Obviously one of the biggest questions surrounding the Huskies offensive line is who will be the starters at left and right tackle. Micah Hatchie and Ben Riva have taken every snap at as the first-team left and right tackles this spring. For Riva, it's been an up and down spring - which is to be expected. But he is committed to improving and grabbing that starting right tackle spot.
From my story in today's paper.
His performance is not surprising to coach Steve Sarkisian. He expected some highs and lows.
“He’s a physical guy, a guy that is willing, cares, plays hard,” Sarkisian said. “I think Ben, when he gets in trouble, he loses the discipline of the fundamentals and the techniques provided, and that’s when he struggles.”
Those struggles have come against speed rushers such as Josh Shirley, who, to be fair, has tormented other tackles as well.
“Josh, he’s a freak,” Riva said. “He’s fast and he can run off the edge. He’s my biggest challenge. I look forward to going against him every day and he makes me better. I don’t really like him much in between the lines out there, but I know I need him.”
Sarkisian hopes Riva relies on his fundamentals when Shirley is there instead of panicking.
“That’s the challenge for Ben to consistently play with those proper fundamentals and techniques,” Sarkisian said. “It’s not about want-to with Ben, he’s an extremely willing kid. He plays hard and physical. It’s about doing things right consecutively down after down after down.’’
Riva knows consistency is important.
“I feel like that’s my biggest thing,” he said. “There are plays that I do really well, and there are plays where I turn a little thing into a big thing,http://blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports/wp-admin/post-new.php and I can’t do that.”
Riva has some work to do, but you can see some potential. The speed rushers give him trouble. But if he's a guy that can make adjustments. He could be a nice bookend on the offensive line for three years.
Some other UW links
Here's Meg Wochnick's story on UW's latest commit - Tumwater's Hank Bryant
Some photos from yesterday's practice from the Coach Sark Blog
Gregg Bell's Unleashed column is about James Johnson
Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald writes about the kicking situation.