Even with Azeem Victor's, Huskies will find a way to get Beavers on the field regularly.
By now, you know all about Washington senior linebackers Keishawn Bierria and Azeem Victor.
Bierria, in the words of linebackers coach Bob Gregory, is the “alpha dog” of the defense. Victor is the hard-hitting fan favorite making a comeback from a broken leg. They’re entering their third year as a starting tandem, and they will almost certainly end their UW careers on the very short list of best inside linebackers in program history.
But behind them are two of the more underappreciated players on the team — DJ Beavers and Ben Burr-Kirven.
Beavers, as a redshirt freshman, filled in capably at middle linebacker when Victor was lost for the season last November. In his second career start, he had four tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the the Huskies’ Apple Cup rout of Washington State.
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Even with Victor back, Gregory plans to continue to find ways to get the 6-foot, 230-pound Beavers on the field.
“I think he’s totally underappreciated,” Gregory said. “I think he’s a really good, natural football player. He doesn’t run the fastest 40 and all that, but none of that stuff matters because he gets from Point A to Point B really fast on the football field. He’s a gifted, natural football player.”
Burr-Kirven, as Bierria’s backup, was sixth on the team last season with 44 tackles, and he will continue to be an integral part of the rotation and one of the most valuable guys on special teams.
A few notes and observations from a quiet Day 6 at UW fall camp:
— The Huskies were back inside Dempsey Indoor for a light 90-minute workout Saturday afternoon. Just like Day 1, they were in T-shirts with no helmets, no pads for what was essentially a walk-through, run largely at half speed. Thus, there aren’t many highlights to report.
— A good chunk of practice was devoted to specials teams coverages. Speaking of special teams, about a dozen guys have taken reps this week as kick returners: Myles Gaskin, Chico McClatcher, Austin Joyner, Sean McGrew, Byron Murphy, Jomon Dotson, Dante Pettis, Ralph Kinne, Quinten Pounds, Elijah Molden, Salvon Ahmed.
— There was some concern from a few fans during Friday’s open practice about Taylor Rapp, who was tended to by trainers for awhile. He appeared fine Saturday.
Reminder: The Huskies are hosting their annual Picture Day after practice on Sunday, starting at 3 p.m.