Aug. 29, 2010
Huskies name captains at Raise the Woof!
Reminders: First Coach Sarkisian radio show of the year is Monday at 4:30 p.m. on 950 KJR-AM. Also, Coach Sark's press conference (Monday, noon PT) will air live statewide on UWTV. Click here for more on that.
SEATTLE - When the air horn blew three times at Husky Stadium on Saturday, it signaled the end to Fall Camp. A relieved group of Huskies crowded near midfield and started celebrating, grateful that the grueling three-week preseason was over and they could move out of the dorms and sleep in their own beds.
"I'm sure they want to get back to their own pillows," said Coach Steve Sarkisian. "To them, that's the end of it."
In reality, the Huskies have been preparing for BYU for some time. This week, however, it's official.
Starting Monday, the football program will treat each week with relatively the same routine. There will be 4 p.m. practices Monday through Thursday before a closed session on Friday afternoon. The weekday practices are open to members of the media, Tyee Club members, former players and parents of current student-athletes, along with recruits and their families.
After the workout on Friday, the team will board a caravan of buses heading for the airport, where a flight to Salt Lake City awaits. Sarkisian is treating this as a normal game week, even though the Huskies will play against BYU at altitude (LaVell Edwards Stadium is roughly 4,550 feet above sea level), which sometimes prompts teams to travel earlier in the week to acclimatize. That's a bad idea in Sarkisian's mind. What's more important is to be mindful of the added distance on punts, kickoffs and passes. This is all prior knowledge from his time in Provo, where Sarkisian was an elite quarterback for the Cougars.
"Altitude becomes an issue when you make it an issue," Sarkisian said.
Looking back at camp as a whole, Sarkisian told the assembled media group he was pleased with how his second campaign started. The student-athletes are in better shape. Everyone is practicing faster with increased knowledge of the playbook. The competition aspect of Fall Camp brought out each player's best. Through 24 practices, there was never a lapse in energy or focus.
"It was great. I thought we were really efficient this camp," Sarkisian said. "Part of that is because our staff continuity - we didn't lose one coach, so we were efficient in meetings, we were efficient on the field. I thought our practices were even shorter. In turn, our players knew what to expect. Their energy level day-in and day-out was remarkable."
Several surprises out of Fall Camp include Prosser, Wash., native Cody Bruns, who was a consistent receiving threat in the passing game. Senior Gregory Christine appears set to be a regular contributor on the offensive line.
How everything will shake out will gain more clarity this week. Sarkisian told reporters he has penned his two-deep depth chart, which he'll share at his Monday afternoon (12 p.m.) press conference at the Founder's Club. But with the Huskies able to travel a large amount of players for a non-conference road game, plenty of student-athletes will get their opportunities against BYU.