Keith Price was publicly named starting quarterback, but the rest of the new Washington depth chart shows issues, particularly at linebacker.
Its official: Outside linebacker is a mess.
What? Expecting information on the quarterback? Well, thats official, too. Keith Price is listed atop Washingtons freshly released depth chart.
The Huskies dispatch of depth indicates four things:
1. As expected, Price did plenty to earn the starting spot by the end of spring.
“Based on his entire body of work this spring, Keith Price has earned the right to be our starting quarterback,” Washington head coach Steve Sarksian said. “Keith worked extremely hard this spring and has developed into a team leader. I am also pleased with the progress of Nick Montana, who will continue to push Keith and make us a better football team.”
Naming the quarterback now is the right move by Sarkisian. It provides clarity heading into summer workouts, in which the coaches take no part. It enables a leadership tier to begin to develop on offense. The two offensive captains, Jermaine Kearse and Senio Kelemete, will be aided by knowing the quarterback.
Last year leadership began with Jake Locker. Kearse and Kelemete, particularly Kearse, are not demonstrative, talkative players. Their style can still provide quality leadership, but Prices bubbly swag is a bolster to that.
2. Josh Shirley will be on the field a lot.
Shirley was rewarded with his own line on the depth chart after dominating spring practices. Hes listed as the only option at rush end, a position that existed in a less defined capacity last season when Mason Foster was at times tacked on to the outside of the line.
Shirleys presence — Sarkisian says Shirley is strong enough against the run to be out there all the time — indicates how much Washington will use five linemen. It will even work Shirley into its nickel package.
Expect to see a lot of him in the fall. Also expect it to make a large difference.
3. Outside of quarterback, few position questions were answered.
Both outside linebacker positions are filled with or, leaving Washington with a fall camp during which the actual position battles will occur.
Injuries to Princeton Fuimaono and Cooper Pelleur, two players Sarkisian feted last season, are listed as options despite missing the spring because of injuries.
On the other side, Garrett Gilliland, Jordan Wallace and John Timu are bunched. A tad surprising Gilliland didnt lock down a spot.
4. The starting corners better stay healthy.
Desmond Trufant and Quinton Richardson have stabilized the outside for Washington. But behind them, the position becomes thin fast.
Anthony Gobern and Marquis Persley are listed as Trufants backups. They combined to have fewer tackles than Chris Polk last season. Polk had one. They had zero.
Greg Ducre and Adam Long backup Richardson. They have more experience than their opposite backups, but its still limited. This position could move from thick to thin.
Full depth chart here.