Monday, August 20, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

I got home last night from the Northwoods of Wisconsin to find that some of the faithful over at the Dawgman message board were in near panic after watching about a quarter of Saturday's scrimmage at Montlake. A good friend told me that the first quarter was indeed atrocious, but if you bothered to stay for the whole performance you came away with a warm fuzzy feeling about where the program is headed in 2007.

Shotgun snaps that go over the head of the QB are never a good thing, and since the team suffered through three of those yesterday I am sure it served to stir up the fans that were in attendance. Attribute most of it to opening jitters, it's a good bet that it will be handled come game time.

I have watched, or participated in hundreds of Fall camp football practices over the years, and I can tell you that a scrimmage half way through camp is always a mixed bag of goodies. If you ever played the game you realize that this is about the time your legs go dead if you are a football player. This is also the time that you try to push through, persevere, and win the competition at your position, and that is what Saturday's scrimmage was all about.

For those who stayed the whole practice, according to my friend, they saw a team that was faster, stronger, and more talented than about any Husky team over the last five years. Those in the know realized that the defense knew what was coming the entire day, they also knew that UW was only using around 10% of it's offense. Saturday was a day to sit back, focus on individual performances, and if you did that there was plenty to be happy about.

Willingham was wise to open this one up because it gave his young team the chance to get rid of the butterflies. It was the first practice of the year to feature officials, and predictably they were throwing the flag around all day. Once again I will tell you that is what happens during the first scrimmage with officials. Coaches acknowledged that some of the players seemed nervous in their first public performance of the season. Those nerves showed up at times in sloppy play.

Jake Locker looks like he is settling into his role at QB. He had a solid day after the first quarter, and those in attendance that stuck around commented on what a superb specimen he is carrying the ball. He has the instinct of Tuiasosopo, and almost the speed of Stanback. He is a more fluid runner than either of them, and he takes a lot better care of the ball. Jake is going to be a major weapon once he is fully released against Syracuse.

Jakes most impressive play was a 57-yard heave downfield for Marcel Reece for a touchdown. Locker also had a 7-yard touchdown run. Consider this -- if the defense touches the quarterback, he is down. That means that Locker wasn't even touched.

The offensive line still isn't clicking the way it needs to. I guess that is an understatement at this point since they looked pretty sloppy most of the day. With two weeks to go the Huskies have a lot of work to do in this area. The positives are that despite the mistakes they have more talent and depth here than they have had over the past five years. Look for the unit to keep improving on a weekly basis.

All the freshmen running backs made a major push for immediate playing time while JR Hasty had a tough day out there that may foreshadow his future as a Husky runing back. Shaw, Yakaboski, Johnson, and Griffin all did pretty well on Saturday. My friend who was observing for me said it was the best looking class of RB's he has seen on campus since Kauffman arrived in the early 90's.

Curtis Shaw was the most impressive of the young RBs with 28 yards on four carries. He did, however, have a fumble in the situational stuff that happened later. Willie Griffin also had some nice runs with 32 yards on six carries.

The receivers dropped the ball too much, but that had a lot to do with the weather, and the jitters of playing in front of the fans for the first time this season. Like Locker they settled down as time went on. Reece and Williams are both ready to have big years, and walk on Charles Hawkins looks like he is ready for some playing time in 2007 if needed.

Tailback Louis Rankin picked his holes aggressively, except for one kickoff return in which he started right and reversed all the way left before cutting back and finally running out of steam in the middle of the field.

We didn't see a lot of action from the TE's or the Fullbacks, but that will change against Syracuse and was part of keeping the offense under wraps from prying eyes.

On defense it was a coming out party for RS freshmen DeShon Matthews, and Cameron Elisara. Both were impressive all day, particularly Matthews who made a statement for playing time and a spot in this years crowded rotation at DE. Elisara was subbing for the banged up Wilson Afoa and showed why he is one of the most promising defensive linemen on the West coast. Elisara is a kid who will be starting by the end of the season because thre is no way Reffett is going to be able to keep him off the field once he gets more experience. Jovon O'Connor also had a pretty good day, and it was nice to see him start to push for playing time. The UW defensive line is going to good, and deep this season. No mention of Sr DT Erik Lobos which was surprise for me, but it could have just been a casual omission.

Special teams were still less than special, and they need to get a lot better over the next two weeks. UW still has not decided who will kick, punt, or return. Look for those slots to be finalized over the next week.

No serious injuries were sustained during the scrimmage, which consisted of two 15-minute quarters. However, several players were held out for precautionary reasons. WR Anthony Russo (finger), CB Byron Davenport (hamstring) and DT Wilson Afoa (shoulder) did not particpate, as expected. Coach Tyrone Willingham had not informed of us apparent injuries to WR Cody Ellis, DE Caesar Rayford, OG Matt Sedillo and DT Tyrone Duncan. According to Willingham most could have played, but he is holding them out just to be safe.

“Overall, I thought it was good,” coach Tyrone Willingham said. “I thought we did a decent job in a lot of the places.” "Part of the purpose of doing it was to have someone in the stands so we could create somewhat of a gamelike experience,” Willingham said. “And it was good for the officials, it was good for our football team, and hopefully it was good for our fans.”

Here is a look at the unofficial two deeps going into the stretch run.

OFFENSE

QB Jake Locker Fr. Carl Bonnell Sr.
RB Louis Rankin Sr. J.R. Hasty So.
FB Paul Homer So. Luke Kravitz Jr.
WR Anthony Russo Sr. Corey Williams Sr. D'Andre Goodwin Fr.
WR Marcel Reece Sr. Quintin Daniels Sr. Cody Ellis Sr.
TE Michael Gottlieb Jr and/or Johnie Kirton Jr. and/or Robert Lewis Sr..
LT Cody Habben Fr. Ben Ossai So.
LG Ryan Tolar Fr Jordan White-Frisbee Jr.
C Juan Garcia Sr. Ryan Bush Jr.
RG Casey Bulyca Jr. Morgan Rosborough So. and/or Matt Sedillo Fr.
RT Chad Macklin Sr. Erik Berglund Sr.
PK Erik Folk Fr./Ryan Perkins So.

DEFENSE

DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim Jr. Darrion Jones Jr. and/or De'Shon Matthews
DT Jordan Reffett Sr. Derek Kosub Fr. and/or Jovon O'Connor Jr.
DT Wilson Afoa Sr. Cameron Elisara Fr.
DE Greyson Gunheim Sr. Caesar Rayford Sr. Fred Wiggs So.
OLB Dan Howell Sr. Matt Houston Fr. Kyle Trew Sr.
ILB Donald Butler So. Trenton Tuiasiosopo Jr. Mason Foster Fr.
ILB Chris Stevens Jr. E.J.Savannah So.
CB Cory Nicol So. Matt Mosley Fr. Byron Davenport Jr.
CB Roy Lewis Sr. Desmond Davis Jr. and/or Vonzell McDowell Fr.
FS Jason Wells Jr. Jay Angotti So. Nate Williams Fr.
SS Mesphin Forrester Jr. Darin Harris Sr.
P Jared Ballman Jr./Ryan Perkins So.

Syracuse Weekend Practice Report

Robinson on team speed: "On the defensive side of the ball, I like the way we move. Compared to last year ... I don't know, we'll see. I think this group can go pretty good. On the offensive side we have a lot of the same players per se. I like our movement. You know it's hard to really say exactly how it was but I feel like we are a team that moves pretty well."

4 comments:

prrbrr said...

HIE, Erick Lobos has never used his RS year. Do you think TW might do that with him if Elisara is doing well as that would balance out the classes better on DL. If he did that, we would lose At DT Afoa, and Reffett. At DE Gunheim, Rayford. That would leave DT Srs next year Lobos and possibly Jovon OC who like you, am glad to see finally making a push.

Health Insurance Expert said...

You can never tell what exactly Ty has on his mind. Lobos has underperformed for various reasons so I am not sure if they would want to keep him around the extra year. It would be a good question to ask Chris Fetters.

Ed said...

I think TW is a bit of "bird in hand is worth two in the bush." In other words, i think he will play Lobos and use his scholly right away. There are a couple of guys they are recruiting who might be players as freshman from what i read.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Scott at Dawgman has the lowdown on Lobos. Looks like he is in the mix, and sat out this Saturday as a precaution.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?S=147&F=1360#s=147&f=1360&t=865603&stm=10457789