By the end of week one of training camp roster referencing was on the uptick.
Washington intentionally worked its third-string players into more and more of practice as the week moved along.
“We made it a point, different than any of the other training camps we’ve had, really to try to develop our 3s,” Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “But not minimize our installation. There was a lot put on their plate and not a whole lot of busts.
“I think our ones appear fresh to me coming out of week one. Camps past, we looked a little bit fatigued coming out of Saturday night. But, by reducing some of their reps and developing our 3s, I feel good about our team. I feel like there was great energy (Saturday).”
Four things we learned during the first week:
1. Of the three touted freshman wide receivers, John Ross had the best start to camp. Keith Price hit Ross over the top in a seven-on-seven period for a long touchdown. Ross ran under Price’s on-time and on-target throw, beating double coverage that included safety Sean Parker. Parker was shouting in disbelief following the completion. Damore’ea Stringfellow’s intensity level isn’t where it needs to be yet. But, once he catches the ball, he’s a load to take down. Darrell Daniels had a quiet first week.
2. Cyler Miles is the clear No. 2 quarterback. According to the rosters provided by the school, Miles’ weight has gone down since the spring. Subsequently, his spot on the depth chart has gone up. Miles is listed at 213 now, down from 223 in the spring. What was a daunting playbook is making more sense. And, after being listed as an “or” with Jeff Lindquist on the depth chart last year, Sarkisian said this “he would agree” when asked if Miles has separated himself. “It’s almost like the light has turned on him for him,” Sarkisian said. “He’s got a great feel for the offense, anticipating throws. He’s throwing the ball accurately. He appears to be in really good command and control when he’s on the field. I’ve been impressed.”
3. Offensive line questions remain. Washington has switched Micah Hatchie from left tackle to right and moved Ben Riva to left tackle. Colin Tanigawa, who is coming off a knee injury that cost him most of last year and all of spring practice, has been worked in at right guard. Erik Kohler, who had knee surgery last year before coming back for spring, is yet to practice after injuring his foot at the end of the summer. He’ll rejoin the team for and start rehabilitation Monday. With Washington’s ambition to play faster, an offensive line with depth will be necessary. Right now, they are still sorting out the first five.
4. The search for pass rush solutions continues. The Huskies flipped tight end Evan Hudson to the defensive line, where he has been working with the starting group during the first week. Hudson, 6-foot-5, 277 pounds, is enticing to Washington coaches because of his size. Having Austin Seferian-Jenkins supported by Michael Hartvigson and Josh Perkins at tight end also gave the Huskies the option of moving Hudson. If he stays on defense — the Huskies expect to decide early this week — Hudson and his linemates will have to figure out a better pass rush. Washington was 10th in sacks in the Pac-12 last year and can’t constantly sacrifice a blitzing linebacker to get to the quarterback.