Washington camp thoughts: Penix throws, Morris-to-Bernard shines and other observations
Tuesday's open practice showed a strong pass rush, too.
SEATTLE — Standing deep in his own end zone, Michael Penix Jr. planted and fired toward the opposite hash. Jalen McMillan snatched the ball for a first down on a play that began at the minus-3-yard line.
It was the kind of throw that sets Penix apart. And the kind of throw that proves his left arm probably is in decent shape.
Washington backed off its Heisman-candidate quarterback a bit last week, explaining that his arm was a touch sore after the first few days of preseason camp. Penix suited up and threw in some drills but didn’t take any reps with the No. 1 offense during team periods for three consecutive practices. When UW convened for its Saturday scrimmage, though, coach Kalen DeBoer said Penix was back and felt fine, just as they expected.
Same deal at Tuesday’s open practice. Penix took every snap with the No. 1 offense and didn’t appear to be holding anything back. Not on the aforementioned seed to McMillan, not on a roughly 55-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Ja’Lynn Polk during an early team period, and not on a couple of impressive downfield completions to tight end Jack Westover.
The first-team defense, though, did a good job making Penix uncomfortable, pressuring him as consistently as I’ve seen throughout an entire practice this camp. It didn’t just come from the edge rushers, either: the defensive interior blew up one play by collapsing the pocket and forcing Penix to retreat before slinging the ball out of bounds. Ulumoo Ale got after Penix on another play. Edges Bralen Trice and Voi Tunuufi each flushed the pocket with impressive pass rushes, too. Penix also was able to scramble for some positive yards, but the defensive front was pretty active.
It was a big day, too, for Dylan Morris and Germie Bernard with the No. 2 offense, and Ralen Goforth with the No. 2 defense. We also saw some different o-line combos and Dillon Johnson getting more reps with both the No. 1 and No. 2 offense.
Here’s what to know about Tuesday’s practice: