April 16, 2005
Seattle - The Washington football team went through the paces of a two-hour practice at Husky Stadium Saturday that included a good portion of special teams work and redzone play during the scrimmage portions of the activities.
The Huskies have four practices left this spring under first-year coach Tyrone Willingham, including Saturday's Spring Game scheduled for 12:45 p.m. at Husky Stadium. The spring game is free to the public.
Willingham said he will make a final decision later in the week as to the nature of the spring game, but his preference is to play a traditional game if he has enough healthy bodies.
"The plan is to play a game, so the format is not up for discussion," he said. "It will be dictated on Thursday when we figure out if we have the bodies to do it. But we plan on playing a game.
"We'll do the things that we do," Willingham said about his team's approach to a spring game. "There will be certain things out there that people will recognize and we'll do those things."
The QB Race
Willingham has been consistent in not tipping his hand as to how the quarterback race is shaping up this spring. When questioned about it Saturday he said, "It's gone back and forth. We need to have someone to start inching forward. Again, they don't have to do it all this week or next week. I'm comfortable that as long as it happens before we start to play, it gives us the chance to win."
Willingham said he believes any of the four have an equal chance of starting.
"They may see it different."
Nearly 100 high school coaches attended Saturday's practice as part of the Huskies annual Coaches Clinic. Willingham spoke to the group for an hour prior to taking the field for practice. Primarily coaches from Washington, there were also some attendees from Utah and California.
"We want them to know what we're trying to do and how they can fit in and how they can help us and we can help them," Willingham said. "Then we want to give them something that they can take pride in. When the program is successful they also take pride in it because it will be their young men that will be leading the charge. We want the young men in Washington to lead the charge."
Dining with the Faculty
Earlier this week Willingham had a group of faculty attend practice and then dine with the team.
"They (the faculty) clearly understand the goals of the program, to win a championship, to develop great students, to develop great people and to have fun," he said. "I think that's something they can embrace and be on board with. Some of them noted - and they've been to other universities - that this was the first time they were asked to come and not give anything."
Noting the Huskies
Wide receiver Sonny Shackelford returned for full speed after missing several days with an injury. Linebacker Mike Mizuha is sidelined with an injury that may force him to miss the remainder of spring drills. He is the third linebacker currently out of the lineup along with starters Joe Lobendahn and Scott White. Former Husky wide receiver.