BY Todd Dybas 07:36AM 04/20/2011

Huskies hoping corners are sharp

Trufant and Richardson have evolved from youngsters and questions into starting cornerbacks expected to handle their positions solo.

Corners Desmond Trufant (left) and Quinton Richardson drill during Tuesday's practice. / Kyle Scholzen, Sportspress Northwest

There has been silence at cornerback for much of the spring. That’s a welcome change to all the noise around the position the past few seasons.

In fact, if you ask Desmond Trufant and Quinton Richardson, they have things quite under control.

“We’ve got it locked down on the corners and it’s just going to feed into the rest of the defense,” Trufant said.

The Huskies can hope. After scheming to compensate for Richardson’s ineffectiveness two years ago, then the random effectiveness of last season, being able to rely on the corners alone would trickle right through the defense. Especially one that is learning at linebacker.

Defensive coordinator Nick Holt peered over the professorial glasses that belie his stalking, screaming personality the last two seasons to figure out patches for Richardson in particular. Richardson was unsure at corner, an immediate detriment.

Toward the end of last year, Richardson provided bigger hits, more plays. He evolved into a solid cornerback.

Trufant’s family name co-conspired with a skilled freshman year to make sophomore expectations large. They were not met.

“Some games I was there, some games I wasn’t there,” Trufant said. “I wasn’t doing the technical things right some games and that left me vulnerable to get beat sometimes.

“When I was there with good technique, I could make plays. It’s just being more consistent with everything.”

That’s why he was backpedaling post-practice last Thursday in Dempsey Indoor. In conjunction, Richardson has been working on his burst at the top of a route. Each has enough experience, Trufant a junior and Richardson a senior, that refinement is the next step.

“Just little technical things that are going to put us in better positions to make plays,” Trufant said.

They drill together. Play and relax together. Even talk smack together, though that’s mostly Richardson’s department.

“(Forget) right and left corner, we think of it together,” Richardson said. “That’s up to me and Tru. We push each other every day to get better.”

As is often the case, leaders emerge out of position groups. Cort Dennison is a no-doubter at linebacker. Alameda Ta’amu is evolving for the defensive line. Trufant and Richardson are stepping to the fore in the secondary. Washington needs it to last.

Saturday practice moved
The Huskies moved this Saturday’s practice to Memorial Stadium in lower Queen Anne. Practice will start at 11 a.m. and is open to the public for free, just like at Husky Stadium. A couple things to know if you plan on going:

• There is no free parking available. Fans are encouraged to park in the Seattle Center lots.
• Admission is free, but fans must check-in at the North Gate.
• Seating will be in the north stands.
• Concessions will not be available.

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said he anticipates the practice to be similar to last Saturday’s during which Washington scrimmaged about 100 plays, including special teams portions.


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