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Looking ahead to 2011- Offense

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Washington's high powered offense really never got off the ground last season even though the team finished with a 7-6 record. Injuries were a problem at quarterback and wide receiver. The lack of a target at TE was also a huge problem.The offensive line struggled early as they shuffled guys around to find the right combination.

Quarterback

Good bye Jake Locker. Thanks for all the memories. Hello Keith Price and Nick Montana. Both of these kids have solid potential but will need help from the supporting cast in 2011 to make a smooth transition to the starting QB position.

Spring Depth Chart: Price, Montana, Gray

Losses: Locker

Class of 2011: Joseph Gray is the lone QB recruited this season and he could end up playing in a number of positions if QB doesn't work out for him. He is a real good athlete so he will see the field one way or another in the future. He will be here for spring practice.

Prognosis: Price did a fine job filling in for Locker last season. Overall he made good decisions and was a leader on the field. One critique I have is that he needs to increase his arm strength. Montana was on the scout team all season so we really didn't get much of a chance to see what he can do. I think he could be the better play maker of the two but that will sort itself out over the spring and summer. 

We all expect a downgrade and a bit of a learning curve at the position with a new starter but Washington didn't depend on this position to win its last four games. They won with a physical team effort led by rushing and defense that was fun to watch. Expect that to continue next season with even more emphasis on the running game.

Possible Surprise: Can one of the QB's replace Jake's production in 2011? They just might be able to do that because an injured Jake didn't put up great numbers last season. Neither Price or Montana represents the running threat that Jake was but they are both considered to be mobile.

Running Backs

Chris Polk is the first Husky running back to ever start his career off with two consecutive 1000 yard plus seasons. He is tough to bring down and as the blocking improves he only becomes more dangerous. He was obviously stronger in 2010 and got through the entire season without re-injuring his shoulder.

Spring Depth Chart: Polk, Callier, Cooper, Fogerson, Bronson

Losses: None

Class of 2011: Not a great year out West for RB's after last years bumper crop. The Huskies are still in it for Spokane's Bishop Sankey and insiders are telling me that he will end up at UW when it is all said and done.

Prognosis: I expect Chris Polk to return next season but we won't know for sure until January 15th. If he does return the Huskies will have one of the best RB's in the country to lean on while they break in a new QB. Callier was solid as a change-up last season and his role will continue to expand. Deontae Cooper is doing well in his rehab and should be fine this fall. Johri Fogerson may be eligible for a RS season. He may not have been missed much by the average fan last season but he can help a team in so many ways by providing depth and playing on special teams. I am not sure how Bronson fits into all this because he didn't have a carry in 2010 and is buried in the depth.

Possible Surprise: I would be pretty surprised if Chris Polk entered the draft. Don't be surprised if we see a lot of Cooper in 2011. Cooper and Callier returning kicks would look pretty good.

Fullback

The last Washington full backs blocked well but never became a meaningful weapon in the offensive play book. That is about to change with the debut of Zach Fogerson this spring even though it will remain primarily a blocking position.

Spring Depth Chart : Zach Fogerson, Kimo Makaula

Losses: Sylvester

Class of 2011: Dezden Petty is the big back that Sark has been looking for the past two years.

Prognosis: I think we would all like to see more offensive production out of this position in 2011. Zach Fogerson is a prototypical FB who can block, run and catch the ball out of the backfield. I think you will be seeing him sharing some time over here with his brother Johri. We haven't seen or heard anything from Makaula as of yet.

Possible Surprise: Johri Fogerson was going to get some reps here before he was hurt and I imagine that he will get a shot at doing that this spring if healthy.

Wide Receiver

We expected bigger things out of this group in 2010 but injuries and inconsistent play held them back. The one thing this group needs to do in 2011 is play more physical. They need to get off the line better and help the new QB by coming back for the ball.

Spring Depth Chart: Kearse, Aguilar, Johnson - Bruns, J.Polk, Smith - Williams, Campbell, Leonard

Losses: Goodwin

Class of 2011: The Huskies scored big with the commitments of Kasen Williams, Josh Perkins, and Jamall Jones.

Prognosis: Washington should improve here in 2011 with a healthier lineup augmented by the return of Johnson and the emergence of Williams. Kearse had a pretty good 2010 from a statistical perspective but he is capable of much more. Aguilar just needs to stay healthy. James Johnson sat out most of the year with an injury but will be 100% this spring. Bruns and Polk provided solid minutes when needed last season when starters went down.

Possible Surprise: Kasen Williams is going to get a chance to compete for a starting job and contribute right away. Washington needs a more physical presence in the receiving corp and he can bring it.

Tight End

Last spring confidence was high at this position with Middleton and Izbicki returning and now neither of the two highly sought after prospects are on the squad and ended up as classic busts. Hartvigson was being groomed as a starter early this season but went down with a shoulder injury that ended his season. He is expected back at 100% this spring.

Spring Depth Chart: Hartvigson, ASJ, Bennett, Domaski, Hudson

Losses: Izbicki, Boyce

Class of 2011: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins was one of the most sought after recruits in the country this season.

Prognosis: It has to improve doesn't it? Hartvigson has a lot of potential and has that power forward type body that will only get stronger. Marlion Bennett is more of a H-Back and caught a few passes early this season. ASJ will be here this spring to compete for the starting job. Marek Domanski and Evan Hudson are two solid walk-ons that are going to be counted on to supply depth.

Possible Surprise: The only surprise that will happen is if ASJ isn't starting from the absolute get go. He is a big quick kid that can block and if he can do just that he will earn the job.

Offensive Line

The offensive line improved week to week in 2010 and that should continue to happen in 2011 with the regular addition of Kohler and Porter to the starting lineup. Will they keep Kohler inside or are they going to move him outside to tackle?

Spring Depth Chart: Kelemete, Kohler, Porter, Ikehara, Schaefer - Hatchie, Kanczugowski, Tanigawa, Atoe, Christie, Fancher, Wood

Losses : Tolar, Habben, Christine

Class of 2011: Dexter Charles and Siosifa Tutunga have already committed. The Huskies will sign at least two more here and we are hopeful that it will be Ryan Nowicki and Paulay Asiata. Update: Ryan Nowicki has declared for Penn State.

Prognosis: This group has a lot of upside and we get to see it this spring when the five red shirts begin to compete for playing time. We go into spring with four solid starters and one slot open. Will it end up being one of the frosh or could it be Mykena Ikehara? My guess is that it will be one of the newcomers.

Possible Surprise: I think it would be a surprise if Ikehara is able to earn the starting job because he just hasn't been able to put on enough weight to make the move.