Whether it was through Jake Browning or the running game, the offense was able to move the ball and score Monday as Washington held its first practice in pads.
It was a bit of change compared to Friday when the defense held Browning and Co. in check with eight sacks and two interceptions before going into Easter weekend. Those sacks were in a non-contact environment.
This time, the offense only allowed three sacks and didn't throw a single interception while a few players like receiver Aaron Fuller looked strong once they got into open space.
WHO'S ON THE MEND
Cornerback Austin Joyner was out for an undisclosed reason. He was on the sidelines during practice and did not dress out. Beyond Joyner, it's still the same as before. Receiver Chico McClatcher, who is out while recovering from a broken ankle, did run around during a drill. He look pretty fluid while running.
Browning and the offense had their best practice to this point. Let's start with Browning. His arm has looked really strong since camp opened last week and Monday was the most consistent performance. There were a number of throws he made all over the field and none of them lacked any power. Jake Haener was with the second team and his only blemish came when there was a loose ball during one of the plays. It was hard to see if it was a bad exchange between him and the center or a fumbled hand-off. Jacob Sirmon and Colson Yankoff mainly worked on hand-offs but didn't have too many passes in a 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 setting.
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
UW has kept it consistent by running with Browning, Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed, Fuller, Andre Baccellia, Ty Jones, Hunter Bryant and Drew Sample while keeping the offensive line of Henry Roberts, Luke Wattenberg, Nick Harris, Matt James and Kaleb McGary together.
Both Ahmed and Gaskin had a few strong runs. Gaskin broke off one for what would have been a 30-yard touchdown. Ahmed also looked comfortable running between the tackles. Bryant and Sample were mainly involved with blocking but Bryant did have a catch or two. Also, Kamari Pleasant was able to break off a 20-yard run.
The passing game had some moments too. Browning had a few good throws but his two strongest came to Baccellia and Fuller which both went for touchdowns. His pass to Baccellia was a 56-yarder that was a nice, tight spiral that got enough loft but had the sort of placement that only allowed the receiver to grab it. Browning's toss to Fuller was a little similar. The 45-yarder saw Fuller go down the sideline and get in a 1-on-1 situation with star safety Taylor Rapp. Fuller hesitated enough to make Rapp slightly move before going into the end zone.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
For the most part, the defense has the same core in place but with a few changes depending upon the series. Monday's group consisted of Jaylen Johnson, Greg Gaines, Shane Bowman and Ryan Bowman. Amandre Williams, Benning Potoa'e, Ben Burr-Kirven and Tevis Bartlett were at linebacker. Keith Taylor took reps at corner in place Joyner. He was joined by Jojo McIntosh, Byron Murphy and Rapp.
One could argue Keith Taylor had the best play of practice. Jordan Chin, who has seen some time with the first time, caught a pass and was immediately hammered by Taylor in the open field. Chin, who is 6-feet and 164, got right back up and tried to stare down the 6-2 and 193-pound Taylor.