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August 9, 2012
It was another energetic practice full of impressive newcomers and coachable moments.
On Wednesday, the University of Washington football team came out for day three of fall camp. They are ironing out kinks and getting acclimated with the new team. This year is no different. Every season is full of learning experiences with new personalities.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian loves the tempo at practice.
"We're flying," Sarkisian said. "We're better at it than we were in spring. I think our new kids and our new coaches are understanding that tempo we want in practice and how we move from drill to drill."
Wide receiver James Johnson is having a blast in this competitive environment. He said that every day they are getting better and having fun doing it.
"I feel like this year, more than anything, we're having a lot of fun," Johnson said. "Just all around from the defense to the offense, it's awesome. We just love it. We worked hard all summer preparing for this, and we get the opportunity to come out here and play and that's what we're doing."
Through this fast tempo and energy, there have been shining moments and moments that some players would probably like to have back. But that's all part of it.
"I love our guys, but there's coachable moments, teachable moments, that we need to get the points across," Sarkisian said. "With Keith (Price) it's obviously a point of ours that we're not going to take sacks, we're going to minimize our sacks, we're not going to take unnecessary hits."
And Price knows this, too. He's coming to every practice ready to improve.
Also ready to improve are the guys behind Price, who are putting their best foot forward in this camp.
Freshman Cyler Miles looked incredibly composed at Wednesday's practice, finding connections on multiple passes. This kind of maturity that Miles and Lindquist have displayed has impressed Sarkisian.
"I totally believe that from a young quarterback's perspective, it's one of the hardest days of training camp. You've got three consecutive days of instillation going, it's the first time you've put pads on, everybody's jacked up, we go into the red zone, the field shrinks down, it gets a little tighter, windows get smaller. So we anticipate some of the mistakes that can potentially get made on day three," Sarkisian said.
But he hasn't seen too many of these anticipated mistakes.
Sarkisian said he thought Miles did some things during Wednesday's practice that was impressive, including his composure and ability to understand and not get too jittery.
This goes for Lindquist as well. Sarkisian said the young quarterbacks aren't fumbling snaps or throwing to the defense. This has been encouraging.
Impressive play hasn't been exclusively belonging to the young quarterbacks, though.
Safety Shaq Thompson, cornerback Brandon Beaver, tailback Erich Wilson II, wide receiver Jaydon Mickens and wide receiver Kendyl Taylor are all freshmen making an impact in fall camp.
Sarkisian isn't the only one impressed with the new guys.
Johnson described the new receivers as "phenomenal" and as a group that seems to know the most out of any new group he's seen come in.
"They're very coachable, hard working guys," Johnson said. "'Yes sir,' 'no sir' to the coaches, which is really good coming from big-time recruits, so you can tell they come from good families and things like that, and we definitely welcome them into our wide out group and they all fit in."
Seems like the team is coming together in just a few days of camp; making plays and trying to learn from their mistakes. It will take a bit longer to see if they are truly learning from their missteps, but as of now, Sarkisian seems at ease with the state of his Huskies.
Erik Kohler's MRI came back showing that no damage was done to his knee when it popped out of place in Monday's practice. Sarkisian said he expects him to be out a couple weeks, but should be OK for the season. He also said Kohler is feeling great and the swelling is already going down. Sarkisian said continuity and strengthening are the biggest factors as of now.
Colin Tanigawa is still progressing in his rehabilitation process from the ACL injury. Sarkisian said he is right on the cusp of the season of being available to play, so right now there's no reason to rush him.
Sarkisian said their depth at punt returner is the best it's been and is very dynamic.
Travis Coons had another good kicking day Wednesday. Korey Durkee should have some opportunities Thursday. Sarkisian said the battery is getting slightly more consistent with the snap, hold, kick. Coons "missed from 52 twice yesterday, and it wasn't for distance, it was wide left, and came back today and drilled it for 52. So, very strong leg, it's just finding that consistency," Sarkisian said.
As far as punting goes, Sarkisian said they are a little more inconsistent there than maybe they would like to be. Right now, he said they need to work on trusting their protection and finding consistency in the catch, drop and kick.
The team will practice in full pads on Saturday.
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