Browning has added 14 pounds, but says improved technique should help him become a more effective passer on long throws.
Notes and observations from Day 2 at Washington football fall camp — updated 6:19 p.m.
Who: Huskies veterans were on hand for a practice in the morning on the east practice field adjacent to Husky Stadium; newcomers worked out in the afternoon.
Gear: Helmets, jerseys, shorts (no pads).
Weather: Overcast skies and mid 60 degrees.
— Junior cornerback Sidney Jones snared an interception from quarterback Jake Browning in the first team session during a drill that featured the offensive and defensive starters.
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— However, backup safety Brandon Beaver delivered what might have been the play of the day when he raced to the sideline to haul in an interception before stepping out. Browning attempted to throw to receiver John Ross III who was blanketed by cornerback Jordan Miller.
— The defensive line also had a good day and finished with at least two sacks from Elijah Qualls and DJ Beavers.
— UW quarterbacks and receivers had a few standout plays during a 1-on-1 passing drill. Connor Griffin made a nice catch on an intermediate out route against safety Budda Baker. Meanwhile, Nik Little outraced Bush to retrieve a long pass on the sideline.
— It’s difficult to evaluate the progress of the running game, but tailback Myles Gaskin wiggled free for a couple of long gains while backup Lavon Coleman had the longest run of the morning when he broke through the right side of the line for a long pickup.
— Browning, who weighed 195 pounds last year as a freshman, is listed at 209. “I feel like I’m faster and in better shape,” he said. “Go through a year and a half of workouts you don’t have any choice, but to get in better shape.”
— The added weight and improve strength has helped Browning throw deep. However, he added that his technique is much better than last year. Browning on his deep ball: “That kind of got away from me. I feel like I’ve always had a good deep ball all my life and I felt like last year that got away from me a little bit just because I was hopping around a little too much. I go to keep my feet on the ground, keep my feet alive and stay low and not come up. It’s little things like that help more than strength.”
— And Browning admitted it’s equally frustrating and challenging going against the UW defense each day. He said: “This is probably the best secondary we went against last year. I don’t know about this year (because) it’s a new year. … They’re deep. The twos and threes hop in and those are still guys that can play. It’s hard. It’s not easy. They don’t hand you anything, but that’s good. We wouldn’t want it any other way.”
— The second day of fall practice was more of the same for the Huskies with the offense having difficulty moving the ball through the air against a vaunted secondary.
— There were a few notable absences in the morning workout including inside linebacker Azeem Victor, tight end Will Drissly and defensive back Darren Gardenhire. All three were present in the afternoon and worked out with the newcomers.
— Jones sat out the final few minutes of practice and received medical attention on the sidelines for an apparent foot injury.
— Sophomore Ben Burr-Kirven took most of the reps for Victor at inside linebacker. With Jones sidelined and Gardenhire out, redshirt freshman Dustin Bush and Miller received a lot of time with the No. 1 secondary.
— The Huskies mixed the No. 1 offensive line, but there’s no indication the starters are still Trey Adams, Jake Eldrenkamp, Coleman Shelton, Shane Brostek and Andrew Kirkland (from left to right).
— Senior Bowl scout Phil Savage attended the morning practice.
— In the afternoon, 5-foot-7 freshman running back Sean McGrew stood out more than anyone else due to his exceptionally quick feet, amazing balance and jitterbug running style. The offense fared much better during this session although outside linebacker Benning Potoa’e thrilled sideline observers with a diving interception on a pass from quarterback Blake Gregory. Freshman quarterback Daniel Bridge-Gadd had a pair of nice throws. He scrambled left before connecting with Quinten Pounds on a deep ball on the sidelines. Bridge-Gadd also threw a quick strike across the middle to Dissly who came up with the grab in traffic before running away from defenders. It must be noted that safety Ezekiel Turner pulled up and might have otherwise leveled the big tight end during a game situation.