Practice report - 8/19 AM

Someone played a joke on the Washington Huskies, as the temperatures seemed to be cut in half this morning and the team played in relatively chilly conditions. The layer that was expected to lift didn't, resulting in weather that resembled October more than the balmy August days they have been playing in of late. The mood of the squad, especially after a rest day, was somewhat subduded and in the wake of Elliott Zajac's injury there was a roster move to help fill his vacancy.

Redshirt frosh Tusi Sa'au was moved to guard and was immediately inserted into the two deeps, as Jason Simonson showed up late to practice in street clothes. He was accompanied by Junior tackle Francisco Tipoti.

Other roster moves included frosh Scott White going back to linebacker and his spot on offense picked up by sophomore linebacker Matt Lingley. Sam Cunningham's number changed from 4 to 5.

There were some residual nicks and dings from Saturday's scrimmage, but for the most part this morning had more key players back than before. Reggie Williams, Paul Arnold, Braxton Cleman and Patrick Reddick saw considerable action. Jimmy Newell was back, and Roc Alexander was not wearing red this morning.

Those in red shirts included Junior Coffin, Houdini Jackson, Scott Ballew, Justin Robbins, Nathan Rhodes, Stephen Johnson, Zach Tuiasosopo, Matt Fountaine, Greg Carothers and Kim Taylor. Manase Hopoi wasn't wearing red, but didn't participate this morning. Jackson's left foot was in a boot. Kai Ellis was absent from practice, attending a class. He'll be back this afternoon, per his 'one-a-day' practice schedule.

In light of Zajac's injury, the coaches were trying a few different combinations in an attempt to shore up the strong side of the line. They tried combinations of Dan Dicks and Nick Newton at guard and tackle, Newton and Meadow at guard and tackle, and Dicks at guard and Meadow at tackle. Let the tinkering begin.

Perhaps it was due to the weather or coming off a rest day, but the energy just wasn't there. There was lots of good work done, but the intensity didn't seem as evident. Neuheisel keps reminding everyone '12 days to Ann Arbor' as he walked around to the various positions.

The infusion of Reggie Williams and Paul Arnold into the lineup resulted in instant offense, and it was most evident when the quarterbacks were going through their progressions. Having Reggie running routes is a huge option for Cody Pickett, Taylor Barton and Casey Paus, something they haven't had this fall, and it showed.

The most interesting period during the am session was when Neuheisel had the offenses go through a two-minute and situational clock drills. The defense rose to those occasions, but the first team offense had their chances. Reggie Williams was open in the end zone for a split second, but Cody Pickett's delivery was a hair behind Reggie, allowing Sam Cunningham enough time to get back and bat the ball away.
Notes: Offensive play of the morning: Charles Frederick continued to impress, finding himself clear underneath and outrunning Chris Massey and Ben Mahdavi. He dropped a few more balls this morning than normal, but showed off big-play capability.

Defensive play of the morning: Eric Shyne had a nice breakup of a pass intended for Reggie Williams in the end zone. It lookes as if he was beat but he came back on a ball thrown slightly behind Williams and was able to put a hand on it and deflect it clear. Eric is having a nice fall camp and is making steady progress. For a player that is still a true freshman, he could make an impact on the two deeps.

Hit of the morning: It was a pretty innocuous play, but showed just how far redshirt frosh Evan Benjamin has come since the spring. Reggie Williams caught a pass on the sidelines and ran downfield. Benjamin came up to support the play and gave Reggie a quick smack to the pads that resonated throughout Husky Stadium. The hit didn't stop Williams, as he continued downfield. Top Stories