A steady, unrelenting rainfall did not prevent the Huskies from conducting their fifth practice of the spring outdoors. Here are some notes and highlights from a wet Wednesday workout.
WHAT DID JAKE BROWNING DO TODAY?
More than he did in UW’s first four practices, from what I could see. He threw a few short, quick passes during a drill with the other quarterbacks early in practice, and tossed a few throws of 40 yards or so on the sideline. After that, he shortened up and threw a few passes of about 20 yards or so. Still, Browning didn’t attempt any passes during 11-on-11 work, again taking a few snaps but handing off to a running back on each of them.
UW coach Chris Petersen said Browning’s progression since offseason shoulder surgery has been “perfect,” and that coaches have to hold Browning back from throwing more.
“Every day, he’s like, ‘I can throw more, I’d like to throw more,’” Petersen said. “We’re fine. We’ll get there.”
--- Several players remain out or limited by injury, including: LB Benning Potoa’e, LB Ben Burr-Kirven, LB Connor O’Brien, LB DJ Beavers, WR K.J. Young, WR Nik Little, DB Brandon Lewis, DL Greg Gaines, OL Luke Wattenberg and DL John Clark. RB Lavon Coleman remains absent as he tends to academic responsibilities, and I also didn’t see DB Jojo McIntosh. QB Tony Rodriguez returned to practice.
--- In fact, Rodriguez had one of the best throws of the day, a long completion to freshman WR Ty Jones up the left sideline past the coverage of DB Kentrell Love.
--- With McIntosh out, third-year sophomore DB Austin Joyner stepped into UW’s starting nickel package alongside Taylor Rapp, Ezekiel Turner and cornerbacks Jordan Miller and Byron Murphy. Joyner had been limited some in the first few practices, but appears to be progressing fine.
--- With O’Brien and Potoa’e out, redshirt freshman Myles Rice again worked with the No. 1 defense at buck linebacker, with Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria inside and Bartlett at strongside.
--- The first and second-team offensive lines looked the same. First team: Trey Adams, Andrew Kirkland, Coleman Shelton, Nick Harris and Kaleb McGary. Second team: Jared Hilbers, Henry Roberts, Matt James, Jesse Sosebee and Devin Burleson.
--- LB Tevis Bartlett “sacked” QB K.J. Carta-Samuels on the first snap of an 11-on-11 drill.
--- Jomon Dotson made his first interception since switching from running back to cornerback, picking off a deep ball thrown by QB Daniel Bridge-Gadd up the right sideline to Jones during a late 11-on-11 period. It appeared Jones, who stands 6-foot-4, had a chance to leap and haul the pass in, but Dotson came away with it near the goal line, prompting a loud celebration by the defense.
Petersen said it was Dotson’s idea to try defense.
“He just wants to play more,” Petersen said. “There’s usually five DBs on the field at one time and one running back. We saw that. Jomon has really great explosiveness and elite speed, and so we’re taking a look.”
--- The defense forced two other turnovers: the first was a recovery by Joyner of a fumble by RB Kamari Pleasant; and the second, quite frankly, was out of my view during the late 11-on-11 session played on the other end of the practice field. It appeared a tight end fumbled after catching a short pass, but I was screened out as Petersen sounded the air horn to signify a turnover. So we’ll just assume that was a fumble recovery of some kind by the defense.
Victor also nearly intercepted a Carta-Samuels pass at the goal line during a red-zone drill, but he dropped it.
--- Practice ended with a field-goal try of about 48 yards by senior kicker Tristan Vizcaino, with Vizcaino, the holder and the longsnapper alone on the field and the offense and defense standing on opposite sidelines. Vizcaino missed the kick wide right, which meant the offense had to run an extra gasser before heading to the locker room.
--- The Huskies practice on Friday and Saturday, though both sessions are closed to the media with no interview availability. The next practice we can attend will be on Monday.