2010 Washington Football: Quick Thoughts on the Start of Fall Practice

Jason HerresCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2010

Jermaine Kearse is an offensive key for the Dawgs
Jermaine Kearse is an offensive key for the DawgsOtto Greule Jr/Getty Images


We've just completed day two of the Washington Huskies summer practice, and there is plenty to be excited about.  The return of dozens of starters, the second year of the Steve Sarkisian regime, and a solid recruiting class.  

Given that it's early, there are a few topics out there to discuss:


The Team is Healthy

With two practices behind them, the Dawgs are still healthy.  At this point, any college team is healthy, but the key will be if the Huskies can stay that way.  The early impressions are that practices are going faster and harder than last year, as the players have been in the systems over a year.  

The key will be to keep that intensity, without losing any of the key parts to the puzzle.


Offensive Personnel

Head Coach Sarkisian has the benefit of returning nearly all of his weapons on offense.   Kavario Middleton's departure could very well be addition by subtraction.  

Outside of the challenge of finding his replacement, the wideouts are set, and Polk has some exciting support coming potentially from Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier.  

With the expansion of the playbook, these players, as well as some surprises from the bench make the Huskies more dangerous on offense.


Defensive Complexity

At practice so far, while Sarkisian is opening the offense, Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt is challenging his defense to do more.  

The stability at the corners, combined with a mix of senior leadership and youthful depth within the front seven, gives the Huskies some options to keep Pac-10 offensive coordinators up at night.  

There has been some turnover on the defensive side of the ball, but most of the folks moving up the depth chart were in the program last year, and bring good knowledge of the system.


Roster Depth

As practices continue, the coaches will be making a couple of key decisions with the roster.  

The first is the question of the depth chart.  While many of the starter slots are spoken for, based on last year, the remainder are open to discussion.  

On one hand, this coaching staff is open to making younger players starters.  On the other hand, they rotate players in and out frequently, so the starter role is not necessarily tied to an advantage in playing time.  



The last question to be resolved from watching the first few weeks of training is the decision around redshirts.  It will be interesting to watch Coach Sarkisian balance the needs of his team this year against the potential of the next few years.  

Sarkisian has the whole season to decide whether to play his recruits, but the first few games should set the trend for who he thinks he needs to reach the Huskies Rose Bowl goals for the year.

After just two days of practice, the above list gives us some good topics to watch in the coming weeks.  

What areas are you concerned about?  

Which Husky players are you excited to watch?