"I don't think I've ever seen it like this in August," said Washington coach Keith Gilbertson. "Man it's November. It rained the whole time. This is a tropical storm."
"Tropical Storm Gilbertson," one writer quipped.
Even the "sidewards rain," stealing a phrase from Forrest Gump,
couldn't stop the Huskies from conducting an extended 26-period
With each passing day, it is looking more like Casey Paus will be the
man behind center to start the season-opener against Fresno State in
11 days. The fourth-year quarterback got almost all of the practice
with the first-team offense on Wednesday while Isaiah Stanback and
Carl Bonnell worked with the second team, throwing the ball well in
the ugly conditions.
Gilbertson acknowledged that Paus has put together practices on
back-to-back days, but wasn't prepared to name him the starter just
yet. The Husky head coach also said he's been impressed with the way
Stanback has played of late.
With one more scrimmage in the plans to finalize all positions on the
depth chart, all eyes will be on the quarterback spot.
"You hope that those guys all go out there and perform," said
Gilbertson. "You are getting down to the place where it's probably
best where we decide who goes down the tunnel first, and who's next
and who's next."
More and more, it looks like Paus, who had a number of well-placed
passes on the day. His best went to Corey Williams on a ball that
found the receiver's outstretched hands right between safety Dashon Goldson and cornerback Derrick Johnson.
Quintin Daniels had a difficult time catching the football all
practice long. At least three passes slipped through his hands,
including one in the endzone. He got a little help on one of the
three drops from Cody Ellis, who came in to pop Daniels just after the
ball arrived. Nevertheless, Daniels' missed time due to a toe injury
early on in camp appears to have put him a bit behind the others.
Meanwhile, Anthony Russo (quad contusion) joined the long list of
players in red non-contact jerseys, further depleting a receiving
corps that has been without Charles Frederick (ankle) for seven days.
"They are saying he'll be back tomorrow," said Gilbertson of Russo.
"We're going twice, so I don't know if he'll be back in the morning."
As for Frederick, the Husky head coach said he expects the senior
receiver to return by Thursday afternoon, Friday at the latest.
Frederick caught routes in his red jersey today.
Also in red today was Dash Crutchley (hamstring), becoming the fourth
tight end to don a red jersey along with Joe Toledo (back), Ben Bandel
(knee) and Jon Lyon (thigh).
The only two healthy tight ends on the roster now are walk-on Michael
Gotllieb and second-year player Robert Lewis. As of now, Gotlieb
looks to be higher in the rotation. Though undersized, the Mercer
Island product has the best speed of all the tight ends and has shown
tremendous hands all camp. He hauled in a catch in traffic from Paus
again today, helping his cause.
Defensively, the already thin front line lost another player on
Wednesday, this time to a position change. That came in the form of
Jordan Reffett, a second-year player who had been working out at
defensive tackle before moving to the offensive line today.
"I think that's his natural spot," said Gilbertson. "I think he'll be
a good player there. He's just a redshirt freshman. I really think
that's his natural position."
Reffett's move likely means that Jordan White-Frisbee will move up
into a reserve role at defensive tackle, joining the likes of Wilson Afoa and either Dan Milsten or Donny Mateaki. Mateaki would be the
starter, but he's missed all but three days of practice with a
At 6-foot-6, 330-pounds, White-Frisbee has the body to make an immediate impact.
"I think he's got a chance to get into the two-deeps, I really do,"
said Gilbertson. "We haven't seen Donny Mateaki for a while, so he's
got a chance."
In other news, rush-end backer Brandon Ala is continuing to play well
off the edge. On a handoff to Zach Tuiasosopo, the third-year player
from Hawaii came in to strip the ball away from the senior fullback.
Ala, at 6-3, 245 pounds, has put himself in prime position to play big
minutes in 2004.
Mike Mapu continues to work with the first-team at Husky, now backed
up by Ty Eriks, and is working himself into better shape the longer
fall camp goes. He came up huge on one running play, stopping Johnie Kirton in the backfield. Mapu, who has the wildest hair on the team,
also has a fire that never seems to go away. His redshirt season of
2003 could very well make for a breakout '04.
Tahj Bomar also had a nice stop on Tuiasosopo up the middle. The
sophomore linebacker is currently running with the twos.
Late in practice, the first team units on both sides of the ball got
their first look at a scout team. Just another sign that the
season-opener is coming fast.
The Huskies return to the practice field on Thursday the last day of
two-a-days. From that point on, it's one practice a day.
Number Changes: Reffett has switched from No. 95 to No. 59.
Walk-on receiver Steve Anderson has went from 31 to 6.
More Lambo: Former Husky head coach and long-time defensive
coordinator Jim Lambright was again at practice on Wednesday. He also
attended practice last week in Olympia.
8/25 PM Practice Report
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