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

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August 15, 2008 6:18 PM

Husky nightcap, Friday edition

Posted by Bob Condotta

A quick look back at the day that was:

WHAT HAPPENED --- The Huskies held two practices, going in full pads in the morning and helmets, shoulder pads and shorts in the afternoon.

THE BIG STORY --- Until the day he comes back in full, Jake Locker may be the biggest story. He seemed to take another step forward by putting on a helmet and throwing some passes in the early part of the afternoon practice, then running the steps at Husky Stadium. Still, he has now missed eight days of practice, and 11 practices overall including two-a-days, since he injured his hamstring.

UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano said Friday the real danger will come if Locker is not back in a week or so.

"I hope Monday of game week he's ready to go just for the timing purposes with the receivers,'' Lappano said. "He's throwing the ball right now but he needs game week. He needs to be able to get in there with the first receiving group, whoever that is going to be, and make sure the timing stuff is down.''

THE BIG STORY, PART TWO --- A number of players missed parts or all of both practices today for health-related reasons. Most appear to be precautionary so it's hard to get a sense of whether it's worrisome that at least seven projected or possible starters (not including guys who are gone for good at the moment like E.J. Savannah, who I wouldn't expect back anytime soon) were not practicing today.

The new addition today was SS Victor Aiyewa, whom Willingham said his bothered by a groin injury of some sort. Aiyewa has been running as the starter at that spot.

Interestingly, Willingham said today that the team has yet to do any full-scale live scrimmaging, bringing in officials and practicing in game-like situations, and as he is with a lot of things, he was vague about when it may happen. That is something that usually happens the second weekend of fall camp and Willingham gave no hint of when it will occur.

However, at the last minute today we received word that Saturday's practice had been moved back an hour, which may mean it won't be a split practice, as is on our schedule, and could indeed be a scrimmage. The Saturday two weeks before the game, and before a day off, is a usual time to have a scrimmage --- it always was back in the days when we got told about these things ahead of time --- so it would make sense if that is what the team plans to do tomorrow. However, you'd also assume that a lot of the more-injured guys, such as Locker and TE Michael Gottlieb, might not be asked to participate in a scrimmage on their first day back.

So maybe a lot of guys were being held out today so they can participate in a scrimmage Saturday. As for whether all the injuries are a big deal, like a lot of things surrounding this team, we may not really know until Aug. 30.

GAMETIME NEARING --- As I'm sure you're all aware, tomorrow marks two weeks until the first game. And no one on Montlake needs any reminding of who that first game is against. For my story tomorrow I touch on some of the factors surrounding the opener against Oregon, including defensive coordinator Ed Donatell saying it could be an advantage for the Huskies to have more time to prepare for the Ducks' intricate offense.

Lappano said it could help his unit, as well.

"They do a number of different things up front, play some three-down fronts, a nice little blitz package, that we can spend some time on, which is good because there were a couple of them late in the game that gave us a bit of a problem,'' he said. "From that aspect, it will be good to get some extra work on it.''

But Lappano also said that the fact that first opponent is Oregon, a team the Huskies play every year, mitigates the preparation advantage for either team a little bit.

"They know us,'' he said. "We know them.''

WHAT'S NEXT --- As mentioned earlier, the Huskies are scheduled for a split-squad practice, though the late time change indicates maybe it'lljust be one full-squad practice.

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