FROM PULLMAN — Just one more practice remains now before WSU's spring game, as the Cougars went through their 12th workout of the spring on Tuesday. Not much news to pass along, though we do have some interesting notes after the jump.
This was probably WSU's most unremarkable practice of the spring — not that it was bad, or anything like that. Just not a whole lot to pass along of note. There were some players missing, such as linebacker Chester Su'a and safety Casey Locker, and some notable players sat out, such as linebackers Darryl Monroe and Tana Pritchard. But other than that, it was business as usual. Coach Mike Leach said the dearth of linebackers available allowed for some other guys at that position to get some reps — Darren Markle probably had the best day of any of them, snagging an interception off David Gilbertson during team period. “I thought we had pretty good work,” Leach said. “Dragging around some, there’s fatigue that we have to push through a little better. But I thought overall we had pretty good work.” Said Jeff Tuel: “I'd like to see a little bit more energy than what we had today.” … It wasn't a great day for the quarterbacks. I wrote about the goings-on at that position for tomorrow's newspaper, so I asked Leach about whether David Gilbertson has inpsired confidence that he can be the team's backup quarterback. Leach said Gilbertson has picked the offense up well, though said today wasn't his best day. Connor Halliday also told me afterward that he didn't think he had the best day, either. … Isiah Myers stood out among the receivers, making a number of tough catches during 1-on-1s. … Jake Rodgers took some reps during team session, the most work he's done in quite a while. Taylor Meighen also took some snaps at center with the No. 1 unit, allowing Elliott Bosch to slide over to right guard, moving Dan Spitz to right tackle to give Rico Forbes a breather. … The most interesting quote of the afternoon concerns receiver Marquess Wilson. Leach was asked to assess his performance so far this spring. Here's what he said: “He needs to figure out how to get off of press coverage and he needs to fight through it a little better, and needs to be a more consistent player.” Leach was then asked if Wilson compared to Michael Crabtree. His response: “No, he doesn't.” He expanded: “Now, he could. He could. But the biggest thing on doing that is he’s got to have the same work ethic and right now his work ethic doesn’t equal — great receivers have great work ethic. Right now, his work ethic’s average.” Those comments don't come as much of a surprise. Wilson has been sent to work with the scout team and No. 3 offense at times this spring, and Leach has been insistent from day one that he needs to be more aggressive. … Leach said he's not sure yet of the format for Saturday's spring game. That will be decided in meetings tomorrow. But Leach did say that the No. 1 unit will play “a lot” of the scrimmage, with others getting reps after. … Players who were present on Tuesday but limited: CB Nolan Washington, LB Darryl Monroe, S Tyree Toomer, WR Henry Eaddy, RB Kruger Story, CB Brandon Golden, S Max Gama, RB Teondray Caldwell, TE Mansel Simmons, LB Tana Pritchard, DE Adam Coerper, DE Darryl Paulo, OL Matt Goetz, OL Chas Sampson, DE Justin Clayton, DE Lenard Williams. Along with Su'a and Locker, DE Jordan Pu'u Robinson, CB Spencer Waseem and DB Ryan Nungester were not present at practice. … One more note, just because it was funny: as I spoke with Connor Halliday after practice — he's still limited and participating in everything but team session — inside receivers coach Eric Morris snuck up from behind and pulled down Halliday's shorts (don't worry, he had compression shorts on underneath). Halliday said “thanks, coach,” and Morris said “you're welcome” without even turning around as he walked away. We laughed.
That's all we've got for now. We'll be chatting live on the blog at noon tomorrow, as usual.