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August 22, 2012

Working their way back




After seeing multiple players return from injuries on Monday, the Washington football team continued to heal up Tuesday, adding more bodies to the practice fold once again.

Offensive lineman Erik Kohler and linebackers Travis Feeney and Thomas Tutogi were all back out on the practice field on Monday after missing time with injuries, although Feeney was limited. Each of the three players participated in both the morning and evening practice sessions on the day.

"We're kind of working our way back," head coach Steve Sarkisian said after practice. "As bad as it was early on in camp, we're doing pretty well right now. It's just good to start to get healthy again and have the depth back a little bit."

Kohler coming back represents a huge piece of the offensive line coming back together. Sarkisian said that with the offensive line where it is now, the Huskies will have to prepare to play with seven or eight guys for the opener. Getting the two-year starter back will be a big boost to the line.

"It's great to have a guy who has played tackle, and now he can slide in and play some guard, and now we're working him in at center," Sarkisian said. "We can slot him in anywhere."

"We're just preparing ourselves for the things that come up," Sarkisian said. "I feel like our offensive line has had a nice training camp to this point, and now with more healthy bodies, the expectations will only become greater."

Tuesday's practice saw a lot of shuffling around on the line. With the coaching staff still trying to find the right mix of guys for the opener against San Diego St. on Sept. 1, Kohler saw work at each of the lineman spots.

Despite the fact that he has not made any decisions on his starters on the line, Sarkisian is happy with the depth that he has up front.

"It's taken us four years to get to this point, through recruiting and battling some injuries and playing some walkons and different guys," Sarkisian said. "Now when we go on the road we are going to take 10 lineman who are all healthy and all good players. This is where you're supposed to be, it just took us some time to get here.

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Sarkisian said that the coaching staff has begun game planning for San Diego State, and that the players have recently started to work in some plays that he expects to see against the Aztecs.

Addressing San Diego St. coach Rocky Long's comments about not punting inside the fifty-yard line this season, Sarkisian quipped, "I don't think we've ever punted inside the fifty." He went on to say that he believed that some of Long's comments had been blown out of proportion a bit.

The Huskies practiced in shells Tuesday. There was some full team work, as well as seven-on-seven practice. Bishop Sankey had the day's first touchdown, breaking through the line for a 60-yard run, although there was no live tackling. Both Sankey and Jesse Callier were impressive and made some plays when they had the ball in their hands.

Arguably the most impressive play of seven-on-sevens was a fantastic catch by standout freshman Jaydon Mickens. The speedy receiver turned on the jets to make snare the ball one-handed on throw towards the sidelines from Keith Price. Also in the seven-on-sevens, Derrick Brown found Kendyl Taylor on a 75-yard touchdown in which Taylor beat his coverage with a double move.

Shaq Thompson continued to impress and find his way all around the ball. He worked extensively with the linebackers during running drills, consistently finding the ball carrier.

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