Tag Archives: Nick Montana

Catching Up With The Dawgs

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks at Montlake for Sark and his football team.  Matthew wrote about the recruiting aspect a few weeks ago and that combined with all of the coaching news has made for an interesting month since the Alamo Bowl.  Tonight, I’ll take a look at most of the news (date-by-date fashion) and add a few thoughts to it.

December 14th, 2011 – What Happened: Demetrice Martin, who was the cornerback coach at UW, left to fill the same position at UCLA.  He was one of the top recruiters on the Husky staff and his loss was felt immediately in the recruiting realm.  Several commits flipped from UW to UCLA and a few other guys dropped the Huskies from their list.

Looking At It Now:  It doesn’t seem like a big deal now and, frankly, I think it might help the Huskies.  Martin was undoubtedly a good recruiter but I don’t know about his coaching.  Maybe we won’t see our corners lack confidence now?  Maybe they’ll play a little closer to the receiver.  None of the corners have developed under Martin (Q. Rich regressed significantly) and maybe they will under the new coach.  Maybe not, but I think it was time for a change at this coaching position anyway.

December 29th, 2011 – What Happened:  Kevaire Russel, one of the top recruits in the state, announces that he has verbally committed to Notre Dame over the hometown Huskies.  Message boards erupted (I’m talking about you Dawgman) in fury over how Sark can’t recruit.  It was a little shocking and interesting to see that the Huskies couldn’t keep a recruit at home.

Looking At It Now: It’s still a bit alarming that a lot of in-state recruits are turning elsewhere but it was never worth freaking out over.  The Huskies are still in on several big name guys and will probably end up with a very solid class.  I should have saved some of the comments from the Dawgman boards because it’s hilarious how blown out of proportion some were.

December 29th, 2011 –  What Happened:  The Huskies lost one of the most entertaining, frantic, fascinating football games I’ve ever seen.  The Alamo Bowl ended in with Baylor winning 67-56.  I still see that score and am astonished.  Both defenses were absolutely terrible and both offenses were phenomenal.  It’s a shame that a lot of the focus gets put on how horrible the defense was (which I admit, both were horrible) and not put on how good the offenses were.  Watching the national title week several weeks later, I couldn’t help think of how entertaining that game was.  By the way, the Dawgs and Baylor would score touchdowns on LSU and Alabama.

Looking At It Now:  You always want to win.  Let me start off by saying that.  A bowl win is nice because trophies are cool and you don’t want to have 67 points scored on you on national TV.  This game may be responsible for what all happened next and what happened next may be what takes the Dawgs back to the top of the Pac-12.

December 31st, 2011 – What Happened:  Sark fired Nick Holt, Mike Cox and Jeff Mills from his staff.  The Alamo Bowl seemed to be the final straw with the defense and Sark had enough.  It wasn’t much of a surprise and speculation quickly turned to candidates.

Looking At It Now:  It had to happen and it did.

January 2nd, 2012 – What Happened:  The Huskies hired away Justin Wilcox from the Tennessee Volunteers, he was their defensive coordinator.  He brought Peter Sirmon along with him and he will coach the linebackers.  This seemed to be Sark’s first choice and he made the move quickly.  People around the country were impressed by the hire of the up and coming DC and his right-hand recruiting man.

Looking At It Now:  When Sark gave Husky fans a day to speculate about who the new guy might be, Justin Wilcox was my top choice.  Needless to say, I was pleased with the hire.  Wilcox has an impressive resume and seems to know what he’s doing.  His players seemed to love him and he was successful at both of his stops.  He may leave for a head coaching gig soon, but that means that he’d have been successful.  I’m all for this hire and it seems like everyone else is too.

January 12th, 2012 – What Happened:  The Huskies hired Keith Heyward to be their new defensive backs coach.  He is a younger guy who had the same position at Oregon State.  There’s a theme to these hires and it’s that they’re all younger guys.  He was said to be one of the best recruiters on the OSU staff.  I don’t have any examples of his coaching ability.

Looking At It Now:  I don’t have a lot of basis for this but I think this might be the most underrated hire the Huskies made.  It seems like this one was forgotten after all of the news.  Heyward is well liked by recruits and may steal a few from Oregon State this year.  Again, I don’t know much about his coaching ability but he was loved at OSU and was said to be a good hire by many experts.

January 16th, 2012 – What Happened:  The Huskies hired Tosh Lupoi away from the California Golden Bears.  He was their defensive line coach and a pretty successful one.  He is said to be the best recruiter on the west coast and everyone was impressed with the hire.  Many Cal recruits were shocked and said to be opening their recruitment back up.

Looking At It Now:  Well, these last couple only happened a few days ago so there’s not a ton to add except for my opinion.  This is a great hire.  Lupoi probably can’t live up to the hype he has come with because I’ve never seen an assistant coach have so much hype aside from Ed Orgeron, who is the other top recruiting assistant in the Pac-12.  It was the best defensive-line coaching hire Sark could have realistically made.  It was the final piece of, what I consider, the best staff he could have put together.

January 16th 2012 – What Happened:  Nick Montana, the heralded quarterback, decided to transfer from the UW.  He came to the Huskies with much fanfare and didn’t perform very well in his only start (not that it was all his fault).  From what I saw he has a future as a college quarterback.  In fact, from what I saw he could start for Alabama or LSU and win a national championship.

Looking At It Now:  It was inevitable, really.  The guy wants to play and wasn’t going to have much of a chance here.  Watching his demeanor in practice, I was never a huge fan of his but he’s got talent and is a smart kid.  I hope he does well in the future.

January 17th – What Happened:  The Huskies offensive coordinator, Doug Nussmeier, left UW and took the same role at Alabama.  It’s hard to blame him, he’ll get to call his own plays for the defending national champions and he’ll get a raise.  Unfortunately for the Dawgs, Nussmeier was a great coach and they had to fill another position in their staff.  This was the date it became official, it was known quite sometime in advance.

Looking At It Now:  Nussmeier is a good coach and deserves a ton of credit for the progress Jake Locker and Keith Price made.  With that being said, everyone knows this is Sark’s offense.  He is the creative young mind and he has his system.  I would be surprised if the Huskies felt a huge impact by the loss of Nussmeier.  Best of luck to him at Alabama.

January 18th – What Happened:  The Huskies poached another Cal coach in Eric Kiesau to fill the role of offensive coordinator.  He’s another guy who’s said to be a good recruiter.  He was the wide receiver coach at Cal and will coach the quarterbacks here.  Cedric Dozier, another top recruit in Washington who committed to Cal, is said to be reconsidering because of this news.

Looking At It Now:  Another good hire, although I don’t really think it’s an upgrade from Nussmeier.  Time will tell what Kiesau will do on the recruiting trail and I’ll be interested to see if there’s any drop off in the development of the quarterbacks.  I would guess no, because of the presence of Sark.

Wow, a lot has happened.  When I put it all out like this I’m somewhat amazed.  So, where is the program now compared to about a month ago?  It’s hard to tell without a game being played, of course.  Everyone thinks the staff is better than it was.  The recruiting sure seems like it’s going to gain steam at some point in the next couple of weeks, if not days.  With all that in mind, I think the program is trending up.  These hires have given the Huskies some steam but, as we learned with Nick Holt, some hires aren’t as glamorous as they first seem.  Sark did the best that he could, but you just never know.

Two weeks until signing day!  I love that day.  For now, be careful out there in the snow.  It’s a little crazy out there.  Go Dawgs!

Oh, and Nick Holt Jr. transferred to Montana!

Andrew

 

 

 

 

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UW Quarterbacks

I’m going to run through positional overviews for the Dawgs for next year, starting with quarterbacks.  I thought about waiting until the new recruits are in, but most of them will redshirt and, as I said in my last post, I don’t really know much about them anyway.  I’ll mention recruits if I think I have reason to, but the aim of these posts is to see what the Huskies have on hand for 2012.  Enjoy!

Who They Lose

No one.

Starter

Keith Price– Junior: Price just completed his first season as starter, and it’s hard to imagine what he could do for an encore.  His 2011 was arguably the best season by a Husky QB in history.  He set virtually every single-season record except for yardage, which Cody Pickett holds.  It did take Pickett a lot more attempts than Price, so I’d argue that Price’s season was better.  He showed a significantly stronger arm and better accuracy than most expected, and his impressive knowledge of the offense was a popular topic of conversation.

The lone drawback with Price is a lack of durability.  He only missed one game, and he probably could have gutted that one out, but he spent nearly the entire season with leg injuries that hampered his mobility.  The Alamo Bowl provided a glimpse of Price’s running ability, and if that can be a more permanent part of his game, he’s going to be incredibly scary.  It’s easy to say that he’ll put on 15 pounds this winter and be more durable, but I don’t know if he can even do that or how much it will help if he does.  Whether he can run free or not, another year to continue to mature and improve, coupled with the progression of Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, should make Price into one of the premier college QBs in the country.  This position is in better hands than any other on the team.

Depth

Nick Montana– Sophomore

Derrick Brown– RS Freshman

Thomas Vincent- RS Freshman

Entering 2011, Montana and Price both had a shot at the starting job.  Price won it, of course, and when Montana filled in a few times later in the season, it was easy to see why.  Montana looked mostly overmatched, with arm strength and accuracy issues.  Starting him over Price against Oregon State, when Price was hobbled with bad knees, probably cost the Huskies the game.  It was easy and popular to say that Montana would never be an elite quarterback in the Pac-12, and many speculated that he would transfer now that Price has cemented himself into the position seemingly until Montana’s senior year.

No one will argue that Montana was unimpressive, and it’s hard to say what he’ll become.  It’s easy to forget that he was only a redshirt freshman, though.  He has plenty of time to improve, and most people who know think he will.  It’s possible that he transfers, but there’s been no indication that he is thinking about it.  I would expect that he’s here to stay, and I think he’ll be dramatically improved and serve as a solid backup in 2012.  Brown was a somewhat unheralded recruit in 2011, but he’s drawn some raves since stepping on campus.  He’s a big, athletic guy with possibly the strongest arm currently on campus.  Hopefully, he won’t be needed this year, but he shows a lot of potential.  Vincent is a walk on who will likely never see the field in his career, but he sounds like he has some genuine talent and athleticism, even if it’s only ever used to run the scout team.  He walked on with the Huskies over some lower level offers, which is always welcome.

Incoming Recruits

Jeff Lindquist and Cyler Miles

As I said, I won’t mention too many recruits, but these two are hard to pass up.  Both committed early to the UW, and both are ranked around 15th among quarterbacks in the nation, and that may be a little low with the way they’re playing in the postseason events.  Both are athletic guys with big arms.  Both won the MVP awards in national high school all star games last week.  It’s pretty rare to get two elite quarterbacks like this in the same class.  Both seem very solid in their commitments to the Huskies, but every school on the west coast will be coming hard at them this month.  Lindquist, from Mercer Island, seems certain to stick with the Dawgs.  Miles seems like more of a question, but only because he’s from Colorado.  He’s given no indication of looking elsewhere.  Right now, they are the gems of the UW recruiting class and should keep the Husky quarterback position in good hands for the next half a decade.

-Matthew

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UW vs. OSU Predictions

Can any state match the Oregon universities for region-appropriate but completely unthreatening mascots.  Beavers are super-cool, but what are they going to do on the football field?  Gnaw your leg off and wap you with their tail?  Slowly build a dam that will funnel the opposing offense toward a waterfall?  That dam defense bends but doesn’t break!

I have to admit, ducks are among my very favorite birds, and I really like birds.  They have a certain je ne sais quoi.  Mystery hides behind their bills and well-groomed feathers.  But put them on a football field and you just get this.

Joe

UW comes into Corvallis licking it’s wounds after two straight weeks of getting thrashed by superior conference foes.  Oregon and USC exposed so many weaknesses in the Dawgs top to bottom, I’d bore you to death with the details.  All you need to know is they got rocked.  Thankfully, they get Benny the Beaver this week, and he is not a superior foe.  OSU has struggled all year to be competitive (except for the beat down they administered to Wazzu), and I expect that to continue this Saturday.  It’s senior day at Reser, so emotions will be high, but that’s all they have going for them at home.  A porous defense that has given up over 800 yards on the ground over the past three games should be a welcome sight for the Huskies. With Nick Montana making his first ever start, I expect Sark to called Chris Polk’s number all day. I better see 30 carries from #1.  I have a good feeling Polk will deliver. Sean Mannion is a legit, strong armed, up and coming QB in the Pac 12. Even though just a freshman, coach Riley has handled the program over to the young signal caller. He’ll play with confidence and throw a lot to his stable of solid WRs.  Since the UW secondary is terrible, expect to see OSU throw and throw often.  In the end this game will be about tempo and ball control.  If UW expects to win, the ball must be in the best players’ hands, i.e. Polk, ASJ, Kasen. If Montana finds those guys, I like the chances of winning.

UW 31 – OSU 24

Andrew

These next 2 games will define the season for the Huskies.  If they beat OSU and WSU, which they should, then the season will be seen as a success and another step forward for the program.  If they drop one of these games then it’s hard to be as excited about this season.  So, this game means more than just playing a team with 2 wins.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know why the line on this game is so low.  The Huskies are clearly a better team even if they have their backup quarterback.  Oregon State isn’t very good, but they will play hard and will play with emotion.  If the Dawgs are able to get their running game going and play decent defense they should win this game by double digits, but it’s hard to know if that will happen after the last couple of games.  I’m thinking that Chris Polk will make sure his team is ready to go.  As for Nick Montana, I think he’ll be efficient and will wow us and then make us scratch our heads every once in a while.  This game has me nervous, but not nervous enough to pick against the Huskies.

UW 38, OSU 27

Dan

My emotions are swirling heading into this game tomorrow. That’s not terribly unusual, but this game in particular has me anxious. A month ago, the Huskies were rolling and the Beavers were playing like the Beavers we remember from the 90’s. As it stands today, UW has lost 2 in a row, and coming out of its toughest stretch of the schedule, the team is beat up physicially, emotionally, and most likely mentally. The Beavers are not exactly surging having lost 3 straight, but they are as healthy as they’ve been, and from what I’ve heard the team is practicing hard, and in no way resembles a typical 2-8 football team. No matter how you dice it, the Huskies are better at nearly every position, on both sides of the ball. The offensive line’s struggles have been well documented, but the truth is all 5 starters would probably start for the Beavers. The talent gap is large, but that has never prevented the Beavs from competing well, especially in November. I expect a heavy dose of Chris Polk tomorrow, but then again I expect that every week, and sometimes it doesn’t happen. For me, the 2 factors that scare me most are the Keith Price injury, paired with the weird juju that often occurs at Reser in November. I smell an upset, and a frustrating afternoon.

Beavers-38, Huskies-31

Matthew

With Nick Montana getting the start and the Huskies’ recent swoon, this game had me pretty worried.  Then I realized how bad the Beavers have been most of this season.  I guess I’m so used to the Beavers being a tough game, especially late in the season, that I just assumed the Huskies would end up with the loss.  I could still see that happening, but OSU isn’t a major threat.  The rushing numbers are so heavily in UW’s favor that they should decide the game.  We’ve heard things like that before, of course, and it often doesn’t work out.  I have a feeling that this time, it will.  Montana should be good enough to keep the defense honest, and Polk should have a huge day.  Go Dawgs!

UW 34, OSU 20

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Dawg Days – Day One 2011

The Huskies took the field today for the first time since spring practice.  Sometimes I think these days are bigger for fans than they are for players because the players have been working out all Summer.  In fact, the individual Huskies have probably taken the field many times since spring.  But, today they took the field all together, coaches included, which tells us fans that the games will begin sooner rather than later.

These days seem bigger for fans than for the players but then I think back to my sports playing days.  I think of the training I put in during the off-season (granted, it wasn’t as much as these players).  I remember walking from the snow into a 50 degree hop-factory-turned-batting-cage to hit a little bit and throw a bullpen.  Those days were done out of necessity.  I needed to stay in shape and I needed my skills sharpened.  But, the first day of practice was always significant.  The coaches were actually there and the team was finally working all together to communal goal.  That goal was to win.  Thinking back on those days make me realize that the players are probably a little more jazzed for their first practice than I am.  As much as fans love settling into a stadium with 70,000 other people for a game, the players still love it more.  If they don’t, there’s a problem.

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UW Huskies Offensive Preview

In 2009, the Husky offense was largely inconsistent, often showing excellent playmaking ability up until the time they needed to score on the goal line or keep a drive going late in the game.  The hope is this year they will find that consistency and become the high-powered threat that their talent suggests.

Quarterback

Starter: Jake Locker  Maybe you’ve heard of this guy.  Senior starter who passed up millions to try to lead his team to a bowl game and make a run at the Heisman trophy.  He could be the best quarterback in the country, but he does need to make improvements, chiefly with his accuracy.  Sarkisian has him aiming for a 70% completion rate and 3/1 touchdown to interception ratio, which would be a season for the ages.  He likely won’t quite make that, but there’s no bigger threat at the position in the country.

Depth: Keith Price & Nick Montana  The two backups are still fighting for the job, although it appears Price has pulled ahead for now.  Price is more of an athlete who has struggled with his accuracy at times.  Montana, son of Joe, has the smarts but maybe not quite the arm strength or physical maturity yet.  Price will likely backup on a game to game basis, but if Locker went down for an extended period, either might take over.

Analysis: If Locker stays healthy, it doesn’t get much better.  If he goes down, it’s hard to say what would happen with Price or Montana under center. Continue reading

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Huskies Practice Report – 4/8/2010

Practice was moved in doors today because of the weird hail storms taking place.  Practice indoors is a kind of nice change, at least for the fans.   It’s a lot warmer in there but there isn’t as much space.  The coaches still make it work pretty well with the limited space.

Practice was interesting today.  Along with being inside, there were a ton of important people there.  We had our first Joe Montana sighting of the spring.  I admit, I was a little star struck when I ended up standing within a few feet of him and his wife.  Every time he walked by, I could hear the people around me start to whisper about him.  He wasn’t treated any differently than a normal fan, standing behind the rope and watching.  Along with Joe Montana I saw Dick Baird, Mark Emmert and Scott Woodward.  There seemed to be quite a few alumni there as well.  It didn’t stop with the celebrities though, there were about 15 recruits there.  I couldn’t place them all but most of them were from this years class. 

Zach Banner (2012 mega recruit) was there again and I overheard him say that his top 3 are UW, Oregon, and USC.  He took an unnoficial visit to Eugene last week and was really impressed with their campus and facilities.  He also raved about UW’s coaches, specifically Sark and the strength coach.  I heard all of this while he was talking to a couple of friends.  Banner 6-7, 295 lbs. and he’s only a sophomore in high school.  He will be one of the highest rated offensive line recruits in the county in a couple of years.

With all of these things going on it was a little bit hard to concentrate in practice.  Like Tuesdays practice, a lot of today was focused on 11 on 11 drills. 

The backup quarterbacks continue to grow every practice.  Nick Montana was the better of the backups on Tuesday but I think Price was better today.  In a two-minute 7-on-7 drill Price was very effective and completed all but one or two of his passes.  After watching a little closer this week, it might not be Price’s arm that hurts him, it might be his footwork.  He kind of bounces from right to left at times instead of looking fluid in his steps.  It’s obvious that he’s eager to learn and works hard.  Him and Montana ask a lot of questions to Jake and Nuss which is great to see.

The running game got going a little bit today.  It looked way more impressive than it did on Tuesday.  Fogerson was impressive today, he ran over some guys.  Callier had a nice run that he bounced outside for about 30 yards.  Cooper had the run of the day though.  The line opened up a huge hole for him and once he got into the secondary he showed off his speed.  Cooper took it into the end zone for about a 60 yard touchdown. 

Senio Kelememte is going to be great at tackle.  I think he’ll be the offensive lineman the Huskies have.  He’s really quick as a tackle and has pretty good size.  Moving him to tackle was definitely the right move by the coaching staff. 

Cameron Elisara continues to get a lot of reps at defensive end.  He looks pretty good there.  I worry a little bit about him having enough speed for that position.  Everyone knows he’s extremely strong but whether he has enough speed off the end has yet to be seen.

After watching these practices it seems that the Huskies will use a nickel defense a lot more this year (defense with 3 cornerbacks and 2 linebackers).  They hardly ever went to it with last year but I see it a lot in practice and it makes sense.  I never thought I’d say this but the Huskies best position may be cornerback (besides wide receiver).  They have 5 guys back there who I would feel fairly comfortable with starting in the secondary. 

Clarence Trent has given up football.  He was never really a factor in his 4 practices with the team but it was nice to have an extra body out there.  I hope he has an excellent basketball career.

Demetrius Bronson looked pretty good while playing some at fullback today.  I’d read that he’s up to 230 lbs. and I saw him throw some impressive blocks today.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved him to fullback permanently.  This will be an interesting story to watch through the rest of spring.

The Huskies are having a scrimmage on Saturday at noon.  It sounds like they’ll treat it as a real game and it should be fun to see who the coaches have in starting and such.  I’m really looking forward to seeing these guys in a game situation.  A few of the Good Guys should be there so leave a comment or something if you plan on going and we can talk sports with you! Or you could find Joe Montana and talk with him instead but I’m sure we’re much more exciting….

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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Huskies Practice Report – 4/6/2010

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! Continue reading

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Huskies Practice Report – 4/1/10

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!

Andrew

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