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A look at Washington's third practice

8/9/2012

SEATTLE -- Here is a quick-hitting look at Washington’s third day of fall camp.

Recruiting update

Junior college offensive lineman Nic Purcell, who is set to begin his second season at Golden West Community College in Huntington Beach, Calif., spent a second day watching Washington’s practice, getting to see the Huskies put on shoulder pads for this first time this season.

A ‘teachable moment’

Quarterback Keith Price dropped back to pass. With the pocket collapsing, he tried to make a play. He held onto the ball too long.

When the play was over, he heard about his mistake from Washington coach Steve Sarkisian. It was a “teachable moment,” a chance in camp to emphasize a point that the Huskies want to minimize sacks and reduce unnecessary hits.

Sarkisian knows that, when games start, instincts take over. It’s better to press the point early in camp.

“Keith has a unique ability to extend plays,” Sarkisian said. “We all know that. We saw it for a season last year. But he also had some plays where he tried to extend too long and put us in some tough situations.”

While he learns lessons in camp, Price joked that he endured a few hard hits that helped hammer the point home last season.

“When you get hit a couple of times, get nicked up a couple times, you start to understand that,” Price said.

“A lot of quarterbacks have that issue, just trying to make a play. Sometimes you just have to be able to burn the ball and just live to see another play.”

Managing intensity

Sarkisian said he doesn’t want to take away linebacker Nate Fellner's “stinger.”

At the same time, though, he won’t tolerate late hits and avoidable penalties. After a late hit on Day 3, Feller heard about the mistake.

“He’s a physical player,” Sarkisian said. “We love that about him. That’s why we moved him to linebacker. But dumb penalties are dumb penalties. We have to eliminate them.”

Freshman QB Cyler Miles shows impressive poise

The third day of fall camp is always one of the most difficult for young quarterbacks.

In addition to learning the offense at an accelerated pace, they put their pads on for the first time. The intensity elevates. When the team works on its red zone offense, the field shrinks. Open passing windows close quickly. The pressure mounts.

Faced with that situation Wednesday, freshman Cyler Miles handled it well. He connected with Cody Bruns and Josh Perkins for touchdowns, making an early impression on Sarkisian.

“Cyler did some things today that were pretty impressive,” Sarkisian said. “I think he shows a great deal of composure for a young guy.”

WR Cody Bruns does it all

One of the most consistent players throughout the first three days of camp has been receiver Cody Bruns.

In addition to catching passes, he threw for a touchdown. Sarkisian joked that he could probably put the 5-foot-11, 183-pound senior on the offensive line and he would still make plays. He even went so far to compare Bruns to former Major League baseball player Steve Lyons.

“You’d look up, he’s at first,” Sarkisian said. “He’s in right field. He’d get on the mound and pitch. And that’s how Cody feels to me. He just kind of does cool stuff that, for us, is fun because we can put him in spots and trust him.”

Kicker Travis Coons shows off big leg

One of the bigger questions facing Washington coming into fall was who would step into the void filled by the graduation of kicker Erik Folk.

Junior college transfer Travis Coons made a case for the job after drilling a 53-yard field goal Wednesday.

“Travis had a great day today,” Sarkisian said.