Aug. 19, 2010
Due to a technical difficulty, GoHuskies.com was not able to provide video of Coach Steve Sarkisian's post-practice press conference on Thursday
SEATTLE - The second week of Fall Camp is nearing its conclusion after the Huskies put practice No. 13 in the books on Thursday evening. After a relatively light day on Wednesday, the Huskies donned full pads and resumed hitting.
There was also a special guest at Husky Stadium - Don James. The legendary Dawgs coach made his annual trip to Fall Camp with his wife Carol, making the short drive across the bridge from nearby Kirkland. James, who recently celebrated his 58th anniversary with his wife, said he was "impressed" with what Coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff are accomplishing on Montlake. Another guest was former athletic director Mike Lude, who enjoyed practice from the sidelines.
During the two-hour practice, the Dawgs worked on a variety of situational plays, particularly inside the red zone. Receiver Devin Aguilar impressed with a highlight snag of a Jake Locker pass. So did tailback Jesse Callier, who Locker found in the end zone for a touchdown. In what has become a constant this fall, Sean Parker introduced himself with another big hit on an unsuspecting receiver. Erik Folk shined during special team drills, particularly with his 48-yard boot through the uprights. During individual drills, Jermaine Kearse made numerous plays to reinforce why he was the Huskies leading receiver last year.
Chris Izbicki Q&A
Growing up in Kirkland, Chris Izbicki dreamed of playing for the Huskies. Now the junior is an integral part of the offense, having taken over the starting tight end position this spring. A productive blocker and a sure-handed receiving threat, Izbicki should provide a reliable safety outlet for Locker in the passing game. On the field, he relishes the competition aspect of football, particularly the one-on-one battles with his close friend and safety Nate Williams. On Thursday, GoHuskies.com correspondent Kyle MacDonald caught up with the Lake Washington HS grad to ask him about his progress up the depth chart and his evolution as a receiving threat.
GoHuskies.com: You didn't play as a redshirt freshman, you started five games last year, and now you're number one on the depth chart. What has the transition been like?
Izbicki: It's been a lot of fun and obviously a big change. Camp's progressing really well and I'm starting to take a lot more reps and stuff like that so I'm progressing into being able to be in the game more snaps than I was last year.
GH.com: Has it been difficult trying to turn into more of a receiving tight end this year?
Izbicki: That definitely is a change but I've always caught the ball throughout my whole career, and it's just something I'm going to have to get more accustomed to--running better routes, doing things like that. So it's an adjustment but it's not something that's brand new to me. I've been doing it my whole life.
GH.com: Were you more of a receiving tight end in high school?
Izbicki: Yeah, definitely. In high school I liked to do both. So I like to pride myself on being able to be a receiver and being able to block really well.
GH.com: Are there any players or coaches that stick out more than others in helping you improve as a receiver?
Izbicki: Not really, the whole coaching staff helps out, and they have been doing a really good job with coaching us on our technique and giving us little keys on being able to get better releases in the passing game. All the coaches try and give their own two cents in trying to get you to run the best route you can run.
GH.com: Do you have a goal this year for receiving yards or touchdowns?
Izbicki: Honestly I haven't really thought about it too much; whatever it is to help the team win.
GH.com: How often do you expect to be the primary receiver?
Izbicki: Our offense is predicated a lot on different type of concepts so in a different type of concept you might be the number one read, you might be the number three read. So you never really know because there are some concepts where I am the number one read, and there are some concepts where I'm the number three read. It all just depends on the down and distance, and where you are on the field, so it's hard to really tell.
GH.com: What has your summer consisted of? Has there been some fun mixed in?
Izbicki: Oh yeah, you don't really get a true summer. So during time off, you have to enjoy it as much as you can, enjoy the sunshine. We kind of got (suckered), it wasn't really nice this whole summer until now. So, you try to take advantage of it as much as you can.
GH.com: What position do you usually match up against in one-on-one coverage?
Izbicki: Man-to-man coverage is normally an outside linebacker or strong safety, so one of those two.
GH.com: Are there any particular matchups that are intriguing to you?
Izbicki: Well for camp I really like going against Nate Williams in one-on-ones because we're really close off the field. Whenever we get to go up against each other it's always a little more competitive because we want to beat each other up a little bit more.
GH.com: Growing up so close to UW, did you go to many games as a kid?
Izbicki: I came to a handful of games but I watched every game on TV. I always knew I wanted to be a Husky so there was really no indecisiveness in deciding where I wanted to go play college football.