4/11 Practice Report

On a cold, blustery day at Husky Stadium, the Washington Huskies put in a thorough workout, complete with an 11-on-11 drill that lasted a half-hour. The wind was blowing and the helmets were being tossed around like rag-dolls as tempers began to escalate. The intensity was plenty high on the eve of the Huskies' first scrimmage.

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The first helmet toss came courtesy of OT Andre Reeves, who mixed it up with DE Terry Johnson. Andre looked like an Olympic discus thrower, giving his helmet a nice 25-yard heave-ho. Reeves got his chin knocked around as a result, but it won't keep him out of tomorrow's scrimmage.

The next one was a little more animated, as fullback Zach Tuiasosopo was met in the hole by linebacker Tim Galloway. They locked horns and continued to tussle well past the whistle. As you might expect, Reeves was quick to Zach's defense, but when they disengaged, an irate Tuiasosopo gave his helmet a toss through the end zone that would have made Al Oerter proud.

Zach got tossed from practice as a result, and ran a lap while the 11-on-11's continued. He later joined the offense near the end of practice, but did not run any plays.

Today the coaches ran some kickoffs with John Anderson and Evan Knudson kicking the ball. The first team kickoff coverage was comprised of Eric Shyne, Evan Benjamin, Ty Eriks, Joseph Lobendahn, Sam Cunningham, Tyler Krambrink, Tim Galloway, Paul Arnold, Chris Singleton and James Sims Jr. Returning the kickoffs was Derrick Johnson, Charles Frederick, Roc Alexander. Singleton and Arnold do double duty as return men and coverage men.

On the 11-on-11's, the defense continued to impress. Terry Johnson capitalized on a nice practice Tuesday with another stellar workout today as he moved in solidly with the ones at defensive end, alongside Josh Miller and Jerome Stevens. He stuffed Braxton Cleman behind the line on an off-tackle play that got the rest of the defense on the sidelines pumped.

The same is also true for Joseph Lobendahn, the 5-11, 230-pound inside linebacker from Honolulu. To say that he looks completely natural in the middle is an understatement. He made play after play in the hole with sure tackling and an aggressive bent that is sure to win over fans this fall.

Offensively, you just can't say enough about Reggie Williams. The 6-4, 220-pound sophomore from Tacoma is simply a man among boys when he's roaming in the secondary and can't be beat. Numerous times he abused Derrick Johnson with an array of moves that defy description. One was a comeback with such a sharp cut it left number 21 eating field turf. The next one was a bump move where number 1 just gave Johnson a quick shove and the redshirt sophomore from Riverside, California went sprawling.

It's clear that Reggie, Paul Arnold and Charles Frederick are going to give the secondary all they can handle and they will learn a lot as they go. Also look out for Matt Griffith and Matt DeBord, two walk-on receivers that are getting plenty of looks and capitalizing on their opportunities.

Rick Neuheisel Quotes:

On the investigation with Colorado - "There isn't an investigation. There's an inquiry. I'm happy to comply with anything they want or need. I've done that since they got involved in this. Let me say this; I fully respect the process. I'm going to do what they ask me to do and so forth. It's just disappointing that it's come to this."

On what will happen - "These things I can't answer for you. I'm just going to do everything they ask me to do and go from there."

On whether or not he is concerned the secondary violations could be considered a major violation taken as a whole - "No, I'm not concerned. As I've said, I'm fully willing to comply. I've got nothing to hide. Hopefully we can put all this behind us. I thought I left Colorado a long time ago."

On the physical nature of practice today - "It's not atypical. Guys are competing. We're in pads. It's an aggressive game and sometimes tempers will flare. It's an opportunity for us to practice restraint as well. And we have to learn that we have to keep our cool even though tempers do get out of whack sometimes."

On tomorrow's scrimmage - "I'm hoping to get a lot of great football done. Numbers being what they are it's going to be interesting to see how many plays we can run. I'm anxious to watch a bunch of guys that have impressed so far continue to play."

On Cody Pickett - "He's still rusty, but that's what spring practices are for. Our hope is that he'll return to form in the next few days, maybe as early as tomorrow."

On Anthony Kelley - "Anthony Kelley is in a program right now. As a partial qualifier he has to graduate in order to be eligible to play next fall. He is in a program on campus right now called the CHID program. Comparative History of Ideas. Unfortunately his classes are in the afternoons, and because he took the last two winters to study abroad in South Africa, all of his classes are in the afternoon. He's not able to practice but he will be here tomorrow and he'll be able to practice on Fridays and Saturdays."

On the secondary - "I think Evan Benjamin and James Sims are doing a great job. It's great to have Derrick Johnson back. I think Sam Cunningham and Eric Shyne are going to be OK. Once we get Chris Massey up and going and feeling good again...I feel good about our secondary from the standpoint of the work they've been getting. It's a little nervewracking having so many guys with so little experience, but then you go over there and see Roc Alexander and Greg Carothers and you see a couple of guys that have played a bunch of football that are going to be here in the fall."

On Evan Benjamin - "He turned his ankle the other day, so there was a lot of concern as to whether or not he was even going to be able to come back. It's a good sign to see him up and back in there and goin'. Evan Benjamin has natural instincts to play and we need to make sure he gets as many plays in as he can get, so we can add to our depth at that position."

On Cornell Jackson and Bobby Kennedy - "I think they are doing really well. Both are proven coaches. Both are enthusiastic. The players have taken a very quick liking to both of them. They are disciplinarians and demanding and exacting. I'm hoping they'll also be great recruiters. Their history would say that they are. I think they are two good finds considering we lost two good coaches."

Notes: Let's get it on: Tomorrow's scrimmage is at 4:15 PM and, weather permitting, will be held at Husky Stadium.

In attendance: In attendance today was, as usual, Isaiah Stanback. Also seen were Jackson OL/DL Richy Mulcahy and a couple of players from Orting.

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