Health, secrecy change end game

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comApril 20, 2013 

SEATTLE — The end of spring is here. At least for the University of Washington football team.

The Huskies will hold their 15th and final practice of the spring at 4 p.m. today in Seattle’s Memorial Stadium.

“I think our energy has been very good,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian said. “Sometimes spring ball can get a little monotonous.”

Traditionally, this is the slot for the spring game to take place. There will be no formal game this season.

Washington instead will mix four scrimmage segments into its usual practice drills, much like it did at last Saturday’s practice. It will also invite fans to participate in different aspects of the practice, such as choosing a play to be run.

In addition, Sarkisian said there will be kicking and throwing competitions, plus red-zone and two-minute situational work during the scrimmages.

There are multiple reasons for the conservative approach. First, Washington has several dinged up players it needs to be cautious with. From running back Bishop Sankey, who sat out one recent practice but was in there Thursday, to offensive lineman Shane Brostek plus a handful of others, the Huskies have minor injuries to manage. Quarterbacks will be in their uniforms, but will not be

allowed to be part of live contact.

Washington is trying to avoid what has befallen Arizona this spring. Star wide receiver Austin Hill tore his ACL and will be out for the season. The Huskies are trying to manage their health into the right place.

Another facet is secrecy. The Huskies are working on a new up-tempo offensive approach. They’re not going to show much of the plan in public, let alone during an event that will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Today will also give fans their first look at incumbent starting quarterback Keith Price this spring. There was conjecture before spring practices that Price’s job might be in jeopardy after his dismal end to the 2012 season. That has not been the case.

Price has worked with the starting unit throughout the spring and looked crisp for most of it. It appears redshirt freshman Cyler Miles is the clear No. 2 quarterback, and Jeff Lindquist is the No. 3. But Sarkisian has not named the backup quarterback, saying that he doesn’t have to because it’s the spring.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas

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