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

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August 12, 2008 8:40 PM

Husky nightcap, day nine

Posted by Bob Condotta

A recap of the day that was:

WHAT HAPPENED --- The Huskies held one practice, going in full pads in the afternoon.

THE BIG STORY --- Another day, another injury. this one to tight end Michael Gottlieb, who suffered a hamstring injury on Monday.

Interestingly, Gottlieb described the injury this way: "It's similar to Jake's (Locker). I just tweaked my hamstring a little bit, but not as severe. I should be back in a couple of days.'' UW coach Tyrone Willingham, meanwhile, hinted that Gottlieb's was worse than Locker's while saying that Locker could be back any day.

Either way, that meant that the Huskies practiced today without three projected offensive starters heading into the year --- Gottlieb, Locker and Brandon Johnson --- with Juan Garcia also still not 100 percent (though admittedly way ahead of where anyone thought). Throw in the depature of Curtis Shaw and the loss of E.J. Savannah, and that's six potential starters in varying states of unavailablity at the moment.

Considering that all but Shaw and Savannah could be back or healthy soon, it's too soon to panic. But this is a team with little margin for error, and with each day lost to injury for a key player, that margin gets a little slimmer.

Also out today were Brandon Yakaboski (hip flexor), DB Anthony Gobern (leg) and CB Byron Davenport (ankle).

THE BIG STORY, NO. 2 --- The apparently temporary loss of Gottlieb means a new starter at TE for a little while, and Willingham said that as of today, that would be fifth-year senior Walt Winter. Winter was one of the more highly-rated recruits of the Class of 2004 but has struggled to find his niche, starting out on defense, then moving to tight end.

But Willingham said the wait may finally be paying off for Winter.

"Walt has been a very good receiver the entire time he has been (a tight end),'' Willingham said. "Now he's starting to show some signs at being better at all the other responsibilities at tight end, and that comes with experience. He's starting to know things and understand things. He still has some growing to do, but I like where he is going.''

The injury to Gottlieb could also open the door for Kavario Middleton to get into the mix. Willingham said Middleton is having a good camp. "He has not disappointed,’’ Willingham said.

BACK IN THE SWING --- Talked to Chancellor Young for a little while today seeing how his return to football has been going. With Shaw leaving, there is even a greater chance for Young to see the field as a receiver.

Young said he thinks it's going well, something WR coach Charlie Baggett also said, saying Young has had some good moments. He's playing both inside and outside at WR and his size (6-0, 220 pounds) makes him one of UW's biggest receivers.

"I'm just trying to get the rust off,'' he said. "But it's not too bad. I've got the feeling now like I know what to expect.''

I asked him if he'd taken a big hit yet to get reacquainted with that feeling and he said no.

"We haven't really been like 'just let it go' yet because we're trying to keep everybody up,'' he said. "The banging hasn't been too bad.''

QUESTION OF THE DAY --- A reader asked today "Is it just me, or have the Huskies had an abnormally large amount of personnel issues so far with ineligibility and injuries compared to other teams and past years?''

A: That's a little hard to answer since I don't follow other teams as closely to really know how many personnel issues they have. I know USC and UCLA have also had QB issues, WSU just lost one of its best receivers for up to two months, OSU had a safety leave the team shortly before the season, etc. In other words, every team has issues, they can just often seem magnified when they happen to your team. That said, as mentioned above, this is an unusually young team without a lot of experience that needs all the practice time together it can get. And obviously losing playmakers like Savannah and Shaw hurts a team with this many personnel issues. As for the injuries, we basically need to see what team lines up on Aug. 30 before we answer that.

WHAT'S NEXT ---The Huskies are scheduled for two practices today, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

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Posted by BigDog

9:40 PM, Aug 12, 2008

Bob, What's a realistic timeline for Jake to be back at practice and expect him to be the starter at OR? Anyone else's thoughts?

Posted by Formerly Guest

10:07 PM, Aug 12, 2008

Bob,
Where is Izbibki fitting in and looking right now, with Gottlieb hurt?

Thanks.

Posted by dawgfan

10:07 PM, Aug 12, 2008

The 2008 Huskies - No excitement, No buzz, and no chance of a successull season.

What a joke this program has become.

Posted by paul

10:07 PM, Aug 12, 2008

I will say he rests this week as no need to rush him back because the season is so long. I would imagine he is back sat/sun/mon. This would still give him 7to 9 days to still prepare for Oregon.

Any news on when we will here if Noble passed the California Exam?

Posted by shooting treys

10:15 PM, Aug 12, 2008

With Jake Locker out, how does this affect the development of the WR? In the last post I asked about the WR learning load. How does a different QB affect that learning curve? If reps with a QB are important . . . are reps with a "different" QB going to throw off their learning curve? I suppose they'll still be learning blocking, sight adjustments and press coverage stuff.

Posted by BoiseTruth

11:32 PM, Aug 12, 2008


FG,

"Where is Izbibki fitting in "

Izbicki's the most competitive TE we have. No one can drink more, or faster than that guy. That sum bitch can just get it done. I'll bet Buford T. Justice is preparing for some "hot pursuit " as we speak. -oops for Bob? - please disregard

Posted by Tarn

12:36 AM, Aug 13, 2008

I would like some information about Tripper Johnson and how he is doing in fall camp. He could be a sleeper...

Posted by Pessy Miss Tic

1:13 AM, Aug 13, 2008

How many injuries can this team take?

My god, we're doomed.

Posted by Opto Mystic

1:15 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Relax.

This simply helps build depth.

Young blood is what we need. Less years of negativity.

Posted by Husky Fan In New York

6:27 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Two things.

#1, I'm sick of hearing about how young this team is. It's pretty young but only at DL, WR, and RB. It's veteran at FB, TE, OL, LB, DB, Punter, and somewhat veteran at QB and K.

#2 Guys aren't going out with long-term injuries. Locker and Gottlieb have minor hammy issues. Johnson is working his way back from off-season knee surgery. Even Garcia, who was thought to be lost for the year, is WAY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE. Shaw was not a projected starter and still could be back.

People need to relax.

Posted by HarborDawg

6:48 AM, Aug 13, 2008

From Striker @ 7:19 PM, Aug 12, 2008

"Word is that Fouch has been more accurate than Jake and is spreading the ball around to all of the receivers and not focusing in on 1 or 2 like Jake does.

Fouch may not have the explosive speed of Locker but he is fast enough to get out of trouble and make teams account for him.

Plus he doesn't make all those bonehead turnovers like Jake. Best chance for victory at Oregon is Fouch. He has the respect of his teammates."

Congratulations Striker, that is right up there with the top 10 most retarded posts ever placed here.

Posted by purpledawgz

7:15 AM, Aug 13, 2008

17 days... 8/30/2008

So many Chicken Littles on this board. It's as if the prognostication of the 2008 Pac-10 rankings has started this team out with a handicap they cannot overcome. Guess what, Husky Fans--everybody's record is 0-0 right now. We are tied with U$C, UG, and tOSU. Even Oregon, despite the "statistical" or "on-paper" likelihood that they will beat us in Eugene, cannot boast a better record than us yet. They, too, are 0-0.

The only potential handicap this team has is its mental stability. Considering the fight, desire, and passion from the returning players, and the buzz and optimism I read from the new recruits and assistant coaches, they are mentally ready. As such, I submit another item in the always growing countdown of the...

TOP 30 REASONS THE DAWGS WILL GO BOWLING IN 2008

30. Chocolate Milk Does a Team Good (Fore!!!!!! - 7/28)
29. 5th Quarter Conditioning (Monday afternoon links - 7/28)
28. Redshirt Freshman = Last Years Scout Team (July questions, take six 7/29)
27. At Least One Weather Assisted-Win (Thursday links 7/31)
26. Passion and Purpose Are Back (On those darn second halves - 7/31)
25. Tim Lappanos Options (Monday A.M. links - 8/4)
24. Sleeper Bullets (Monday A.M. links - 8/4)
23. JD Williams Makes Monsters Out of Men (Monday A.M. links - 8/4)
22. Husky Stadium Rocks at 135 dB (More thoughts on Savannah 8/4)
21. Defense Has Nowhere to Go But Up (Wednesday morning links - 8/6)
20. Chris Polk = Purple and Gold Reggie Bush (Thursday morning links - 8/7)
19. Baggetts New Crew Does It Too (Husky nightcap, day four - 8/7)
18. Return of Neuheisel (Monday A.M. practice notes - 8/11)
17. Special Teams Now Special for Right Reasons (Monday A.M. practice notes - 8/11)
16. 3-4 Defense Surprises Early Opponents (Monday A.M. practice notes - 8/11)
15. Coach Willingham Pulls-Out All the Stops (Husky nightcap, Aug. 11 edition - 8/11)

14. Linebackers Pick-up Slack Perhaps with the loss of Savannah, this post may not pack quite the punch it would have a few weeks ago with some of you. But, I will write it as if he were starting against Stanford (basically missing the first three weeks and using the first bye week to sneak back into the rotation). After all, he could come back at any time" and I am not about to count anybody down-and-out who isn't officially.

So why the hype surrounding the 3-4 defense? Why rely on an extra linebacker? Who are these guys that are going to make a difference? Ladies and gentlemen, your list of linebackers most likely to stand-out:

Butler
Gage
Stevens
Dennison
Foster
Houston
Roussel
Savannah
Tuiasosopo

Obviously Savannah is a key strength in the group. But, there are plenty of other quality players on the 2-deep that have seen playing time, fought in the trenches, and performed when needed. That doesn't even mention that one of the redshirt freshmen (Dennison) I recall being a "Scout Team Player of the Week" at least once last year. There is talent, experience, and tenacity in this group.

The real beauty with the linebackers is that whether or not Savannah is healthy and has his academic issues cleared-up, I can imagine this group getting the same kind of rotation that the D-Line is expected to receive--constantly moving guys on-and-off the field, keeping players fresh, and getting everybody reps. The big difference is that there is already more experience in that rotation than in the D-Line.

I have the same optimism at LB that I do at many of the other positions, particularly the defensive ones. They practice against guys like Locker, C. Polk, Kravitz, and Homer every day. They are learning against some of the best, and that will only elevate their game when they go to compete.

As an aside that I will quickly bring back to topic, I see this team being very much like the Husky Men's Basketball Team of 2003-2004. A few names of note, but really a team of kids that everybody is writing-off as too young and not ready to take the next step. In fact, the season may have a similar feel. I remember when the men started off 0-5 in Pac-10 play. It was a frustrating and disheartening beginning to conference play. This year, the football team could wind-up 0-3 to start. (I'm not expecting that, but would not be shocked, just disappointed). But, if the youth catches up to the experience and the team gels within those first three games, even winning one or two while doing so, this team could rattle off an impressive streak and make some noise in the conference.

So, in closing for today, I'll provide you with some analogies between our football team's positions and the players that made-up that UW "Redeem" Team of 2003-2004. Are they more eerily similar than you thought? You be the judge:

QB = Nate Robinson - The flash, the star, the x-factor
RB/FB = Brandon Roy - The all-around contributor whose full potential has yet to be seen
OL = Curtis Allen - The veteran leadership
WR = Tre Simmons - The outside danger that can't be ignored
TE = Mike Jensen - Can compete low (blocking), or can knock 'em down from outside (run routes)
DL = Anthony Washington / Hakeem Rollins - Strong, forceful role players that rotated a lot and relied on their team to help
CB/S = Will Conroy - Versatile, solid, smart, and a chip on his shoulder

And last but not least, since this topic is about the linebackers:

LB = Bobby Jones - The underrated workhorse who contributes way more than statistics show

So there you have it. I see these LB's as the "Bobby Jones" of the team. Never will they garner the same attention as Locker when analysts discuss the Huskies, or maybe even some of the RB's as they become known commodities. But, on any given night they will do their job, do it well, and leave nothing on the field... except maybe an opponent who got "shaken-up" on the play...

Posted by jimmyg

7:52 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Bob
Will ty pump in noise to simulate crowd noise this year?
Jimmy g

Posted by G Udub

7:56 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Not sure if you guys caught this, but Roy Lewis has been fairly impressive over at Steeler's camps. They think he might be a dark horse.

It's noted down mid-page on August 4th.

http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/blogngold/default.aspx

Posted by Formerly Guest

8:06 AM, Aug 13, 2008

BT,

My question was how is Izbicki fitting in into the rotation, not how he fits in into society in bucolic Hazzard County.

But I like your thoughts.

PurpleDawgz,
Thanks for your entry on the list. I get what you are saying about we may very well be 0-3 but then catch fire. I think the game that will decide the season- as well as the future of two different head coaches- is week 5 at UA.

Posted by Husky Fan In New York

8:17 AM, Aug 13, 2008

I think we are going to start at least 1 and 2. I don't see how we're going to lose to BYU at home.

Posted by Striker

8:22 AM, Aug 13, 2008

I think we will start 2-1, if Fouch plays at Oregon. Locker can come back after the bye week and be a situational runner because we all know that he likes to throw it to the other team as much as his own.

Posted by Striker

8:25 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Our best game last year was the win against Cal.

Where was Locker? On the sidelines.

We won the game because Bonnell didn't turn it over and he played within the team concept. He didn't try to do it all by himself.

Posted by HUGE Husky Fan!!!

8:32 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Just think, if Locker is out on 8/30, we have a built in excuse for getting our tails kicked! We're going to lose regardless, so this is a perfect scenario!

Posted by BoiseTruth

8:33 AM, Aug 13, 2008


FG

Not (the imitation) Sheriff Roscoe P. (Purvis) Coltrane. The (real deal) Sheriff Buford T. Justice. You were close though. :)

Posted by Caldwag

8:38 AM, Aug 13, 2008

NY Fan and Purple, you guys are right on the mark. I don't care what has gone down in the past, how many injuries, this is a new season. If you can't start the season optimistically why bother. Sure some will say you need to be realistic as well. I agree, but remember you are talking about 19, 20 year olds. think back to when you were that age. So many things could effect your mental state, broke up with girl friend, having a tough Prof. etc. Along with talent you have to have passion and the correct mental state. At the beginning of the season if the coaches have done their job they guys should be ready mentally. And they should be optimistic and ready to surprise. I am hearing the right kinds of statements from the team and the coaches that add to my optimism. I look at every season with rose covered glasses. Last year I thought we could get 7 wins. We didn't. You should have, could have but we didn't. I think we have more talent both on the field and on the sidelines then we did last year. More important I think these guys are ready to win. I really believe we can win 8 games this year. Will we? Don't know. That is why the games are played. Remember Ap State. And Go DAWGS.

Posted by boondawg

8:49 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Striker- I think the main reason we won the Cal game was because we ran the ball all over their team. Surely you're not suggesting that Bonnell was better than locker.

Posted by Striker

9:04 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Maybe not better, but certainly more efficient.

Locker's turnovers cost us many games last year.

Posted by Seattle Dave

9:26 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Dude, please be serious. We won the Cal game because our strength (OL) matched up well with their weakness (dpeleted DL) and Rankin and Johnson racked up 345 yards on the ground. Bonnell went 7 for 19 passing in that game. CB was a valuable backup who was smart enough to go along with the game plan, he was not a better passer than Locker. Go look at the numbers.

I defy you to point to the "many" games Locker "lost with his turnovers". Which specific "many" games are you talking about?

Posted by I give up

9:27 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Either way, that meant that the Huskies practiced today without three projected offensive starters heading into the year --- Gottlieb, Locker and Brandon Johnson --- with Juan Garcia also still not 100 percent (though admittedly way ahead of where anyone thought). Throw in the depature of Curtis Shaw and the loss of E.J. Savannah, and that's six potential starters in varying states of unavailablity at the moment.

Just great news, and the season hasn't even started yet. Anyone want to buy my set of season tickets?

Posted by boondawg

9:27 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Striker- I agree that they certainly didn't help but we were competitive in most of our games and if our defense wasn't so atrocious than we could have notched at few more wins. That, to me, was the biggest issue last year - defense. Just think if our defense could have held off Arizona, WSU, and Hawaii, we would be in a much different situation today.

Posted by I give up on the Huskies

9:28 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Either way, that meant that the Huskies practiced today without three projected offensive starters heading into the year --- Gottlieb, Locker and Brandon Johnson --- with Juan Garcia also still not 100 percent (though admittedly way ahead of where anyone thought). Throw in the depature of Curtis Shaw and the loss of E.J. Savannah, and that's six potential starters in varying states of unavailablity at the moment.

Just great news, and the season hasn't even started yet. Anyone want to buy my set of season tickets?

Posted by Sittingdawg

9:45 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Pretty sure everyone is kidding, but if anyone really is selling their season tickets, I'll buy them. hkytks11@yahoo.com. Then at least someone who will be rooting FOR the Huskies, and not against them, will be filling seats.

And I'm not concerned about the duplicate tickets issue because anyone dumb enough to sell copies of their own tickets would obviously have to deal with me every game.

Posted by Formerly Guest

10:53 AM, Aug 13, 2008

BT,
Thanks. I feel like an idiot. Kind of like Big Enis.

Recent entries

Aug 13, 08 - 12:47 PM
Afternoon update

Aug 13, 08 - 11:05 AM
Youth movement at receiver

Aug 13, 08 - 09:32 AM
Wednesday A.M. practice update

Aug 12, 08 - 08:40 PM
Husky nightcap, day nine

Aug 12, 08 - 04:24 PM
On those duplicate tickets

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