'Turnover Wednesday' provides some fireworks

SEATTLE - With Wednesday bringing the second-straight practice in full pads for the Washington Huskies, nerves were raw and fuses were short. So it wasn't surprising to see a couple of players go after each other during the team period; it was a different matter altogether when the entire team joined the scrap, as a couple hundred fans watched from the sidelines at Husky Stadium.

It appeared as if cornerback Quinton Richardson and receiver Anthony Boyles were at the heart of the disagreement, and while it quickly escalated it didn't last for more than 20 seconds or so.

"I just think they are excited," UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian said of the scuffle. "They are competing, they are battling. We're right down by the end zone...we just have to teach these guys how to control their emotions and where to exert their energy. Their energy should be on the next snap, not on the fight. We'll learn from it. But I'm excited they were fighting about something. We just need to focus and where to put our energy."

Because the whole team joined in the fray, Sarkisian made the team run five gassers to bring home the point that they don't want to do anything to create stupid personal foul penalties.

That's 15 yards. That hurts our football team. That's unacceptable," Sarkisian added. "Other guys got involved. Two guys get in a scuffle? That's natural. When other guys get involved, that's the problem I have. We have to learn that discipline as a football team.

"Full pads, guys get a little onery on Day Five. It was a good teachable moment there. There's going to be scuffles in this game and things happen, but the moment you join another guy's scuffle, that's when the penalties occur."

The defense won the team period Wednesday, with E.J. Savannah securing a fumble and Johri Fogerson taking a pick back to the house off of Jake Locker, a prominent part of 'Turnover Wednesday'. "They did a nice job in sudden change," Sarkisian said of the defense. "When sudden change occurs, the defense has to respond. As the period went on they got more accustomed to it and made more plays.

"Our (red zone) timing has to keep picking up offensively so we're in rhythm to beat the coverages."

Friday's practice won't be in full pads, and some of that has to do with the number of bodies accumulating on the sidelines. Running backs Curtis Shaw (knee to helmet), Terrance Dailey, Brandon Johnson (concussion) and Brandon Yakaboski were all on the sidelines, and Chris Polk missed his second-straight practice altogether with swelling in his lower leg, a result of another helmet hit.

"We just have to continue to keep him off his feet," Sarkisian said of Polk. "We're monitoring it almost hourly to make sure he's progressing the way we want him to. We're not trying to push these guys to the point where they can't practice the next practice.

"It's a physical game, and we're finding out about guys...not just physical toughness, but mental toughness - who is fighting through some of the nicks and how quickly they can rebound," Sarkisian said. "None of them are serious, but we need to get healthy. Friday will be a little lighter and then we'll scrimmage on Saturday."
Holmgren in the house: Former Seahawks Head Coach Mike Holmgren was there for the whole practice, with his son-in-law Matt Petersen, who works in the football office. He also spent a lot of time talking to UW AD Scott Woodward. "Hopefully we'll play a little bit better as a team the next time he's out here," Sarkisian said with a smile. "Any chance you get to have a legend like (Holmgren) out here...Super Bowl champ and the whole thing...an architect of great passing games and teams, it's an honor. And hopefully our kids recognize that and hopefully he'll continue to come out. It was fun."

Other faces seen at practice: Julious Moore (Bellevue) and Cooper Pelluer (Skyline) were there as far as prospects go, as well as signee Jordan Wallace, C.J. Wallace's brother. Pelluer's father, Scott, was also there. He is a former UW assistant coach, as well as brother to former UW quarterback Steve Pelluer.

Standouts: Sarkisian noted E.J. Savannah, Darrion Jones, Chris Izbicki and Demitrius Bronson as players that stood out on Wednesday. "E.J. really came back and made some plays today," Sarkisian said. "Darrion Jones had a better day. He was in the backfield more, getting in there and making plays. Izbicki showed up. He needs to keep making plays down the field. And Bronson got out again. Once a day he's getting free in the secondary, so he's showing great consistency."

Moving around on the lines: Because Daniel Te'o-Nesheim played more on the end Wednesday, that gave Everrette Thompson and Darrion Jones more time to battle at the other end spot. "We're just trying to give guys opportunities to play different spots to show what they can do," Sarkisian said. On the offensive line, Morgan Rosborough and Senio Kelemete were sharing time with the No. 1 OL. "Morgan has been doing things right," Sarkisian said. "He's been consistent. We wanted to see what he was like going against the ones."

Folk will be the No. 1 kicker: Sarkisian said that Erik Folk will be the No. 1 placekicker this fall, barring anything unforseen, despite the fact that he will be bringing in a JC kicker in Will Mahan, as well as another walk-on kicker. Folk was 4-6 Wednesday. "He's got really good consistency from 35 and in," Sarkisian said of Folk. "He's striking the ball well; it's just when he's on the right hash he's off a little bit."

No change at QB: Sarkisian said that Jake Locker has established himself as the number one quarterback, which should not come as much of a surprise to most. "He's doing a nice job, and it's not just physically," Sarkisian said of the redshirt junior from Ferndale. "It's his huddle presence, it's his game management and everything that goes into it. I like a lot of the things Ronnie (Fouch) is doing, but he has to fight for the consistency part of it. I think he can, but it's a confidence thing.

"We're fighting for consistency. Day Three they struggled pretty good. Day Four they both performed well. I was excited by what they did. And today they were a little up and down again. There was an emphasis on the red zone and that's when it gets tough on the field. If you aren't in that rhythm and not pin-point with your accuracy, it's tough to complete balls. And it showed up again today."

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