Rick Neuheisel Notes and Quotes - 8/19

Rick Neuheisel addressed the press for the first time since Saturday's scrimmage and talked for a bit about <b><a href=http://scout.TheInsiders.com/a.z?s=147&p=8&c=1&nid=306445&yr=2002>Elliott Zajac's</a></b> condition, the offensive line shuffle and also the rest of the injuries that have taken place. He also talked a bit about what he saw on the scrimmage tape and who stood out.

On Monday's practice: I thought it was a good first day back. Traditionally Mondays after a day off lag a little bit, and I sensed a little of that, but we changed enough of the schedule to incorporate some Michigan planning that I think we kept their attention and got great effort. Hopefully we will continue to get that effort and get increased attention as we get closer to Thursday. Tomorrow we will do a little scrimmaging at the end of practice in the afternoon, and see if we can't continue to put some good work in in preparation of the game. I like where we are.

On the team's injuries: We've had some setbacks with respect to Elliott, but Dan Dicks graded out pretty well so I think he'll be okay. Robin Meadow is another guy on that side. Nick Newton strained a little groin muscle (today) but I think he'll be back tomorrow. Braxton (Cleman) came back today, tweaked (his hamstring) a little bit but we think he'll be fine by tomorrow. It didn't seem to be anything serious. Paul (Arnold) and Reggie (Williams) both were rusty, but both looked good. Justin Robbins had an MRI on his knee that was negative, so hopefully he'll be back in the next couple of days. We'd like to get Zach Tuiasosopo back by Wednesday, that's what we're holding out hope for.

On Elliott Zajac's injury update: There is every reason to believe that he'll be back ready to play in the first week of October. My goal, as I told the trainers, is to have him back in time for the Idaho game. I don't think we'd play him a significant amount in the Idaho game because he'd be rusty. If he could be physically ready to participate in that game, it'd be outstanding. There is a slight fracture in the ankle, but it did not displace, so the healing will be much faster. It's as good of news as you can get for missing your lone senior starter in the offensive line.

On replacing Zajac: There is the scenario where Aaron Butler goes back to the position he was at a year ago (at strong guard) and Nick Newton goes back to the position where he was at a year ago (at weak guard) and Todd Bachert goes back to the position where he was at a year ago (at strong tackle). We'd have to then get a center, and maybe that's Danny Dicks. But I think right now the easiest solution in terms of keeping everybody in the direction they are is moving Dan Dicks up. Hopefully that can be the answer.

On the improvement of Dan Dicks: (It was) mainly just increasing his athleticism. Being quick-footed. He was a very highly sought after recruit and this is what he came here to do so hopefully he'll take advantage of it.

On Nathan Rhodes' status: Nathan Rhodes went to see the doctor today. Where we are at right now is that he's got some disc issues in his back. The extent of the injury remains to be seen. We'll have to wait and see what that means in respect to his ability to play.

On replacing Elliott Zajac at short-snapper: We are using Tim Galloway, who's adept at it. We didn't have much use for anyone else because Elliott Zajac had been reliable. Andy Heater has done it and Mike Thompson is another kid who is pretty good at it. We're working hard to get that accomplished.

On moving Matt Lingley to fullback: Obviously we are concerned at the fullback position. Adam Seery is doing a good job, but we'd like to see if we can get some more lead in the pencil, so to speak, for that position. Matt being a linebacker by trade, I want to take a look at him.

On the stars of Saturday's scrimmage: Charles Frederick played really well. He had one drop that I know he would want back, but for the most part I thought he played really well. Dan Dicks graded out pretty well playing on both the ones and twos. He got yoman duty there. I still believe that our linebackers are very impressive. I think they fly around and make a lot of plays. And Evan Benjamin was the other guy who's playing really, really well.

On the linebacker competition: I consider Joseph Lobendahn and Marquis Cooper both first-stringers. They both are going to play a bunch. I think Ben (Mahdavi) is ahead of Tim (Galloway) but Tim will play. I think Jafar (Williams) is ahead of Ty (Eriks) but Ty will play. But at the other (linebacker) position, I think they are both starters so I don't worry about that position. And we've got Tyler Krambrink who, when he is healthy, can play a multitude of spots.

On Kai Ellis' status: I think he's going to try to practice tomorrow. He says that if he's not 100 percent that he'd like to redshirt but the facts of the matter are that he also wants to play. We'll just wait and make that postion at the proper time.

On the upcoming scrimmage: Everything can improve. The second scrimmage will be a little bit unlike the first in that we won't be playing Washington. We'll try to get some Michigan schemes and play that against ourselves.

On moving Scott White back to linebacker: I think it's probably the better place for him to grow up this year in a scout team context. I think he'll learn and see a bunch of different things that will make him a much better player by the start of spring.

Pick Paul's Pic: The University of Washington media relations department is giving fans the opportunity to vote on which of three photos of senior receiver Paul Arnold will appear in the game program during the regular season. Fans can go to the UW athletic website at www.gohuskies.com to get a look at the three photo choices - 1) braids, 2) afro, 3) afro-puff - and are encouraged to vote.

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