Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to the practice report sooner because I drove home to Yakima right after practice concluded. It was another chilly day at Montlake today but the place was hoppin’! There were softball and baseball games going on, those combined with the open practice made for a fun environment of about 3,000 people. The team practiced without pads again today so it’s a little hard to get a read on who had a good day and who had a bad day. They will get into pads and start tackling next week.
Sark seemed a little more animated today than he did on Tuesday (not that he wasn’t animated on Tuesday, just more so today). He was getting after players when mistakes happened and shouting praise after good plays. This coaching staff is extremely fun to watch; they’re almost as entertaining as watching the players sometimes. If the team is lacking energy the coaching staff brings it. I spent quite a bit of time watching the secondary coach, Demetrice Martin, and the running back coach, Joel Thomas. These are two guys who move around as much as their players do. Martin sticks up for his defensive backs and it’s easy to see that the players really enjoy him.
One of the stories of spring practice is the backup quarterback position battle. The backup probably won’t be decided until Fall but it’d be nice if one or both of these guys had an amazing spring. They both struggled at times today. Montana threw some very good passes in the scrimmage session but during drills he threw 3 interceptions in a row. Price is inconsistent and I don’t know if his arm will ever be something we can count on. If the season started tomorrow I’d be worried. Fortunately, it doesn’t and we have two of the best quarterback coaches in the country (Sark and Nuss) and one of the best quarterbacks in the country for these guys to learn from. They are both trying to learn at every point; they are interacting with Locker in every opportunity they can and I saw both of them talking to Tui many times. (Speaking of Tui, the quarterbacks were going through the routes and progressions with Nussmeier early in the practice and throwing the passes to Marques. It was pretty cool to see.)
As if Locker wasn’t already a great leader, it’s obvious that he’s making even more of an effort this year. It’s hard to explain just how much he interacts with the guys while trying to make himself better but it’s impressive to see. I’m going to devote one of these practices to just watching him and will do a post on that.
So, who had a good day today? As I already mentioned it’s somewhat hard to tell without full contact but here are a few guys I came away impressed with:
- Anthony Boyles. Again. I’m trying to not get too excited about him but it’s already getting difficult. There were several times where I thought, “Wow, I need to text the fellow good guys to tell them how great Boyles looks.” I’m not the only one who’s noticing either. Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar, and Jake Locker seem to be taking notice. Boyles enjoys a little friendly trash talking after he or his fellow cornerbacks make a play. Kearse doesn’t seem to enjoy that too much so after Boyles dominated for a while Kearse decided he would only go against A.B. (that’s what the players call him, I figure the Good Guys might as well too.) Kearse had his way a few times but Boyles held his own. By my count, between drills and little scrimmages, Boyles had 3 pass breakups and an interception. He got beat once by Kearse and heard about that from Locker and Kearse. When he has those two talking trash to him about a completion I think that shows that he’s becoming a playmaker in the secondary. (If you make it to a practice watch Boyles and Vonzell McDowell, they’re hilarious when they get going and extremely entertaining.)
- Semisi Tokolahi. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to pronounce this guys name. Tokolahi is a defensive tackle and it’s really hard to judge lineman when they aren’t blocking with all their effort. Despite this Tokolahi has impressed the coaches enough to rotate with the other 1st defensive tackles (Alameda Ta’amu and Cameron Elisara). Today he had a pass deflection and got in the backfield a few times. He’s a big strong guy who could do a good job plugging up the middle of the defense. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tokolahi play himself into some playing time.
- Jermaine Kearse. Just get used to seeing his name on these lists.
- Jake Locker. Same as Kearse.
- The entire secondary. I already singled out Boyles for his good play but this entire secondary was pretty impressive today. Especially during drills. I really think we’ll see a lot more man-to-man defense this year.
- Jesse Callier. I forgot to mention him on Tuesday. Him and Cooper are the two new freshmen running backs and both look like they could be Polk’s backup.
Nothing really anything bad to report. Sure there were some inconsistencies in the backup quarterbacks, a few dropped passes, a fumble or two, and some mixed up assignments but it’s the second day of spring practice and those problems are normal.
Cody Bruns appears to be the holder for the team. The kicking was pretty bad today but I’m going to blame that on the wind and some bad holds. I don’t think we need to worry about Erik Folk.
The punt-returners today were Deontae Cooper, Jesse Callier, Devin Aguilar, Jordan Polk and Johri Fogerson (I may have missed someone here). My early money is on Cooper but I think any of these guys would be just fine returning kicks and/or punts.
One last practice note is that 2011 recruit WR Kasen Williams and 2012 recruit OL Zach Banner were at practice today. Banner was standing on the field most of the day and is huge. He was bigger than some of the Husky offensive lineman. Williams was a little harder to find and wasn’t as involved in watching the practice as Banner was. Williams is considered one of the best receiver recruits in the country and Banner is a lineman that the Huskies would love to get.
Well, that’s about it for today. I write more words than I think I will on these. As Dan noted earlier, this is our 100th post! It’s a little bit of a shame that the 100th post is this lame but I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading. This blog has been so much fun for me and I’m fairly sure the other Good Guys agree. We look forward to keep writing to whatever audience is out there and we’re honored that you choose to read posts that we write. As our friends over on Montlake Madness say, thanks for coming!