Dawgbytes - Saturday session on Montlake

It was another lazy Saturday for northwesterners as the sun finally made its first appearance shortly after noon today. Lawns were mowed, kids were taking in their last Saturday before school starts and golf was on T.V. Many took the chance to relax this weekend. Many, except for the Washington Huskies football team.

Head coach Tyrone Willingham was busy with his players this afternoon and was unable to meet with the press, but no matter. The team attended to the true details on the field during the afternoon practice that began under a warm sun at four o'clock on the Husky Stadium turf.

As the team prepared for stretching, junior FS Dashon Goldson, who was wearing a red jersey that limited the contact he could face in practice, led a chant of "Whose house?" which was then answered by an emphatic "Dawgs House!" by the entire squad behind him. The chant ended with the entire team barking to what seemed like the delight of the entire coaching staff. Smiles could be seen on several coaches' faces as the players not participating in drills this afternoon decided to chime in as well.

After stretching, the team seems to have adopted a tradition of breaking down into a subdued "mosh pit" that is then directed by one player. Today the player designated to lead this interesting ritual was junior WR Sonny Shackelford. QB Isaiah Stanback could be heard over the rest of the group whooping and hollering doing his best to pump up his mates. It seemed to work as the team's intensity and focus, even in the individual drills, was very good.

As the players were running through drills, Willingham made his way over to the offensive line, which was being led through its paces by line coach Mike Denbrock who has one of the loudest voices on the staff. Willingham watched as several linemen worked on their pad level and their drive blocking.

Of note today was that junior tailback Kenny James was not donning a red jersey for the first time since the opening day of camp and he was being hit during ball-carrying drills. Running backs coach Trent Miles continued to stress players' eye level in seeing the tackler and where their blocks are. FB Luke Kravitz showed excellent speed and footwork on several of the drills.

Over on the far side, offensive coordinator Tim Lappano was working with the quarterbacks and their drops. Anyone who has ever played quarterback or coached the position will acknowledge that it all begins with footwork. With proper footwork a quarterback will be well-balanced in his delivery. If he has poor footwork, his adjustments will give the defensive backs time to break on the receivers.

Over on the far field defensive coordinator Kent Baer and the entire defensive staff were running their charges through tackling drills. You could hear the pads popping as the players were working on tackling drills. The defensive backs were working on locating a ball and either making a play on it or driving on the route enough to ensure that no progress was made by the receiver following the reception.

The players have the day off tomorrow and game week begins on Monday during a press conference with Willingham and the annual Husky Kickoff Luncheon that takes place Monday, August 29 at the Dempsey Indoor.

Charge of the red brigade: The team had the fewest red jerseys on the field today as only Trenton Tuiasosopo, C.J. Wallace and Goldson had them on. It appeared that Wallace and Goldson's may have precautionary as players are given time off for various reasons.

Sophomore Dan Howell was not in pads today and his left leg was in a boot. There was no indication that it was serious, however.

Not hurt bad enough: Even the players not able to practice – TE Dash Crutchley, DT Jordan White-Frisbee, OL Willie Kava and OL Juan Garcia among others – were being worked hard by strength and conditioning coach Trent Greener and his staff. The players were standing back to back and passing what looked like a 35-pound medicine ball. Just because you can't practice, doesn't mean this staff won't work you hard.

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