August 16, 2008

Coach Quotes and Practice Notes - 08/16/2008


Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham addressed the media Saturday for a short time, and addressed injuries to begin with.

"Go back and look at last year's injury repot about this time and you know what's amazing, we've got two more guys on our injury list than we had last year this time - that's it," explained Willingham. "What we have is a few more significant names than we had a year ago, but it's about the same process that you end up with every year. At some point you're going to have some injuries if you're banging around, if you're moving around and doing things. It's the stuff that happens. Obviously we have some significant one's in there, when you've got your quarterback in there, that's significant, but it's still the same things that are happening."

Sophomore safety Nate Williams had a minor injury yesterday, and Willingham touched on the injury.

"He just had a little "owie" during special teams yesterday and he should be back rolling today," said Willingham. "Matter of fact, I don't think he missed any practice yesterday."

True freshman wide receiver Cody Bruns was injured late in the week, although he should be good to go soon.

"Just got a helmet to the back," explained Willingham. "Just some muscle spasms - that's all and that will be fine probably by Sunday."

Although there have been a rash of injuries this fall, Willingham stated that only redshirt junior linebacker T.J. Poe is the only Husky that, as of now, is slated to miss the season opener against Oregon.

Willingham said this when asked if certain roles take precedence over others for true freshman Chris Polk:

"We don't know yet. We'll look at it and see where those number of snaps will come from," explained Willingham. "See what we think he's best at and what he thinks he's best at and try to fill them in from that standpoint."

Tyrone Willingham Quotes:

With sophomore quarterback Jake Locker sidelined with a hamstring injury, redshirt freshman Ronnie Fouch has taken the majority of snaps. Willingham discussed the team's comfort level with Fouch.

"I think our football team is very confident with Ronnie. I think that was not just a process of the result of Jake's injury - I think that was coming all along. I think from the very first spring that Ronnie jumped in head first into these waters and started swimming - maybe even surprised some people - Ronnie's done a wonderful job. He's been a leader for them, he's been knowledgeable, he's had command of the huddle. He's done all of these things that give them confidence and he's made plays - all of the things that gives them confidence in their quarterback."

Willingham further discussed Locker's injury benefitting Fouch.

"You should know by now, I'm one of these - everything that happens to you is a positive. You take it and work with it. No one likes losing their starting quarterback, but when you get an opportunity to develop the next guy, and we knew coming along that he would have some skills, have some ability and be a solid quarterback for us, it's a plus."

Fouch and Polk attended the same high school. Willingham responded when asked if it's apparent that they've been teammates before.

"It's kind of hard right now to say that. Obviously we knew coming from high school, they spent some time together and played very well together. But I think you've still got Chris learning some things. Chris right now, has a lot of roles that he's trying to adapt to, so therefore it's one of those cases where I say it doesn't quite manifest itself, that relationship yet - I think in time it will."

With sophomore Curtis Shaw leaving the team indefinitely and redshirt senior Charles Hawkins hampered with a minor injury, Willingham was asked if he's considered moving other players into the slot receiver position in their absence.

"No. All of the guys have been rolling around at receiver. For lack of a better term, I'll say it's been a carousel to a degree, but a carousel by plan. That all those guys are getting a lot of looks at a lot of places. We have a lot of sets that they all have a chance to participate in, so having Hawkins minus for a day or two really doesn't change anything that we've been trying to do so far."

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