Aug. 9, 2005
Seattle - The Washington football team held its first fall practice under first-year head coach Tyrone Willingham and he had positive comments regarding the physical condition of the team. After a one-hour conditioning and testing period in the Dempsey Indoor, the Huskies ran through their paces for two hours in Husky Stadium without pads.
"I thought the overall shape and condition of the players was pretty good," Willingham said. "They did their conditioning before we came out here and then we put in a full practice, well most a full practice, and that's not easy to do. For the most part I thought they did that very well."
Willingham said the pre-practice session included sprint work to test player's cardio vascular abilities plus endurance and recovery. He joked when asked if the players were asked to perform a one-mile timed run.
"Mile is not in my vocabulary," Willingham said.
Willingham said the first practice is always an adjustment for new players, especially freshman.
" There is still so much that they don't know," he said. "Even though they may have had the material in their hands, it is different when you are put in this environment. It's not like that spiral notebook that sits at home. Now there are bodies with it and they start moving and changing. I thought for the most part they did well."
Milsten is Back
After missing the second half of last season due to a serious leg and ankle injury he suffered against Oregon State, junior nose tackle Dan Milsten was one of the happiest players to get back on the field. The injury forced Milsten to miss all of the team's spring practices. Tuesday was his first time on the field with his new head coach.
"It felt good, I was a little rusty, but I'll get back into it," said the Tacoma native.
Milsten particularly enjoyed Willingham's up-tempo approach to practice.
"It makes practice a lot faster," Milsten said. "When you are sitting around a lot, it makes a practice feel like it takes forever. I enjoy getting out there and getting stuff done. It feels like it goes by 10 times faster."
Milsten had nine tackles while starting the first six games of his sophomore campaign before the injury. He admits it was a frustrating process waiting to rejoin his teammates.
" It felt like it took forever to get better," Milsten said. "Now that I'm back out there it feels a lot better. I've got a little ways to go before I'm back to 100 percent. Give it a month and I'll be there. Right now, my foot is not used to the stuff we're doing out here. Rehab is going to make it stronger, but coming out here and having 300-pound guys push you around, it's not used to that. When it gets used to that, it should be good."
Milsten's left ankle and foot still have 11 screws in place as a result of the surgery from the injury.
QB's Just Going About their Business
With much of the media coverage focusing on the starting quarterback position, sophomore signal caller Johnny DuRocher said his fellow QBs spend no time discussing the matter.
"We just go about our business," Durocher said. "We don't talk about it even though we all know it is our minds. We don't say anything to each other about it. If you try and be perfect every day, you'll probably make more mistakes than if you just go out and throw the ball. In the spring, you try to be perfect. Today, we were all just excited to just play the game."
"It felt real good to have Corey and Quinton back," Durocher said. "They're playmakers. They make it easy on the quarterbacks."
Durocher said the team chemistry is very good for the opening of camp. The fact nearly all of the players stayed in Seattle during the off-season helps.
"We know when we look at the guy next to us he put in just as much work as we did over the summer," he said. "Coach Willingham said it best, you can become a better player if you go home and work out on your own, but you won't become a better team. I think that really sunk in and we had almost 100 percent attendance this summer."