Aug. 16, 2006
SEATTLE - One of the most firmly entrenched players on the 2006 Washington football team in terms of a starting role is senior punter Sean Douglas.
While there are other veterans on the Husky squad who seemingly have a stranglehold on their position heading into the year, none have it more so than Douglas.
Last year, Douglas continued his steady punting, posting a 42.6-yard average per punt for the second straight season. In fact, after having also had a 42.6-yard average in 2004, he has two of the top three seasons in UW history in terms of that statistic. Heading into his final season, his career average (also 42.6) is the longest in school history.
Douglas' goals for the upcoming season are simple.
"I just want to do better than I did last year, average-wise, and do better than I did last year in terms of punts downed inside the 20," Douglas explained. "I want to become more consistent. All that will tie in to becoming a better punter."
As with all kickers and punters, there's a pace you have to maintain as you build up to the season. If you simply kick a ball for hours a day, your leg will tire and your production will decrease. As a veteran, Douglas has learned to gear things up so as not to peak too soon.
"I feel pretty good right now," he said Wednesday. "The first week of camp was a little bit sketchy, but I think I'm back in the groove now. I'm kicking better day to day."
During the summer, he maintained he regimen, working out, but also varying his routine.
"You don't want to kick your leg out or anything like that," Douglas said. "I just lifted and did our strength program. I tried to stay flexible and did a certain amount of drops each day and probably kicked a couple of times a week."
In the weight room, a punter must strike a balance between working to add strength while at the same time retaining the flexibility necessary to kick the ball properly.
"It's a combination of both," Douglas said. "You want to get strong because, obviously, it'll help you kick the ball farther, but you need to stay flexible as well. Becoming a better athlete is going to make me a better punter, so everything plays into becoming a better player."
Additionally, stretching is perhaps more important to a kicker or punter than most other players. Douglas, for one, spends some of his off-time working on just that.
"I do have to spend a lot of time at it," he said. "Sometimes when I'm just sitting around watching TV or whatever, I'll do something to get my body warm. I'll do push-ups and start stretching while I'm watching TV as opposed to just sitting on the couch."
UW FOOTBALL NOTES: Wednesday was the Huskies' second full day of two-a-day practices with a full-pads, full-squad workout in the morning and another, with helmets and shoulder pads only, in the afternoon ... in the morning practice, three players were honored with gold jerseys for their work the previous day: cornerback Roy Lewis, linebacker Trenton Tuiasosopo and fullback Mark Palaita ... fall camp continues Thursday with a single practice followed by another round of two-a-days on Friday.