I learned my lesson after the first two days of practice that I attended, dress warm. So today I made my way over to the U District, put my North Face on over my long sleeve shirt, put my jacket on over my north face, put my beanie and gloves on and then began my trek over to the stadium. To my surprise, it was a little warmer today than it was last week. The wind wasn’t blowing as hard and the sun even poked through once or twice. It was easily the most enjoyable practice of the year so far.
I arrived about 45 minutes late because of a guitar lesson but I think I only missed some stretching and position drills. On my way to my usual spot on the sideline I noticed De’Shon Matthews in the trainers tent with ice on his calf muscle. He didn’t participate in the rest of practice but the injury doesn’t look extremely serious. Needless to say, the Huskies don’t need another defensive end hurt. Hopefully, Matthews will be back soon. Jordan Polk and Cody Bruns also did not participate in practice. Polk is nursing a minor hamstring injury and no one seems to know why Bruns sat out.
Today was the teams first day in full pads. This made for a chippy practice where the offensive and defensive guys really got after each other. When a team gets to start tackling it’s pretty normal to see shoving matches start. All of these were stopped right away but it showed a little fire from a team that was so lifeless a few years ago.
A lot of the day was devoted to 11 on 11 scrimmaging. Most of the day saw the defense dominate the running game and the offense dominate the passing game.
There were a few changes in the lineup. Anthony Boyles and Quinton Richardson were the cornerbacks for the starting unit. Adam Long ran with the second team. This is somewhat surprising from an outsider’s perspective but after watching 3 of the first 4 practices it seems pretty clear that Boyles and Richardson are playing at the highest level right now. Vonzell McDowell also played as a nickel back with the first team defense at times. Desmond Trufant is not participating in contact drills this spring.
Victor Aiyewa (who’s not allowed in too much contact either) and Alvin Logan are rotating at the strong-side linebacker spot. I think either of these guys will be just fine at this position. Logan appears to be very quick around the edge on defense and seems to blitz quite a bit. I don’t think this position will be decided until just before the season starts.
The defensive line did quite a bit of rotating today. It was hard to get a read on who the starters are but it looks as if Tyrone Duncan has worked his way into some playing time. They also tried Cameron Elisara out at defensive end a few times today.
I don’t know if it means everything but Deontae Cooper was always the first person to get a carry in the 11 on 11 sessions. All the running backs rotated almost every play so I wouldn’t look too much into this. Cooper did look like the best out of the four running backs (Cooper, Callier, Fogerson, and Bronson) today.
Nick Montana looked like the best option as backup quarterback today. This was easily his best day of practice. Even if you weren’t watching it’s easy to tell when Montana throws a nice pass because the couple hundred people watching generally get very excited. Montana had a couple of those throws today, he was pretty impressive.
The play of the day goes to Jake. A rush came from Jake’s right and he scrambled hard to his left. Aguilar broke free from coverage and Locker threw a 50 yard completion that would’ve gone for a touchdown if they let it play out. What was impressive is that Jake threw this 50 yard pass across his body while on the run. I was standing by a reporter who said, “I don’t know if any other quarterback in the nation could do that.” I have to agree. I’ve seen Jake do some amazing things but that one might have topped the list.
My players of the day after the jump!
There were quite a few players I was impressed with today but I’ll try to pick a couple.
- Mason Foster. I feel pretty comfortable in saying that Foster is the best defensive player on the team. Foster stopped Locker from scrambling a couple of times and also made a few nice plays while covering the running backs in passing situations. I came away impressed with all the linebackers today and Mason Foster led the group.
- James Johnson. The whole receiving group had a nice day but Johnson was really impressive. He had some good battles with the cornerbacks and came out on top most of the time. The coaches gave him quite a bit of praise throughout the day.
- Jake Locker and Jermaine Kearse. They’re the best players on this team and it shows in every practice.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading! Hopefully the Mariners figure out to hit a change-up soon.