I'll be heading out to Cheney this afternoon to take in Eastern's first practice of fall camp and will post a link to my pre-practice story as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can check below for more on the Eagles and their upcoming football season..
For openers, here's a link to a story that ran in Sunday morning's S-R dealing with the Eagles' lack of experience in the second -- not a good thing in a Big Sky Conference that is loaded with veteran quarterbacks capable of putting up some big numbers.
What didn't make the story were the comments associate head coach and defensive coordinator John Graham made about his defensive line, which he hopes will be able to take some pressure off his secondary with a solid pass rush.
"We've got a bunch of kids coming back (in the Big Sky) who are quality quarterbacks," Graham said, "and we've been discussing how to deal with them.
"The best way to disrupt the is to get a good pass rush, and I think that's going to be one of our strengths. We feel real good about our front seven, and we've got some depth up there, too. Two years ago we lost Greg Peach, Jason Belford and Lance Witherspoon, so we had some young kids playing last year that did some good things.
":Hopefully, they can be more consistent this year and make those quarterback in our legue uncomfortable. That's really the best way to play pass defense, and I think we've got some guys who can do that."
Graham went on to point out that the Eagles are not a blitz-happy team.
"We never have been and probably never will be as long as Coach Baldwin and I are together," he added. "We're both kind of got that philosophy of relying on our front four to bring a lot of pressure."
According to Graham, the decision to move junior defensive tackle Renard Williams to defensive end in the spring was a bit of an "experiment" that was prompted by the lack of healthy bodies on the d-line.
"He'll probably be back inside this fall," Graham said of the talented Williams, who was named earliler to The Sports Network Preseason All-America team. "I mean, he's 290 pounds, and he did some phenomenal things playing d-end in teh spring, because he's such a big, physical athlete and he can can cause some problems on the outside.
"But it's alway hard to find a big kids inside, and we've got some kind who we feel are ready, now, to go outside, so we can move Renard back inside next to Tyler Jolley."
Graham went on to praise Jolley, a 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior nose tackle, who prepped at East Valley High School.
"He's kind of the anchor of that front four," Graham said. "He's a senior and a great leader. He doesn't get a lot of credit, but he might be our most consistent guy."
For more position-by-position details on this year's team -- provided by EWU's sports information department -- you can click here. Additional details on today's first fall practice, along with a list of practice times and scrimmages can be found here, and the latest details on the installation of Woodward Field's new red turf -- along with a chance to vote on a name for the unique artificial playing surface -- can be found here.
S-R columnist John Blanchette weighed in Sunday morning with this bloody funny piece on Eastern's efforts name the new turf.