Huskies Insider Blog

Some Friday happy hour football links -- Mike Leach and the Cougs open practice

Still tough to get into football mode with the Huskies hoops team still playing. But after next week, it will be easier to focus on the gridiron.

A reminder that the Huskies are starting spring practice on April 2 and will go to April 28. All but two of those practices - April 21 at Memorial Stadium and the spring game at CenturyLink Field on April 28 - will be closed to the public.

Perhaps the biggest news is that the Cougs opened their first spring practice under Mike Leach. Christian Caple of the Spokesman will be the first mate in charge of the Spokesman's coverage.

Here's the link to more video interviews.

As expected, quarterbacks Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday threw the ball and threw the ball often in the first practice. Brian Floyd of CougCenter looks at the QB competition.

Spokesman columnist John Blanchette writes that the practice didn't have much fanfare, but plenty of tempo. From his column ...

It just felt so much like, well, another practice.

OK, maybe not just another practice.

“The tempo was ridiculous today,” cornerback Daniel Simmons said. “I never took so many reps in 7-on-7 drills. I was gassed. But I had to work through it, because that’s what it’s going to be like.”

What do you know?

Sometimes plain old work is the way a renaissance gets started.

And the Cougars worked – the actual by-gum practicing coming in at a shade under three hours on a crisp day that saw patches of snow rimming Rogers Field.

“If you’re a player, you love it,” Leach said of the conditions. “You run around and don’t sweat and it’s fantastic. If you’re a coach, you get to check out your gear and see how it fits.” North Division

Cal: There's a difference in Zach Maynard in this spring practice from a year of starting. Cal has Isi Sofele and CJ Anderson returning at running back, but freshman Brendan Bigelow and three classmates are trying to make a push for playing time.

Oregon: Ducks wide receiver Josh Huff plead not guilty to DUI and other violations. Oregon begins practice on April 13. Rob Moseley is doing position breakdowns headed into spring.

Oregon State: Here' s a pre-spring roster and breakdown from the Oregonian.  Cliff Kirkpatrick is doing position previews on his blog..

Stanford: My buddy Rob Rang was at Stanford's pro day and filed this report.

South Division

Arizona: Rich Rodriguez narrowed the goal posts to make his kickers focus more.

ASU: An interview with new running backs coach Larry Porter

Colorado: Sophomore Connor Wood is taking all the first team snaps in spring ball. A few days ago, Jon Embree rated his spring practices as a B+

USC: I think I tweeted about this, but it's worth mentioning again that stud wide receiver Robert Woods is sitting out spring practice. Linebacker Hayes Pullard is playing better and his coaches have noticed. Defensive back Nickell Robey said that running track has been perfect conditioning for football.

Utah: Oft-injured QB Jordan Wynn is out to prove he's durable, while two freshmen are vying for the backup spot. Columnist Kurt Kragthorpe looks at Kyle Whittingham's decision to bring in several unproven assistant coaches this year.