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‘Just unfair:' UW playing the long game on putting offense together

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Freshman Dylan Morris participates in a throwing drill during the Huskies' first spring practice on April 3, 2019.

Chris Petersen dropped a bomb to open his press conference after the Washington football team’s practice Friday:

“Let’s name the starting quarterback and get it over with.”

So who is it?

“Me.”

We could only wish it would be so simple. There aren’t going to be that many easy answers at any positions come fall, much less during spring, and after the Huskies’ sixth practice in 10 days, Petersen’s focus, particularly on offense, was on building.

“When you play every single guy that’s in that locker room, it’s going to be painful at times,” Petersen said. “We’ll keep forcing the issue, let guys get reps that deserve them… We still have a bunch of things to add in.”

This early in the year, practices are always slanted in the defense’s favor, with newer players on offense still trying to digest the playbook and the line still trying to gel. Going up against one of the best defenses in the country doesn’t exactly make it easier.

Not that Petersen is looking to go out of his way to even the playing field.

“I can’t force the defense and say ‘You’re not running all this stuff. You’re going to run these two things so they can get dialed in,’” Petersen said. “But everything they’re doing, we’re going to see in the fall. It can be a painful couple of weeks until these guys really start to see things enough and have a chance to fight.

“It’s just unfair to those guys sometimes, but life isn’t fair.”

On Friday, the biggest offensive mistake hurt the defense more. During the 7-on-7 portion of practice, true freshman quarterback Dylan Morris<CQ> tried to find Chico McClatcher<CQ> streaking down the left sideline, throwing a bad idea too far inside into double coverage.

McClatcher didn’t have a chance at it. Two DBs — Brandon McKinney<CQ> and Elijah Molden<CQ> — did. Molden, drifting back, went up for the ball, and didn’t see McKinney crashing in, taking a helmet straight to the ribs.

Both players stayed down for a bit before gingerly jogging off. Both would return to drills quickly.

“It goes back to poor football on the offense,” Petersen said. “The defense had the collision, but we can’t throw balls like that. That’s an ill-advised pass; you’re going to get someone hurt. But you have to make mistakes out there to correct them, and we’ll learn on the other side of the ball.”

Call it being thrown into the fire, drinking from the firehose, or any other choice metaphor. For Petersen, the benefits of the struggles now won’t come any time soon, but when it matters in just over four months.

“We don’t want to do something in the fall that we haven’t at least touched on that we can practice and clean up,” Petersen said. “So we have to get a lot of things in for us to be able to do what we want to do in the fall.”

Other notes:

- Despite the struggles, the offense had probably its best day against the defense yet, particularly on 7-on-7 drills, in which the quarterbacks opened a combined 10-for-10.

-Jackson Sirmon took snaps at fullback, including catching a pass from Jacob Eason in the flat during 11-on-11 drills. He could be trying to replace Justiss Warren<CQ> who left the program earlier in the week.

-Quinten Pounds still isn’t in pads, but he ran through some wide receiver drills for the first time this spring.

-Myles Rice, who had been completely out previous, practiced in pads, but in a yellow no-contact jersey.

Reach Sports Editor Josh Kirshenbaum at sports@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @J_Kirshenbaum

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