Coach Sark keeping practices closed
This spring the Washington Huskies have a whole lot of new leading up to the new NCAA football season this fall. For starters, coach Steve Sarkisian is keeping spring practices closed to the public.
The official word is that it is because of the construction going on with the renovations to Husky Stadium, but I personally think it has more to do with the three new defensive coaches that were recently hired.
With pretty much all of the defense getting retooled this off season, it is fairly smart for coach Sark to keep a lid on things. Who knows who will show up to these types of practices when they are open to the public.
It also makes sense to keep the practices closed, for the berating that the coaches will be putting on these players in an attempt to regain superiority on the defensive side of the ball, the biggest downfall for the Huskies this past year. (Some are saying it was the worst defense in the school’s history.)
What we do know
We do know that junior QB Keith Price is returning, as well as all four offensive linemen, and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. That will bring a huge sigh of relief to the Husky faithful, knowing that our potent offense will still be intact. The only problem now is finding a replacement for the super stud RB Chris Polk.
There are fourteen starters in all returning this year, seven on both sides of the ball. For the defensive returners, this could go either way.
Regardless, they will need to learn a whole new defensive set for the upcoming year.
New defensive philosophy
It is rumored that new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is implementing a 3-4 defense, instead of the traditional 4-3.
This could really help the pass defense, if the linebackers have the speed to cover the middle of the field, and will also take the strain off of the safeties in covering the middle.
This is all speculation at this point in time, and with the closed practices, we may not know anything until the first game of the season.
This is frustrating for fans, but it is ultimately the best thing for coach Sark and the rest of the team. They need to find their defensive identity all over again.
New recruits look strong
One thing that I touched on in the past was hoping that our recruits didn’t bail with the departure of former offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeir.
Nussmeir has recently signed on with the University of Alabama.
One recruit in particular, who had originally agreed with Washington, then backed out, then finally signed with the Huskies, is QB Cyler Miles. Miles was the MVP in the annual U.S. Army game, and almost didn’t sign with the Huskies after Nussmeir left.
Miles will no doubt be the QB of the future now that Nick Montana has left the team.
Other strong recruits for the Huskies are S Shaq Thompson, WR Jaydon Mickens, and RB Erich Wilson. All three originally committed to other Pac-12 programs, before changing their minds and opting for Washington.
With so many new things going on on the defensive side of the ball, this could be a shoot-out style team this year. The offense should be excellent again, but most of the question marks belong to the defense.
Hopefully coach Sark gets his guys on the same page by the season opener.
I don’t know about any of you, but I’m sick of watching other teams in the Rose Bowl year after year.
It is time that we made it back to our Bowl!