Practice news and notes - 8/11 AM

The skies held off just long enough in Olympia Monday morning for the Washington Huskies to get in the first practice of their first two-a-day marathon at Evergreen State. Once again the coaches could be heard loudly, often times clear across the field.

Cornerbacks coach and co-defensive coordinator Phil Snow was probably the loudest, getting after his seniors. One thing that appears to be happening is that Snow is trying to break the veterans of some of their old habits, so Roc Alexander and Chris Massey got the brunt of Snow's ire. Roc responded with an interception against Jordan Slye.

Safeties coach Cornell Jackson is also a very vocal presence, but his outbursts are succint and packed with punch. This morning he was working with his younger guys, including true frosh CJ Wallace, on their drops and playing deep enough for the deep ball. One thing all the defensive coaches are pounding away at is pursuit. On every skeleton drill or 11-11 drill, every guy in purple is flowing to the ball.

On the other side, the offense worked on tempo coming out of the huddle. With a high cadence, work was done on getting the little things down so that it becomes a simple matter of muscle memory. In the rotations, Isaiah Stanback did a lot of work this morning after Cody Pickett. Does this mean Stanback has moved ahead of Casey Paus? Probably too early to tell at this point, but he did get a fair number of reps in front of number 15.

In the running back rotation, Shelton Sampson appears to lead that group, followed by Kenny James, Chris Singleton, Scott Ballew, Rich Alexis and then true frosh Louis Rankin. Without the team going 'live' it's hard to tell exactly if these rotations mean much right now, but the redshirt frosh from Tacoma is certainly showing he wants the starting nod.

With the growing pains in the secondary, the offense had their way in the skeleton drills. True frosh Corey Williams, at 6-3 and 190 pounds, is showing his worth as a complete receiver. Not only is he catching passes, but he is blowing up corners when asked to block. Reggie Williams is taking the younger Williams under his wing to learn the subtleties of the game.

But even with a lot of success, the quarterbacks had a devil of a time getting anything done in the intermediate zones. There was only one completion, to Bobby Whithorne, that was more than 5 or 10 yards downfield.

Dan Milsten, Tui Alailefaleula, Terry Johnson and Manase Hopoi have apparently solidified themselves on the DL. The linebacking corps consists of Greg Carothers, Joe Lobendahn and Marquis Cooper, while Roc Alexander, Chris Massey, Evan Benjamin and James Sims brought up the back end during the first 11-11 drill. When Roc and Chris went out, Sam Cunningham and Derrick Johnson replaced them.

While the rest of the team did their normal gassers, the 11-11's continued with the freshmen. And that's when the skies opened up. With the likelihood of the team going 'live' this afternoon with full pads, it could get very interesting if the TESC fields get a lot of moisture.


Notes:
Injury report: Charles Smith was wearing white today, a nice site to see. But replacing him in red from the receiving corps was Clayton Ramsey. The extent of Clayton's injury is unknown. Derrick Bradley continued to wear red for a shoulder bruise. Joe Toledo took it easy at end of the morning's practice with what appeared to be a sore groin, but it shouldn't stop him from playing this afternoon.

J-Rob sighting: Justin Robbins is now at camp, and was working out all morning. He looks to be running well and pain free, so his tough rehabbing looks to be paying dividends. Whether he'll come back sooner than expected is still a long ways off, however.

Noteable visitor: Former Seattle Seahawks general manager Randy Mueller was at practice Monday morning.

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