Aug. 13, 2005
Seattle - Saturday may mean the weekend for most, but for college football teams this time of year, there's really very little difference between Saturday and your run-of-the-mill Tuesday. There's still work to be done.
For the Husky football team, now in its fifth day of fall camp, today was different for several reasons. First, as the team has made it through its NCAA-mandated acclimitization period, Saturday was the first day the team worked out in full pads.
Also, Saturday was the annual Picture Day, where all the players and coaches mingled with fans on the Husky Stadium field, saying hello, signing autographs and shaking hands. Easily, and not surprisingly, the longest line of the day was the one in which fans were waiting to meet new head coach Tyrone Willingham.
Before Picture Day, Willingham met with the media and gave his assessment of how his team is preparing so far.
"We're not where I'd like us to be, but I thought [today's practice] was an upgrade," Willingham said. "Probably since I've seen this group, we have come up, slipped a notch and then come back up again. It's a sequence you go through when you're in this stage of your preparation. What we're hoping for is to get to the point where we don't have the ups and downs and can get on a steady plane."
Even though Saturday's practice was the first to feature full pads, Willingham noted that it wasn't a major change from the previous four days' practice.
"Since day one, it's been the same," he said. "We go hard whether we're in shorts, helmets and shoulder pads, or full pads. We didn't tackle today, but we had the same crisp type of work that we normally have.
"What full pads give you is the opportunity to do more things that you couldn't do when you're in shorts" he continued. "But we do a majority of those things when we're in shells [helmets and shoulder pads], so it's very little fall off based on the uniforms."
The team gets back at it again Sunday with a single, full-squad practice. Monday will feature two split-squad workouts and Tuesday is the first day of full-squad two-a-days