Friday, July 07, 2006

2006 Washington Husky Special Teams

One of the strangest things happened this Spring, K Ryan Perkins blew out his knee, and will miss 2006 after redshirting in 2005. Perhaps the NCAA will grant him a sixth year, what a shame. What this means is Mike Braunstein is the man going into the Fall, and Sean Douglas will help out on kickoff's if needed.

Braunstein was actually winning the job before Perkins was hurt, and he had a decent Spring. Douglas is one of the nations best punters and has a good chance to play on Sunday's. So we look good with the feet going into 2006.

Snapping is an area the Huskies have improved as Danny Morovick arrives as the first scholarship snapper in memory. I am sure a guy or two has earned one doing it, but I think this is the first time we recruited for the specific need. Accurate snaps will help both the kicker and the punter.

Returning the ball will continue to be a problem, UW desperately needs some returners to challenge Marlon Wood who is coming back from an injury, and Russo who wasn't exactly flashy. Chancellor Young could be one of the guys on kickoff's with Louis Rankin. Mosley, Wells, and Meyers will get looks. James Hasty could help out. It is really going to be interesting to see how this sorts out in August once everyone is together.

The best scenario is if Wood is healthy, and can handle the punt / kickoff return chores. Team with Rankin, or Young on kickoffs and you have some speed. Wood had that tremendous return against USC which resulted in a broken leg at the end of the play. The kid was just starting to break out.

Defensively the special teams have some work to do as all poor teams do. Another year in the same schemes, with the same coaches should help out here. Blocking a few more kicks by improving speed off the edge is a good possibility as the overall defense should be a team strength next year.

Overall special team play should improve this year due to experience depth, and the addition of Morovick which should be worth a few more field goals, and a few less blocked punts.

In the future you hope Perkins comes back and can handle punting when Douglas leaves backing up, or competing with Braunstein next year for place kicker. If he can't you need to bring in punter on scholarship, or hope one walks on. As the overall talent. and depth level improves so does the level of the special teams. You will see more answers in the upcoming recruiting class.

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