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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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August 4, 2008 7:17 PM

First-day wrapup

Posted by Bob Condotta

A few more notes and thoughts as we wrap up the first day of practice:

--- Jake Locker looked really good throwing the ball today. Just about every pass seemed on the money and he gave every reason to believe his statements that he thinks a year of maturity and comfort in the offense will improve his accuracy quite a bit. He appeared to have more touch on his passes, putting more air under them. Obviously, it doesn't count until Aug. 30, but this was a good first day for him.

--- To make clear what Juan Garcia did today, he took part in the early warm-up sessions, then stayed to the side for the rest of practice, often working on conditioning on his own. In other words, he didn't do a lot and shouldn't in any way be penciled in as back in the lineup or anything. That seemed clear with Ryan Tolar taking a lot of snaps at center with the No. 2 unit, making it obvious the coaches are working on plans in case Garcia can't make it back.

--- The best of the true freshmen WRs today was Cody Bruns, who made several nice catches, including one near the sideline on a 25-yard-or-so fade route from Ronnie Fouch. Fouch, by the way. wasn't as accurate as I'm sure he would have liked, looking like he was still struggling a little bit with his accuracy issues of the spring. Locker and Fouch took almost every snap at QB.

--- Jermaine Kearse also had one nice play, beating Mesphin Forrester for a TD in a goal-line drill on a pass from Fouch. Kearse, however, also had a couple of drops.

--- The best WR of the day otherwise might have been walk-on senior Charles Hawkins, who a bunch of nice catches, including about a 40-yarder from Fouch.

--- The most noticable of the new RBs was David Freeman, who looked really quick running through traffic. But again, this was a no pads, no contact day.

--- Incoming OL Mykenna Ikehara appeared to be playing at center, and drew a lot of oohs and ahs for a standoff with Cameron Elisara in a one-on-one drill.

--- The coaches were already in mid-season form intensity-wise. At one point, when Anthony Boyles didn't run the right route, Tim Lappano yelled "14 yards'' loud enough to be heard in the upper reaches of Husky Stadium. At another point, OL coach Mike Denbrock got on his unit for not hustling to the line fast enough and yelled "if you're scared, go home. If not, line your ($%^) up and get ready to play.''

--- Brandon Johnson looked just fine, working with the No. 1 unit throughout and making some nice cuts. Brandon Yakaboski was the No. 2 TB followed by Willie Griffin and Chris Polk. But that could be a real interchangeable spot this year as coach Tyrone Willingham said earlier at the press luncheon he would have no problem going with a committee. Polk spent the entire day at TB and we'll have to ask tomorrow if that means a switch in his position, or just getting him work there. He's still listed as a slotback.

--- UW has to find a new holder with Carl Bonnell gone. Candidates today appeared to be Fouch and Jared Ballman with Ryan Perkins also appearing to practice it once or twice.

--- Among those taking punt returns were Byron Davonport, D'Andre Goodwin, Johri Fogerson, Devin Aguilar, Matt Mosley and Vonzell McDowell.

--- Several of you have asked about Tripper Johnson, the walk-on from Newport who played eight years of minor league baseball. He worked today as the No. 2 free safety, splitting time with Jason Wells, who is being worked back into the lineup after his knee injury last season.

--- Among the new walk-ons are two sons of coaches --- Taylor Lappano, a defensive back from Eastlake, and Riley Gervais, a linebacker from Skyline.

--- We'll be back to our usual 25 minutes of practice access tomorrow, so there won't be as much info to report. But check back during the day as I'll update with notes and quotes from interview sessions, and whatever else transpires.

All for now.

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