Practice report - 8/14 AM

It was clear this morning that the Washington Huskies meant business. With pads on, Orville Redenbacher would have been proud with the amount of popping going on. They had to restrain themselves somewhat, as full pads won't be donned until this afternoon, but there were some good shots delivered this morning.

Because they had on shoulder gear, the players sitting out put red shirts on this morning. Nathan Rhodes had on his familiar red 91, but others that put on red for the first time included Reggie Williams, Ben Bandel, Dash Crutchley, Roc Alexander, Scott Ballew, Braxton Cleman, Stephen Johnson, Sam Cunningham, Paul Arnold and Doug Clarke. Reggie did work with the special teams today on punt coverage and Roc did participate in nearly every drill that was asked of him.

Today saw the first musical 'double take', as 'Regulator' by Nate Dogg and Warren G came blasting out of the speakers. The real action started with the blocking drills, as receivers and running backs tried their best to block incoming defenders. Patrick Reddick takes a lot of pride in his downfield blocking and it showed this morning as he took out BJ Newberry and Evan Benjamin during his turns. Benjamin got his licks in, getting past newcomer Eddie Jackson to make a play.

Perhaps the biggest 'hits' during this session were between the running backs and linebackers. Joseph Lobendahn signaled early that he meant business, giving frosh RB Shelton Sampson a love tap that sent Sampson down. Rich Alexis looked good on this drill, holding his own against Ben Mahdavi. Scott White also showed that he has some blocking skills at fullback, locking up Cory Jones and not letting him go by. Zach Tuiasosopo did his part, pancaking Tyler Krambrink as Tyler was coming around the edge.

It was clear during the 7-7's and the full practice-ending scrimmage that the defense was going to get the upper hand this morning. Charles Frederick stood out among the receivers for his consistent route-running and catching everything thrown his way. Joe Toledo made some very nice receptions and showed that he has the ability to get defenders to bite on his fakes. On one play he was able to get behind the entire defense and was rewarded with a ball thrown his way.

Nate Robinson was working a lot with Sam Cunningham out and showed that he is not going to back down from anybody. Cunningham, as the 'veteran', was constantly in Nate's ear, giving the young man from Rainier Beach a steady stream of advice. Sam was also seen talking quite a bit with Kim Taylor. On a reception to Matt DeBord, Robinson pushed DeBord once, then again out of bounds for good measure. Matt took exception and a small shoving match ensued before DeBord headed back to his huddle.

Joseph Lobendahn is making a ton of plays from his WIL position and it looks like he has firmly entrenched himself in the starting position. If the Michigan game were this Saturday, he would be starting. He touch-sacked Cody Pickett twice in row, earning some hoots and hollers from the rest of the defense. His backup, Marquis Cooper, also had an outstanding day, tipping a ball at the line of scrimmage that was eventually picked off by Owen Biddle.

For the lines, the offensive guys were getting beat initially, but held their own in the final period. Anthony Kelley again is showing a lot of quicks at the REB spot in Kai Ellis' absence. Safety Evan Benjamin should have had a gift pick courtesy of a whithering rush, but Casey Paus' throw ended up hitting the turf, as did a dejected number 27. After practice, Bobby Hauck was seen working with the secondary working on catching balls.

Offensive play of the morning: Again, Charles Frederick gets the nod here, running a great route and catching the ball right in front of a rushing Evan Benjamin to get clear of the secondary. Charles also laid some nice hits blocking for the running backs.

Defensive play of the morning: This play started out well for the offense. Patrick Reddick made a nice catch and eluded several defenders before running to daylight. What he didn't realize was that Nate Robinson was coming full-bore from across the field and at about the 20 Nate was able to strip Reddick of the ball. Pat recovered the pigskin, but Robinson got some serious kudos from Hauck for his play.

Hit of the morning: Terry Johnson put Elliott Zajac on his butt on a hit that wasn't intended on being a big one but turned out to be a real slobberknocker. The pop on Zajac's pads could be heard all the way to the RAM.

In attendance: Hugh Millen and Sean O'Laughlin were milling around the track this morning, checking out the action. There also appeared to be someone from the San Francisco 49'ers organization that was watching the offensive linemen pretty intently. Rik Haines and a couple of members of the Decatur High coaching staff were there as was Spencer Marona's high school coach at Lakeridge, Mike Coulson.

Above and beyond: Pete Kaligis had two freshman stay a little longer for some extra conditioning. They were Jason Benn and Shelton Sampson. Top Stories