OK, you can beat me with a wooden spoon. I know I spelled Tyron Brackenridge’s first name wrong, but honestly I knew there was no e when I looked him up on the NFL’s website. Why I didn’t fix it, now that I don’t know.
If that’s the worst faux pas I pull this season I’ll be one happy guy.
Let’s move on.
The thesis of today’s defensive backs preview story is that the Cougars weren’t too good last year against the pass, they lost a bunch of talent and now they need to get better. How will that happen? Today’s story focused on the players, as it should be, but I do also believe there is a change in philosophy – though I wasn’t around much last year so I have no in-depth frame of reference.
It seems the Cougs’ goal this year will be to keep the receivers in front of them. Yield the short pass, tackle. Yield the short pass, tackle. Yield the short pass, tackle. You get the picture? By making an offense slowly work its way down the field, the theory is there are more chances of an offensive breakdown. Don’t give up the big play won’t the little plays won’t hurt you. It’s sort of like Lou Piniella’s philosophy that solo home runs never beat you.
For this to work, the front seven have to do two things: stuff the run (or at the least slow it down considerably) and harass the passer, either through pressure or by destroying his pre-snap reads. With those goals accomplished, the Coug philosophy has a chance to succeed.
• Jim Moore has this column on new offensive tackle Vaughn Lesuma. Moore catches the essence of the tackle, a likable, articulate, intelligent big guy – just like most offensive linemen. (Today’s contest: guess what position the young Vince Grippi played in football.)
• Bud Withers of the Times has this piece on the 20th year of the Cougar offense.
Pretty good depth today when it comes to Cougar reading. Tomorrow we’ll have our preview of the quarterback position (scoop: Alex Brink is the starter) and a summary of today’s practice. We’ll try to post sometime this evening, though after practice I’m making an important business deal in Pullman (reading that over, it sounds illegal so let me assure you what I’m doing is above-board and lawful).