Spring Ball Day 11: News And Notes

Washington's 11th spring practice took place in a sun-soaked Husky Stadium. How did things look? Who had a good day? Which players struggled? And is anyone separating himself in the quarterback race? Read on to get our thoughts on what we saw...

Petersen Sees Progress

“A lot of progress. A lot of progress," Husky head coach Chris Petersen said afterwards. "At times it doesn’t look like it, because all it takes is one guy to not know what he’s doing and it looks like nobody knows what they’re doing, but we are making progress.

"Throwing a lot of schemes at them. It’s kind of the whole-part-whole method. So we introduce it all in spring and they try to clean it up a little bit in summertime, then we go back in fall and do the same thing again.”

Quarterback Competition, Day Eleven: Today continued a trend with junior Jeff Lindquist not making many mistakes, while K.J. Carta-Samuels and Jake Browning both threw interceptions.

Browning was picked off three, once by Naijiel Hale, once by LB Scott Laywer and once by Darren Gardenhire, while Carta-Samuels was intercepted by Hale toward the end of practice.

While Lindquist didn't make many mistakes, he also didn't take many chances down the field either.

That definitely wasn't the case with the two youngsters as both Carta-Samuels and Browning took shots down the field.

Carta-Samuels just missed hitting Dante Pettis for a long gain down the field when the sophomore wideout beat Gardenhire. He also just missed hitting Pettis on another long one behind a beat Hale.

One of Browning's interceptions came when he tried go deep to Jaydon Mickens only to underthrow the pass. Gardenhire, who was in perfect position to make the play, held his ground and came down with the pick.

Asked whether or not he likes the progress of the quarterbacks so far, Petersen was matter-of-fact.

"There’s no question," Petersen noted. "I think all those guys are making strides. I think Jeff’s (Lindquist) gotten better, without question, which is nice to see.

"I always say that the young guys, they’re going to progress pretty rapidly because the expectations are pretty low for them, just in terms of all the different things. So when they’re making really good throws and quick decisions, you’re excited.

"Jeff’s been here a while, so to see him make progress is really nice, as well.”
Players Making Plays

As we noted, the Hale, two interceptions, and Gardenhire both forced turnovers while several other passes could have been brought in by the defense, but for one reason or another, they weren't able to secure the ball.

Worth noting was that both of Hale's interceptions were of the "pick six" variety.

The first one came when Browning threw high in the endzone to Brayden Lenius. The sophomore wideout tipped the ball. That allowed Hale the opportunity to gather himself, snag the ball out of the air and then take off with an escort of defensive teammates the other way.

Hale's second "pick six" came on the first play of an 11-on-11 period late in practice where Carta-Samuels dropped back and attempted to throw a short pass to the left side. Hale read the play perfectly, stepped in front of the pass and then raced 75-yards the other way for another score.

One notable drop by the secondary came in redzone work as Browning attempted to hit Darrell Daniels in the corner. Sidney Jones came off of his man and leaped to bring the ball in deep in the endzone. As the sophomore corner was just getting his hands on the ball, he collided with Jojo McIntosh resulting in a drop and some attention from the trainers as Jones appeared to be a little shaken up.

Azeem Victor had a very nice day stopping the run. The sophomore linebacker showed outstanding instincts on a couple of plays resulting in tackles-for-loss or only short gains.

One player who has been pretty absent most of the spring is Connor O'Brien, but the sophomore linebacker made a couple of plays and seemed to gain confidence as the practice moved along.

Along the offensive line, for the most part both the first and the second unit struggled to protect the quarterback as there were several touch "sacks" by pass rushers. Corey Littleton and Will Dissly both got in early on the quarterbacks, making their days that much tougher.

Injury Woes:
There wasn't much change on the injury front.

The usual crew of LB Travis Feeney, DB Brandon Beaver and DB Brandon Lewis were in yellow while OL Coleman Shelton, OLDexter Charles, DB Kevin King, DB Trevor Walker, DB Jermaine Kelly and LB Keishawn Bierria were all sitting out.

Husky offensive line coach Chris Strausser noted after practice that if the Huskies had a game today, that Charles would be able to play, but since they don't need to push him, they are just letting him rest and heal up from offseason surgery.

Offensive linemen John Turner and Andrew Kirkland both took part in the individual drills and the install periods, but neither took part in contact or full-team work.

John Ross, who has been limited for all of spring, was out doing individual work with the receivers, but seemed to tweak something and needed attention from the trainers. He was able to get up and walk after treatment, so, at this point, it didn't look like something worth worrying about.

The Seating Chart
The continued to mix and match guys at different spots.

The first offensive line continued to feature the same group - LT Jake Eldrenkamp, LG Dane Crane, C Siosifa Tufunga, RG Shane Brostek and RT Matt James.

The second unit offensive line looked about the same as well - LT Devin Burleson, LG Cory Fuavai, C Michael Kneip, RG Jesse Sosebee and RT Kaleb McGary.

The defense spent a lot of time in the nickel. The first team defense featured - DE Taniela Tupou, DE Will Dissly, DT/NT Elijah Qualls; OLB Cory Littleton, MLB Azeem Victor, LB Scott Lawyer; S Budda Baker, S Brian Clay, S Jojo McIntosh, CB Sidney Jones and CB Darren Gardenhire.

The second team defense looked like this - DE Jaylen Johnson, DT/NT Greg Gaines, DE Damien Turpin; OLB Joe Mathis, MLB Sean Constantine, OLB Jake Wambaugh; CB Ian Biddle, CB Najiel Hale, S Ezekiel Turner, S Jojo McIntosh and CB Sean Vergara.

DT Vita Vea and LB Connor O'Brien both got their reps with the twos as well.

Worth Mentioning:
The Huskies will play host to several top 2016 and 2017 prospects this weekend for their Junior Day.

There were several recruits on hand for practice including De La Salle (Concord, Ca.) TE Devin Asiasi who made the trip north with his family.

In addition to the recruits, there were several local head coaches on hand including 3A State Champion head coach Jeremy Thielbahr from Eastside Catholic and Cleveland head coach Jeff Schmidt.

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