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Howell and Trew filling in at linebacker spots
Release: 04/14/2005
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April 14, 2005

SEATTLE - Joe Lobendahn and Scott White may not be participating on the field this spring, but they are still making a difference.

"Scott gets on me for the little things," said Dan Howell, White's replacement at inside linebacker. "He'll seem calmed and collected, but he'll say things like, 'man, you can't let that happen.' He knows that at any point in time I can be on the field and he wants me to be the best player that I can be.

"Coach Tormey will say something and then Scott will give his personal experience about how he does it and what he thinks I should do about. Anything from my stance to my technique to my drops in passes. He's like an assistant coach."

White hasn't been able to practice because of an unspecified illness while Lobendahn has been slowed with an unspecified injury. The two linebackers combined for 183 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks a year ago.

Their inability to play has allowed sophomores Kyle Trew and Howell to play with the first-string defense this spring. It has been a great experience and opportunity for them both.

" I don't like to see my teammates down, but I'm blessed to be in the position I am now to get the practice that I'm getting," said Howell. "I can see myself getting better. I know the defense. I understand the scheme and the concepts. I'm able to see that now and I can really develop my athleticism and let the natural talent take over. It's good for me, the extra reps are good."

Howell played in five games at inside linebacker in 2004, nine games overall, including starting the Washington State game.

Trew also has a positive outlook about the situation.

"Joe's a great player," said Trew. "He's going to be back 100-percent. I just need to be able to go in there and give him a break. I need to be able to step up and do as equal of a job or as close to it as I'm capable of doing."

Both Howell and Trew cited the extra reps in practice as being very beneficial to the development of their games. They also think that Lobendahn and White being out could benefit the Huskies in the long run.

"It's good thing in that it gives the rest of us a good chance to really get to know our stuff," Howell explained. "And it's a bad thing because you don't want to see your teammates out, period. When our teammates go down, we all go down a little bit ,but it's good to see everyone get together and pick up the slack that's been left off."

Heading into Saturday's scrimmage, Howell and Trew are listed as starters in Washington's depth chart at linebacker along with Evan Benjamin.

NOTING THE HUSKIES

COACH WILLINGHAM QUOTES

TIGHT ENDS ARE MAKING PROGRESS, BUT AREN'T THERE YET

"There has been some progress, but I would say not enough. We still have to continue to work there. I think the young men: Jared Bronson, Michael Gottlieb, Robert Lewis, and Dan Crutchley have done some good things. But like everywhere else on our team, what we are seeking is consistency. Not just the up and down play, but to get very consistent and start performing at that high level. I think in some regard, that some of the things that they are doing, and showing their ability to do at a high level, though we are not consistent. And then there are times when we make the blocks and there are times when we make the catches and run the routes. And there are other times when we don't do those things. So it is just seeking consistency. And it is not just tight ends--it is all across the board. What I would love to have will be that guy who would give you post to post. Who can stretch the field, run the routes, and also give you that anchor that you need on the offensive line, because to me that is something that you have to have. And the teams that have really good ones, are able to do well at those roles. I mean you can spread them out and use them as a speed receiver to some degree, but also you can bring them in tight and use them to anchor the line down, and be a corner in your running game. I am looking for a tight end to give me everything."

RESPONSES TO WILLINGHAM'S NEW STYLE

"I think it is a mix bag. I have some responding better than others are. They seem to be learning the system faster than others. And they are responding to the style of coaching, the tempo, our mannerisms, my mannerisms, but I expect it. Each individual does it at their own pace. And I am sure sometimes I have to slow down, to bring them into the ballgame."

HUSKIES TO DINE WITH UW FACULTY

"Tonight we are having dinner with the faculty. We have invited members of the University faculty to come down and watch our practice and break bread with us, after practice is over. Our plan is to have a better relationship with them. If we want to do what we really want to do in this program, we have to have the young men participate in all facets of this university. And through this type of event, hopefully we can get that started. I think the faculty see a little respect for what the student-athletes do in our program, and that respect means that we expect our young men to really understand and embrace what the faculty's role is at this university as a student."

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