Practice Spotlight - Day 14

On one of their final practices of fall camp, the defense appeared to have the better night although the offense did manage to post a couple of big plays. Afterwards, head coach Steve Sarkisian said he's pleased with the progress of the team, but they still have a ways to go in order to be ready for their opening game against San Diego State on September 1st...

The List
Play(s) of the Day - There were a handful of big plays on offense and one subtle but big one on defense tonight.

Let's start on offense.

In the 7-on-7 session, Keith Price found Kasen Williams who was tightly guarded by Desmond Trufant. The sophomore wideout outfought the senior corner for the ball for a 50-yard gain, eliciting some cheers from those in attendance.

Derrick Brown hit a wide-open Kendyl Taylor in the same 7-on-7 session for a 70-yard touchdown. Taylor got five yards behind Marcus Peters and Justin Glenn who appeared to have a bit of a miscommunication.

Lastly, freshman signal-caller Cyler Miles lobbed a perfect pass to Cody Bruns along the sideline for a 20-yard touchdown, gaining the cheers of their fellow offensive teammates. That play ended the two-hour workout and sent the offense to the showers on a good note.

Defensively, freshman phenom Shaquille Thompson flashed his incredible speed and athleticism as well as his solid instincts when he read a short pass from Price to Willis Wilson on a 3rd-and-3 drill. Thompson came up so quickly that, had it been a real game, he would have completely obliterated Wilson and dropped him short of the first down marker.

Player of the Day - RB Erich Wilson had some nice runs today in Washington's 9-on-7 drill (nine defensive players vs. seven offensive players).

On one play he reversed his field and ran all the way back across the formation to gain about 10 yards and then a few plays later he exploded through the line and got to the outside gaining about 15 yards.

Wilson has been very impressive so far in camp showing good vision and a burst in the open field, but he still appears to need to put on about 10 to 15 pounds before he is asked to take the pounding of a college football game.

Special Teams puts the work in - Washington spends at least 15 to 20 minutes every practice on special teams work and today was no different.

The Huskies worked on several kickoff scenarios and head coach Steve Sarkisian addressed that after practice.

"Well the rule of the guys having to stay within a 5 yard radius from where the ball is really changes a lot, and obviously the onside kick now with the ball being able to hit the ground and come up and still having the ability to fair catch changes some scenarios in the onside kick area," Sarkisian noted. "So we've had to work those two areas quite extensively, and then the reality of where the ball is going to land on kickoffs and your willingness to maybe bring a ball out, maybe three, four, five yards into the endzone knowing that the cover team didn't get as much of a running start, we're coaching some specific areas a little bit different, but scheme wise, we're still doing what we're doing, and we've been very good the last couple of years."

Washington also drilled the punt returners on hanging onto the ball while being harassed.

Both Williams and Jaydon Mickens were sent deep and as the Korey Durkee punts dropped into their hands, they had two players yelling and screaming at them as they made their catches.

Who replaces Chris Polk? - The battle between Bishop Sankey and Jesse Callier continues to progress and Sarkisian was non-committal, but did praise the work of both of the tailbacks.

"It's been great," Sarkisian noted. "Those guys, they've played a complete style at the running back position, they aren't just limited to ‘oh they're scat backs, or oh, they're third-down backs,' they've ran the ball physically with power, we did a lot of the power run game tonight, they ran the ball well there, they've pass protected extremely well, I think they've taken on a very professional approach to this training camp and are working at it, and I couldn't be happier with their production."

Injury update - Both Erik Kohler and Thomas Tutogi returned to full participation and both looked good.

Travis Feeney was still wearing a gold jersey, but he took part in most of the drills, save the contact/tackling drills with the rest of the linebackers.

Nate Fellner was in a small boot and walking around while Jamaal Kearse was on crutches. Sarkisian noted that Kearse has had his surgery, but they are still waiting to get Hauoli Jamora and Deontae Cooper their surgeries.

Kevin Smith was out there running routes today, but continued to be limited to position drills, sitting out the full-team activities.

Downtown Freddy Brown - The Huskies welcomed some Seattle sports royalty on Tuesday night when former Seattle Supersonic great "Downtown" Freddy Brown made an appearance along the east practice field sideline.


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