Dawgbytes - 9/10

As the Washington Huskies prepared to practice in semi-soggy conditions at Husky Stadium, there were some players that were wondering where they might be playing September 20th against Idaho. They may not be as much movement as once though, according to UW head coach Keith Gilbertson.

Marquis Cooper found himself on the defensive line on certain sets, and Gilbertson had his reasons for moving the senior LB from Gilbert, Arizona around.

"Well, we lost some guys on the DL, so we needed to do some shuffling and moving him up there was one way to get faster on defense," Gilbertson said. "It's going to be a constant quest for us - to get faster."

With Joe Lobendahn apparently out for the season with an ACL injury, there was some thought Cooper, Greg Carothers and Scott White might see some time at different linebacking positions, but Gilbertson said that not much has changed.

"We have Tim Galloway, Greg Carothers and Marquis Cooper right now, so that's who will play," he said. "And we get Tyler Krambrink back, and he's very fast and very athletic. Tahj Bomar will play, and Scott White has looked very good at times."

Gilbertson also added that Rob Lewis, a 6-5, 215-pound outside linebacker from Van Nuys, California, is now a possible redshirt candidate. "He showed up with a fractured wrist, something he told us he's been dealing with for three years," Gilbertson said. "So we looked at it and now he may have to redshirt him because he's wearing a cast."

Cody Pickett, slowed ever so slightly by a tight right pectoral muscle on Saturday, has not thrown so far this week, but is expected to this afternoon. "He will throw today," Gilbertson said. "He didn't throw yesterday, which was planned. That gave Casey Paus, Isaiah Stanback and Carl Bonnell lots of reps."

Bonnell especially needs the work. "I'd say he's still a little rusty," Gilbertson said of the true frosh from Kentwood High School. "But he had the whole year off last year and didn't get a chance to play in the spring. But he does some really nice things."

In Rob Meadow's absence, Gilbertson showed a lot of confidence in Tusi Sa'au's ability to pick right up where Meadow left off before he was sidelined for the rest of the season with an ACL tear. "Well, he started the first game," Gilbertson said of Sa'au. "And he came in and had a solid game as a backup last weekend.

"He's a very powerful guy, and a wide body."

Gilbertson mentioned two true frosh receivers by name when asked who has stepped up to the challenge of the slot. "Sonny Shackelford and Quintin Daniels have shown the most maturity and seem to be able to handle the game," he said.

"Corey Williams, he looks like he's going to be a big time guy, but then he'll turn around and look like he's still at Las Vegas High School. But you can tell that he's going to be a special player in time."

Because of the infusion of youth offensively, Gilbertson acknowledged that the 'inventory' isn't quite what it would be normally with experience. "We have a lot of our offense we haven't gotten to yet because we can only go as fast as they can handle it," he said. "Our passing game is pretty pedestrian right now."

But he also pointed to number 4 as a guy that can provide instant offense. "Isaiah Stanback just gives you some 'umph'," Gilbertson said. "He's a really talented guy. As long as he's getting all his quarterback reps, he can give us something in the slot because of his size and speed."

Justin Robbins has not yet been cleared to fully practice with the team, but Gilbertson expects that to happen soon. "We just haven't been able to see anything yet from Justin, and he's been out of football really for over 2 years," he said. "We anticipate having him back in the next couple of weeks.

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