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Sun., Aug. 16, 2009, 6:50 p.m.

WSU has earned its day off


As we wrote in our story for tomorrow's S-R, the unedited version of which is on the post below, Sunday was a day of change. Part of it was in the level of challenges the player were asked to meet, which we examined in the story. But there were some other aspects as well. We cover those on the link.

• After eight consecutive days of workouts, some two-a-days, the Cougars get a day off today. No practice. And, talking to a few players, they are looking forward to it – if by guys cheering when I mentioned it you get that feeling as well. They not only deserve a day of rest because of the work they've put in, but they probably also need it. There is physical fatigue, which is starting to set in, and there's mental fatigue, which probably played a part in Sunday's practice tempo. For much of the day things seemed a bit off, though the intensity picked up markedly when coach Paul Wulff injected the sprints and situations I wrote about in my story.

• One change I saw today concerned linebacker Mike Ledgerwood, which we mentioned in our morning post. I asked Wulff about the change this afternoon and he made it clear they want to get their best players on the field no matter where they play. "The thinking is we've got to find a second Sam linebacker to play, and we feel comfortable with," Wulff said. "So we're experimenting to see. Andy (Mattingly) we think can play, obviously, and then who is our next Sam linebacker right now, we're trying to find that out." Ledgerwood supported Chima Nwachukwu on a safety in one scrimmage session. ... Jesse Feagin bounced back up with the No. 1 defense Sunday, highlighting another of the many position battles going on. Casey Hamlett had a good scrimmage but Feagin's must have been better because regained the left end spot. ... Another player on the move on the depth chart is LeAndre Daniels. The freshman safety ran with the ones when WSU used five defensive backs, taking the spot usually held by Tyree Toomer. Toomer has been in a yellow, non-contact jersey the past couple days, but he's still participating and ran with the twos. ... As I mentioned in my story, freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel ran the No. 1 offense in the final 2-minute drill. He guided the group to two first downs before they stalled, forcing Nico Grasu to try a 42-yard field goal. Both Grasu and Patrick Rooney tried a handful of attempts from that distance, with both hitting about half their tries.

• There were still a handful of guys sitting out the afternoon session. Linebackers Andy Mattingly and Myron Beck seem to be getting closer, as is receiver Johnny Forzani, out of the boot and walking around. Defensive end Jessy Sanchez was not in pads, nor was running back Carl Winston. Jeshua Anderson is still a ways away with his hamstring. ... With the day off Monday, we're going to take it easy. We'll post in the morning and possibly in the evening, that is if there is something to post. My guess is there will be. I talked with Jason Stripling today and got his thoughts on his final year in Pullman. Plus I will have a Then and Now story with Dr. Ed Tingstad, the former Cougar who is now the athletic department's orthopedic surgeon.


• That's it for this now. Until we decide to post again …

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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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