Sark Bites: Day Five

SEATTLE - The media spoke with Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian Wednesday, and the Husky head man talked about the emergence of a couple of his running backs, the play of two of his defensive linemen, and competition at the cornerback spot, as well as what the first two days in full pads has been like for the team.

On Callier and Parker being out - "Jesse kind of rolled an ankle last practice, nothing serious, and Sean kind of tweaked a groin, again nothing serious. Nothing for long-term but not worth straining it and getting it worse now, got to get them healthy.''

Could they be out for much longer? - "We'll see. Have to see how they bounce back. I thought what was pretty neat is Jesse doesn't go today and Bishop has a heck of a practice, made some big plays for us. I thought Dezden Petty was very impressive in the short-yardage drill and he ran hard, ran physical. Just like anything when a guy doesn't go other guys need to step up and I thought we saw that today.''

On Petty playing fullback or tailback? - "We actually sprinkled him in at fullback today for the first time in a while. We're just trying to give guys opportunities to find their way on the field. And for Dezden, he is a heavy power running back but I think there are some opportunities at the fullback spot for him to do some things, so you've got to be multiple. And it's hard as a true freshman when you get here to be multiple, especially when you get on the scout team. That's what spring ball  is all about to try to give those guys opportunities to show more of what they can do.''

On Sankey's ability to catch the ball - "It looks good, he looks comfortable. Obviously we saw it on the long touchdown on the screen today and he is more comfortable doing it. I don't know how much he was asked to do of it before he got here. It's a comfort level in general in the offense but those little things are where things start to show up as a guy is into year two now and understanding roles and what his assignments are and what jobs are. I thought that it showed with Bishop today. He got extended playing time and he showed more than just running the ball. He showed a lot of versatility in pass protection and catching the ball and did some really nice things.''

On catching the ball clean? - "I think so. A lot of times for a running back, one of things that they have to get comfortable with is that the majority of catches that they make is with their back to the defense. And that's not a great feeling to have. When I'm catching the ball and my back is to the defense and where are they coming from, the natural feeling is I want to turn too quick and find out where all the defenders are. You have to catch the ball first before you make many moves. There's that comfort level of understanding the quarterback wouldn't be throwing you the ball if these guys were breathing down my neck right now. It's getting better for him that way."

On Danny Shelton's progression? - "I think Danny is performing really, really well. He's obviously a real factor in the run game. Now Coach Lupoi has done a nice job of really developing his pass rush skills. For a big man he's really athletic, he's got some wiggle to him that he can be effective in the pass rush game as well."

Do anything to his body? - "I think it's constantly trying to find balance and strength in your body. And not just being a great bench presser and not a great squatter or a power cleaner. It's getting your body in order, not just to sustain but to be dominant in all factors of the game. For Danny, it's to be a complete player. Not just a first and second down player, but to be able to be effective on third down as well pass rush opportunities on first and second down. To do that you have to continually work on the mobility and the explosiveness of rushing the passer."

On Danny Shelton coming into college in a rough situation - "He's always been a mature guy. To go through what he went through - from a maturity standpoint he's always shown that. Now it's just continuing to grow into a leadership role. I think the likes of a Talia Crichton, Hauoli Jamora - guys who have been here a little bit longer than him who have kind of showed him the way - have allowed Danny to step up to being even more of a leader. For a guy who is only in his second year, it's clearly evident."

On having a little lighter practice for Friday after banging away for two practices - "We'll be a little bit lighter on Friday just because of that, and the simple fact that we'll be turning right around and coming back on Saturday. A little more emphasis on the pass game Friday, some up-tempo stuff and different things…but this was a really good, hard physical practice for our guys. I thought they showed a great deal of competitive nature, much more than they did Monday. I really thought they brought it better today than they did Monday. It was a competitive practice, a physical practice, but a good one."

On Jamaal Kearse not being there - "He's just not feeling well. He's just under the weather."

On players that jumped out - "I thought Marcus Peters showed a couple plays there…Cody Bruns, to get him back going…you know he had a bit of an ankle roll before training camp - I thought he got back out doing some things. And I thought Josh Perkins had a couple nice plays."

On Talia Crichton - "Steady Eddie right now. He's been consistent, he's been explosive. He's doing it in the run game, rushing the passer…we're moving him around much more than we ever have before and he's showing a willingness to do that as well."

On competition at the corner spot - "It's great; I love it. With Tru and Ducre and Marcus and those three guys going at it…we're going to see a lot passes this year, so we're going to need as many guys to cover as we can."



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