UW's practice pattern switches in a couple of ways today. First, the team dons shoulder pads for the first time this season.
Today also will mark the first of the split practices. That's not the same as two-a-days (which begin Saturday). Split practices are more just two-a-days for the coaches, who do one session with one half of the team and then another session with the other half. It allows for more individual instruction.
The Huskies will continue in shoulder pads tomorrow, go to full pads – and therefore full contact – on Friday, and then begin two-a-days on Saturday – one session before the 1 p.m. Picture Day festivities, and another after. Then they rotate between single practices and two-a-days until game week, when the two-a-days end.
There was little real news today. Coach Willingham declared himself pleased with the work through the first two days. He seemed especially happy with today's warm weather, viewing it as an aid to conditioning.
He singled out QB Jake Locker, WR D'Andre Goodwin and CB Mesphin Forrester as players who reported in especially good shape.
No player comings or goings were reported.
Willingham said that Brandon Johnson (knee), the top returning tailback, is practicing, but not yet at 100 percent. The coach also said that he's impressed by the freshman running backs.
He also noted that those freshmen are still playing on skill and instinct, but they are nearing a time when their heads will begin swimming and more of the playbook is thrown at them from both sides of the ball.
Willingham also confirmed that he will award gold jerseys again this fall for top performers in practices … but that none have yet been awarded.