SEATTLE — Chris Petersen cannot wait to see quarterback Cyler Miles take his first snaps when Washington begins fall camp.
Even if Miles is only going to be a spectator when the Huskies opens their season Aug. 30 at Hawaii.
“I’m anxious to get him back in the mix and see what he can do. He’s like a freshman,” Petersen said on Sunday on the eve of his first fall camp at Washington. “I’m always so anxious to get the freshmen out there. You’ve recruited them, you’ve seen them but you don’t know until you go out there and watch them run around. You’re really excited about some and some you’re like, `I thought he would be a little further along.’ It’s always such an interesting process and for Cyler I feel the same way because he just wasn’t with us. I’m anxious to get him out there and see what he does.”
Because of his success with quarterbacks in his eight seasons at Boise State, quarterback will always be a position associated with Petersen. And it’s the biggest question for Washington when they begin camp on Monday.
It seemed straightforward when Petersen left Boise State and replaced Steve Sarkisian with the Huskies. Miles was the presumptive replacement for Keith Price, who finished his career as one of the top passers in Washington history. Miles appeared in eight games with one start last season and threw for 418 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another 200 yards.
But that was before Miles got involved in off-field troubles that left him suspended for spring practices. Miles was investigated for his role in a Super Bowl night fight that included former teammate Damore’ea Stringfellow, who was dismissed from the program.
Miles was reinstated after not being charged by prosecutors, but was suspended for the Huskies season opener against Hawaii. And while he may eventually be the best fit for the offense Petersen wants to run, he’s essentially in last place in the competition to be the starter.
“He’s behind. He’s done some things, as much as he can after spring ball, to get caught up. That’s a lot of meeting time, that’s a lot of practice time, that’s a lot of reps,” Petersen said. “He’s had these concepts, a lot of them. Some of them might be renamed and those sorts of things . that’s such a detailed position it’s going to take him a while to process that. It’s hard. He missed a lot.”
With Miles away during the spring, the starter reps were split between sophomore Jeff Lindquist and redshirt freshman Troy Williams. When the Huskies begin on Monday with split practices, Williams and Lindquist will be with the veterans in the morning while Miles and freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels will be going in the afternoon with mostly underclassmen and newcomers to the program.
“I’m anxious to see what that is going to look like. I know those guys made progress throughout the spring,” Petersen said. “I think the number one thing is just consistency. Consistency with accuracy, consistency with decision making and if those two things have improved, whoever that is, is going to have a leg up on the other one.”
Petersen also made clear that any assumption Miles will take over as the starter in Week 2 against Eastern Washington is just a preconceived guess.
“That’s an assumption from you guys,” he said. “You know better than I do. You’ve seen him a lot more than I have. That’s something we’ll deal with down the road.”
NOTES: DE Marcus Farria was dismissed from the program last week for violation of “team standards,” according to Petersen. … WR Kasen Williams (leg/foot) should be full participant when practices began. Williams broke his lower left leg and injured his left foot last October vs. California.