's got to work on his flexibility, change of direction, but that will come. That will come. He's so strong and he's got so much brute force that he brings to the table --- he just tries to maul you.''
On Dexter Charles and Siosifa Tufunga - "Sifi, that was his first debut at center so he had been working the whole time and snapped the ball pretty good. His biggest thing is volume, communication, it's like a different language coming from high school. I think Dexter is going to be real special, real athletic, tremendous work ethic, the type of kid we are going to continue to bring in here, guys like that. And he's from the state of Washington.''
DiAndre Campbell (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Diandre Campbell Tuesday Quotes
On the difference between this year and last year: "I feel like I'm more comfortable with the offense. While I was redshirting I was able to learn the concepts, like the whole west coast offense, I got to learn every position and I did that in the summer too. I worked really hard this summer on getting stronger and faster and getting more acclimated to college life and college football in general. This summer I just worked hard with the team practices and when camp came around coach (Jimmy) Dougherty gave me a challenge to learn all of the positions."
On what Dougherty said to him: "He was like ‘we're going to move you around a lot this year' and he wanted me to learn all of the positions because they felt I was up to the challenge and that's what I took as a challenge and I've sorta run with it."
On what the coaches are saying: "The biggest thing the coaches say to us is being consistent and if you're consistent then when the ball comes you'll make plays."
On if he's surprised by his performance: "Not really. I already knew I had the potential to do it, but it was just going out and doing it and I felt like that's what helped me the most. Just getting my confidence level where it needs to be is what has really helped me."
On the biggest difference in his game: "I'd say it's mentally much better and a lot different. Where my head was as a player, when you come out of high school and you assume to yourself ‘they recruited me for a reason and they want me to make plays' and then you have to redshirt and then you get down on yourself and you feel like a redshirt can't be a vital part of the team and I just had to get out of that mindset. I had to realize it was about the team and that we win together and we lose together. No individual is better than anybody else and it is better to have a team mindset instead of an individual thoughts."
On his thoughts on the freshman: "I feel like Josh (Perkins) is a really good player and I feel like Josh and Kasen (Williams) are a lot like me and Kevin (Smith), last year coming in, learning the plays and then play on top of that. When you try to learn the play you get out of the huddle and you're like ‘it's this play or it's that play' and them you have to get to the line and read the defense and figure out who you're supposed to block on a run play or which way you have to run your route."
On if it's funny to watch the young guys this year: "Oh man, I was messing up (last year) and they are making some of the same mistakes, but they are good players."
On Kasen Williams: "Kasen has made some explosive plays, some really great plays. I think he's shown the team what he can bring to the table. He came in as a five-star recruit, he's from the state of Washington and he's shown everyone what he can do and what he brings to the table."
Steve Sarkisian (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Steve Sarkisian Tuesday Scrimmage Quotes
On having a lot of offensive weapons - "I love that. Obviously as an offensive coach, I love that - the fact that we have so many players that can do so many different things in a variety of fashion…to have the element of two tight end sets and things we haven't had here for a couple years, which is great. Today's emphasis was that a lot of young guys got a chance to play. They maybe haven't gotten those scrimmage sessions that we've had in the past. We had our vets do their thing, and then we had our young guys going…and man! They are an athletic group. Some of the tackles Travis Feeney made in the open field today…James Sample made in the open field today, Scotty Lawyer…I love the athleticism of this team and the future of this team as we move on beyond even this year."
On Kasen Williams - "That was a pretty good catch in the back of the end zone. That's what he is. We're finding more and more about what he does really well and what he's comfortable doing, and we're trying to put him in those settings. That was great seeing Kasen do that, and Austin made a few plays there, and I thought Bishop Sankey ran the ball well today as a young guy doing his thing. All in all, I thought the young guys showed up today. They weren't perfect by any means; they have a lot of work to do. But it was great to watch them play football."
On Kasen getting more involved quicker than he thought - "I think so. I'm trying to hold off on knowing where guys are going to be until we get through this second week of practice. In my opinion, this is when it's going to slow down for them, and their games should elevate even more because they feel even more comfortable. And that's what I'm anticipating. I saw a little of that today. Again, I'm excited to see what the next few days brings for us as we get toward Saturday."
On tempo - "There were a couple things here and there…we had a series where we had a play called back because of a false start, and then another false start. Those are the things…that has nothing to do with who you're playing; those are self-inflicted wounds. That's the stuff that we have to clean up in these settings, when the coaches aren't on the field with you, when they are on the sidelines…the ability to not have delay of game penalties, false start penalties, illegal formation penalties…we're getting there, but we can still clean it up. A lot of that comes with Keith and his command of being on the field and getting things fixed and lined up, and that's part of the role of playing quarterback."
On the 40-second clock adding pressure - "That was totally designed. We want them to feel the heat and the pressure of the clock and reacting to it…if we have shifts and motions and things on where they have to get lined up…that was definitely by design."
On sitting the older players - "That was exactly as planned. This was somewhat like an NFL pre-season game where the starters get a series or two and then you work in some of the backups where there's still a few starters in there, and then it works its way to the young guys."
On Alameda Ta'amu playing - "He'll be in that (cast) for a while, and there's no point for him not to be right now. Let's let it heal, but he can still play football, and he made a bunch of plays with that thing on, so he should be fine."
On Richardson's MRI - "It came back a high ankle sprain, which is very encouraging. It's also encouraging that Quinton felt good enough that he didn't want crutches anymore, so he's just walking in the boot. A lot of it is on his body now, and how he heals from this. I don't anticipate this being months, by any means. I think this is something that's more like weeks."
On the opener being in question for him now - "I guess. The reality of it is, a high ankle sprain and we've got two-and-a-half weeks now till that ball game, so I would say it's in question. The key with a high ankle sprain is not letting that thing linger either. We'll assess him come game week and where that's at, and we'll be very aggressive in his rehab, trying to get him healthy. But as that week comes, and as the week goes on, if he's not good enough and healthy enough in our opinion to play, we're not going to force him out there. We're going to need him out there for the long haul, and we need him healthy for our defensive system and scheme, and what we're trying to get done this year."
On coming out healthy - "All in all I thought it was good for a physical scrimmage. We ran the football and that was an emphasis for us in running the football today. And I'm sure we have some bumps and bruises and guys up in the training room with some shoulders and thighs, but all in all nothing jumped out.''
On Ta'amu's progression since he got here - "One of the big keys is his overall understanding of what we are doing. He is playing a lot faster and he is utilizing the fundamentals that are being taught to him. That's one of the biggest challenges for an interior defensive linemen. It's one thing to be big, strong and fast. But then are you using the proper fundamentals and techniques within the scheme to be successful. That's the biggest step he has taken of gap integrity, staying in his gap, yet still being powerful and strong and moving people, so he has gotten there. And also he's in much better shape and that's helped him immensely.''
On the three ineligible guys - "Nothing. Believe me I've asked myself that question and other people that question today. I think we are getting closer but it's a frustrating process but it is what it is.''
On looking at the scrimmage and guys taking steps forward - "I think it helps. Guys show some of their true colors in this setting. It's hard to be physical all the time in practice when you are not tackling. Again, I thought guys like Feeney and Sample and what they did tackling in the open field. I thought Fellner had a heck of a tackle in the open field on Polk, so things show up, and again we go look at the film. I have to imagine somewhere in there Drew Schaefer played pretty well at center for us to do some of the things we were doing, or Kohler at right tackle. So guys are starting to raise their level of play. As we are getting better as a team we are getting better individually as well.''
On the quarterbacks and the passing game - "I thought Nick did nice, did some nice things today. I thought Keith was efficient. I thought James Johnson did some nice things today, Devin Aguilar. So it was good. I thought the ball got spread around so guys could make some plays. There weren't a whole lot of missed opportunities and drops and things of that nature. Guys were taking advantage of their opportunities when they had them.''
On Sankey and Petty getting a lot of work - "We are trying to figure them out. We don't have quite as much information on them. But I thought Bishop, again, showed the explosiveness and the elusiveness that you like out of a running back. But one of the things that jumped out at me today was his physical nature. He finished runs really well today and that's something we preach here, but he really did a nice job of that.''
On the O-line becoming more physical - "Without a doubt. It's the most explosive offensive line we've had. I like to watch guys come off the ball, that's really telling to me, and I think the really good O-lines really snap off the football together in unison, whether it's a gap scheme or a zone scheme. This offensive line is by far and away our most explosive offensive line. When they are on double teams they come off and they are moving guys and that's how you become a good running football team.''
On Kasen's play in the end zone being ho hum - "I don't, not yet. Not to the ho-hum point yet. Maybe in a few years I will get ho-hum. But I marvel at some of his plays just like everybody else. That's the beauty of having a great athlete that can bail you out and can make those types of plays. I know it's a great luxury for the quarterbacks to have that playmaking ability and you add Kasen to Jermaine Kearse and Devin and Kevin and James Johnson and what DiAndre Campbell is bringing, and (Michael Hartvigson) and Austin and Evan Hudson, it's a pretty dynamic group of playmakers, and it's fun for us as a staff because now that ball can be spread to five different guys. It's not 'we've got to get the ball to Jermaine or Devin.' Everybody can make their plays and it's allowing the system to work for the quarterback and I think that's why we are seeing a little bit more efficiency overall in the offense when we are doing things the right way.''
On Kasen being eased in - "We are pushing him to see what it looks like and how he responds and he has done nothing but respond every chance we have given him. There is still the big learning curve and the mistakes that are made. He has not been perfect by any means. But I love his resiliency, I love the fact that when he makes mistakes he wants to learn and get better from them. He takes tremendous notes. He's a very serious guy when it comes to competing.''
On the new personnel allowing the whole playbook to be out there - "We are always going to try to fit our playbook to our personnel and try not to force things upon these guys and try to allow them to do the things that they do well. So there are going to be parts of stuff we have done the past two years that aren't going to be part of our gameplans this year. That's just the nature of who we are and how we evolve. But there are a lot of other aspects we will have to knock the dust off a little bit and get back involved in what we are doing because it fits our personnel and our personality.''
On calling a touch sack on the TD - "It was pretty close. Whether or not it was a sack or not, it was a pretty good play.''
Keith Price (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Keith Price Tuesday Quotes
On having so many weapons - "It makes my job a lot easier. I'm just having fun throwing to these guys."
On the younger guys, like Kasen and Austin - "Great players. I can just throw the ball up and you can almost guarantee that they are going to come down with it."
On Kasen's physical nature - "He's a beast. He can run, he can jump, he can block. He's going to be real good."
On the tempo - "I thought it was OK. We moved the ball pretty well. I think there's a lot of things we need to clean up on film, but we'll look at it tonight. It was just a 'check-down day' for me, at least, no big throwing plays at least…just a lot of check-downs. I was just trying to take what the defense was giving. I wasn't trying to force anything. I was just going to be efficient today."
On the tight ends and them helping him - "It's definitely opened up our offense. We haven't used the tight ends at any time since I've been here. That's a reliable source in our offense."
On Keith Smith and how much he's improved - "Night and day. He runs great routes. He can jump; he's a freakish athlete. He's had a pretty good fall camp so far."
On DiAndre Campbell - "Dre can catch the ball. He can show a little wiggle too here and there. He's pretty good."
On Chris Polk - "Great guy. Funny guy. Pretty sarcastic guy. That's my roommate. Very funny guy…makes my job a lot easier. He's runs through people like a bowling ball, people just bounce off of him. It's fun."
On the game slowing down for him - "Yeah. I'm growing a lot mentally. That's the main thing…that, and the leadership role."
Chris Polk (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Chris Polk Tuesday Quotes
On the day - "There's a lot of places we can improve on, including myself. I felt like I didn't give my best effort today. That's why we're in camp, we're here to get better and try to get better on the things we need to work on."
On not getting a lot of work - "I don't like watching the offense out there while I'm on the sidelines. I don't call the plays; I'm going to do whatever they ask of me. They know what they are doing. I can't complain, but mentality-wise, I always want to be out there playing."
On being on Heisman lists - "I don't have any expectations. The only expectations I have to deal with are what my coaches expect from me and what my teammates expect from me and how I hold myself. I don't pay attention to any of that. It's just opinions. It comes down to what you do on the field. I don't pay attention to that at all. It's a compliment, but I don't feel like I've done anything yet. Plus, I like being under the radar. I like surprising people. That's kind of my thing."
On the addition of Kasen Williams - "It's a great addition. It's just another weapon. We've got too many weapons; you can't scheme for all of us. If you try to overcompensate for one of us, another one of us is going to get open. We're going to bust you any way. It just comes down to how we're going to get better every day, and how we perfect our craft."
On Bishop Sankey being a pleasant surprise - "I wouldn't say surprise, because I knew he was good coming in. If you get recruited by our coaches, you have to be good, you have to be doing something right. He actually kind of surprised me with how fast he is. I really didn't think he was that fast. He's going to be a great addition to the Husky backfield. I can't wait to see how things turn out for him, wait until we see him get going."
On the first team OL - "I've seen a group that strives to get better every day and will be held accountable. People may say they aren't the best line, or whatever, they may say they're not good, but I wouldn't trade them for the world. They are going to lay it on the line for me, and I'm going to do the same. I trust them. I trust them with all my heart. I wouldn't replace them for nothing. Or nobody."
Steve Sarkisian (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Monday Steve Sarkisian Quotes
On what he saw from Saturday's tape - "What day is today? What did we do Saturday. That was two practices ago. OK, Saturday night … I thought it was good. We had a really efficient period where we had a chance to do some live stuff, and it was pretty evident, the first time you go to tackle, and cut and do different things you get a little sloppy. So that is why we came back tonight with another emphasis of a 40-play period where we tackled again, and cut and did different things. I thought it got a little bit better, but there is still plenty of room for improvement that way. All in all, I love their energy, I love their enthusiasm from Saturday night … but technically, fundamentally when it came down to the moment of truth, a lot of times we weren't right. That is the stuff we have to continue to work on."
Quinton Richardson injury - "He got an MRI this evening. We are waiting for the results. We'll see. We know it's not broken, we are just trying to get if there is any other damage in there that can potentially be long term."
Impressions of second day of back to back practices - "It was good. I thought we had a really good practice this morning, with an emphasis on two-minute drill, red zone and different things. Then for them to come back tonight, I thought they brought a lot of energy tonight. They are excited – any time they to tackle and play live football, they get even more excited about it. Definitely plenty of things to clean up."
Willis Wilson - "He is a slippery guy, and he brings a lot of energy. He comes out here and works hard, and runs hard and plays hard. I have been pleased with what he's done."
Scrimmages set up - "Well, we label a couple of scrimmages – actually (Tuesday) is labeled a scrimmage, and Saturday is labeled a scrimmage. We will scrimmage. But it will be a lot of situational work – things that we really need to get done important for a learning purpose. But we are going to do a lot of live tackling again (Tuesday). So it will be a scrimmage portion of a practice."
On using Kasen Williams as a punt returner - "It's serious, we need to get as much information on Kasen back there as we can. It's easy to catch punts in pre-practice, but how much we can do with guys running at him, understanding schemes, making good decisions when we are back up. He obviously did quite a bit of that in high school so we would be foolish not to give him that opportunity not to see what he can do with us.''
On Ducre's progress - "I thought he had a nice practice today --- he really showed up. Sometimes a guy thinks of himself as a backup and can almost play like a backup, and then all the sudden they get pushed to the forefront and go with the ones and that talent that we know is there comes out and they start playing like a starter, and I thought Greg did that tonight. I thought he got a little better this morning and I thought tonight was far and away his best practice.''
On Danny Shelton stepping in for Ta'amu - "I think so, again the D-line is hard for me to see exactly what is going on, but I'm assuming he was playing pretty well. I didn't see any gaping holes in the middle where he was out of position, and he's a big, strong guy. But I'll be able to see more off the film.''
On Ducre having catching up to do after being limited in the spring - "In the spring he was able to do a lot of the footwork stuff, and that's of huge importance. And then he was able to keep hearing all the calls and things and that's the second most important thing. The catching up for him was really mentally knowing that his shoulder is fine. It was surgically healed, he's strong, he's fine, so for him to make a couple of the plays he made tonight showing me and coach Martin and coach Holt that he's not afraid of the shoulder. He's playing and he's diving and he's doing all the things you need to do to be a complete player.''
On cornerback being more important - "I don't know that corner is more important than any other --- they are all huge. But you never like losing a starter at any position, but I was encouraged again by what Ducre brought tonight, and I was encouraged that Marcus Peters had his best practice tonight. So it's good to see those two guys coming, and (Anthony) Gobern has had a nice camp, he's steadily improved, and obviously what Desmond (Trufant) has done --- he had a great interception tonight. When we get Quinton back we'll have a good five guys at that spot. And again, I don't think Quinton's deal is a long, long thing. If it's a few weeks, it's a few weeks. But I don't think it's anything like months.''
On the Timu-Gilliland battle at weakside linebacker - "It's a great battle, and we are going to need both of those guys. You are hard-pressed to go through a season with three linebackers being healthy all the way through. We learned that last year where Garret started a game at (middle linebacker) and Princeton (Fuimaono) started a game at (strongside linebacker). So I like the fact that we've got nice depth at the linebacker spot. It's a healthy competition. I think they are bringing the best out of both of each other.''
On Timu - "One, he was a high school quarterback, so he has a high football IQ. He gets the game. Two, he can really run. He's by far and away our fastest backer…maybe Scotty Lawyer is a young guy that can really run. But the thing he's been able to do is show courage. He's got instincts in the box. He puts his face on people. He's physical. That's been the biggest surprise of it all, I think."
On him playing volleyball after his ACL tear - "I think he needed to rehab and get healthy."
On ASJ - "I appreciate Austin, and Kasen for that matter…these guys, it's hard when you're a true freshman and you're fighting the fight mentally, physically, emotionally, the playbook…it's a grind. Those two guys are two competitive suckers, the more I'm around them. They don't like not making plays. They don't like when the ball is thrown to them and it's a bang-bang play and they don't catch it. You almost see a sense of frustration in both of them, and that's a good thing. I don't mind it. They are highly-competitive guys, and they want the ball and they want to make plays."
On finding that out about the both of them - "I've learned that about them, but realistically you aren't the athletes that they are if you're not that way. Again, the stage hasn't been too big for them. They've risen up - they've battled and competed and it's going to take them time when they can play fast because they know what exactly what they're doing on every snap."
On Alameda - "There's no point to rush him right now…let that thing settle down a little bit, maybe get the swelling down a little bit. It's not going to be something that's going to inhibit him from playing. Today was not the day to bring him right back the next night. He suited up, but let's get the swelling down."
On DiAndre Campbell - "Love him. He's really been one of the real surprises of training camp. He's dedicated himself in the off-season to mentally and physically get ready, and he's making plays and earning himself a spot right now."
On sorting out the WR depth - "I'm not worried about that right now. We've got time."
On if ASJ could have made the same plays if he hadn't come in for spring ball - "Without a doubt. Huge for him to be here for spring practices and to take advantage of those 15 practices. We're seeing the results of it. And the great thing about Austin is that he's so competitive. He wants to be even better, and he wants to know even more. And that's what makes him uniquely special."
On how much of his development has been physical, and how much mental? - "It's both. It's mental, but it's also technique fundamentals. It's not about sheer athleticism or strength; it's the mental side of knowing what to do and then at the moment when things happen using the proper fundamentals and techniques. That's where he can get himself in trouble. When he's right, he blocks all the people he needs to block, he blocks them really well, and he makes all the plays he needs to make down the field. So now it's just a matter of finding that consistency with him, which he'll get to."
On the frosh feeling it in their legs right around this point in camp - "A think a little bit. It's challenging on them. But that's the experience of being a freshman and going through a training camp on a good football team. You're going to have those moments when you struggle, but this is also where you develop the mental toughness to preserver. These guys will do it. We have a nice freshman class. We'll do it."
On Richardson's injury frustrations - "I'm sure it's hard for him. It's your senior year and you're poised for a great senior season and you're in training camp and you have an injury…I'm sure it's frustrating for him. But he'll be back again. This isn't season-ending type stuff we're talking about."
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins Monday Quotes
On one-handed catch - "Nothing really going through my mind - just playing football. Keith just threw a good ball out there and I put my hand out there and caught it. That's how we drew it up, and that's how it goes sometimes."
On acknowledging the crowd - "I can hear them, but my job is to play football. It's great that they are here and supporting us. It's great to have them here - it helps you get used to a game, or something like that. But on the field, I try to be as focused as I can be on catching the ball."
On what he needs to improve on - "I need to improve on my run blocking, my footwork, my pass blocking and my footwork there. I really want to work on everything, and I need to work on everything if I want to be a complete player and be what I want to be at the end of the day. I need to work on my pad level in running routes, coming out of my breaks, running out of my breaks quick, just being consistent - catching the ball extended.
"I had a drop out here today and I should have caught it - that's exactly what I'm talking about. If I had my hands out, I would have caught it. Just trying to get better at every single thing, every single day."
On how important it was to come in for spring ball - "It was very important to come in early. At first it was a real struggle for me to get the plays down. It's still a struggle - we still have installs and everything like that - it's a lot more second-nature to me know. I've already been through it. I know how installs go. I just have to study up and do certain things.
"I'm happy I came in early. It's made it a lot easier. It's not easy going out there and playing, but it's made it a lot easier knowing what I have to do."
On physicality - "We all respect each other, we're all friends. We're all trying to get better out here. Coach Sark always talks about competition and getting better every single day, and that's what we're trying to do. If I'm being physical, then they know I'm trying to make them better. Sean Parker is a perfect example of a player who is really physical, and he makes me a better football player because he gets up in my face and jams me. He does things that sometimes the other guys won't do, and being physical is what we have to do to each other if we want to get to the next level."
On moving from out wide to the edge of the line - "It's been a huge adjustment, and I'm learning. I'm taking it one day at a time, and I'm being patient. I'm trying to get better every single day. It's frustrating sometimes when you're used to playing receiver and you have to move to tight end. I'm trying to take it all in and get better every day and being patient. If I keep working at it and work hard, I'll eventually be where I want to be."
On throttling things back to improve - "It's part of being competitive. You always want to do things right. We're all competitors out here, and we all want to do things right all the time, but no one's perfect. That's part of being more mature and becoming a better football player is understanding that things aren't going to always go your way. It's how you respond from it, and that's what I'm learning every single day."
Recruiting Blog - 8/15
In our weekly look inside the world of Washington recruiting, we have some news on a couple of UW's top targets at a couple of positions -- most notably offensive line and cornerback -- as well as Husky commit Cyler Miles and Jeremy Castro.
Click on this link to see what is brewing.
Hauoli Jamora (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Hauoli Jamora Quotes
On his comfort level this year compared to last year at this time: "Oh man, it's so different. I understand things so much more and I feel much more comfortable. Last year I was just learning the system and the calls and I was thinking a lot instead of just letting loose and being aggressive."
On the defense so far: "Guys are flying around. It's a lot of fun out here right now. You have a lot of senior leadership on the defense with Alameda (Ta'amu), Everrette (Thompson) and Cort (Dennison) and Nate (Fellner). We have guys who just love to play and run and hit and it shows with our attitude out there on the field."
On his progress as a player: "I think I'm more technically sound and I'm learning new things. Today we were cut (blocked) for the first time and that teaches us to use our hands more so we can keep guys off our legs. I'm also just refining things like my first step and some moves. I want to be even more explosive so it's just something I have to work on daily."
On some of the new guys: "These young guys are really impressive. Danny (Shelton) and Tani (Tupou) are great athletes and Connor and Jarett have a lot of talent too. We just have to make sure the young guys learn the ropes quick because I know what it's like to be struggling with stuff. The more we can help them along, the faster they can help us."
On his goals for this season: "Just to be better and make fewer mistakes. I want to get double-digit sacks, but honestly, I can't focus just on that because if I do then I forget my assignments and it's not about my stats, it's about us getting wins and getting back to a bowl game and winning the Pac 12."
Steve Sarkisian (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Saturday Steve Sarkisian Quotes
Special thanks to Bob Condotta who put together these quotes...
Overall thought on practice: "It was great, exactly what we were hoping for. The first double-day can be hard on the guys mentally but it set up beautifully to do short yardage and goal line and the competition and the intensity the guys really embraced it and it set the stage for a really good practice. As we said the other day, we have set a really high standard here for the energy that is needed to practice here at a uniquely high level and we definitely brought that tonight.''
On Quinton Richardson's injury: "He's getting X-rays. We can't tell quite yet if it's a high ankle sprain or if it has something to do with the bone but he was obviously in pain, but it's too early to say exactly what it is. I'll know more in a couple of hours I would imagine. It looked more like Kasen landed on top of him so I don't know exactly if his foot was under him or not. Sometimes a knee right on the shin bone can cause a pretty good bruising there, or worse for that matter, so I don't know. They kind of just landed at the same time. But it's definitely a lower-leg injury, it's not up in the knee region which is a good thing.''
A first-week assessment of Kasen Williams, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Danny Shelton: "I would say all three of them have had an impact on training camp, meaning that you feel their presence. They have all made some plays that have kind of made you say 'wow.' And then you realize they are still freshmen and they make mistakes and they are still learning, and at times they play slower than they are because they are thinking quite a bit. But without a doubt you see the potential that is there. But then on the other side of it I would say you say about all three of them is that they are very serious. Football and playing at the University of Washington matters to them and is important to them and they have put in the time, not only on the field but in studying this thing to get to this point to where they are competing for playing time.''
On the short-yardage goal-line drill that got intense: "Just that we compete and that the guys had fun doing it as a team. A lot of times it's easy for the 11 guys that are into it to be fired up, but I thought it was pretty special to see both the offense and the defense really into the drill, not just the guys were in but everybody that was in was having fun and they were competing. I thought it was a really healthy competition, it wasn't offense against the defense in a negative way. I thought it was good, it was healthy and I thought it was very cool that the defense was down two and they had to get two stops in a row and they were able to do that to set up overtime and the offense obviously won with the last one but it was just great to see our guys battle and compete all the way through.''
On Bishop Sankey getting the first carry: "Was it Bishop or Jesse? Sorry, I was trying to manage a lot of stuff there at one time but we gave all of those guys carries to see --- you never know. There was a variety of plays in there as well that we were looking at and I think all in all it worked out really well. We looked at some different things that Keith can do and Nick can do, Hartvigson catches a touchdown, so it wasn't just get the ball to Austin, hand the ball to Chris Polk. It was using a variety of things and it worked out well.''
On Nick Montana's camp so far: "I think Nick has had a nice camp the first week. His pocket presence has really improved, he is playing much more sudden and explosive. Again, what I've been impressed with from Nick Montana from day one to where we are now, he has improved steadily the whole way through. I don't think he has ever really taken a step back. He might have a day here, a day there. He has continually gotten stronger, he understands our system better and he is playing faster.''
On the season starting three weeks from today and it getting urgent: "It always feels urgent to me. I just feel like we have to maximize every opportunity we get because we get so few of them in reality. You think about 15 spring practices and not quite 20-something practices to get ready for a first ball game, it just doesn't seem like a lot to me. So when we are out here we need to maximize and take advantage of the opportunity that we have, one, and then understand the focus for the day, the emphasis for the day, because everything we are doing is very particular to situations of the game that we are trying to educate our guys on and raise their football IQ so that they can play really fast, furious football understanding those special situations. And this was just another night of that. I think tonight we were able to do short-yardage, goal-line, fringe red zone and seven-one-seven, we had a blitz drill, a first-and-10 drill, and we had a third-down drill, so we covered a lot of football situations tonight. But it's urgent to me that we maximize and capitalize on those situations every time we come out here.''
On Friday being the only day they didn't practice well, asked by the really negative guy wearing the Husky gear: "I've seen us better, like I said yesterday. But I thought it was good. This morning was a big emphasis on two-minute drill, so we were able to get that done. All in all I like this team for the simple fact that they are serious. They care, they are in this thing together, they are very focused. Whether that equates to wins or not, I'm not sure. But I know it's sure enjoyable in training camp to go to meetings with these guys and come on the field with these guys. They are very locked in and they have fun playing football together.''
On Alameda Ta'amu's injury: "He injured his hand. I'm assuming the injury of what it was he's probably got a small fracture in his hand. He's a defensive linemen, he'll be okay. And Devin Aguilar actually had a little bit of a glute strain so we held him out.''
On the guys not here (Antavius Sims, Marvin Hall and Kyle Lewis): "Not yet. Counting the days now whatever that day was I said the NCAA said it would be within seven business days we are three or four into it now.''
Johnny Nansen (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Johnny Nansen Quotes
On the defensive line's performance Saturday night: "I thought they did pretty well. A couple guys are stepping up and we have some depth. There's a lot of learning going on in there and they're doing a good job. Obviously with the leadership of Everrette (Thompson) and Meda (Alameda Ta'amu) and that's really helping our young guys step up and all they're helping out with the other kids so I was really happy with their performance tonight."
On Hauoli Jamora's progress and feeling more comfortable: "You can tell he's more comfortable. The year before, he was just focusing on one, but with him, he's so versatile now, we have that option of moving him and possibly helping out Josh Shirley at the same time. That's a big step for us."
On the new players along the line: "Great, great, great gets. These guys are going to really help us. They're going to help our depth, but they're also great football players. Danny (Shelton) is coming along and hopefully he'll help us out this year and if he continues to develop he'll see playing time this year."
On Lawrence Lagafuaina: "He's coming along. You can see he's getting better. He's losing weight so he's lighter than he was before and that is only going to help him play better and play faster and that's really what we need out of him."
Friday Steve Sarkisian Quotes
On the first practice in full pads: "It was okay. For whatever reason, maybe it's just because it's Day 5, I don't know if we had the energy that I'm quite accustomed to. We hold these guys to high standards. That obviously starts with me. We gotta do a better job of really bringing it every day. I thought we were great yesterday and today wasn't bad but I've seen us better, so we hold ourselves to that standard on that end. But after that, just the overall energy level, I thought there were some good things on both sides. We're still continually gotta work our pad level at the line of scrimmage. We weren't live today but our pad level needs to get better. We gotta to play lower football better pad level football to be the physical team I think we can be. So, those are two areas I definitely know we need to work on."
On Desmond Trufant's hit on ASJ: "Great play. Just a tremendous play. I think Keith thought Jenkins was wide open and just laid him the ball and Desmond covered about 40 yards at 4.3 and it was a pretty good lick. It was good. Welcome to college football right."
On how hits such as Trufant's help instill fear of a defense: "It's big. It affects guys. All of the sudden there's some double catches and some drops and guys might not be running routes as full speed as they need to be. And it's not just in the passing game, it can be in the run game too with running back, so hopefully as a football team, we possess the ability to make those types of hits on both sides of the ball. That's how you instill a little bit of the fear in your opponent and hesitation in your opponent. "
On where James Johnson fits into his plans right now: "He's going through it. I think James' had a nice camp, kind of getting back to what we're used to seeing from it. That receiving line is a battle right now. Those guys are competing and they're all making their plays in different areas. We're not into a point where we need to game-plan and find spots for everybody, exactly where they need to be. We're just allowing guys opportunities to try to make plays and James is definitely taking advantage of that."
On whether or not James Johnson has to prove something before he gets back on the field: "I don't think he has to go completely the other way, I just want to see him having fun playing football the way I know he's capable of and I think he's doing that right now."
On how Danny Shelton held up playing with the first team: "It's hard for me to see everybody on every snap, but I think he did okay. We wanted to see what he looked like playing against the front line type guy because he's had a nice camp in that he's starting to play at the speed that's needed to be played at. I'll be able to give you a better evaluation of him after I see the film but it didn't jump out at me that he didn't hold up, that's for sure."
On what that means for the makeup of the defensive line: "Get Everrette back out at end and you know, when you're playing teams that really like to pound the football and are physical we get back to a bigger front, more physical front especially on first and second downs."
On Bishop Sankey continuing to flash: "He really does. Bishop is just a serious kid. He came here mentally and physically prepared for this. He studies, he works at it, he's in great shape and he's not afraid. Sometimes you see guys in, we like to refer to it as ‘wearing underwear,' we're just in helmets and guys can look good, they're not getting hit, there's no fear of getting hit and then you put on the pads and they're not quite the same guy. That's hasn't been the case with Bishop. The pads have come on, he's running hard, he's pass protected, he catches the ball well and he just fits right in. He belongs."
On getting an idea in his head about which freshmen are going to play: "We're getting closer. We had a nice conversation about it last night, Coach Holt and I, just trying to get a little bit of an idea. But again, I want to give them a chance to play and so we'll get two good practices in tomorrow and tomorrow night we'll do some live settings and so we'll see cause some guys, they can raise their level of play when all of the sudden the lights are on and it's live and so we can gather even more information on the young guys as well. "
On Nick Holt at fullback: "He just keeps making plays. He got his first TD at Husky Stadium today so that was a pretty cool moment, I'm sure his father was proud. But he's doing a nice job. I think right now it's a natural fit right now for our football team and it gives him an opportunity to get on the field maybe a little quicker than maybe at linebacker where he was originally slated to play."
On Holt's future being at fullback: "Oh I think so. But a lot of it is how his body grows and performs. You gotta love playing fullback. Fullback's not just something you go and do, you gotta love it. It's a grimy position. It's not a lot of glory; a lot of butting heads and sacrificing yourself for the team and the guys running the ball behind you and I think he has that mentality so we'll see how it goes."
On restoring Erik Folk's confidence and whether he's concerned about how he ended last season: "A little bit. A little bit. I just think back to some of the kicks late in the year and then I think back to Spring and I've seen him better in my opinion. So, just like all the guys on this team, when they do something really good, and when they're making big kicks and making big plays, that's the standard that's set now. Once you show us it once, we know what you're capable of and so the standard has been set for Erik very high. I think he's got the talent and the mindset to be a tremendous kicker and to be an all Pac-10 [sic] kicker and we just want him to perform like that and he does too, so that's one of our goals for this camp."
On whether the issue is a mechanical or confidence problem: "It's not technical at all, it's just a matter of striking the ball the way you're capable of striking it."
On how he feels about what's going on in the trenches between the lines: "It's physical, I know that. It's as physical as we've been in my opinion. I think that we've got more explosive body-types in there, even our young guys. They might not be right all the time and I don''t expect them to be, but just our ability to come off the football on both sides of the ball is evident to me. We're snapping off the ball and we're striking better than we have in the past."
On how big Ivan Lewis and his program has been: "It's huge and we're always trying to be cutting edge in that area and stay ahead of the game and Ivan does a tremendous job of that and we've had a real plan in place in each year of what we wanted to get accomplished, what the focus was going to be for our football team and we've done that. We went from ‘let's lean out, let's get faster' in year one. In year two now ‘let's get our strength right, let's get stronger. ' And in year three now ‘let's get more explosive' and I think we're seeing the return."
On starting to get the offensive line settled: "We are, but I'm letting guys compete. We want to let Riva battle and do some things and we've moved Fancher inside to let him do some things so I don't want to say this is it but I am getting comfortable. Colin Tanigawa has shown that he can do things. Every once in a while Alameda tosses him aside, but he's going to do that to a few other guys too so he's done some nice things. Kohler has been taxed with some really good pass rushers, whether it's Shirley or Jamora coming off the edges, those guys can rush so it's been challenging for him."
On what's on tap for tomorrow's practice: "In the morning it will be really emphasis on two-minute drill and some real special situation type stuff and then tomorrow night it will be a normal practice with an emphasis on short yardage and goal line and some real physical type play."
Quinton Richardson (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Quinton Richardson Quotes
On his first year: "Oh man, I got laid out a couple of times. Guys hit you early and they would just laugh and help you up. They were like ‘this is college football' and they wanted to help you get up to speed quickly."
On redshirting: "I'm so glad that I got to redshirt. It helped me to get used to the speed of the game and how I need to prepare myself for things. It also allowed me to mature physically so I could take the pounding, get stronger and just get used to the speed. That's the most important thing and then also how you prepare is different at this level too."
On this being his final fall camp as a Husky: "So many memories. This is my last first week of college training camp. I'm out here trying to get better like everyone else. I love seeing the new guys come in and like when I was a freshman and Roy Lewis worked with me on things, I'm just trying to do that with our young guys now. It's a special thing to play college football and it's an honor to be a Husky so I want to go out on top and that means we have to build on what we did last year."
On his confidence level increasing from last year: "I really gained a lot of confidence the last half of the season. Honestly, I'm a confident guy, you have to be to play this position, but I never lacked confidence, but when it increases it helps you play that much faster and I was just seeing things better and making the right decisions and that helped put me in position to make plays and that's carried over into this season. I'm just building on my future. I don't want to have peaks and valleys, I just want a steady climb up and that's what I want people to remember about me – I always improved."
On the confidence level of the defense: "We're in year three of this thing so it's old hat for us all. They put in new wrinkles here and there for us, but mostly it's the same thing so we are playing faster and we're confident we know our jobs which is huge for us."
On which new players have looked the best: "Austin (Seferian-Jenkins), Kasen (Williams) and (Bishop) Sankey have all looked really, really good. They are great athletes and they are going to really help us this fall. All of them are also good listeners and they always ask us what we're doing and how they can disguise things more and that will only help them down the road."
Chris Polk (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Friday Morning News Links
-- ESPN's Ted Miller put RB Chris Polk, DT Alameda Ta'amu, K Erik Folk and WR Jermaine Kearse on his Preseason All-Pac 12 team.
-- Miller also has Ta'amu ranked 13th in his look at the Pac 12s top players.
-- CBSSports' Bryan Fischer ranks Washington 3rd in the Pac 12 North.
-- CBS Sports also agrees with Miller and has Folk, Polk, Ta'amu and Kearse on their All-Pac 12 team as well.
-- Which coaches have the hottest seats in the country? An ESPN poll says that, to no one's surpris, WSU's Paul Wulff and UCLA's Rick Neuheisel have two of the warmest seats.
-- The Everett Herald's Scott Johnson has a story on Justin Glenn and how hungry he is to show people he's back.
-- Finally, The News Tribune's Todd Milles profiles FB Jonathan Amosa and his chances of starting this fall.
Everrette Thompson (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Everrette Thompson Quotes
On finally being healthy: "This camp, I'm actually enjoying camp. I'm not worrying about other things like rehab, trying to get back with the team, so I'm having fun each day."
On the talent around him: "We have players here now. We've got great coaches coaching up the kids and everybody's taking to the system and it's just fun seeing the different combinations we can throw out there – (Josh) Sbirley, Hauoli (Jamora), Lawrence (Lagafuaina) – all these other players, they can play. Since my freshman year we seemed to just have one stagnant group the whole time, not too much off a change, so this is nice."
On who he thinks is playing well: "I'm pretty happy that Princeton (Fuimaono) and Johnny Timu are both out there and flying around."
On Timu: "I think he's a really intelligent player. He played quarterback and greyshirted so he's been around and he's been picking up things pretty fast."
On Danny Shelton: "I'm pretty excited for that guy. I've known his family for a long time and he's strong; he's a strong kid. Coach (Johnny) Nansen and coach (Nick) Holt are going to bring the best out of him."
On what he's happy with on defense: "We're building chemistry with one another. Everybody just seems like they trust each other, so hopefully it just gets better and better. Everybody knows their jobs and that helps the chemistry that much more."
On what the offensive line has showed him so far: "The whole O-line has really improved. They've really improved in the weight room. I love Colin Tanigawa and you can't forget Colin Porter either. You always have to put your money on Porter. We face off all the time and it just makes both of us better."
Mike Cox (Dawgman.com)
Mike Cox Quotes On the open spots - "I think we really have some good competition there but Princeton Fuimaono has done a really nice job. He didn't benefit from spring practice but I think he has really come at a fairly quick pace right now catching up on things."
More on Princeton - "He picked it up and played well and we obviously were very comfortable with him last year and he started a game and been in games and he's got some experience and he's a good player."
On the other spot - "It's very good competition with Garret Gilliland and Johnny Timu but it's still early. It's going to be a process and no one is going to win the job in one or two days. They are going to come out and work every day and that's the cool part of it, they are going to make each other better. But I'm pleased with Johnny's progress. He's done a nice job of kind of catching up a little bit, being new, he wasn't here in the fall and Jordan Wallace has got a lot of maturity as well, so there's a lot of competition and those guys are just rolling in there right now competing for that spot."
On replacing Foster and Aiyewa - "We will be a little bit different, you kind of adapt your personnel to what you are calling and we will be different, we will have strengths in other places. But I'll feel comfortable with the three guys we put out there and we'll run the stuff we do. It will be harder to replace a guy who is a playmaker like Mason is, that's hard to do. But these guys are coming along."
On moving a new guy there - "Princeton has been a linebacker for two years and Johnny Timu has been through the process. Victor he didn't get to go through spring practice. He played linebacker fall camp his first real experience doing it and then in the middle of the season and end of the season started to be natural. These guys linebacker is their natural position and they may be a little ahead of Victor at this point --- not his big-play capabilities yet because that's what Victor did, but as far as playing every down and all that stuff, these guys are probably a little more comfortable at this stage.''
Thomas Tutogi at MIK - "I like his size and physicality. He keeps on getting better every day, learning the stuff. Tim Tucker has had a solid fall. The one thing we do have - we're starting to develop some bodies. Our first year here, I was scared to death if one guy got hurt…it was like 'Who is going in now?', but now we're starting to develop some depth a little bit."
On the frosh - "We have Matt Lyons and Scott Lawyer, both can run fairly well and are very instinctive. They go through the program and the process and keep developing their bodies and getting bigger…I think Scott has already gained a few pounds. I think he's gained about 10 pounds since he's been here. It'll be a process for those guys, and it's a good situation where they don't need to be thrown in their right away with the depth that we have. But I sure like them."
On it being a bonus having Lawyer in camp - "It is, with the surgery going well and the rehab went well, so he was able to get here. He's gotten heavier since he's been here, and he might be one of our fastest guys. I'm really impressed with his athleticism."
On if the two frosh have natural positions - "I think they are interchangeable right now. You see the bodies we are recruiting - the lankier guys. Maybe at some point we can move them from one position group to another with that body size and create a little bit more depth with them."
Steve Sarkisian Thursday Quotes
On Victor Burnett - "He's been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules."
On coaches bringing energy - "It was fun. When training camp gets going, and it's like Groundhog Day now, being day four of training camp…the players can feel the effects and so can the coaches of feeling that grind. We made it a point of bringing our energy, and we feel like if we would bring it the kids would respond, and they did. I thought it was a very intense, upbeat, enthusiastic practice."
On staying healthy - "Knock on wood. We're doing pretty good. And some guys that weren't healthy are getting healthier, so that's the idea being the madness, I guess."
On Semisi - "He's getting better. It's just taking time. Zeger's getting better, Taz is getting better. Sione's obviously getting better. We're getting healthy."
On Zeger - "It's a hamstring, and the last thing I want is for that thing to linger for months. Let's just nip it in the bud and get him 100 percent healthy before we get into October and we're still talking about Evan Zeger and his hamstring."
On Zeger roaming around the field like a caged lion - "Oh yeah. I notice him all around here, pacing."
On two tight end sets - "We've been doing it, we've been doing quite a bit of it. A lot of two tight sets with Austin and Michael, as well as Evan Hudson…and Cameron Salley has shown up too at that spot. We've been doing it and I think it's been good to us. We've created a lot of big plays in the passing game and the running game because of it, so I think we'll stay the course and it'll be a part of our offense."
On that meaning less fullback during the season - "No, we'll do it. Jonathan Amosa played quite a bit, and I've been pleasantly surprised with Nick Holt at the position, it's something he hasn't played before. But we're also doing some stuff, utilizing what appears to be two tight end sets, with one of the tight ends at fullback. So we're incorporating that as well."
On an extensive team period on the east field - "Well, we got new turf over there. That's part of it. We like to be over there and the guys like to be over there too…sometimes there's a little bit more sun on that side of it. And there's a little bit of trying to get into a comfort zone over there, because come November 6th, and this thing closes down, we're over there full time and I don't want the shock of all of a sudden moving to the East field. The turf's good, and we're just trying to get used to it."
On the punting competition - "I'm hoping one starts shanking a couple of them. They are both bombing the ball right now. They are cranking it. We don't need to rush. They are both experienced, and they've both played a lot of football. Hopefully when it's all said and done they both get their opportunities."
On using two punters - "I don't know. I'm still trying to rack that in my brain right now. I don't know if anyone has carried two punters, but we'll see. We'll try."
Third-down situations in practice - Throwing the ball a little more down the field, and it was a big third-down emphasis day today, so you got into some third-and-long situations, and second and long … where there are more balls being thrown down the field.
Any player moved up - "Johnny Timu. For a guy who is essentially a true freshman for us right now, he basically started today. For a guy who has never really played the position, being a high school quarterback and safety, he is just a natural football player. He has got great instincts. He is very athletic. He can run. He's tough. He has really probably made the biggest impact. And the other guy that jumps out at me … and has made a lot of plays is Sean Parker. He is just around the ball. He is a natural football player. If he doesn't get an interception a day, he's got his hands on one that he doesn't quite catch. He is around the ball quite a bit.
Better feeling about two outside linebackers - I think so, because Princeton is playing at a high level. Cort is playing at a high level. Not that Garret isn't, it's just Johnny is really pressing the issue. That is going to be make Garret better, going to make Jamaal better and so overall it's tough to go through a year with just three (linebackers). That is a physical spot, so we are going to need the depth that we have. They are pushing one another.
Off the field issues - I am not frustrated. I am frustrated maybe with myself, because I feel like part of my job is to raise these guys. I am inheriting a kid at 18 years old, and I have him for the four or five years of their lives, and those are big years in a young man's life with a lot of changes. You try to get them all – try and make them all better people, and better students and better football players, so the frustration maybe is with me when you don't get them all. Then you sit back and you realize I've got 115 sons, and the percentages tell me we're doing pretty good.
On Semisi - "I don't know. He's on the sled. Not going to force it with him. We've got time. We've got a lot more depth on the defensive line than I think people think. I want to make sure he's playing really good football for us in October and in November. If that means that we lose a little of that in early September, that's okay with me. I just want to make sure he's healthy.''
On the ineligible guys - "We're hoping on Lewis and Hall within the next seven days is what I'm told and Sims hopefully we know a little something by early next week.
Full pads - "Tomorrow we'll be in full pads."
Senio Kelemete (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
As has already been stated, Sark confirmed that Victor Burnett has been dismissed for a violation of team rules. No elaboration. So that means Cort Dennison, Thomas Tutogi, and Tim Tucker are the three primary MIK linebackers.
Deontae Cooper was at practice, as well as a lot of the Juanita football team, including Nathan Dean. Graham-Kapowsin ATH Kahlil Dawson, Jason Thompson, and Desmond Thompson were also there. Paul Fortier and Raphael Chillious both took in practice with Tony Wroten, Sr. Former team Chaplain Mike Rohrbach was also there, as well as former UW assistant coach Al Roberts.
During the 1-1's for the OL/DL, the offense seemed to do a much better job Thursday of staying with the DL. Senio Kelemete, especially, looked really good. As he and Jarett Finau worked, the Juanita players and coaches there were rooting hard for them. Senio has ties to the Juanita staff, as most of them were at Evergreen HS when he played there.
Looked like Johri Fogerson had a very good practice, blowing up linebackers in pass pro and taking one pass from Derrick Brown for a 74-yard touchdown. James Johnson also hooked up on a couple of big plays, one from Nick Montana, and one from Keith Price - where he was caught from behind by Quinton Richardson.
The play of the day for the defense was a pass tipped by Cort Dennison intended for Johnson, and John Timu cleaned it up.
Bishop Sankey continued to get some work with the twos.
First full pads practice tomorrow, so I would advise anyone who has been curious about practices - this would be one to watch.
Victor Burnett (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Dawgman.com confirmed a report Thursday from The Daily that Victor Burnett, a 5-foot-11, 234-pound redshirt freshman linebacker from Culver City, Calif., has left the team.
"He has been dismissed for a violation of team rules," Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian said Thursday after practice.
This confirms a report posted a hour earlier by Washington's student newspaper, The Daily. HERE is the link to the article.
Dawgman.com on KJR Podcasts - 8/10
Kim Grinolds, Scott Eklund, and Chris Fetters took over the KJR airwaves Wednesday night from 7-10 pm, and they talked about Washington's new website, huskystadium.com, UW hoops with center Aziz N'Diaye, and local football/hoops recruiting with Lakes standout Zach Banner. Click on the link below for the DawgmanOnKJR podcast page, which has podcasts by the interview, as well as by the hour.
Dawgman.com on KJR podcasts - 8/10
Nick Holt (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Nick Holt Wednesday Quotes
On the defense finally getting to hit today - "That's real big. We finally got to play a little football today and got out of the underwear and got into our shoulder pads. We weren't very sharp today, especially early. Our pad level was really early and we weren't striking. We were kind of catching. We weren't sharp today. We've got a long way to go. We've got a lot of bunnies out there that need a lot of reps. It looked like basically a third day of practice --- we were sloppy and playing really high. We've got to get our pads down.''
On the veterans setting a tone - "I thought the vets that have been around, they did okay. And the young guys were all very wide-eyed this afternoon and didn't really get it, and that's understandable because they haven't been around here for a full year of practice, or a practice of this nature. But they will get with the program, and the old guys --- like Desmond and Everrette Thompson and Cort --- they've got to get the young guys on board here. And they will. It's a good group of young guys."
On Nick Holt playing fullback - "We'd love to have him on defense and maybe he can help us out down the line but they need some bodies over there. They are just looking at some guys and hopefully they can find some guys that can help them because we need some fullbacks in our offense. I haven't really gotten to coach him specifically but it's fun to just see him out here having a great time and being a Husky. It's really cool."
On being tougher on him than others - "Probably, but he's with some great coaches over there so he's in great hands."
Does he remind you of yourself - "He's a little faster than I was. Not as good looking, though."
On the strong safety position - "Sean Parker, it's obviously really early but he's doing a really, really good job. He's in shape. He looks quicker. He's always had some nice football instincts but he's getting more mature physically and he's moving a lot better and I think when it's all said and done like we thought last year he's going to be a really good football player. He's really instinctual and tough and a good tackler and understands the game and we've just got to keep him coming and get some depth behind him."
On DL players not having to do more than their jobs, like they had to last year - "We hope those days are behind us where we're losing games like that and we're not really playing very good on defense - and plus, lack of depth - especially on the d-line - that really hurt us in the middle of the year. Hopefully we'll stay healthy. We've got some bodies in there, and one starter isn't playing - Semisi (Tokolahi). We have Danny Shelton in there, and he's a big kid. And Tani (Tupou) is going to be a big kid. So we're starting to get some pieces to the puzzle, and now we just have to keep coaching them."
On Alameda - "I expect him to have a really good senior year. It's a good questions, because the seniors like him and Quinton and Cort - those guys, they want to do so well and go out in style. They seem to forget - just do what you're supposed to do. Play within the scheme. They don't have to play like Supermen, or they'll screw things up. Just to what we coach them do to, have a great time, and everything will take care of itself. I don't want them to push so hard. It will come. They will be successful. I don't want to put so much pressure on these guys to have a great senior year - we don't talk in those terms. Just come out, get better every day, and everything will take care of itself."
On Ta'amu 'ruining' practice - "At times he can do that. Sometimes Alameda picks and chooses his spots; he needs to do that all the time. I think with competition and him trying to be a leader for some of the younger guys, hopefully he ruins every practice or we have to tell him to slow it down. That's not going to happen, because the offense is pretty good themselves, but that's what we want out of him, and we just have to get it out of him more consistently."
On OLB rotation - "Hopefully we have 6-7 guys that know the defense and play within the scheme. If that means rotating them, then so be it. But it's still a long ways away. We have a fantastic leader and a guy that knows the package and we can count on in Cort Dennison, and then it's still very muddy at the other positions. Hopefully it'll crystalize in the next few weeks, and I think it will. There's so many bodies, and somebody has to rise up. Somebody has to take control other than Cort. And hopefully we find out who that is."
On changes from when he got to UW - "The big thing is depth. We have some depth. You look at the individual lines, they are so much longer. We're not counting on true freshmen to go in right away and be a second-stringer or first-stringer. We get to develop them, hopefully. It's still early. That's where I see the biggest difference. I think maybe our skill level has increased, but I think we have more numbers of better football players. That's what I see more than anything. And now it's our job to get them better."
On a role for Justin Glenn - "I hope so. He knows our stuff. If he can stay healthy, he does some good things. He cares, and he's a Husky. We need to find him a role, and he needs to embrace that role that we give him - whether it's a nickel-back or something. He's played a lot of football for us, and our first year he did a nice job early in the season."
On true frosh standing out - "I think Marcus Peters is going to be a good player. He kind of shows flashes. Our two safeties, once they figure it out - they are flashy guys. They are big, tall, long, rangy kids that can run. You notice them on film. They don't know what the heck they are doing yet, but they can cover some ground. I think Danny Shelton is very impressive. He physically can play right now because he's so big and strong, and he is athletic. Now we'll see if he can stand up to the grind of being a d-lineman in the Pac-12 Conference, because that's very hard for a 17-year old to do. Physically he has all the makings to some day - some day - be something pretty special."
Steve Sarkisian (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Steve Sarkisian Wednesday Quotes
On it being good having Sione Potoa'e and Semisi Tokolahi get back out on the field:
"Yeah it is. Sione, really, more so than Semisi. I thought Sione's really very close. I thought that yesterday and he showed even more of that today, so he's close. Semisi's getting better; it's just taking longer than he wants, we want and all that. He's hungry. But it's good to have Sione getting closer."
On the timetable for Semisi:
"Those things are hard. Obviously it's such that the severity of the injury and all the stuff that you endure with the surgeries and all that. But any time there's nerve damage, you don't know because it's on the body and how the body reacts to the nerve damage and how quickly it heals."
On Kasen Williams taking a short pass to the house:
"I like those kinds of touchdowns. Throw it about two yards and it goes sixty. That's what he brings to the table, he has that type of ability and it was good execution by the entire offense really."
On things being sloppy on the first day of pads and hitting:
"I think the intensity level obviously rises. I don't know if the defense was necessarily that sloppy. I thought they performed pretty well, outside of a couple plays here and there, I thought that they performed well. I think up front, on offense, at times it can get sloppy because guys are getting used to hand placement and pads and different things and getting off on double teams. I don't know how well we got to the second level on our blocks today. We got caught on some double teams and backers were scraping free and I think you saw Cort and Princeton make quite a few plays today in the run game because they weren't getting blocked."
On today being the day where statements are made:
"A little bit. That generally really doesn't kick in until we go to full pads. Full pads, that's when they really crank it up. But I'm proud of our guys; we're getting better. It seems like as the springs and then the fall camps and then the springs come we're getting a much better understanding each time around of how to practice in shoulder pads. Less guys on the ground, still too many, but less guys on the ground. We're understanding that we can still play with really good pad level but yet not go to the ground. That's what we're fighting for and striving for as a staff because once guys go to the ground, that's when injuries occur, so hopefully we can keep the integrity of pad level right so that we're not playing too high but yet not going to the ground."
On Kevin Smith:
"I love what Kevin's bringing. He's a strong kid physically. Strong hands. He's really grown in the position of playing wide-out. He was a guy who hadn't played a whole lot of football prior to us getting him and he's gotten better and better and better and he's confident now, believes in what he's doing so I'm impressed with him."
Kasen Williams (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Wednesday Practice Notes
First padded practice, but they won't go full pads by NCAA rule until Saturday night.
Coach Romar was out at practice, as well as Mark Bruener, Al Roberts, Scott Pelluer, and others.
Sione Potoae did some padded work today, mostly with the twos. I'm sure his workload will increase as he continues to get healthier.
In talking with Sark afterward, he thought they are getting better and better with understanding how to practice with pads, keeping players up so they don't get hurt, etc. In talking with Nick Holt, he thought the defense was pretty sloppy today, pad level was too high, etc... and they have some work to do. Sarkisian thought they looked better than that, so we'll see what happens during film revue.
Holt mentioned Marcus Peters, Travis Feeney, James Sample and Danny Shelton as true frosh that have stood out so far. I'll have more from Holt later on.
While the full hitting doesn't really start for a few more days, guys like Desmond Trufant, Quinton Richardson, and Cort Dennison were sending little messages to the new guys. On consecutive plays, Trufant popped Dezden Petty's helmet off near the goal-line, and then DiAndre Campbell lost his hat when he got gang-tackled. He wasn't able to get in the end zone.
This was the first practice for the referees too, so they threw flags, determined if catches were in-bounds or not, etc... Also got to see Will Mahan and Kiel Rasp punt it around a little bit, and both were routinely kicking the ball 45 yards on average.
During the team period, it definitely looked like Keith Price was the better QB on the day. The highlight was a pass to Kasen Williams that Williams took to the house for a 65-yard play. Dennison had the defensive play of the day on a tremendous diving pick. As a reward, Colin Tanigawa pig-piled on him on as soon as Dennison hit the turf.
More on huskystadium.com and project update
O.D. Vincent and Jen Cohen were available to the media, as well as UW Athletic Director Scott Woodward, John Palewicz of UW Capital Projects, and Bob Collier, the Stadium Project Consultant. They talked about a variety of issues related to the Stadium Renovation Project. Below is a summary of the main bullet points:
Drive for Husky Stadium to keep UW a prominent and elite BCS program.
All privately funded, and the latest downturn won't affect overall cost, or the $200 millions in bonds the school will purchase to cover the remaining tab.
honor tradition, keep it collegiate, but also implement a ton of professional-style amenities.
Call it the project for their lifetime, and this is a day for the fans and community to join UW - a 'drive for the masses'.
Roughly 21,000 of the 70,000 seats will be donor seating. There will also be a 60 percent increase in the number of restrooms, as well as timely placement. They are going to try and do as much as they can with the wireless flow of information at the new Husky Stadium, with the installation of High-Density Wi-Fi, and other things to help go hand-in-hand with the Pac-12's vision for their network to be seen on any hand-held device.
Scott Woodward said their biggest competition in the marketplace right now is the couch and big-screen TV, and they want to have enough things to make the stadium experience strong enough for people to leave their houses and come see the games live.
First row, normally view-obstructed, will now be able to see all the action, and that row will be at least five feet closer to the action than the same row at CenturyLink Field. The online end is 27 months ahead of when the stadium will be unveiled, and that's a testament to the idea that the school wants to make this project one where the whole community is involved and has input into how it will be.
East seating will be for 2400 fans, and it will be permanent.
55 total suites on the south side, already taking deposits on them, can get all the details on www.huskystadium.com
And in the lower bowl, there will be roughly 3000 'Husky Heritage' seats in the middle, the only seats in the stadium that will have seat-backs.
There will be decks in the NW and SW corners of the stadium, the NW one for those using the Don James Center, and the SW one for all the suite holders. Might be the only college stadium to offer a true indoor-outdoor hospitality experience.
In the west end, the band will occupy the first few rows, followed by a larger student section. It will also house a 70,000 square-foot football-only operations center. The students will not have to pay any student fees when getting season tickets for the new stadium.
Because the band will be playing into the bowl, as opposed to just one side like they have in the past - and coupled with everybody moving closer to the action - UW thinks the sound generated during the game will actually be louder
And under the south side, they announced there's going to be a 20,000 sports center clinic, as well as a 200-car garage for premium seating customers.
The deposit program will continue for season ticket holders under December 1st, and then the AD will open up any remaining seats to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. In October, the full pricing structure will be available, as well as the structure for seating at CenturyLink Field for the 2012 season.
There will be an open house at Century Link Field for this year's Apple Cup.
Key for the AD is that they want to keep the iconic structure of Husky Stadium intact, while making it one of the true elite structures as the program moves forward. There won't be any signage inside the stadium, except for the use of ribbon boards and the Jumbotron.
Scott Woodward was also very clear that - no matter what happens with the economy - there will be no exponential season ticket increase in 2013. "They will not double or triple. That's off the table."
The launch of huskystadium.com
Here is the press release announcing the 'Drive for Husky Stadium." The website is at www.huskystadium.com
SEATTLE - University of Washington athletic department officials introduced "The Drive For Husky Stadium" campaign, Wednesday, including the launch of HuskyStadium.com, a website dedicated to providing information about the Husky Stadium renovation.
"The Drive For Husky Stadium is about more than a construction project and more than a capital fundraising campaign," Jen Cohen, Senior Associate Athletic Director, said. "It's about Husky fans coming together during a time of change to make sure that Washington Football remains in its rightful place of prominence among the NCAA's elite programs."
The campaign will carry fans through a transition year at CenturyLink Field and into a vastly-enhanced gameday experience in a renovated Husky Stadium. HuskyStadium.com provides details of the renovation's improvements through a 360-degree virtual venue system. The site also offers users the first intricate look at the stadium's premium seating offerings and allows interested parties to place deposits on premium opportunities including 25 luxury suites, 30 patio suites, and 2,500 seats in Club Husky. Information on seat pricing and Tyee Club donation levels for the 2013 season are also provided on the site.
The renovation's financial model calls for $50 million of the project's overall $250 million price tag to be raised through philanthropic giving. Department officials have confirmed that $42 million of that target has already been raised. The remaining $200 million is to be financed through 30-year-bonds, and will be covered by new annual revenues associated with the stadium including new premium seating opportunities, increased Tyee Club donations, new ticket revenues and naming rights. The entire project will be financed privately by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, with the funding model calling for no money from the state or the university.
Department officials, along with stadium project managers and architects are available to answer stadium and campaign-related questions from the public in a live, online chat at GoHuskies.com beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
And below are links to a summary of Mahler's conversation with Vincent and Cohen, breaking down the project even more, talking specifics like amenities, and also taking questions from callers on what they can expect when Husky Stadium re-opens in 2013.
OD Vincent and Jen Cohen with Dave 'Softy' Mahler on KJR, talking www.huskystadium.com - Part 1
OD Vincent and Jen Cohen with Dave 'Softy' Mahler on KJR, talking www.huskystadium.com - Part 2
OD Vincent and Jen Cohen with Dave 'Softy' Mahler on KJR, talking www.huskystadium.com - Part 3
Wednesday Morning News Links
-- ESPN's Ted Miller writes that redshirt freshman DE/LB Josh Shirley is one of the top underclassmen to watch this fall and that freshman TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is an impact freshman.
-- Here is Chris Fetters' practice report from Tuesday's workout. -- Kim Grinolds was also busy and he posted a photo gallery from Tuesday's practice.
-- Here is my story on Austin Seferian-Jenkins and his experience so far at Washington.
-- Husky Stadium, as we currently know it, will host its last game this fall when the Huskies face off against Oregon on November 5th. In September of 2013, the Huskies will take the field against Boise State in the first game after the renovation and, in light of that, here is the website where fans can follow all of the progress with the stadium project.
-- Sportspress Northwest's Art Theil opines on the long-sought toughness of the Washington football program.
Alameda Ta'amu (Dawgman.com)
Alameda Ta'amu Quotes
On feeling like one of the leaders of the defense: "I was young, but it wasn't until my junior year, last year, where I knew I had to step up with all of the young guys and I wasn't one of the young guys anymore. You notice that everybody looks up to you, what you do, they follow."
On what he was like as a freshman: "I didn't know my stuff. When I first came in I barely went in and watched film; I was fat and didn't really care about working out, but a lot of things changed when Ivan (Lewis) and them came in."
On the difference now: "I work harder on the field and I lose a lot of weight. I eat a lot more salad than I used to."
On what changed in the last four weeks of the season: "We sat down in the meeting room and we noticed a lot of boys were falling down. Semisi (Tokolahi) was out; Cameron (Elisara) was out; and we just talked to each other and said that we have to trust each other and do our own job instead of trying to make Everett's play or Hauoli's play and the fact that we were able to do our job and our job only, that made everything better."
On what people said to him after the season: "A lot of people tried to compare me to Steve Emtman and he's way to great of a player for me to be compared to. Steve Emtman is the man. Everybody's saying the NFL is there, a high pick, but we'll see what happens after the season."
On the first Nebraska game: "They ran for almost 300 yards up the middle and that's my gap and I sat there and I watched the game (film) and I was trying to do other people's job. When I was over in Everrette's gap, my gap is wide open and then it's Martinez up the middle, Helu up the middle so it was more like revenge because I'm not that player."
On Danny Shelton: "He's going to be better than me in two years, he's good. He's athletic. You can see how he runs to the ball and his mindset is way more mature than mine was when I came in. Danny's going to be good."
On taking Shelton under his wing: "He's got a quicker first step than I had as a freshman. He's under ‘good wings' with me and Everrette being leaders on the D-line, teaching the players. That's why they're out here executing plays because during the summer time, they listen. All the freshmen listen."
Keith Price (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Tuesday Morning News Links
-- Here is Chris Fetters' Practice Report from last night.
-- Dawgman.com intern Scott Panitz gives his thoughts on the first day and what he saw.
-- Kim Grinolds was hard at work getting photos and he posted them here in the the Photo Gallery.
-- Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has a video wrap-up of the day's events.
-- Seattle Times Columnist Steve Kelley gives his thoughts on the direction of the program now that Steve Sarkisian is in year three.
-- Former Husky DB Dashon Goldson re-signed with San Francisco yesterday even after claiming he wasn't expecting to over the weekend.
-- The Cal football program continues to have their name brought up, along with Oregon, in the Willie Lyles saga.
-- Is Washington State head coach Paul Wulff on the hotseat? According to The News Tribune, the pressure is on to win and he'd better do it sooner rather than later.
Steve Sarkisian (Dawgman.com)
Steve Sarkisian Press Conference Quotes
It's good to be back. I missed you guys. I really can't believe this is year three already. I think back to initial press conferences 2 and half years ago, to some press conferences after some big wins, after some tough losses, going back to the holiday bowl. It's come fast.
It's been a fascinating ride because I see our football team now as one that really has adopted who we are. I think more so than anything these guys aren't adopted anymore. We've got a couple of them that are still that our veterans, but the bulk of this football team are guys that we have recruited that have grown up in this culture and these schemes and these systems and these philosophies.
It's been very encouraging because you are starting to feel the players speak the languate to one and another, to coaches, to family, to friends and I think that's what you want. Right, wrong or indifferent, this is what we believe in and the things we are doing. And I think our players, our kids believe in what we are doing. I couldn't be more excited about that.
I like the leadership on this football team. I think we've got a senior class that is hungry, that has endured a lot of challenges from their freshmen year, but have persevered, and have understood what it takes, not only from a mental and physical toughness standpoint but from an emotional standpoint. I think they are hungry and eager to have a great senior season. And they've earned and demanded the respect from the youngsters on this ball club to follow their lead.
In all, I think we are primed for a great training camp. We still have plenty of work to do. There's a lot to be done not only the football field but off the field. But in a nutshell I think this our most athletic team we've had in three seasons. From a depth standpoint, I love the depth at safety. I love the depth at linebacker. I love the depth at wide receiver. We have better depth on the defensive line than maybe we get credit for. I think we have better depth on the offensive line than maybe we get credit for.
I think we've got a few concerns on this team that need to be resolved sooner rather than later, most notably what are we going to do with the linebacker position with those two outside linebacker spots next to Cort Dennison in the middle. What's the rotation going to look like at defensive tackle, along with Alameda Ta'amu, we've got a lot of options there. And then how we solidify the fullback position as far as we have Jonathan Imosa there and we love what he did in the spring, but to get added depth there. If that means we become more of a two tight end team, utilizing Hartvigson and Seferian-Jenkins and Barnett and Hudson and those guys, or if we do more stuff with three wides and get Jermaine in that spot doing different things. There's some questions to be answered. Obviously what happens at the punter position with the competition between Rasp and Mahan – two tremendous punters. Getting Erik Folk back to where I know he can be and that's as an all-Pac-10 kicker. That will be another area of focus. Obvioulsy, the return the game for us, really solidifying who we are, what we are about, what we embody as far as a punt return and a kickoff return team. I think we can only get better in those two areas.
And then ride the momentum of where we were the last four games as far as the way we tackled, the way we played defense, the way we covered kick, things of that nature.
So through it all we are excited. I think we've got a hungry football team, but it understands there's plenty of work to be done.
On some notes that I know are going to be asked about. So I will cover them now. We have three young men who won't be able to practice yet with us. Two of which are NCAA issues. The first is Marvin Hall. The second is Kyle Lewis. Hopefully, we can get those two issues resolved sooner than that later so they can get on the field with us. Then the third young man is Antavious Sims who's finalizing a couple of classes here and hopwfully we can get him on the field sooner rather than later as well.
We have a couple guys that will be limited from an injury standpoint. Up front on the defensive Semisi Tokolahi and Sione Potoa'e will both be limited somewhat early on. So that will create some nice competition up front and allow for some opportunities from some younger guys. In the back end, Taz Stevenson, Justin Glenn and Evan Zeger will be limited early on: Justin with a foot sprain, not serious. Evan with a hamstring which he did here in the summer, and Taz with a knee sprain. None of which are serious, which should hold them out for an extended period of time. But they are three injures that we want to get these guys back healthy and going here when they are 100 percent rathern then them fighting lingering injuries weeks into the thing.
As well documented, Deontae Cooper is out. He will be back on Friday. He's going to spend a little extended time back at home. The surgery went well. We are expecting a full recovery, a full return of him.
Adam Long is obviously still out with ACL injury and he will be back in a couple weeks as well. Those are the two main guys that will be out. But as far as everybody else we are a full go. We look good. I think Ivan Lewis did a nice job with the offseason conditioning program in the summer. A real tribute to our senior leadership and those guys getting everybody involved and being part of this thing and doing everything they were doing.
I think we are primed for a nice run.
First-team reps between Price and Montana: I would say with the 1s about two-thirds Keith Price, a third Nick Montana, realistically. We'll monitor those numbers. There will be days when there will be days more for Keith, and there will be days there will be more for Nick – depending on what the emphasis of those days are, and where we are at in training camp. Because the challenge, I want to get Derrick Brown reps as well with the 2s, so as we bump up, more guys get reps. I want to see Thomas Vincent as well. He's a kid that kind of intrigued me in spring football practice. He is a tremendous athlete. You are going to see him on special teams doing other things as well. It all works hand-in-hand as Nick gets a few more reps with the 1s, Derrick gets a few more reps with the 2s and Thomas gets a few more reps with the 3.
Fall camp schedule compared to spring: Very similar. The beauty of it for me, year 3, same staff – a lot of continuity. We are on the same page. So I think we understand the schedule, our players understand the schedule very well. I think it maximizes our opportunities on the field, but yet allows for the guys to get a great amount of rest to recuperate, not only physically but mentally. We like the schedule.
Breakout players this fall: That part is hard, because I wasn't with them. Everything I am giving you is off what Ivan tells me and his crew in how they looked. I can give you a better assessment of that after a day or two of practice and when we get on the field. But just on the hoof, I think Chris Polk had his best his best offseason. First time he's been healthy for an entire summer offseason. His body really looks strong. He looks hardened. He looks good to me. Desmond Trufant looks fantastic. I think this was the best offseason for an Alameda Ta'amu. I think Everrette Thompson had a tremendous offseason – you look at his weight, I think he put on almost 20 pounds from last year. Hau'oli Jamora is up over 260 pounds now. A lot of bodies have changed. Part of that comes from maturing and growing up, and the other part comes from working really hard.
Fullback and tight end positions: Well I think the beauty of our system, we've operated for two years now essentially without a tight end – at least last year. The beauty of this system, it has enough flexibility within there depending on where our strengths are, we can make this thing work and make it fit to what our personnel is. Our system and our schemes don't change so much, but it is the personnel and maybe the formations that do. As we go through this process and assess Jonathan Amosa, as we assess a few other guys who are going to get opportunities at fullback that might be playing on the defensive side of the ball and as we assess the development of the tight end position, we can go in a lot of different areas. In a perfect world, we have it all at our disposal – we have a true fullback, we have two really good tight ends, we have a physical receiver than can get in there so we have all that as our disposal, and week to week we can emphasize one thing more than another. But we are not going to force that issue. If we are that much better with two tight ends on the field, that is the team we will become the majority of the time. But time will only tell when we get on the field and really assess that.
NCAA clarification on Hall, Lewis and Sims: Sims is more with the university – with us – because he hasn't finished his classes yet. Until he can get to that point, that is the next hurdle. Hall and Lewis are NCAA issues where they have questions – and that is natural. They've got to get letters, and different things from their high schools submitted to the NCAA, they have to get read and that can take time. That one is out of our hands. Both of those kids have been admitted into school.
On walk-ons earning scholarships: Yeah, there?s a few guys. Kiel Rasp will be on scholarship, Brendan Lopez will be on scholarship again, Jonathan Amosa for sure. And that will take us right up to 85. Depending on what happens here or there, that might open up another scholarship or two that could potentially lend itself to another young man.?
On what Keith Price needs to do this fall: Not to try to be Jake Locker. To be Keith Price. Keith'?s got a great personality about him. He?s an awesome kid. His teammates really respect him for who he is, not only on the field but off the field. And to be him. That?s the challenge, because so many times after today?s practice, each and every one of you guys are going to ask him what?s it like to replace Jake locker, and Jake did this, and Jake did that. Well, at this point, I love Jake to death, I hope he goes on and does great things in the NFL, but he doesn?'t get to play for us anymore. This is about Keith Price. It?s not about Jake Locker anymore.?
On changing the offense to fit Price's ability: We'?re going to have to assess it. We went into Oregon and we gave him a pretty good package last year when it was his time to play. And unfortunately, we didn'?t play as well offensively around him as I think Keith Price played in that game, so I have a pretty good idea that he can handle it, even in a tough environment. But that remains to be seen. We?ve got to go through camp and I have to push him, I have to test him, I have to stress him to see how he can respond and what he can handle. The goal when we go to play Eastern and Hawaii and Nebraska and as we move into the season, those should'?t be the tests anymore. Those should be, he?s already got all the answers. The tests have to come in training camp to see what he can handle mentally, physically, emotionally, so that he can be really successful come September 3.?
On Chris Polk helping Price: I think it?s huge. The goal for us is to be a balanced offensive football team, to have a balanced attack to where you don?t know if we?re going to run it, if we?re going to throw it, and when we do, we can hurt you really badly either way and it can take its toll on you. And that just doesn?t happen. You have to work at those things. I think Chris Polk will be the first one to tell you, he hopes we have a great passing attack, and I think Keith Price will be the first one to tell you he hopes we have a great running attack because those go hand in hand with one another. That?s football, that?s natural, and so we?ll work at it. And I think Keith understands that. I think Chris understands that, I think our offensive line understands that, the receivers, the tight ends. We?ve developed that mentality. A quarterback?s best friend is a great running game, and that?s the reality of it, because the easiest passes to complete are play-action passes when guys are wide open. Play-action pass doesn?t work very good if you?re not running the ball. We?ve got to do those things and we?ve got to find a nice balance, a nice mix.
On teams underestimating Price: I don't really care. I don't know. I don't care about what they think he's going to be. It's kind of like where people vote where they predict you to finish it doesn't matter. That's not going to affect how we practice how we play, how we perform. How people think Keith Price is going to play doesn't matter. It's how Keith Price does play that matters.
On Nick Montana having a chance of starting against Eastern Washington: If he plays really well, that's the reality of it. And we'll give him opportunities to do that. I don't want people to think and Nick to think he's going out to practice for the sake of practicing. He's competing. If Keith doesn't perform well and Nick does and it shows itself and lends itself that way that could easily happen.
On the possibility of defensive players getting a crack at playing fullback: Potentially yeah. We'll work through and pick a guy or two a day to peek at some things; not as a fulltime deal but somebody that could give us that opportunity whether it be short yardage or first and 10 situations.
On tracking the progression of the program: The point of it is we don't want to forget where we came from and how much time and effort and blood and sweat and tears to get to where we are. We don't want to forget that. But yet, we don't dwell on the past. We learn from ourselves, we learn from our mistakes we learn from our successes and then we grow. Because the reality of it is and we all believe it in our locker room, change is inevitable. Nothing stays the same. You're either getting better or getting worse. Fortunately over a two year period we've had some ups and downs but progressively we've gotten better. We've gotten better as a program and that's the path we want to remain on. How that equates itself to wins and losses I'm not totally sure. I just know that we can play better football than we've played. We've gotten better, but we can get even better, we can get more consistent, we don't' have to have those lapses in the middle of the season where we don't play well for a two or three week span. That doesn't have to happen anymore. I think that's part of the trajectory of where we're headed.
On trying to be able to identify the top-5 offensive linemen by the end of camp: I need like 10. I'll take as many offensive linemen as I can get. You can never have enough. But I would like to know who our five guys are and where they sit and what they're doing and in a perfect work I'd like to have that happen roughly 10 days to two weeks before our first ballgame so that continuity can really settle in and get those guys going. You'll see some different things, guys moving around, getting different opportunities to compete. Come two weeks from today I'm going to know, I'm going to have a good idea of who our starting five are and they're going to know too. Those type of things tend to settle themselves out on their own. I have a pretty good idea but I have to see what this looks like, I have see the body of work, I have to see what guys look like with the pads on, I have to see how guys respond to bumps and bruising, to pain, because I don't know them. We've got some young guys that haven't played football for us yet and we'll see how they respond to getting beat, some guys look great, they get beat once and now they can't get a win. We have to compile as much information as we can in a short amount of time.
On Chris Polk: Well the thing with Chris is I think Chris wants to stay and show how hard he has worked because he has. The reality of it is he's lost probably five points, five or six pounds. But he's stronger, he feels better, he feels faster, he's in better shape. He almost feels like he's lost more weight than he actually has and it might even appear that way. But the beauty of it for us is that home-run hitting ability that he showed late in the year will be even more prevalent now because his speed is up and he's in better condition.
On Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and expectations: I expect really competitive young men. They are both highly competitive guys. I expect them to have their struggles - they are freshmen. I expect them to flash and to do some things that will wow people because they are that talented of athletes. The challenge for us is to really identify the things that they do well. Austin has a little bit of an upper hand because he was here for spring football practice so we have a better idea who he is, but there are a lot of things he had to work on this summer to get ready for fall camp. With Kasen we have to identify the things he does well and continually get him in position to do those things that he does well so that his confidence can build and grow and then identify the things he maybe really needs to work on if he's going to be successful at this level playing that position and we've got to hammer those things home and really teach and coach to those things so that his level of play can find itself so that he can be a consistent college football player as a true freshmen. It's not an easy thing to do. I think the natural thing is a great high school player or a five-star player shows up and they make plays all over the field. They build to that point and they have the mental toughness to persevere when they have those days in training camp when things don't go great. Quinton Richardson is going to try to jam the heck out of Kasen Williams, Desmond Trufant same thing. It's not going to be as easy as it was. But when they get through those dog days of summer when they are struggling and sore and tired and then they start to build and get more consistent and make those players, that's when they grow.
On Kasen Williams and his potential: I really don't know. I've had him in camp when he was in high school. But I'm as excited as anybody not to see just Kasen and Austin but we've got 20-some odd new faces and bodies that are great looking athletes that I want to see run around. I want to see catch balls. I want to see Jamaal Jones. I want to see Bishop Sankey, Corey Waller. I want to see Danny Shelton, Marcus Peters, James Sample, all of these guys that are now part of our football team. I'm as excited to see them and to see what they do well. Kasen is in the same boat. I will be able to assess where he is compared to maybe some of those other guys after a few practices after we get through the jitterbugs of the first couple of days and now it's just football for him.
On Austin Seferian-Jenkins: He's as talented physically as anybody I've ever had at that position. He's 6-6, 250-something pounds, whatever he is, the hand-eye coordination he possesses is extremely unique. He's got extremely soft hands and he has the ability to keep his feet underneath him and the ability to release using his hands yet use wiggle. You can't teach that kind of stuff. But what he possesses where I was probably more impressed with him is his mental toughness, his makeup, his competitiveness. He wants to be great and he works at it that way. He's got a ton of stuff to work on fundamentally. He comes from an offense in high school where he was split out the majority of the time, basically playing wide receiver. Now he's in a three-point stance and he's trying to block Everrette Thompson and Hau'oli Jamora. And so the technique, the fundamentals, things of that nature to get to that point are going to be his biggest challenges, and then being really disciplined in his route running and running routes at the depths that need to be run at for this offense to go the way it needs to go.
On Seferian-Jenkins' issues being more with blocking or strength: I think it's both. He's still a true freshman, you know, and he's blocking seniors. So the strength factor of it is him really understanding his true strength. He's a really strong kid. But it's getting in the right fundamental position to utilize that strength.
On how better depth means better play on offense and defense: I think a couple things. I think it will allow us on offense and defense, first of all, to play more plays and not have us relying on the same 11 guys snap after snap after snap, to where they accumulate a bunch of snaps early in the season. By doing so, if those guys early in the season are our best 11 special-teams players we can give them more rest on offense and defense to allow them to continually be starters and every-down special-teams players. So I think that depth factor for us is that we can play more guys on offense and defense, and, two, we have recruited to special teams. If you look at our roster, especially the last two years, we've recruited longer, faster bodies. And that's what makes you good on special teams. Guys that can run, that can make plays and can play in space, and that are really good tacklers. And we've tried to recruit to that, because it's been an area of concern since year one and we've got to get better.
On Everrette Thompson: Yeah, he looks great. He's become a tremendous leader on our team. He's a grown man, really. From when you first meet a kid when you take over a job and he was kind of young, bright-eyed, didn't know what he was doing, to now, he's a grown man. He approaches every day like a pro, and he's a tremendous leader for our young defensive linemen. We're a young group at that position. Talented, but young. So he sets a great example for them, on what it takes from a work-ethic standpoint on the field, in the weight room, in the film room, how to study tape, what to look for. He's just really mature. I'm really proud of him.
On new leaders stepping up: For me, one of the best examples is, if you would have told me when I took this job two and a half years ago and after our first ball game that I would bring Chris Polk to media day, I would have thought you were crazy, right? This is a guy who didn't even want to talk to the media. To see him mature, he's just one example of how these guys grow up, and how they can mature. It's not just their physical maturation. It's their mental, and watching guys like the Jake Lockers, the Mason Fosters, the Donald Butlers, and watching guys like that and assessing them, and now they get the opportuinity, they get it. We've just had a group of guys we inherited that were freshmen coming out of that 0-12 season and have grown this process and have grown through the ups and downs, and now really understand what it takes and they want to share it moreso than ever before. More than the guys last year, because even last year's senior class really didn't know what it took. They really didn't know yet, until the end. Now our seniors and juniors, they get it, and they want to share it with the young guys what it's going to take for us to get this thing done. And they've just been much more apt to do so.
On having a Sports psychologist since 2009: It was much needed. I've said this from Day 1: we inherited a football team that wasn't just physically beat up; it was mentally beat up. It wasn't just what occurred on the field, it was off the field: the rigors of going to class every day and being frowned upon, it was talking to family members and what not. It's hard; it's a tough process. So, as we've gotten through that, you never like to dwell on the negative, but the simple fact is that it was a process. It's a real tribute to the players and to our department of working with these guys to get them to that point. The majority of them have persevered. We've lost a couple along the way, though, that weren't able to.
On Danny Shelton having a chance to play and maybe start as freshman: Oh, sure. I don't know. I'll find out. I know that Ivan raves about him. I know he's already one of the strongest players on our football team, as an incoming freshman. But we'll see how that equates to playing football and what that means and how you take on a double team and a trap block and all those things. So we'll find out. Physically, sure he has a chance to, but that remains to be seen.
On key position battles: Linebacker, for sure. When you've got two openings at that spot, I think that's a great competition. I think at strong safety, that's another great competition with Taz Stevenson and Sean Parker and Shamburger and those guys at that spot at the strong safety, potentially, there. And then up front, on the offensive line, of exactly where we fit. So there's some real competition at left guard; there's some real competition at right tackle, that'll have to sport itself out.
On Scott Lawyer joining the team: Yeah, he got healthy. He had shoulder surgery in the offseason, and all of the reports back, from the MRI and his doctor, he's healthy and he's fine and he's ready to go. We were greyshirting him because of the simple fact that we didn't think he'd be healthy enough to practice with us right now. But he is, so we brought him in, and he's ready to go.
Same thing with Jamaal Jones and his shoulder injury: Yeah, he looks great. He's 100 percent, ready to go.
On punt returner: We just have to get better. We have to get better as a unit. A lot of times you say, our returners aren't very good. But you need to block. That's half of it. We need to do a better job up front. We have to be more in attack mode on punt return, put a little more fear that we might be coming after it for a block so the linemen don't release so quickly on the punt and are in the face of our punt returner…there's a lot of facets where we need to get better with that team, but it'll be a great competition with those returners as well. Obviously we'll see Devin (Aguilar) and Cody (Bruns) as the first two guys, but there will be a laundry list of guys, and it'll start today in pre-practice with guys catching balls, because that's the first battle - we've got to catch the ball. The second battle is who can make people miss, who can create plays, who can get us first downs when they catch the ball in their hands.
On recruiting for special teams, and how that helps for defense: You have to get guys that can play in space, in this day and age. You still have to play Stanford, and you still have to play USC, who are going to line up in two backs and are going to try and pound you and play-action pass…you have to prepare for them. But in-between those weeks, you're playing an Oregon, you're playing an Arizona, you're playing a Washington State, you're playing a Utah who really spreads you out and play that brand of football, that spread brand of football. You have to recruit to guys that can play in space, that can run, who can cover ground, who can deter you from making those underneath, quick throws because they are long, rangy bodies and they can get their hands on balls. It's been challenging, and it's been challenging for everyone in the Pac-12. One week you're playing a Power-I team, the next week you're playing a spread offense. That's the beauty of this conference.
On what he learned about his team during the last four-game stretch in 2010: We're really mentally tough. That was something that took time. We inherited a group that was pretty fragile, and I think we showed a lot of that fragile-ness during the first year and a half, going on the road and losing some tight games. But I thought our kids last year really showed the mental toughness and perseverance that it takes week-in and week-out when it's a grind…when the weather's not great and you're on the road and you're in a hostile environment…when you're playing in the rain at Cal, when you're playing in cold weather in Pullman, or you get paired up in a rematch with a team that beat you by 35 the first time around…it's not always about how physically tough you are, but how mentally tough, how can you handle the distractions that are there. And I thought our kids handled it awesome. And to me, that's really something that we can build upon and carry with us, and hopefully teach the young players that we've brought on board now that this is who we are, and that's what Husky Football is all about. Hopefully we can continually grow down that path, because I think it's something we can hang our hat on.
On which phase of the game he's most confident with - offense, defense or special teams: I don't know. I'm not there yet. I'm not there to say gosh, I feel great about this yet. I've got to see us. Spring football is spring football; we go out and teach fundamentals, and we work on a few things here and there, we tinker with things. You like to see players that redshirted to see how they've developed and how they've grown. We did that. But now in fall camp is where develop the personality of the football team in all three different phases where we develop the mindset it takes and the schemes that fit the personalities and the talents of our roster. I'll be able to answer that question better in two weeks when I get a chance to assess us…I'd like to say that I feel great about us running the ball, or gosh I love our defensive line, or I feel good about our two corners…they have to go out and perform. It's not just about the potential of this football team, it's about who we really are, and that will bear itself out here in the first couple weeks of training camp.
On Erik Folk, and a possible sixth year: We're trying. It looks like a long-shot right now, but we're trying.
Quick Sark presser notes
Sark addressed the media for roughly 40 minutes Monday. Here are the highlights.
Doesn't know where the time has gone, now they are starting their third year.
He said he loves the depth at safety, linebacker and receiver, said he believes the OL/DL depth is better than they get credit for. He mentioned key competitions at LB, SS and OL, especially RT and LG.
He said they need to find options at DT alongside Ta'amu, as well as the LB spots beside Dennison. They also need to solidify the fullback position. Depending on what they find at fullback, they might utilize more 2-TE sets, or more receivers. He also said he's going to experiment with using different players at FB, just to see if there's a good fit there - but didn't name names.
Sark said that Marvin Hall and Kyle Lewis are still looking for clearance from the NCAA, and Antavius Sims is finishing up some classes. All have been accepted into UW pending what they need to finish.
These players are limited: Semisi Tokolahi (foot/ankle), Sione Potoae (knee), Taz Stevenson (knee), Justin Glenn (ankle), and Evan Zeger (hamstring). Sark said the safeties are all limited as a precaution, but he doesn't expect them to be lingering issues.
Deontae Cooper and Adam Long are taking some time away after successful knee surgeries, but Sark said they'll be back soon with the team. Cooper will be back Friday, and Long in a couple of weeks.
Asked about QB splits with the No. 1 team, Sark said ideally Keith Price will get 2/3's the reps, and Montana 1/3rd.
Asked for a few players that really look good to him coming into camp, and Sark mentioned Chris Polk, Desmond Trufant, Alameda Ta'amu, Everrette Thompson, and Hauoli Jamora.
Sark mentioned that Kiel Rasp, Jonathan Amosa and Brendan Lopez are on scholarship this fall, bringing their scholarship total up to 85.
When asked what Keith Price needs to do this fall, Sark said he doesn't need to show that he's the next Jake Locker. He just needs to be himself. He needs to go through fall camp to see what he can handle. The goal is to be a balanced offense, so that both the run game and pass game can be effective. Sark added that Nick Montana will come in this fall to compete, and he's got a chance to pull the starting spot away if he has a great fall.
On Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins: Sark said they'll do what talented freshmen do - they'll flash, show glimpses of brilliance, but then struggle at times. The challenge is to identify what they do well. He said ASJ is as talent a TE as he's ever had, and his hand-eye coordination is 'unique'. What's impressed him even more is his mental toughness.
He also talked about the push toward having better special teams in all phases, and how they've recruited longer, faster bodies to cover. Sark added that the recruiting of special teams athletes has gone hand-in-hand with their push toward having more versatility on defense, because in the Pac-12 you'll go one week playing a power team like USC or Stanford, and then you'll play a team that likes to really spread it out the next week. You have to have guys that can cover and tackle in space, and that's what they've tried to address with recruiting.
Asked about replacing leaders like Jake Locker and Mason Foster, and Sark said that if you would have told him two years ago that he'd be taking Chris Polk to Pac-12 Media Day, he would have said you're crazy. It just goes to show how much Chris has matured the last couple years. He said that there's a group of players that had to endure the 0-12 season that are hungry and eager to pass along their knowledge and experience along, and that's what's helped them identify more leaders - guys like Everrette Thompson.
On the frosh, Sark said that since he hasn't been able to see them either, he's as excited as the rest of us to see what they do, what they do well and what they need to do better.
Scott Lawyer was rehabbing a shoulder, and that's why UW thought he was going to delay his enrollment, but he's been cleared and they like what they've seen, so he's in camp. Same goes for Jamaal Jones, who missed his senior year due to a shoulder injury, but has been cleared for camp.
Asked about getting a sixth year for Erik Folk, and Sark said they are trying to get it, but right now it's looking like a long shot.
Fall camp is here!
This morning, Washington's fall camp roster was released. Click below for the file. It's an Adobe Acrobat file, so enclosed below is a link to download the free Acrobat Reader from Adobe.
Washington's 2011 Fall Camp Roster
Free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader
Zach Banner (Scout.com)
Recruiting Blog - 8/7
It's been a hectic week. After gathering up a lot of recruiting info, I headed out of town for a couple of days and just returned late Saturday night. So, as promised, here is a recruiting blog to update things including some very interesting news on three of the biggest in-state recruits left on the board...
Recruiting Blog - 8/7
Ivan Lewis (Dawgman.com)
8/6 Dawgman on KJR podcasts are up!
To listen to all three hours of Saturday's Dawgman show on KJR, click on the link below.
Dawgman on KJR - 8/6
Nike Global Challenge Interviews
Nike Global Challenge Interview - Jabari Parker
Nike Global Challenge Interview - Aaron Gordon
Friday Morning News Links
I'll be on with Elise Woodward at 8:35 pm Friday night, talking Dawgs.
Kim and I will be doing the Saturday show for three hours, 9-12. We'll be talking with Simi Strickland, founder of Ultimate Edge and the Tanoa Bowl, and also Eldridge Recasner, who right now is in PDX watching the Nike Global Challenge. UW prospects Aaron Gordon and Jabari Parker are playing. Also trying to get on at least one or two more guests to join us. Also, Aaron Beach and Jason McCleary are at the NGC, and are updating subscribers as to the latest on the tournament, as well as what's going on with UW prospects playing there.
Monday, we will be filling in for Elise, as she will be doing the drive time show at Husky Stadium as part of KJR's wall-to-wall coverage of Washington's first day of fall camp. We'll be on from 7-10 and have all the news and notes from a busy Monday, including all the things Coach Sark talked about at his noon press conference - broadcasted live on KJR - as well as notes from practice. Dick Baird will join us, and Dick always uses the first practice of the season to specifically watch the newcomers. Hugh Millen will also be involved in the action covering the quarterbacks, and we're in the process of lining up some other guests.
We'll also be taking plenty of calls, so give us a shout! 1.800.829.0950
It's a busy and exciting next few days here at Dawgman, so stay tuned right here!
Jake Locker (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
Friday Morning News Links
-- The Everett Herald's Scott Johnson says that Jake Locker has no regrets about returning to Washington for his senior season.
-- Here is Chris Fetters' look at the key defensive position battles heading into fall camp and here is the story I posted on Thursday about the battles on the offensive side of the ball.
-- Brandon Huffman posted some 7-on-7 highlights from current Husky commit Jeff Lindquist and 2013 prospect Max Browne.
-- The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta has been focusing on the top 10 Husky players heading into the season and today his feature is on junior CB Desmond Trufant.
-- Dawgman.com Columnist Dick Baird discusses the scheduling that the Pac 12 schools have put in place.
-- In case you missed it yesterday, KJR's Dave "Softy" Mahler spoke with new UW President Michael Young and got his thoughts on several subjects as they pertain to the athletic department.
Sims set to report to Montlake on Sunday
About a month ago, Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian gave some updates on some of the incoming players and said the only one that still had some work to do was Ventura College ATH Antavius Sims.
Dawgman.com has been able to confirm that the talented athlete is expected to report to Washington on Sunday, the day before fall camp begins.
For the past two seasons, Sims handled quarterback duties for the Pirates, throwing for over 3,400 yards and 24 touchdowns while rushing for nearly 1,600 yards and 25 more scores.
He will arrive at Washington as a corner, but could see some time on offense as well, depending on the needs of the team.
Sims will have three years to play two seasons of football once he arrives at Montlake.
Talk about it: Here
Kentridge TE Caleb Smith
Recruiting Blog - 8/1
It's been relatively slow on the recruiting front over the past few weeks. Whereas 12 players committed to UW in the month of June, only two verbals came to light in the month of July.
With that being said, things will probably be heating up over the next couple weeks as the Huskies head into fall camp and 2012 recruits start to get a look at what the team will be this fall. You could see at least three or four players make decisions this month.
So, with that in mind, here is our first Recruiting Blog of August with some thoughts on where things are headed.
Sark and the Dawgs kick off camp on August 8th
Fall Camp Dates and Times
Washington kicks off Fall Camp on Monday, August 8th and the Husky athletic department has released the important dates and times for fans to be aware of...
Note: No morning practices are open to the public or media.
Below are the dates and times of practices that are open to the public (other than the one scheduled for Friday 8/26) and other events...
8/8 Monday - Sark Presser (Noon)
8/8 Monday - Practice (3:15 pm)
8/9 Tuesday - Practice (3:15 pm)
8/10 Wednesday - Practice (3:15 pm)
8/11 Thursday - Practice (3:15 pm)
8/12 Friday - Practice (3:15 pm)
8/13 Saturday - Practice (7:00 pm)
8/15 Monday - Practice (7:00 pm)
8/16 Tuesday - Practice (3:15 pm)
8/17 Wednesday - Practice (7:00 pm)
8/18 Thursday - Practice (3:15 pm)
8/19 Friday - Practice (7:00 pm)
8/20 Saturday - Practice (3:15 pm)
8/21 Sunday - Picture Day (11:30 am - 1:00 pm)
8/22 Monday - Practice (3:15 pm)
8/23 Tuesday - Practice (7:00 pm)
8/24 Wednesday - Practice (3:15 pm)
8/25 Thursday - Practice (4:15 pm)
8/26 Friday - Practice (Closed)
8/26 Friday - Raise The Woof! (6:00 pm)