Petersen kicks off first practice at Washington

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 4, 2014 at 8:10 pm •  Published: March 4, 2014
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SEATTLE (AP) — Chris Petersen bounced from drill to drill, taking notes as he jogged around Washington's indoor facility wearing a purple sweatshirt and a black hat with a 'W' emblem.

No more blue turf. No more Broncos. Petersen finally opened his first spring practice as head coach of the Huskies on Tuesday morning.

"This is the normal part," Petersen said after the two-hour, 15-minute practice wrapped up. "Once we get to coach the guys, once we get to do practice, once we get to play, that's the stuff that everybody likes to do. That's why we're all here. Today felt really good."

Petersen left Boise State in December to take over at Washington after Steve Sarkisian went to USC. It's the first time Petersen has been a head coach somewhere other than at Boise State.

Asked if moving around to different drills was his nature, Petersen joked that usually he's up in a tower, "eating snacks."

"I take a lot of notes out there and we go and clean it up," he said.

One of Petersen's first tasks has been sending messages that his new team must fall in line with his requirements. That was evident on Tuesday when Petersen announced that starting middle linebacker and defensive captain John Timu would be suspended for the first two weeks of spring practice.

Petersen did not give a reason for Timu's suspension. But court documents show that Timu agreed to a stipulated order of continuance in King County District Court on Feb. 24 after being arrested on suspicion of unlawfully entering a vehicle. The court agreed to defer the misdemeanor charges if Timu stays out of trouble for the next year.

Timu is the third prospective starter suspended in the past month. Petersen has also suspended quarterback Cyler Miles and wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow indefinitely for violating team rules.

Petersen also said running back Jesse Callier will not be with the team until some academic issues are cleared up.

Petersen's success at Boise State was built largely on his teams being able to avoid mistakes and execute precisely. It's a philosophy that translated into 92 wins and two Bowl Championship Series bowl victories with the Broncos and was evident on his first day on the field in Seattle.