Dawgbytes - 8/12

Listening to Tyrone Willingham tell it, some subtle changes are taking place with his Washington football team. Nothing earth-shattering, but little things that might start amounting to more and more progress as the Huskies get closer and closer to their first pigskin clash of the season against Air Force.

"I think they are improving, I think the understanding of what's taking place is better, as is the willingness to get things done," Willingham said Friday before another session of 'split practices'. "That's part of the learning curve."

Because the team is split up into two smaller units, it might be difficult to imagine the coaching staff finding some time to work solely on special teams, but there's a 30 minute carryover period between practices where the whole team participates, and that's where the bulk of the special teams practice takes place. "We also need a certain amount of classroom work on special teams, and with this structure we have that," said Willingham. "I think we're actually spending more time on special teams, the way the split practices are done."

And even though the 5-day 'acclimatization' period doesn't allow the team to go with full pads until Saturday, it's not disrupting the pace or theory behind a Willingham-led practice session. "I think we always try to practice all-out, with pads or without pads. We practice tackling and practice the form. We scrimmage every day. We try to create that 'game situation' every day. And we'll bring in officials from time to time but we won't have any 3-hour scrimmage format."

And as for the quarterbacks? "I think they've picked it up as a group, they seem to be more efficient, more productive," said Willingham, still not appearing as if he is ready to put one name ahead of the pack.

Walking Wounded: Jordan Reffett is the defensive lineman out with a slight hamstring pull, and not Dan Milsten, as was reported yesterday. Kenny James will still be out for 'a couple of more days' nursing a bruised shoulder. Darin Harris sustained a concussion and is also expected out for a few days.

Another addition: Willingham said that he may add LB Trenton Tuiasosopo to the 105-man roster within the next few days. He's been cleared to practice but has not been cleared for contact. When asked if Trenton could be available for Air Force, Willingham said, "I don't know." Tuiasosopo was injured earlier in the spring during a bike accident.

Big Man on Campus: Morgan Rosborough saw his first time in Husky football gear Thursday and didn't waste any time getting into the swing of things. "I think when any young man hasn't done the type of conditioning you're doing at this level, it's a bit of a wake-up call," said Willingham.

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