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September 7, 2011A week ago, the Washington Huskies looked loose and relaxed as they got ready for their season opener against the Eastern Washington Eagles. They were practicing hard, but there was a sense of fun around the team.
That fun-loving atmosphere was clearly gone at Wednesday's practice. The Huskies were all business.
That was most clear when Steve Sarkisian met with the media following practice.
Sarkisian, who is normally very open and outgoing, began the interview with several short answers.
"I think he looks fine," Sarkisian said when asked about the health of quarterback Keith Price, who took the most reps he's taken all week.
A few more short answers followed before Sarkisian settled into his normal self and it was business as usual.
During the practice itself, the intensity got rather high at one point, resulting in Quinton Richardson getting forced to the sideline as a punishment from Sarkisian.
Richardson lowered his helmet and struck Kasen Williams after a completed pass. The hit drew a penalty, and by Richardson being removed, Sarkisian showed he'd rather have a healthy team than one that crushes one another in practice.
Chances are that Richardson is just ready to start going live, after missing the Huskies' first game with a leg injury. He's healthy and should start against Hawaii Saturday.
On another injury note, Chris Polk has looked much better this week in practice, according to Sarkisian. Polk seemed rusty on Saturday, which is odd considering he ran for 128 yards.
"I thought a couple of times this past Saturday he was a little indecisive that way and that's just from lack of reps," Sarkisian said. "So now getting him back going and practicing every day I'm definitely seeing a difference, more explosive cuts and decisive cuts that are showing up in practice."
That's good news for the Huskies, because if a rusty Polk can gain 128 yards on the ground, there's no telling what he will do when he is fully practiced and raring to go.
One change the Huskies have been trying to impact their pass rush is the addition of redshirt freshman Andrew Hudson into the rotation with the No. 1 defensive line over Talia Crichton.
No word on if Hudson will start, but it's clear that Sarkisian isn't going to allow his players to underperform and expect to keep their starting role.
Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse practiced in full on Wednesday and he is expected to play on Saturday.
Wednesday marked the last practice of the week open to the media. Thursday was supposed to be open, but continuing with the trend of keeping things serious this week, Sarkisian decided to close practice completely.
Follow UDubNation's Mitchell Larsen on Twitter @MLarsen_Rivals