8/24 PM Practice Report

Whoever penned the phrase, 'If you don't like the weather in the Northwest, just wait five minutes,' must be smiling right about now. The Washington football team experienced just about everything the elements could throw at them Tuesday afternoon - wind, rain, sun - as benches, speakers and anything else that wasn't tied down took a tumble at Husky Stadium.

"I don't think I've ever seen it this cold in August, ever," Gilbertson said after practice Tuesday. "And every once in a while you've got to play in conditions like this, but I don't know if I've seen a stretch of weather this cold in August. It went from 90 degrees in Olympia to this. And we only drove 70 miles.

"We couldn't even kick off because of the wind. It was really howlin' out there. And the thing about playing football in Washington, you're going to have to play in conditions like that. You've got to be able to function when it's wet and throw the ball. And as much as we throw the ball, we are going to have to do that. I would prefer the heat right now, because we will go through another stretch of hot weather soon and we will have to get used to that all over again."

The players' legs are starting to turn to mush, as well as their heads, especially for the younger players. With wheelbarrows full of information being thrown at the team right now, a little struggle is expected. With the new NCAA schedule dictating when two-a-days can and can't happen, however, the team is likely fresher than they would have been at this time last year.

"This is a really good schedule for the players, considering once upon a time you had three days of freshman practices, so that was six," Gilbertson said. "And then there was three days of non-paded, so that's 12. And then you went through two-a-days all the way up to game week, so you still get your practices in now, but it's stretched out over a longer period of time. It's definitely not like the two-a-day grind that us old guys are used to. I would have loved this schedule. But it's better for the players."

You would think that with the new schedule in place, injuries would be down. But Gilbertson is not happy at all with the amount of red he's seeing at his practices.

"I think we have way too many players in red right now, I'm disappointed in that," he said. "We've got a lot of hams (hamstrings), quad contusions, shoulder things." One player who has been on the sidelines of late - tight end Jon Lyon - is expected back Thursday.

There were nine exercise bikes on the sidelines Tuesday, and Juan Garcia, Charles Frederick, Anthony Russo, Lyon, Joe Toledo, Donny Mateaki, Bandel and Jason Benn were all using the bikes at one time or another. Frederick, out for a week with an ankle sprain, was up and moving around. It appears as if the senior receiver should be ready for action soon. He's the only receiver not currently in the rotation.

Chris Hemphill spent some time with the ones today with Jimmy Newell, and the 6-foot-6 safety will get his shot to play this fall. "He's improving all the time," Gilbertson said of Hemphill. "He's a redshirt freshman, and like all young guys he has two or three good plays and then he gives up a play you can't believe he gave up. We have high hopes for him and think he has a chance to be a really good player."

Gameplanning: When asked if the coaches have already started to work some of the Fresno State gameplan into the practices, Gilbertson said, "We do a little bit of it all the time. Right now we are still working on Washington, but we sneak a few things in now and then."

QB report #679: In the never-ending quest to determine UW's starting quarterback, Gilbertson pointed to redshirt frosh Carl Bonnell as having the best day Tuesday. "I thought Carl really picked it up," he said. "Carl and Casey (Paus) played very consistent. I thought Isaiah was up and down all day."

Too Trew: Kyle Trew has gone from backing up Scott White at the SAM position to backing up Joe Lobendahn and Tim Galloway inside.

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