The Huskies aren't going to get away with anything sloppy in the passing game, not when new coach Steve Sarkisian, an ex-quarterback himself, is around.
Route-running was a big emphasis Monday, two days following the UW's first spring scrimmage. It was after that controlled competition that Sarkisian noted the inconsistency of the receivers' performances.
On Monday, the coach didn't entirely fault the receiving corps for a few dropped balls in scrimmage action.
"I think (the receivers) are a little young. The quarterbacks … are young to the system. I don't know if it's always the inconsistency in the route-running, but the timing of the quarterback as well," Sarkisian said. "We're trying to get the two things to mesh."
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The slant pattern is a prominent route in Sarkisian's system, and that was the focus of the passing game during team drills.
"He wanted us running straight up the field, and get there quick," said receiver Jermaine Kearse, the Lakes High product.
"Basically, it was about running fast," receiver Devin Aguilar said. "Sometimes, people have a tendency to lag, so it was about speed."
Sarkisian said the rhythm has been a little off in the first half of spring, and added it was continue to big a big emphasis as camp closes.
Some other developments:
&bull Again, almost predictably, the day's best play came from the running back – redshirt freshman Demetrius Bronson – who's been singled out by Sarkisian almost every day after practice.
Bronson, the Kentwood High product, broke off what would have been a 92-yard touchdown run had the whistle not been blown (at the time, coaches were more intent on watching the first-string offense grind out a drive from deep in its own end). Bronson also added another 12-yard run off a delayed draw.
"I think he's starting to surprise himself now," Sarkisian said. "Today, he got in the open field and made a right-hand turn. He might have scored a touchdown if he ran straight.
"He keeps playing hard. He's a good, young kid. … I'm really impressed with his mental toughness."
&bull One key player aggravated an injury. Another suffered a new one during seven-on-seven action.
Receiver D'Andre Goodwin's return from a hamstring injury was short-lived. As he was running a deep route, he pulled up, limped and fell to the ground. He slammed his helmet on the ground in frustration. Sarkisian said the slippery conditions and low-40 temperatures didn't help, and that the junior would be shut down until at least Friday.
Backup offensive lineman Skyler Fancher, a sophomore out of Costa Mesa, Calif., went down on a run play, clutching his right leg. Trainers immediately stabilized the leg and transported him away in a cart for X-rays. Sarkisian said the injury didn't look good.
Guys who didn't practice, red jersey or not, included linebacker Joshua Gage, cornerbacks Matt Mosley, Anthony Gobern and Vonzell McDowell, safety Jason Wells, running back Brandon Johnson and receiver Jordan Polk.
&bull Your latest first-string offensive line update from Monday: It was the same as when camp opened with left tackle Cody Habben, left guard Ben Ossai, center Ryan Tolar, right guard Morgan Rosborough and right tackle Drew Schaefer.
&bull There was a new addition to the starting defensive backfield Monday – redshirt freshman Justin Glenn, out of Kamiak High. Sarkisian was impressed with Glenn's performance, which included a forced fumble, at the scrimmage, and ran him with the first unit.
The biggest crunch Monday came cornerback Quinton Richardson smacked running back Willie Griffin on a swing pass toward the right sideline. It created a commotion of high-fives and howling after the play. … Cameron Elisara and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim had safeties near the end of practice. … A few of quarterback Jake Locker's passes sailed high Monday. … Sarkisian is in midseason form, even if his players – and the officiating crew – aren't. The coach had to correct a half-the-distance-to-the-goal spot after a penalty.
(Once again, this report comes to you from the TNT's Todd Milles. -- DR)