Milloy brings the law back to UW

Lawyer Milloy (Getty)

SEATTLE - Steve Sarkisian wants these Huskies to remember their past. So it wasn't too surprising when former UW greats Jim Lambright and Lawyer Milloy were spotted on campus and Milloy even spoke to the team before practice. Things got a little more interesting when the 13-year NFL vet decided to help out in more ways than one.

The players knew a little about Milloy, who has played professionally with the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and the Atlanta Falcons, but they found out a lot more about the former UW All-American once they came out to Wednesday's practice.

"We have welcomed everybody," UW safeties coach Jeff Mills said Wednesday after practice. "We need all hands on deck. We need everybody around and we want everyone around - fans and former players are crucial to help connect. We want guys to be around and we're trying to get this younger generation to look back at our storied past and the tradition we had. That's something that coach Sark's been doing a great job of, educating our guys to great players of the past."

"He's obviously a great Husky and we want to get our kids to understand what the great ones were like," Sarkisian added of Milloy. "Not just what they look like, but how they prepared - their work ethic on and off the field - how they studied the game, how they practiced. The best way to do that is for them to tell their own story of what they did and how they did it. Lawyer is a class act and I was happy that he came around today."

Lawyer has been around the program of late, and now he's joined into the fray, giving the players tips that he's learned through putting in a lot of hard work and effort over the years. "I'm just getting a chance to know the guys," Milloy said. "I see things because I'm well experienced. I see things they don't see, so I had to tone it down. But they just have to communicate more, on and off the field. That translates into better play on the field.

But hard work is all you really have. Through hard work in the spring and training right before the season, that should make the season easier starting in September. As long as you go out every game and work hard and create that bond, that brotherhood - you'll like the results.

The message must have gotten across to the defensive backs, as both Mills and sophomore safety Nate Williams were very hoarse after a spirited Wednesday workout. "You can't help but benefit from listening to an All-Pro safety giving little tips of the trade that he's done for so long," Mills said. "He gave me some great pointers and I'm always trying to learn more as a coach."

"We were all a little shocked at first," Williams added. "It's Lawyer Milloy. He's a Husky alum and a Pro Bowl player. Once we got over it, we just listened to whatever he had to say. Whenever he spoke, we were all right there listening to him. It was nice to have him out here."

Williams was front and center whenever Milloy spoke up, soaking in all his sage advice. "He wants to be the most physical player out there. He wants to get in the receiver's head and hit them as hard as you can. That's really key for the safeties to try to intimidate the receivers as much as possible. That's what I took from him, to send a message as soon as possible that number 8 is back here and if you want to come back here there's going to be a price to pay."

With Milloy's future uncertain - he didn't want to discuss any possible pro plans he might have - there's a chance the Huskies might see a lot more of the Tacoma native. The former Lincoln Abe plans on making Seattle his home upon retirement, and with the new staff in place he has seen a move toward bringing things back to the way they used to be.

"The Huskies are a big part of who I am and what made me," Milloy said. "This is one way of giving back. It's important that young guys can see that they can be successful and do it the right way. But it starts by having a coach that brings a new attitude and talks about tradition and the guys that paved the way. They are getting rid of the negative vibes, and I guess part of the way you do that is by bringing some people that have had some success here, who have worn the same uniform in the same stadium."

"It's great to have a living legend walking around," added Mills. "To hear him cheering for them, encouraging them from the side...that's good. It helps any player to hear an All-Pro safety cheering them on. That's a nice deal.

"I know he loves being a Husky, so I expect him to be back, cheering them on."

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