By the looks of it – not good on Washington Huskies defensive Darrion Jones, who suffered a bruised knee and sprained ankle early in the game Saturday against No. 11 Louisiana State.
The steps he was taking Wednesday at practice on the Husky Stadium stairs were deliberate and painful.
Not to worry, the brigade of true freshmen behind Jones is rapidly coming on.
Kalani Aldrich, the 6-foot-7, 250-pound sophomore from Hilo, Hawaii, will likely make his first career start against the Vandals as the bookend pass rusher with Daniel Te'o-Nesheim.
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Aldrich won't hog the action, either. Talia Crichton and Andru Pulu, both true freshmen, will rotate in on that side as well. Pulu is a Federal Way High School product, and member of The News Tribune's 2008 All-Area football team.
"Obviously I wish we could have had them play last week in situations, but it didn't work out that way," UW defensive line coach Johnny Nansen said. "But most definitely I expect them to play this Saturday against the Vandals."
Pulu did see action against the Tigers, a great reward for his hard work on the transformation from linebacker to defensive end. He's now up to 250 pounds – a good 10 pounds more than what he was in high school as an inside linebacker.
What has enabled him to handle the transition?
"My physical-ness," Pulu said. "I like being physical. That helps make the transition easy. I was physical in high school, so when I got into college I was pretty close to that level. That's helped me the most."
Nansen does not want to overload the newcomers with schematic stuff, or put too much responsibility on their shoulders so early.
"Playing is the only way they are going to learn," Nansen said. "As much as we want to put things on the board and watch film, the best way is to learn on the field playing."
As far as where touted sophomore Everrette Thompson fits into the equation? Coach Steve Sarkisian said Wednesday that Thompson will not shifted over and play the side opposite Te'o-Nesheim just to get experience.
He's … behind Daniel," Sarkisian said. "Two different positions for us."
Other samplings from practice:
• Almost as if it was the middle of training camp, coaches have made a concerted effort to get information on film so they can evaluate who will start at free safety against Idaho.
In the early part of the week, week-one starter Greg Walker took most of the snaps. On Wednesday, Justin Glenn, who was moved from cornerback starting two days ago, had extensive action with the No. 1 defense. He had two interceptions, and is quickly picking up the angles to take.
"I think it's a better fit for me," Glenn said. "I like the freedom back there, reading the quarterback a little more, and making plays on the ball.
"As corner, you were always outside-in (on run plays), but at safety, it's a whole different ballgame. You have to watch everything inside-out. It may seem like the guy is right there, but next thing you know, he's in the open field, so you have to really watch the angle while you're tackling. If you take one wrong step … it's just one of those things. You have to work on it. It comes with experience."
Take it from the guy – Walker – who surrendered two big passing plays Saturday against LSU's Terrance Toliver in the open field that went for touchdowns.
"I should have made both plays. The first play, I was running away from the slant, toward my slot guy, and they threw the slant. I was one-on-one in space, and I should’ve made the tackle," Walker said. "And the second one, it was a gap play. If I had just broken down, it would’ve been a 10-yard play, no big deal. In space, I’ve got to make tackles regardless, because I’m a safety."
• Sarkisian noted early this week he wanted to try and get receiver Jermaine Kearse more involved. Of the regulars, his 26 snaps against LSU were the fewest.
So, Kearse is moving to a new position – the slot.
"It gives us more versatility, and it gives him versatility to get on the field and do more things," Sarkisian said.
• Yes, the Huskies' third-down conversion rate Saturday - 11-of-19 – was downright ridiculous. What made it more astounding was that four of the conversions were of eight yards or longer.
On one hand, that's cool, Sarkisian said. On the other hand, he wants the offense to put itself in better counts on third down in the future.
"I thought our offensive line was excellent on third down. I thought Jake threw the ball very accurately on third down, and then used his legs when he had to. There were way too many … third-and-8, third-and-9, third-and-10, third-and-12s and that is just too many," Sarkisian said. "In a perfect world, we'd like the same (conversion) numbers. Those are great numbers, but I'd like to be trying from third-and-2, third-and-4, third-and-5 and third-and-3, and not so many longs."
• Quick notes: What exactly does assistant strength and conditioning coach Marques Tuiasosopo, the former UW quarterback, do on game days? He wears a headset and "listens to me call the plays, and writes down the plays … and charts them," Sarkisian said. Apparently, the UW athletic department has been receiving inquiries (complaints) that is appeared Tuiasosopo was coaching, which would be an NCAA violation. … Offensive lineman Skyler Fancher (foot) has had surgery, and is likely done for 2009. … Safety Jason Wells (Achilles) again did not practice, but at least had his helmet and shoulder pads on. … Cornerbacks David Batts and Desmond Trufant shared a lot of time with the first-string defense. Trufant had a few highlight moments breaking up a pass intended for tight end Dorson Boyce and knocking receiver James Johnson on his butt after a 22-yard pass. … Locker's practice numbers were 5-of-10 for 55 yards and a TD (7-on-7); 2-of-7 for 21 yards on first-down scrimmaging and 2-of-3 for 24 yards on third-down scrimmaging. … Erik Folk was 3-of-4 on field goals with the wind, missing from 38 yards out.