Lappano talks offense after spring game spoke with Washington Offensive Coordinator Tim Lappano, who gave us answers as to what the offense was trying to accomplish during the Huskies' Spring Game on Saturday, as well as who he thought stepped up and who needs to get after it this summer.

"We wanted to throw the ball down the field today against some different coverages," he said when asked what their goal was during the game. "We wanted to evaluate all the quarterbacks throwing the deep ball. We got an evaluation out of them, and that's what we wanted to do." The biggest thing any fan coming off the street that saw this year's game and last year's would instantly see that the Huskies made big plays on Saturday, which is something they just couldn't do last year, for whatever reason. Lappano concurred.

"We made plays today, and those were plays we would have dropped last year," he said. "Last year we'd overthrow it. When guys were wide open we threw the ball where we were supposed to and caught it. We made plays today where a year ago we didn't. When we had opportunities to make big plays down the field we made it. (Alex) Mercier's been doing that all spring. Cody (Ellis) stepped up and made a nice one and Chancellor (Young) made a nice catch on the deep post. I think we'll have some weapons at receivers when everyone gets healthy and Marcel Reece was there watching. He's another weapon. I think our receiver play will be fine."

Because the offensive coaches made the pass game their priority during the game, it's easy to say the run game suffered. While acknowledging their own part in it, Lappano was not ready to give Louis Rankin, Kenny James and J.R. Hasty a free pass. "It's not great, but we wanted to throw the football today down the field," he said. "That's what we wanted to see, and Isaiah's one of our best runners, if not our best, and we didn't utilize him in the run game at all. But we have to get better at running the football and we didn't give it a real commitment today either. We threw it down the field today. But we can't lay the ball down in the run game. I saw the ball out too much."

The Husky running backs fumbled the ball four times on Saturday, including a Hasty fumble as the gold team was about to score from the one-yard line.

Lappano was more than happy to talk about the positives he saw, starting with his number-one quarterback. "I was proud of him(Isaiah Stanback)," Lappano said. "Thursday, it wasn't pretty for him. He was pressing. His ball was diving, his shoulder was down and he was throwing it too hard. He came out today and played with a lot of confidence and composure. He's our leader. I've told him many times, you can't let people see you sweat. It's an old cliche and corny, but it's so true at the quarterback position. Those linemen, receivers, running backs, they look to you for leadership in the huddle, and if they see you with bad vibes and bad body posture and all that, that's not good. You're not giving anybody the right message. Today, it was fun for him. He told me that, and I told him that when you do the right things, you have fun. You make the right reads, it's like playing catch out there. I think he took a lot of pressure off of himself."

It was clear that Carl Bonnell had made huge strides since the beginning of spring and while head coach Tyrone Willingham wasn't about to give either Bonnell or Johnny DuRocher the number-two spot, Lappano certainly had some nice things to say about the junior from Kentwood. "Carl I thought played pretty well," Lappano said. "He ran the read zone really well and showed that he's got some speed. Johnny struggled a little bit today. He missed some people and the ball sailed on him a little bit. We have to get the ball up and the elbow down to keep the ball from sailing on him. He had a tougher go today. The ball sailed on him all spring and that bothered him. He's probably not very confident right now. A couple of days ago he did a nice job and I thought we were there with it, but today we got some wind and his shoulder got up a bit. It's a mechanics thing."

Lappano is hoping DuRocher takes the summer to work on his accuracy, as he thinks that's the only thing really holding him back at this point. "He works hard at the game, I love him, but he's got to be more accurate," he said of the junior from Bethel High. "When it's third-and-five and you've got guys open and the ball goes over the top, you're punting. It happened too many times last year. We stalled out too many times. The intermediate quick passing game is almost like a run for us. All those hitches we ran today, those are easy throws. Those are high-percentage passes and it keeps us on the field and our defense off the field. If you can't hit those, you aren't going to play."

Missing open receivers was just one issue Lappano had with his offense on Saturday, but it wasn't the only problem he saw. "We run down-and-distance every day, and for instance, we have third-and-seven and Mercier runs a hitch and gets six yards. Now we're punting from deep in our own territory and giving them a short field. That's a mistake," he said. "There's a reason we run down-and-distance every day. There are some things we have to clean up, but overall I thought the effort was pretty good. I thought they competed pretty hard for the most part and it wasn't too sloppy, but obviously we've got some work to do."

In hearing both Willingham and Lappano talk, that work will start with the offensive line. "I was happy with the purple line (Juan Garcia, Clay Walker, Stanley Daniels, Chad Macklin and Ben Ossai), I thought they did a pretty good job for the most part," he said. "They went to sleep right before the two-minute drill. They (Gold) sacked Isaiah and I went out there. I was not happy with them. That shouldn't happen against the second defensive line, and that irritated me. With Mike (Denbrock) being gone for 90 percent of spring ball, it was hard. We'll be able to put some things together. We'll be OK." Top Stories