The first Saturday practice is over and we have a few things to report, one important thing to correct and a big piece of news to pass along. Read on for more.
• The second of our position previews is about the quarterback spot, so that means we have a pretty long story about junior Jeff Tuel. ... Our story, which you can read here, goes into the depth part of the quarterback position and quotes Paul Wulff and Todd Sturdy about the five guys on the roster. Each of them have the potential to be able to compete as a Pac-12 quarterback according to the two coaches. Maybe not now in some cases, but down the road for sure. With Tuel the guy, Marshall Lobbestael pits his experience against Connor Halliday and his potential in the battle for the backup spot, a battle Sturdy said has yet to be decided. ... Practice was practice today, a typical mid-camp day with no live hitting. A few guys were out, including a couple of cornerbacks. Nolan Washington sat out with a left hamstring strain while Daniel Simmons was nursing his right hamstring. Neither should be out long. Speaking of Simmons, I mistakenly identified Deone Bucannon as the player defending Marquess Wilson yesterday when Wilson made a circus catch. After seeing indisputable video evidence, we have to let you know it was Simmons. My bad. ... In other injury news, linebacker Darryl Monroe is getting closer to returning from his concussion and freshman corner Spencer Waseem sat with a groin strain. ... Linebackers coach Chris Tormey was off attending a funeral Saturday and missed practice. ... OK, now we have to pass along some personal news. One thing I've learned as a journalist is you cannot keep a secret under wraps forever. If two people know something, everyone will know it sooner or later. So I have to share this with you folks before you hear it on the street. But first, a history lesson. I started in the newspaper business when I was seven years old. My dad was an LA Times' distributor and everyone in the family was expected to chip in. So at seven, my dad pulled up a chair next to a table, I stood on it and inserted the Home magazine into the Comics every Tuesday after school. Twenty-five hundred times each week. He paid me $2.50. Not an hour, but for the entire job. I realize now my dad would have been a great publisher in this day and age. The ink that seeped into my hands in those days must have colored my mind, because I ended up in this business, first as a sports writer, then a desk editor, then a graphics and design editor, then back to a sports writer. It's been more than 30 years. And it's going to end Dec. 31. You see, as The Spokesman-Review has downsized the past few years, the newsroom has become mainly populated with older, more experienced folks, all of whom are at the top end of the pay scale. The younger, less-expensive types were let go through seniority-based layoffs. And that wasn't working financially for management. So the newspaper decided to offer an early retirement plan that, for someone 55 years old (an age I will reach in October), was just too good to pass up. I'm not going to share the details (or my thoughts on the whole matter) other than to say if you were offered the deal I would venture to say most of you wouldn't pass on it either. Heck, 12 folks in our newsroom took the offer (four in sports) and 25 more in the rest of the building. But rest assured I'm not going to disappear. I haven't spent the past 28 years of my life being involved in Spokane-area sports or the past five years developing your trust as a Washington State beat writer to just fade into the background. Too young for that. When the next chapter is ready to be written, you guys will get to see the rough draft. And don't worry, the coverage here won't change between now and the end of the year (after that, sorry, but I have no idea). I intend to fill the same role the same way until the very last day.
• That's it for this evening. We'll be back in the morning with our usual post. Until then ...