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It's Only Spring, But UW Football Already Gearing Up For Season

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(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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Washington quarterback Jake Browning (3) is greeted by team mascot Harry the Husky after the team beat Arizona in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in Seattle. The Huskies will need to rely heavily on Browning’s arm in 2016.";

It might seem like a long way away from football season, but the University of Washington football team has taken the field for spring practice and will have their public spring scrimmage on April 23. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that there is plenty to expect from the Huskies this season.   

Improved Offense

Huskies quarterback Jake Browning is the only quarterback in UW history to be named starter as a freshman. Last year, he led the team to a 6-6 record, plus a bowl win. He's arrived to spring practice looking even better than last year, and he's equipped with some additional weapons.

Wide receiver John Ross, who sat out all last year with two knee injuries, returned to spring practice and ran a 4.25-second, 40-yard dash, "which is incredibly fast, at any level, in any sport, at anything" says Thiel. This improvement to the passing game will compliment an already talented running back, Miles Gaskin. Thiel believes that the Huskies will need to rely heavily on the offense to be successful.

Questions on Defense

The Huskies were very talented at defense last year, but Thiel says that it could look a little depleted because of players heading to the NFL draft or graduating from college. While the secondary seems to be in place, there are a lot of questions at the linebacker and defensive line positions, making it that much more important to have a solid offense.

Predictions

There are still 140 days before the regular season kicks off, but Thiel thinks that the Huskies look like a seven- or eight-win team this year, and could be a contender for the Pac-12 North Championship.

"I don't think they are better than Oregon this year, but you know, sometime, somewhere, somehow, the Huskies are going to beat the Ducks, and I hope that our children's, children's children will be around to experience that," said Thiel.

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You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest and Crosscut.com.

Kevin began his career at KNKX in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KNKX Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KNKX he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KNKX. Kevin currently produces 88.5's weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary, and helped make the KNKX Grocery Tote famous.
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between historylink.org and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.