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

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August 26, 2008 4:51 PM

Lappano: Locker "really, really close to 100 percent''

Posted by Bob Condotta

UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano just met the media here for his weekly session and said that quarterback Jake Locker is improving rapidly and that he is "really, really close to 100 percent.

"I think he's really good,'' Lappano said. "He's lost all the bleeding in the back of his leg. That's all gone.''

While the team hasn't practiced since Saturday, Lappano said Locker has had "two good days'' in workouts.

"He worked on it today on the treadmill and he's feeling pretty fine,'' Lappano said. "Attitude-wise, you can tell he's pretty confident in it.''

During the team's most recent practices, Lappano said Locker "pushed it a little bit, more than I wanted. I tried to blow the whistle butt he wouldn't stop on the damn thing. I blow the whistle so fast and he just keeps going a little bit. But I think he's pretty good.''

Asked if Locker would have a normal week of practice, Lappano said, "I think this week is back to normal. Full speed ahead, let's go.''

In a few other notes from Lappano:

--- Lappano reiterated how well Ronnie Fouch played in Locker's absence and when asked if there was a chance Fouch could play this season, he said "there could.'' He then noted the 12-game schedule spread over 15 weeks and how taxing that could be and said "you could see some Ronnie Fouch.''

--- Asked about WR Jordan Polk, Lappano praised his "instant quickness'' and "instant acceleration'' and said "we call him lightning in a bottle because he's done some really good things in this camp.'' Lappano said Polk has shown an ability to make defenders miss in tight space.

--- Asked about the TB position, Lappano said that the team will have a rotation of three on Saturday night. Chris Polk is obviously one of them and so likely is Brandon Johnson, likely leaving David Freeman and Willie Griffin as one of the other two. But Lappano said that was still uncertain. He said he didn't want to rotate more than three tailbacks, thinking none of them would get enough carries with a larger rotation. He added that he doesn't forsee any of UW tailbacks getting 25 carries in a game anytime soon since coaches want to avoid getting anyone beat up early.

--- While just three TBs may get carries against Oregon, Lappano said there could be "six or seven'' tailbacks that get carries before the year is out, so doesn't sound as if concrete redshirt decisions will be made on any of the tailbacks anytime soon.

-- Asked about Chris Polk's blocking, something the player has admitted needs work, Lappano said "I like him because he's willing. He's willing to put his face on you.'' He said all the team's tailbacks "are willing and that's a start.''

--- Lappano said he envisions six receivers getting playing time against Oregon, the four listed on the depth chart plus two others (one of whom figures to be Jordan Polk).

--- Lappano said the offensive line "is better than we were a year ago'' one of the reasons he said he has a quiet confidence about this team. "That, along with Jake Locker, is the strength of this team.''

--- Lappano said junior transfer Nick Scott from Drake (who got a waiver to be immediately eligible due to a family situation) has lost 20 pounds since camp began and has played really well the last week to earn the backup spot at left tackle. "We were a little thin there so that's been a nice addition,'' he said.

--- Asked about the matchup against Oregon's highly-touted secondary, Lappano said the one thing it will do is indicate where the Husky receiving corps is in its progress. Saying that Oregon's secondary is one of the best in the nation, he added that "obviously if we have success against them, we're pretty good.''

--- Finally, he said that while there is a lot of youth in key spots, he thinks those players will be up to the task Saturday. Lappano said he has seen the young players play well in scrimmages and practice so "there is no reason they shouldn't be able to do it with the lights on.''


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