Huskies Insider Blog

Kearse dropping passes, but not responsibility for it

Dougherty audio (10-13)

In the distance, as UW players walked off the practice field Wednesday at dusk, receiver Jermaine Kearse was making cuts and hauling in bullet passes from position coach Jimmie Dougherty.

He spent 15 extra minutes doing more work.

Recent dropped passes, including three of them last week against Arizona State, were still eating at him.

"I went away from the things I usually do," said Kearse, still noticeably sweating from the post-practice session with Dougherty. "I'm getting back to those things. I'm feeling good, I'm feeling really good."

A reason why Kearse is so respected around the program is how he conducts himself. He is a low-key, tireless worker who is relentless in his craft.

He not only leads the team in receiving, he's second in the Pacific-10 Conference behind Arizona's Juron Criner.

He leads his team in drops, too - nine.

"It's funny, you think it's all physical," Dougherty said. "A lot of times, it's more mental than that, and that is when you start making physical mistakes."

Yeah, it was a rainy night Saturday for the ASU game. On fourth-and-5 right at the end of the first half, Jake Locker's pass was a tad high, but Kearse still let it go through his hands for an incompletion.

Kearse admitted he kept asking himself: How is this happening to me?

And after the Huskies lost Saturday night, he was so frustrated, he tuned out football completely for the rest of the weekend. No NFL game. No Sportscenter.

"I played FIFA soccer (on the X-box)," Kearse said. "I just didn't watch the football. That's the type of competitor I am. When I feel like I don't compete to my standard, I feel sick to my stomach."

When the team reconvened to watch film of the 24-14 ASU loss, he met with Dougherty, UW coach Steve Sarkisian, quarterback Jake Locker, even cornerback Desmond Trufant.

They stressed two points:

* Spend more time in the coaches office, watch film of opposing defenses and feel more comfortable with what you're facing on the field.

* Catch passes. And more of them. And more of them.

"I think maybe he got away from that a little bit of working hard in his preparation going into the game," Dougherty said. "He's definitely addressed that this week, and had a great week of preparation. I'm looking forward to him having a great game on Saturday."

With all the extra work, Kearse is sounding like a top-flight receiver ready to turn the page and make more plays than mistakes.

"(Dropping a pass) comes with the game," Kearse said. "I mean, people drop passes. It's what you do after that dropped pass, 'Are you going to come back with another drop, or are you going to come back with a catch and make plays?'"

More stuff from Wednesday:

* Jake Locker (bruised quadriceps) have more involvement in the team session before giving way to backups Keith Price and Nick Montana for the 11-on-11s at the end of practice.

Sarkisian said the senior is dealing with both the lingering upper-chest cold and the leg bruise.

"I didn't set any expectations (of practice time) because I didn't know what level of health he would be at," Sarkisian said. "I thought he looked a lot better today than he did yesterday and hopefully he can do more tomorrow. But I thought he did some really good things today."

* Again, receiver Devin Aguilar (hip flexor) did some light work in individual drills, but stood on the sideline for a significant portion of practice while Kearse, D'Andre Goodwin, Jordan Polk and Cody Bruns took most of the work with the No. 1 offense.

As of Wednesday, Sarkisian listed Aguilar as "doubtful" to play Saturday against Oregon State.

* For the second consecutive day, a reconfigured offensive line practice in the same order: Senio Kelemete at left tackle, Ryan Tolar at left guard, Gregory Christine at center, Colin Porter at right guard and Drew Schaefer at right tackle.

About Christine being at center: "We're just preparing for that. I don't know that's necessarily what's going to happen in the ball game. We are just preparing to shuffle guys around. Greg's got the knowledge base like Drew that he can make the calls inside that need to be made."

Meanwhile, Erik Kohler continues to attend practice, but be a non-participant. He will not play Saturday.

* Two things were a bit off about tight end Chris Izbicki. First, he was wearing a No. 83 jersey (apparently his was in the washing machine). And for the latter part of practice, he wasn't in action.

"He got hit in the back," Sarkisian said. "His back is screwed up."

His availability the rest of the week is uncertain.

* For those clamoring to know how the world's worst fake field-goal attempt came about - a fourth-and-18 in the second quarter against ASU that saw Bruns take off running and get dragged down for no gain - here is how Bruns saw it all unfolding on that play.

"I missed Marek (Domanski). I saw him late," Bruns said. "Just came around the corner, saw white (ASU jerseys) and thought I could beat (them) around the edge. It just didn't work out."

All week, Bruns had been practicing the play as a run.

He immediately discovered he was in no-man's land on the play trying to convert the fourth down that way.

"Right about when I made the cut, and I was like, 'Shoot, this isn't going to be too good,'" Bruns said. "Hopefully we'll get it fixed, hopefully we'll run it again sometime."

* Quick-hit stuff: Running back Johri Fogerson (upper leg) continue to stay parked. ... Linebacker Mason Foster briefly came to the sideline to have his left ankle wrapped, but went back to work. ... Senior Cody Habben continues to work as the second-string right tackle.

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