After quarterback Jack Browning and running back Myles Gaskins, UW lacks proven stars on offense. Meanwhile, the defense is loaded at nearly every position.

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Washington’s Sept. 3 opener against Rutgers is still five months away.

So there’s no better time for the Husky coordinators to experiment than during the spring when they have 15 two-hour practices to install new plays, tweak old ideas and learn about players.

“There are some tweaks that we’re taking a look at for sure,” UW offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith said following Wednesday’s practice. “Sometimes it doesn’t look very good and you’d rather find out during the spring than in the fall.”

One of Smith’s top priorities during the spring is finding ways to bolster a pedestrian attack that ranked ninth in the Pac-12 last season in total offense (403.1 yards per game), rushing (163.8) and passing (239.2).

The Huskies discovered stars in the making in freshman quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin. However, there’s questions about a receiving corps that lacks a proven star.

The Huskies lost their top two pass catchers from last season in Jaydon Mickens (58 catches and 692 yards) and tight end Joshua Perkins (36 and 539). The top returning receiver is Dante Pettis, who had 30 receptions for 414 yards.

Washington also gets back junior John Ross III, who sat out last year with a knee injury and had 17 catches for 371 yards in 2014.

“That’s part of the emphasis here in the spring is to find out who is going to make some plays on the outside and who’s going to create those plays on the outside,” Smith said.

As might be expected, Washington’s offense has fallen a bit behind the defense in terms of the playmaking department. After three practices, the UW offensive starters have yet to score a touchdown during an 11-on-11 drill.

Meanwhile, a UW defense that returns eight starters from a unit that led the Pac-12 last year in points (18.8) and yards (351.8) allowed looks to be in midseason form.

“Guys are more comfortable with their assignments and their alignments and what they’re supposed to do,” defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said. “Any time a quarterback goes and changes a play (at the line of scrimmage), we have the ability to change it or play it.”

The synchronization between the three levels of the defense has been at times extraordinary during the first week of spring drills.

All three starters on the defensive line (Elijah Qualls, Jaylen Johnson and Greg Gaines) started at least one game last year. Linebackers Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria led UW in tackles last year and four of the top five defensive backs (cornerbacks Sidney Jones, Darren Gardenhire and Kevin King and free safety Budda Baker) return.

The new defensive starters include linebacker Psalm Wooching and strong safety Jojo McIntosh – both played in all 13 games as backups last season.

As good as the Huskies were defensively last year, Kwiatkowski expects they’ll be even better in 2016.

“We talk about last year was last year and that’s in the past,” he said. “That’s about it. That’s all we talk about. It’s about getting better today.”