SEATTLE — On Monday, it was Jake Browning who drew attention. Come Wednesday, there was a bit of a fascination with Jake Haener.
The redshirt freshman quarterback, who is Browning’s backup, took quite a few reps in what was arguably Washington’s most unorthodox practice this spring. Rain and wind forced practice to start inside the Dempsey Indoor Center before the rest finished outside.
UW’s defense opened spring by being the stronger side yet the offense was better Monday. As for Wednesday, it was more of a split.
Who’s on the mend
Redshirt junior cornerback Austin Joyner was out again with an undisclosed injury. He didn’t participate Monday either but was still on the sidelines. Joyner aside, it’s still the same players as before who are recovering from long-term ailments they suffered last season.
Browning’s arm still looks strong. He went a combined 5-for-6 with nine rushing yards in the first 11-on-11 session. He also showed a little more mobility on an option. He was 4-for-6 in 7-on-7 with completions to Aaron Fuller, Myles Gaskin and Ty Jones. Browning had one pass to tight end Hunter Bryant, who dropped it after a bit of contact. He went 4-for-5 in the second 11-on-11 session. He threw two passes to tight end Drew Sample but was sacked earlier by Amandre Williams and Jared Pulu.
Haener was shaky to start by going 2-for-4 for around 13 yards in the 7-on-7. He looked better in 11-on-11 although there were still some miscues. Defensive lineman Jason Scrempos appeared to sack Haener while forcing a fumble. Haener did recover by completing six straight passes. His best throw was a 31-yard touchdown strike to Jacob Kizer, which sent the rest of the offense into a celebration.
First team offense
Pretty much the usual suspects here with Browning, Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed, Fuller, Andre Baccellia, Jones, Sample and Bryant. No changes long the offensive line either. That’s still Henry Roberts, Luke Wattenberg, Nick Harris, Matt James and Kaleb McGary.
The line was able to create some holes for Ahmed, Gaskin, Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant. McGrew had a nice run when he fought for extra yards while Pleasant had two attempts that went for more than 5 yards.
Some receivers caught balls but it was really more of the tight ends getting the attention. Sample had three catches while Kizer had a couple receptions too.
First team defense
No real surprises here either. Jaylen Johnson, Greg Gaines, Shane Bowman and Ryan Bowman were on the line followed by a mix of Amandre Williams, Ben Burr-Kirven, Tevis Bartlett plus Benning Potoa’e. Keith Taylor subbed in at cornerback for Joyner while the rest of the secondary was Jojo McIntosh, Taylor Rapp and Byron Murphy.
The defense as a whole came away with three sacks, at least one forced fumble, an interception and drew someone on the offensive line offside twice. Zechariah Brown had the lone interception and it was actually a pick-six. Georgia transfer quarterback Jacob Eason threw a ball over the middle that was deflected and then nabbed by Brown, who went the distance for the touchdown.