SEATTLE — Are these truly the Dawg days of summer?
The Washington Huskies completed their 16th practice of preseason camp Thursday. But what players have opened up about this third week of fall ball — it is a real grind.
“I think it is actually harder to be focused Week 3 because the first two weeks, you’ve got all this energy built up, and you are ready to go. Camp is starting. Everything is kind of new and fresh,” UW backup quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels said. “People are dinged up now a little bit — not big injuries, but guys may be feeling their toes are a little sore. So they’ve got to battle through some things.”
You can see it in their faces. The first week players seemed glad to be back around the team.
The second week, the smiles were fading.
Now, they looked drained and tired.
“Guys have been beating on each other a lot,” Huskies defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said. “It’s been physical, so days off are good to get them recharged.
“That is where these guys have to grind and have the mindset that every day, every rep, everything they are doing is about making themselves the best football player at their position.”
Not surprisingly, the veterans who are participating in their fourth or fifth camp are having an easier time with two weeks to go before the season opener at Rutgers.
Outside linebacker Connor O’Brien is a redshirt senior. This is fall camp No. 5.
“Luckily being an older guy, I kind of know what to expect. I’ve done this a couple of times,” O’Brien said. “Camp is tough. You’ve just got to fight through it. This is the toughest part of the year — camp in general. You just get through it and get to the fun part of the season.”
Then there is inside linebacker Keishawn Bierria, who seems to get more energized the longer preseason practices go.
“I ain’t feeling that at all, I feel like this is one of the best weeks,” Bierria said. “I feel like I am fresh. … It might just be that positive energy, fake it until you make it. I am feeling good.”