Bhonapha has a willing group to work with

Dawgman.com caught up with Washington Running Backs Coach Keith Bhonapha Monday to find out how close his guys are to being ready for the Huskies' September 3rd opener versus Rutgers.

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Is this the point in camp where you’ve got to push them through the finish line? - “Usually you get that feeling like it’s the dawg days of summer or whatever, but these guys have done a good job of responding and coming out to work every day. We have a good-sized group, seven guys that are here right now, and I really like the way they came and attacked practice every day. There’s been a couple times where we’ll start an individual period and they are moving slow and I’m like hey! Let’s start it back over just to get them going. So there has been a little of that, but overall I’m happy with the way these guys have worked every day.”

In that aspect, how has this year’s camp been the same or different than last year’s? - “When you go into fall camp, especially when you have guys that are returning, each guy has something that he’s trying to work on, you’re trying to help them take the next step somewhere offensively, or skill-wise. So you go into each fall camp with the same mentality regardless of you have a guy that like Myles who played a lot - he still has stuff to work on. Or like a guy like Lavon who has been here for a while who still has part of his game. And then you have two freshmen who have everything to work on. So you go into fall camp with a day-by-day focus of just trying to bring the bottom of your group up and keep rising as far as their talents, as far as their skills, as far as everything you’re trying to get better at.”

Is what we saw at the end of last year indicative of how many carries Myles will be getting this year? - “I will say this: Coach Smith is the one that calls the offense. I do think this - we know Myles is a big part of the offense. Myles is definitely a special talent and it would be good to get him the ball. Now to say how much we’re going to get him at this point, I couldn’t tell you that. But if we’re running the ball, we’re going to keep running it. Hopefully we can get to that point with a guy like Myles.”

Does the ‘hot hand’ cliche apply no matter what kind of a running back group you have? - “It’s always good if you’re able to get somebody else in there rolling and it seems like they are vibing for some reason with the offensive line or the defense or whatever it may be…it’s always good to keep those guys in there rolling. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of persistence with a guy to get him to that point. It’s kind of hit and miss, but a lot of times you just want to go with the guy that’s rolling.”

How have the freshmen adjusted to pass protection? - “The good thing is, you worry about high school guys coming in if they are even willing to do it. I will say this, starting with Kamari and Sean, both of those guys are willing to block. They’ve really worked on their technique and both are getting better at it. So as long as you’ve got guys that are willing to do it, it makes the job of teaching it a whole lot easier. Because sometimes you’ve got guys that don’t want to do it and no matter how much technique you teach ‘em, if they don’t want to do it they’re not going to do it.”

Is there anything they’ve shown you this fall that tells you they aren’t ready to contribute right now? - “I think it’s too early to answer that. I think both of those guys have come into this thing with great attitudes and they are learning and asking questions and going out and - just like any freshman - they are making mistakes here and there but these guys are coming to work every day and we’ll see how this thing plays out as we finish training camp.”

Could this be a breakout year for Jomon Dotson? - “Oh yeah. Jomon is one of those interesting guys that had a really good spring, came out of spring as a guy you could see contribute. At the end of last season started to contribute and has been doing some good stuff this training camp as well. I’m excited to see what this season holds for him because I think he’s a guy that’s going to have a role on this offense and he needs to take advantage of it. Offensive football - and football in general - if you produce the bigger your role gets.”

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