The third day of the Washington Huskies’ fall camp came with what Steve Sarkisian and his coaching brethren like to label “teachable moments.”
Of course, at the time it doesn’t seem like teaching to the players, who are on the receiving end of a loud lecture or punishment.
But if UW is going to succeed this season, correcting mistakes will be key.
“What’s cool about this training camp, there’s bright moments from each side, but there’s moments to learn from well,” Sarkisian said.
The third day brought the introduction of shoulder pads to practice. And with the extra armor, extra physicality came too. That’s a good thing for football players.
But not so good when that hard contact comes after the whistle. Sarkisian loves football energy and aggressiveness, but it needs to be controlled.
“They’ve really brought it every chance we’ve gotten, but we really have to harness it,” he said.
On a few occasions, Sarkisian sent players to the sideline for getting physical after the whistle.
Chronic repeat offender Nate Fellner got sent off the field for a few plays after hitting running back Willis Wilson after he dropped a pass during an 11-on-11 red zone period, getting a stern lecture from Sarkisian. Also guilty of such things were offensive tackle Ben Riva, who tossed defensive linemen Jarrett Finau to the ground after the whistle, and linebacker Scott Lawyer, who got physical late with tight end Michael Hartvigson.
“You just can’t late hit,” Sarkisian said. “We try to pride ourselves in being a smart football team. They are teachable moments we have to learn from. Hopefully, every can learn from them, not just that individual.”
Fellner has been guilty of such hits in practice for the past few years. He was banished from the field for a few snaps in Monday’s practice after knocking quarterback Keith Price to the ground.
“It’s a point of emphasis with him,” Sarkisian said. “… But dumb penalties are dumb penalties, and we can’t have them.”
Fellner wasn’t the only one to take some criticism from Sarkisian in practice.
Price heard it from Sarkisian in the same 11-on-11 drill. Price dropped back and saw nothing on a play-action pass. Price tried to extend a play by scrambling around, eluding a rusher.
Sarkisian screamed at Price to throw the ball away, using different verbiage.
“I was short and sweet and to the point,” Sarkisian said with grin.
Price flashed a smile when asked about the play.
“Sark … was kind of on everyone’s case,” he said. “I don’t take it personally.”
COOPER HURT AGAIN
Redshirt sophomore running back Deontae Cooper tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee during a non-contact drill, Sarkisian said in a statement late Wednesday. Cooper tore the ACL in his left knee in August 2010 and again during the summer of 2011.
The Huskies debuted their “jumbo” personnel package on defense. It was a 5-2 look featuring Josh Shirley, Andrew Hudson, Danny Shelton, Talia Crichton and Hau’oli Jamora on the line with John Timu and Thomas Tutogi as the linebackers. … Freshman QB Cyler Miles threw a pair of nice touchdowns in the last 11-on-11 period. The first was a little underthrown, but senior Cody Bruns adjusted to the ball while freshman Shaq Thompson couldn’t adjust. Miles then connected with Josh Perkins on a fade route for another score. … Price connected with Austin Seferian-Jenkins on a nice red zone touchdown pass. Seferian-Jenkins pulled the ball down between three defenders. … Sarkisian said Bruns will be the holder for field goals and extra points, replacing his roommate and last year’s holder, William Chandler. … Junior college transfer kicker Travis Coons hit all four of his field-goal attempts, including one from 53 firstname.lastname@example.org