Washington concluded its seventh practice of the spring — and its first after a two-week break — a short while ago at Husky Stadium. We’ll have a few more notes from that session a little later, but for now, here are some quick hitters from coach Chris Petersen’s media availability.
— As expected, Petersen didn’t have any news on Cyler Miles or Damore’ea Stringfellow, both of whom have been suspended since the beginning of spring. Both were being investigated in connection with an alleged assault, though it was learned yesterday that Miles won’t face charges. A Seattle Times report indicated that Stringfellow will be charged with misdemeanor assault and malicious mischief. Both remain suspended, apparently.
— John Timu, who was suspended for the first two weeks of spring following a charge of vehicle prowling, returned to practice and worked with the No. 1 defense at linebacker.
On Timu, Petersen said: “We’ve got separate issues here. We dealt with the other issue. He’s dealt with the other issue. And now he’s back playing football.”
— There were a few players absent from practice, including defensive linemen Danny Shelton and Hau’oli Kikaha, cornerback Marcus Peters and offensive lineman Ben Riva.
Petersen said those absences are due to class conflicts, which is the same reason the Huskies moved Thursday practices to 7:15 p.m.
Here are some additional quotes from Petersen …
(What did you see today?) “Got a lot of work to do. Good to be out here. Beautiful day. Good to have them back. Two weeks was a long time off. So working hard. We’ve got a lot of details to clean up. That’s what spring ball is all about and hopefully we make progress every day.”
(Did you expect some of that on the first day back?) “That can’t be an excuse. Whatever. Weather. Layoff. Crowd. That’s not an excuse. So hopefully we’re a little bit better on Thursday.”
(Are you into specific execution phase, or does that come later?) “That’ll come later. It’s always kind of whole-part-whole. It’s always intermixed. We’ve got a long way to go on both spectrums. We’ve got a lot of learning still to do. Shoot, we haven’t put in half of our stuff yet. Obviously the execution has much to be desired at this point.”
(Is that different from any other spring?) “We’ve hurt our kids as coaches by being a new coaching staff. We’ve set them back and we tell them that every day. Because we’re new and we’re giving you new things, other people are ahead of us. So we’re trying to play catch up as fast as we can.”
(Are you pleased with where team is at?) “No. Absolutely not. I’m pleased with their attitude. They want to get it. We’re all working this together. Are we pleased where we are? No, because we have a long way to go. I like the guys. I like them a lot. I like coaching them. But we’ve got a long way to go.”
(What did you see on film from first two weeks?) “Progress. Two steps forward, one step back. Time’s ticking. We only get so many days out here with these guys. But we will get it eventually. The eventually just needs to be sooner eventual than late eventual.”
(Did you watch any opponent film during the two-week break?) “We’re very much worried about ourselves right now. We’re not in any position to worry about our opponent. It’s all about us. We just don’t have enough hours in the day. Everything we did out there was filmed. We only get so much time with these guys so they come in on their own and watch some of it on their own as well. But it will be good to have a nice library at the end of spring to continue referring back to.”
(On Troy Williams and Jeff Lindquist) “They’re like most of the guys. I think we’re definitely better and they’re definitely better than they were when they started, but we’re just not where we need to be. That’s how we look at everything out here. Are we playing at the level that we need to? It doesn’t matter if a receiver runs a wrong route, if an o-lineman busts. They’ve got to make the right decision off that. That might be throwing the ball in the stands. That might be taking a sack. And so it really doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing at any position. Are you doing your job correctly? That’s what we’re all working toward.”
(On his philosophy on tight ends) “I think the tight end can be a tremendous weapon. I think you guys saw that the last couple years with Austin. And the better players we have there, the more we really try to figure out how to get those guys the ball. But I think … it’s a hard position to play. It’s a hard guy to find and recruit to, because you’d like him to be able to block like a lineman, run like a receiver, catch like a receiver. They’ve got to be as smart as anybody out there with the different positions we line them up. Run blocking, pass blocking, all those different things. so you get a guy that’s special, that truly is a special guy, in my mind.”
(On mixing and matching at tight end) “Usually what you do at that position is there’s a lot of mixing and matching going on. It’s very had to find that guy that can do it all. Which is fine, because that’s how we do most positions. We’re going to mix and match, and we want to play a lot of guys and get a lot of guys reps. I think that helps our team overall.”
(On absent players) “There’s things called academics around here, and they come first. So they’ve got class.”
(Anyone surprise you so far?) “Nope. Not a guy. I’ll tel you if I see a guy, and there wasn’t one out there where I went ‘wow, that’s pretty special.’ Work in progress.”
(Anything about this job surprise you?) “I like it here. I like it here a lot. I really do. I like the kids. I think the husky nation is awesome. I got a chance to meet a lot of people there and I think it’s been great. In terms of true surprises, not so much. I’ve been doing this a while. I get surprised. I always say I’ve seen it all. I don’t think you’ve ever seen it all. It’s been good.”
(On the buy in) “I think they’re working hard. I think their attitude’s good. At the end of the day, the product needs to produce and look right, and we’ve got a ways to get that right. We’ll see then how good the buy-in is.”
(On Jaimie Bryant joining the team in spring) “I think it’s great. I think anytime guys can come early, I think it helps them tremendously. This will be a hard three weeks on him. It’s like speaking a completely foreign language. Truly. I think he knows where the 40-yard line is, but other than that, when we start calling defenses at him, he doesn’t know anything. But it’ll be great. By the end of the three weeks, he’ll know something, he’ll be a little further ahead and it’ll help him for the fall.”