Budda Baker's interception in the end zone highlights Monday's practice inside Husky Stadium.
Who: Full-squad workout for spring practice No. 13 in Husky Stadium
Gear: Helmets only
Weather: Beautiful and sunny
Quarterback quick reads:
— It was a decent day for the quarterbacks. All three had some nice moments (and some not-so-nice moments) during passing and situational periods:
The good: Jake Browning made two nice throws to find Jaydon Mickens across the middle for two first downs during 11-on-11 drills (on the second, Mickens made a nice adjustment to haul in the low throw). … Jeff Lindquist had the prettiest throw of the day, zipping a pass across the field to Max Richmond on a long out route for a 25-yard gain during a 7-on-7 drill. … K.J. Carta-Samuels determination and decisiveness on run options is one of his more subtle strengths. If UW coaches want the read-option as part of the offense, KJCS can be an asset in that regard (Lindquist, we know, can too).
The bad: After a full-padded (closed) practice Saturday with some periods of live tackling, Monday was a lighter day. Still, the offense remained out of sorts at times and failed to get into the end zone on any of the three main team periods. To be fair, one of those three was dedicated to third-down situations, but the offense managed just four first downs on 15 third-down plays, two each on passes by Lindquist and Carta-Samuels. There were three drops by receivers, one by a walk-on after safety Ezekiel Turner smacked the ball out of the receiver’s hands; CB Brandon Lewis caught the loose ball for an interception.
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— Budda Baker had the highlight of the day when he leaped for an over-the-shoulder interception of Browning in the end zone on a pass intended for Marvin Hall during the final team period.
— Browning, on that final two-minute drive, had driven the offense about 40 yards down to the defense’s 33-yard line. Two plays before Baker’s pick, Browning made a nice play-action fake and found Hall open on the right sideline for a 26-yard gain.
— Linebackers totaled four sacks during team periods, with walk-on Matt Preston coming through the line untouched for a touch sack of Carta-Samuels on the final play of the day. Psalm Wooching had two sacks and Scott Lawyer (in video above) and Cory Littleton combined on another..
— Redshirt freshman DT Vita Vea was the one notable addition to the unofficial injury list. He wore a brace on his right knee and did not practice. The severity of the injury is unclear.
— Junior DB Kevin King did some light work in at least one drill, the most he’s participated all spring. Sophomore OL Andrew Kirkland (ankle) also did some light work in position drills but didn’t participate in any team periods.
— The rest of the regulars out: senior LG Dexter Charles, sophomore LB Keishawn Bierria, senior LB Travis Feeney, junior S Trevor Walker, sophomore CB Jermaine Kelly and sophomore OT Coleman Shelton, redshirt freshman OL John Turner.
Elijah Qualls is taking over for Danny Shelton at nose tackle, and Qualls is also in the running to take over for Shelton as the most entertaining interview.
Qualls, all 305 pounds of him, said he is hoping to get some touches on offense at some point and he’s lobbying coaches “all the time” to that end. Qualls played running back and fullback in high school (watch this fun highlight reel) and believes he could be an asset in short yardage situations. “Just give me the ball and I’ll carry people for four or five yards and, hey, I’ll get us that first down,” he said.
Qualls on the defense’s shift to more of a 3-4 front: “I get more double and triple teams. … I’m not going to say I don’t like it. We talked about it today actually, just embracing the struggle. That’s what our job is, to take those double and triple teams. That’s what my life is and I’m going to work to be the best at it. … Whatever they need me to do, I’m going to try my best to be the best at it.”
Qualls on the defense in general this spring: “I feel really good about our defense. A big issue that we actually had Saturday was the fact that we missed a lot of tackles last season, and the season before. … We have a lot of young minds and they are very adaptive to what’s going on and they take coaching very well. So I feel like that’s something we’re going to be a lot better at. We swarm to the ball, that’s for sure. That’s one thing that we do very well — we swarm to the ball. So once we learn to get that tackling and get someone down as soon as we tackle them, we’re going to be a really good defense.”
Next: The Huskies will practice Wednesday morning, their last before Saturday’s Spring Preview at Husky Stadium. The event begins at noon and is open to the public. It will also air on the Pac-12 Networks.