One of our readers was out at practice today and sent me this report that I will expand on. The weather was great at Husky Stadium tonight for the arrival of the legendary "Dawgfather" Don James. Coach James addressed the team after practice and spent some time with Coach Sarkisian.
James thinks Sarkisan is the right guy and the Huskies are closer than a lot of people think. He tempered that by saying Sark's job is tougher than when he arrived to take over a 5-6 team. He feels Tyrone's last recruiting class will help things but it will take a few more years of recruiting before the team can compete at the level most fans are comfortable with.
Talia Chrichton is back practicing with the team after being cleared by the NCAA clearing house. That means LB Tim Tucker is the only frosh still out. Insiders are saying he has nothing to worry about and should be on the field no later than this weekend.
Jordan Polk showed the fans why he has moved into the starting lineup. He caught a 40 yarder for six from Locker and had another nice run and catch for a TD later in practice. The thing that is impressive with Polk is his phenomenal exceleration.
Nate Williams is having a great camp and the defense looks a lot different when he is out on the field. He nearly took off Aguilar's head on one play over the middle. Nate is geared up to have a fine season. Jason Wells on the other hand still is having trouble with the Achilles and is tryin to play through it. It will be awhile till he is back to full speed. Howevery you really have to like the effort. The kid is just built and if he can get healthy can be a factor from the dpeth this season.
Curtis Shaw posted another long TD run for 60 yards. He is tough to catch up with once he see's daylight. Johri Fogerson continues to impress and shows a lot of great football instinct every time he carries the ball. He seems to understand the concept very well of allowing his blockers to set up and follow the blocs with exceleration. Chris Polk remains the starter and he is very much improved from last season. Look for UW to utilize his talents in many different ways this season.
Coach Dan Cozzetto continues to treat his offensive lineman and Tight Ends with tough love. He was working hard with his players on preventing mental mistakes last night. As we all know this line has little margin for error this season for so many reasons. Discipline is one of the key things that will help them get up to being adequate.
At TE Kavario Middleton is slowed a bit by a pulled hamstring that the staff doesn't think is too serious. One observer questioned his conditioning because he doesn't look anything close to being chiseled. He has more talent than any TE on the roster but he has to develop the drive to take it to the next level. I remember going to a game a few years ago and asking a friend who the fat receiver was and he said that is Johnnie Kirton. Kavario needs to avoid falling into that trap. In defense of Kirton he should have been a DE from the start anyway.
Keep an eye on Dorson Boyce as the season progresses. He is still learning the offense but probably has the best combo of talent to help this team as time goes on. He is in great shape, is a very god blocker, has good hands, and the only thing he is lacking is experience in this offense.
Getting back to Cozzetto: the coach is relentless when his players make mistakes. He stays on them till they get things right and has a keen attention to detail. He also lives up the nickname I gave him "Prince of Darkness", you do not want to be on the wrong side of this guy at practice when you screw up. Personally I think he is exactly what this offensive line needs.
Open practices are coming to a close soon so if you want to get out there to see the team you better hurry up. Friday's practice is going to be closed to the media and the public. Washington will start game planning for LSU on Thursday and Friday.
As far as the season goes nobody is completely sure what Sark has in mind for the media and the public. We are sure that he will be a lot more open than Willingham has been but might not be as care free as his mentor Pete Carroll has been at USC. Whatever the case I expect the days of the media being limited to watching stretching which was a total slap in the face is over.
A couple of things to keep in mind if you do get to watch a practice once game planning begins is to be very careful in what you report. We all like having information but we certainly do not want to tip off an opponent by posting something here or on Dawgman that could be helpful to the enemy.
We want to make sure that Coach Sarkisian and his staff remain comfortable with the fans and media having access to the team.
Quote of the Week
Did Plaxico really hire a consultant to get prepared for jail??? - Coach Sarks Twitter Page
Another good reason to go to WSU. You usually get that experience out of the way early in your career. Just ask S James Atofau who took care of that core requirement before he attended his first class.