Eastern Washington will open fall football practice this afternoon, and you can an early look at the unedited version of the pre-camp story that will appear in Friday's S-R below.
The biggest news heading into the fall is the knee injury that will keep Brice Leahy, a projected returniing starter on the offensive line, out for the 2009 season.
In another effort to take additional strain off its already tortured athletic department budget,
“We’re starting three days later than we technically could, by (NCAA) rule,” explained Eagles second-year coach Beau Baldwin. “But that was something we agreed upon as a department. It’s something in our area we can do slightly different to save money on housing and meals.
“And everyone in nearly every walk of life, these days, is looking for places and ways to save money.”
“We’re still going to get in 26 practices before our first game (against
“You can go 20, you can go 26, you can go 29, whatever, and you still might not feel like you’re quite there. But we’ve had a lot of years – a lot of successful years – where we played good in Week One after only 25 or 26 practices.”
“Their attitude and work ethic has been great during the offseason,”
“But they worked hard, both in the weight room and the classroom, and then worked their tails off over the summer, too.”
Baldwin expects a to have 38 returning letterwinners, including 15 starters, back from last year’s 6-5 team that finished 5-3 in the Big Sky Conference. But veteran offensive lineman Brice Leahy will not be among them.
The 6-foot-7, 295-pound junior tackle from
On a more positive note, Baldwin said Will Edge, a junior defensive back from
Veteran players checked in for fall camp on Wednesday and went through conditioning drills later in evening. … The Eagles will work without pads this afternoon and then spend Saturday and Sunday in helmets and shoulder pads before practicing in full gear for the first time on Monday. … The first scrimmage of fall camp has been scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22, and will be held at Gonzaga Prep at approximately 11:30 a.m. … Despite the offseason departures of two assistants – offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Joe Wade and running backs coach Nat Conley –