August 9, 2008

Coach Quotes and Practice Notes - 8/8/2008

Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham addressed the media on Friday before the Huskies took the field for the fifth day of fall practice and the first day in full pads. Willingham was inundated with questions regarding Locker's hamstring injury to begin with.

Willingham began with a brief description of Locker's situation.

"Yes he did sustain an injury - it was a hamstring strain, but the degree we don't know. We will be monitoring as we go, and the thought process will be to take things slow and day-to-day."

It is unknown at to how long Locker will be sidelined.

"It is literally day-to-day because we haven't even gotten back the results of the MRI yet, so we can't even tell you what that picture looks like. We have said this all camp, because we have some other players that fit into that. We have [Juan] Garcia, [Jason] Wells and [Alameda] Ta'amu that fit into that situation. We will be very cautious with what we do and how we do it."

Willingham discussed the importance of a quarterback injury.

"The leadership role is so much different from that position, so it casts a shadow on the football team when you lose someone at that position. But that is what you prepare for all of the time. The team has to have that kind of mentality, whether it's the starting guard or starting tackle. He's got to be ready to step up and lead the charge."

Redshirt freshman Ronnie Fouch has taken over first-team duties with Locker on the sideline, and Willingham discussed his confidence in the quarterback.

"We talked about it during the spring, that some of the things we saw from Ronnie had really positioned us as a staff to get him some playing time regardless."

Willingham discussed the change from shells and helmets to full pads.

"Only the structure of what we're doing changes. The actual intensity of our practice doesn't change. The amount of contact basically doesn't really increase in a sense, because even our unpadded sessions are fairly intense, awful quick - not a lot of walking around. It's basically a very similar structure for us. Now, is two-a-days different in the mind of the athlete? Yes it is - that's a different story to deal with. We'll add some aspects of the football game that we didn't work before, simply because we're progressing through camp. Those things will be new, but the basic structure and how we go about it won't change."

Willingham talked about the Huskies Picture Day.

"Picture day should be a fun day for our guys. I think it's always a fun day for the community, to have a chance to get out and see the new team. I think our attendance in the last couple of of years has really been impressive. So it should be a fun day for the fans and for our players."

Willingham responded when asked if the fact that no gold jersey has been give out yet indicates anything.

"I don't think it indicates anything. Things are going well. We've got some good work being done out there by a lot of the individuals, but maybe we haven't met standards yet."

Notes:

Auburn Riversides's Jake Pele and O'Dea's Danny Kistler were in attendance.

True freshman Tony Gobern spent his second day in a red jersey.

The media was only allowed to watch the first 25 minutes the day's split practice, where the third team and fourth team players practiced first, with the first team and second team players following. Brandon Johnson and Josh Gage were seen practicing with the third team.

Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano was seen showing an unusual amount of emotion towards the participating quarterbacks.

The highlight of the 25 minutes of practice that the media was allowed to watch was a Tripper Johnson interception of a Luther Leonard pass during a short scrimmage.

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