If it was up to yours truly, University of Washington fall camp would just be a series of glorified scrimmages.
That is when a sportswriter grabs a pen and pad, and perks up to jot down details for a practice report.
Unfortunately, that is not what really happens around Montlake under coach Chris Petersen. They actually drill fundamentals — which was the biggest point of emphasis Saturday in their 12th fall-camp session in the Dempsey Center.
Frankly, practices such as these are boring to watch. There isn’t really any live work at full speed. And there definitely isn’t any tackling when the players are out of pads.
Regardless, here are three takeaways:
1. Which true freshman will see the second-most snaps? As it’s been written much of fall camp, Salvon Ahmed, the newcomer from Juanita High School, appears a lock to play plenty on offense and special teams as a returner.
Which newcomer will see the most playing time behind Ahmed?
It is a toss-up between wide receiver Ty Jones and cornerback Elijah Molden. Jones has comfortably been running with the second offense as an outside receiver, and Molden appears to be holding down the No. 5 cornerback spot, which should put him line to play in dime situations.
My hunch tells me Molden will nudge Jones out, especially in UW blowout victories when the starters are out and opponents are still passing the football to score.
2. At last, a Bryant sighting ... at tight end: If blue-chip tight end recruit Hunter Bryant was having a better fall camp, he would have been in the previous point’s discussion.
But just when you forgot about the former Eastside Catholic standout, he made a play with the second offense Saturday that left guys on the sideline turning their heads in amazement.
It was on a simple fade patterns to the right, and Bryant got a little space on the defender. K.J. Carta-Samuels lofted a high pass in his direction, and Bryant hauled in an over-the-shoulder catch that was easily his best moment in the preseason.
3. Special teams ARE special: Having been around the UW program under former coach Steve Sarkisian, and a couple of different coaches at Washington State University, I had no idea special-teams “work” was such a thing during practices.
I always figured it was treated as an afterthought.
Under Petersen, special teams is constantly repeated and scrutinized. On Saturday, they ran three groups out in succession for different phases — punt coverage, kickoff coverage, punt return. Their timing was immaculate.
It is obvious this is an area the Huskies take great pride in.