Practice Spotlight - Day Three

It wouldn't be spring football in Seattle unless there was a little "liquid sunshine" and in the first outdoor practice of Chris Petersen's tenure as head coach, the Huskies were greeted with a persistent rain that made things difficult on the offense…

"Hey, we're going to play in the rain, so we'll practice in the rain," Petersen said after the two-hour plus practice. "We'll probably spend more time indoors in the spring than we do outside. It's good to be out there, but you've gotta make plays when it's wet as well."

As one would expect the rain really played havoc with the quarterbacks and while there were some trouble spots for them, they each seemed to make some plays as well.

Lindquist really throws a nice deep ball and seemed to be leading his receivers perfectly so that they could catch the ball in-stride and then finish their routes while Williams' ball seemed to hang in the air more than we had seen previously.

While taking snaps out of the shotgun, both appeared to struggle some in getting their grip on the ball and each missed open receivers when they didn't have the proper footwork.

Lindquist made a fine throw after being flushed to his right by Hauoli Kikaha. The third-year signal-caller rolled effortlessly to his right and found DiAndre Campbell who had found a soft spot in the coverage for a 17-yard gain.

Williams, for his part, dropped several passes in on receivers that were just out of the reach of the defender. On one play, the redshirt freshman stood tall in the pocket and found Jaydon Mickens for a 20-yard gain as he layed the ball in just over the outstretched arms of Patrick Enewally.

"I really need to put the tape on to evaluate (the quarterback competition)," Petersen said. "We're throwing a lot of things at those guys, wet balls, but I think they're seeing things and we're making progress there."


Constant Effort Is Expected: The coaches don't just demand attention to detail, they also want effort on every play, regardless of the outcome.

On one play, Mickens was stymied at the line by Jermaine Kelly. As Williams' throw approached, Mickens nonchalantly threw up one hand and almost came down with the reception, but he got an earful from his position coach Brent Pease who didn't seem too happy about what one of his older receivers had just put forth in the effort department. That sparked up the former Dorsey standout and he had a very good practice the rest of the way.

During one of the special teams portions of practice, you could hear one coach yelling "that's a good rep" on one play and then chastising another player for a bad rep the next.


Strausser Is Happy With The Offensive Line So Far: One big change from the past two offensive line coaches – Mike Denbrock and Dan Cozzetto – is the fact that Chris Strausser is rarely heard yelling at his charges. He seems to be more in teaching mode and I never heard him raise his voice once during the practice.

Afterwards, Strausser pointed to the leadership of Ben Riva and the efforts of Siosifa Tufunga as two examples of players who have stood out so far this spring.

"The older guys know I expect us to be the leaders on this team and they have done a good job of learning and giving the effort you expect," Strausser said. "I've really been happy with Sifa because he really hasn't played much at all in games yet, but he's looked really good to me so far and ready to go and then you have Ben Riva out here doing his thing. He's a really good leader and talented and you can see that when he's out here.

"I've been really happy with their attitude and effort all along the offensive line. They are really dialed in and working hard and getting coached, but obviously there's still a lot of things we need to clean up."


Feeney With The Play Of The Day: LB Travis Feeney turned in the play of the day and drew some shouts and a collective "whoooo" from his teammates and those in attendance.

As Williams dropped back to pass, Feeney, who appeared to be playing in the middle stepped up into the gap. At the exact time that the redshirt freshman quarterback released the ball, Feeney leaped up and snared the ball out of the air.

Had he not made the play or had Williams added more loft on the ball, he had a streaking Mickens open down the middle of the field.


Nothing New On Missing Players: DE Marcus Farria and OL James Atoe were both missing from Saturday's practice. It was Atoe's first missed practice while it is the second for Farria. Petersen told the media that he will not comment on guys that "have some work to do", but did say if they left the team that he would comment, so neither appears to have left the team at this point.


Seeing Yellow: The Huskies had five players dressed in yellow today - OT Micah Hatchie, S Kevin King, DL Jarett Finau, LB Scott Lawyer and DE/LB Cory Littleton. WR Kendyl Taylor had pads on but was limited while LB Connor O'Brien wasn't in pads and rode the bike most of the practice although he did do some positional work during the install period.


Recruits In The House: Federal Way ATH Chico McClatcher (2015), Juanita DT Paul Finau (2015) and Aberdeen LB Joel Dublanko (2016) were all in attendance as were 2014 signees Jaimie Bryant, Shane Bowman, Drew Sample and Budda Baker.


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