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April 19, 2013

More work to do on defense




Thursday, the Washington football team got in its last practice before the spring scrimmage on Saturday.

Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox wasn't too impressed with what he saw during practice.

"Probably not as well as we would've liked defensively," Wilcox said.

As everyone strives to get better, the competition for spots on defense is ongoing. Their need to improve isn't lost on Wilcox.

Even with spring ball coming to an end, there's plenty of work left.

"We need to get better," Wilcox said. "We got to get better in a few different areas, we got a lot of work to do and there's a lot of positions that are wide open."

One of those areas of improvement continues to include consistency.

It's been a big emphasis for the defense throughout spring, and it will continue to be key for the team as they move forward.

"Defensively, you can't play good 65 out of 75 plays because you give up 10 big plays, then the game's over and you're giving up a lot of points, so that's the way it's always going to have to be," Wilcox said.

For the defensive line in particular, the spring has been a work in progress, according to defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi.

It's still a competitive position group that needs to find technique and depth before the season begins.

By going against the no-huddle offense, the defense has had to learn how to play through exhaustion. This continues to be a major point of emphasis.

In fact, it took no time for Lupoi to find the answer when asked what the biggest thing is that the defense must work on.

"Battling through fatigue," Lupoi said. "To be able to commit to our technique in the times when we're tired."

That commitment from players will be something Lupoi will look for during the spring game. He said he wants to see who can continue to commit to their technique even when they're fatigued.

For Lupoi, the spring scrimmage is a way to sort of hold tryouts within the team to compete for the spots that are still open. Those positions that are still fairly open are the defensive line and the secondary.

"We're looking for who's going to emerge for us to possibly start in the fall," Lupoi said.

The defense may have a lot of work to do, but the coaches seem ready to take on that challenge.

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