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Notes on the Washington Offense From Day Two of Practice

Washington Offense

Washington took the field for day two of Spring Practice inside Husky Stadium under the late afternoon lights, misty rain, and cold temperatures. It was a typical Pacific Northwest Spring day, but energy was high as players took the field. We got a great look at the Washington offense that included the quarterbacks and many of the skill-position players during. The running backs were going through drills near the media, and we also got a glimpse of some 11-on-11 scrimmage.

Quarterback Takeaways

The quarterbacks began practice with footwork passing drills and play-action passing drills. Will Rogers III takes all the first-team reps with the offense, as expected. He is clearly the leader of the group even though he is one of many new players on this Washington roster. But the gap between Rogers and Demond Williams Jr. might not be as large as anticipated. Williams Jr. continues to take all of the reps with the “second team.” That is in quotes largely because there isn’t a depth chart at this point. But he goes second in nearly every drill and scrimmage session behind Rogers. He looks the part of a former Elite 11 quarterback in doing so.

Williams Jr. had an impressive second practice for the Washington offense. He throws the best ball in the quarterback room and has the purest delivery of the three scholarship quarterbacks. Williams Jr. has a compact and quick throwing motion, and the football bounces out of his hand. He made a couple of impressive touch throws during route tree passing drills. But it was two plays that stood out during 11-on-11. 

The first of which was a pass to the near sideline. Williams Jr. stepped into the throw and drove it above the first level of the defense and over the cornerback guarding Luke Luchini. The football was on time and on target to the back shoulder of Luchini, who caught it on the run down the sideline. The pass looked like it came from a multi-year starter, but it was out of the hands of a true freshman. Shortly thereafter, the pocket broke down on the young quarterback during a pass play. He tucked the ball and eluded pressure, bouncing out of the pocket and cutting up field like a running back. The play turned heads on the sideline. We knew of his dual-threat capabilities, but this play showed his pure athleticism. 

One-Two Punch at Running Back

We also had an up-close look at the running backs who went through drills right in front of the media. Jonah Coleman continues to draw attention with his size at running back. He is listed at 5’-9” and 225 pounds and is every bit of that size. But the difference with Coleman is that he’s not just a bowling ball-type, physical running back who will run defenses over. He is explosive out of the backfield, hits holes hard, and can move laterally with quickness and burst upfield. There were a handful of plays during 11-on-11 drills where he took the handoff and was very quickly into the second level of the defense.

Rotating in with the starters was Cameron Davis. The sixth-year senior was sidelined for the entirety of last season due to an injury he suffered during last year’s fall camp. He is now healthy and practicing at what appears to be full capacity. Davis took some catches out of the backfield and some handoffs during practice. His running looked smooth and explosive. It appears that he and Coleman will be the two tailbacks slated to get the majority of the work out of the backfield for this Washington offense.

Notes on the Wide Receivers

There were three wide receivers that consistently ran with Rogers and the first team. The three were Rashid Williams, Giles Jackson, and Denzel Boston. Jackson was one of the support players at Washington’s Pro Day. He continues to show his ability to catch any pass in his vicinity. Over the first two days of practice, Jackson made some tough catches and I have yet to make note of a drop.

Boston had possibly the catch of the day in the corner of the end zone during the two-minute session at the end of practice. He ran an end zone route to the corner where Rogers placed a 50-50 ball above the cornerback’s head. Boston lept above the 6’-4” Ephesians Prysock and made an impressive contested catch. The team erupted from the sidelines after the play.

Another note from the notebook is that California transfer Jeremiah Hunter has been running almost exclusively with Williams Jr. at quarterback and the rest of the “second team-ers.” Hunter was the leading receiver for the Golden Bears in each of the last two seasons. He is poised to be one of the main targets for Rogers this season. But this receiver room is looking very talented with Boston and Jackson. Both of whom had to play behind a trio of future NFL wide receivers last season. It’s probably not worth over-analyzing when Hunter takes the field in the Spring, but worth noting. It’s likely just a rotational exercise for the Washington offense right now to get as many guys as many reps as possible.

Punt Return Team

Washington ran special teams drills at the end of practice and we were able to get eyes on the punt return team. There were four players receiving punts for Washington. That included Jackson, Hunter, Keith Reynolds, and Indiana transfer Jordan Shaw. The group didn’t have any issues fielding punts during Washington’s second practice.


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