Washington camp thoughts: As Michael Penix Jr. rests, Huskies see what Austin Mack can do
Dylan Morris worked with the No. 1 offense while Mack took all of the reps with the No. 2s.
SEATTLE — Michael Penix Jr. did his best mime impression during Washington’s lengthy Sunday practice at Husky Stadium.
Suited up and wearing his helmet and shoulder pads, Penix dropped back to pass, scanned the field and mimicked throwing a pass … but did so behind the quarterback actually participating in the drill, taking only mental reps on a day backup Dylan Morris and true freshman Austin Mack did all of the actual throwing.
UW coach Kalen DeBoer said there’s nothing to worry about.
“He threw the heck out of it the first three practices. Just a lot of reps,” DeBoer said. “It just seemed like a really good time — just like a lot of other players, when they run a lot and things like that. … Arm maybe isn’t at — I don’t know what the word would be — just (not) at, like, 100 percent, as far as feeling, like, hey, let’s just be smart.
“I think the timing of it allowed us to really take advantage of getting Austin Mack some reps. We had never really seen him in a team setting. We have to figure out who our No. 3 is. It also gave a chance for D-Mo to work with the ones. Now is a perfect time to do this, because as the installs get more complicated and as you get closer to the first game and even close to scrimmages, it gets harder to want to put those guys in. You really want Mike and D-Mo kind of front and center.”
The upshot, as DeBoer put it: “If Mike had to play today, he’d play. There’s nothing like that. It’s just a matter of keeping him fresh, keeping him sharp. He’s been looking as good as I’ve ever seen him. I really mean that. He’s sharp and slinging it down the field, really on top of his game. Just thought it was a great time to take the wear and tear off him.”
As mentioned above, Penix was fully engaged on Sunday, standing behind either Morris or Mack as if he were doing the drills himself. At one point, I saw him chatting with Mack and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb just before an 11-on-11 series, perhaps readying the freshman for the next phase of practice. We’ll see if Penix resumes regular duties on Tuesday.
Find thoughts on Mack’s performance, Denzel Boston’s consistency, Thaddeus Dixon getting his hands on the football, DeBoer’s thoughts on UW’s Big Ten move and more below. Grab a paid subscription to ensure access to everything I write.