Dawgbytes - 4/12

As meticulous as Tyrone Willingham's day planner is, there are some events that the new Washington Head Football Coach can't break down to the minute. One such 'event' happened Tuesday, as Willingham, along with UW Men's Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar, took time out to shoot three commercials that will introduce the 'Return of the Dawgs' ad campaign.

"It's a much longer process than ever advertized," he said of the three-hour-plus shoot. "But Coach Romar was spectacular and he made it easy for me to participate."

While the Washington Athletic Department is hard at work from a marketing standpoint, Willingham is making sure there's a suitable product to market, especially when put side-by-side with the success of Romar's hoop dawgs. If you asked any long-time Washington football fan what the 'Return of the Dawgs' might entail, they probably would talk about the smash-mouth running game that was a staple of the Don James era.

Willingham believes that a strong running game is a normal side effect of what he believes a 'Return of the Dawgs' is all about. "When you talk about bringing the dawg back or putting some bite in the dawg, you're talking about being physical," he said. "That's not limited to our offense and running game. That's also our defense and where we play everywhere. We want to be a physical team. But you can't just play a smash-mouth game today. We want that run game to be strong, but it needs to be meshed in seamlessly with our passing game."

Washington has also been known as a team with a strong quarterbacking tradition. If Casey Paus doesn't make an NFL roster in 2006, 2004 will have been the first year in since 1978 in which the UW yearly passing leader didn't take his game to the next level. "I was led to believe that we were at the ends of the world as far as the quarterbacks," said Willingham. "There's a lot of work that needs to be done but I've been pleased with the overall performance of the group. If we can continue to debug the process, we'll be OK."

The other thing Willingham would love to 'debug' is the injury bug. Without going into specifics about the various injuries, Willingham noted that an injury to Chris Singleton caused him to miss a couple of practices but he is now back and participating. Joe Lobendahn and Scott White are also still out, giving younger linebackers such as Kyle Trew and Tahj Bomar more work. Running back Kenny James worked out in a limited capacity Monday and will do more on Tuesday after missing Saturday's scrimmage. Dashon Goldson is wearing a red shirt as he continues to rehabilitate a shoulder that was surgically repaired over the winter.


In attendance: There weren't many guests on the sidelines during a blustery Tuesday session, but the Lakes coaching staff was there as was former UW QB Taylor Barton.

Ty likes Twelve: The NCAA will most likely rule on having a 12th game scheduled, starting with the 2006 season. "I think it's something that is going to happen," Willingham said. For Pac-10 teams, this move likely means each team would now play every other team in the conference. "I think that would be a great idea," Willingham added. "That way you take on all comers and that is the best way to determine a conference champion."

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