FROM PULLMAN — WSU needed to go without pads either today or on Tuesday — you're only allowed 12 practices in pads and they've already had 10, with the spring game coming up Saturday — so they were in helmets and shorts this afternoon. It was a lighter workout than usual.
Spring practice under coach Mike Leach typically goes from about 3 p.m. until 5:40 or so, with individual instruction and whatnot following the team session. But today, the Cougars wrapped up team session at about 5 p.m. and spent the next 30 or 40 minutes getting their pre-game stretching routine organized for Saturday. Leach said Tuesday was a good day to go without pads, because they've been in pads for the last 10 practices. It should also be noted that the final practice next week will be a chance for WSU to refine some things after watching the film of Saturday's spring game, so Leach probably wants pads on for that one. … As for the spring game, Leach said they'll go about 80-100 plays, which would be fewer snaps than the last two scrimmages. They'll use a clock for the first half, Leach said, with a short break for halftime. The No. 1 units will face each other, the No. 2 units will face each other, and then they'll get some snaps for other guys after that, Leach said. They'll have a warm-up on the field and get into the scrimmage “right away,” Leach said, though there will be some special teams practice mixed in at some point, too. … Chester Su'a and Casey Locker were both at practice with wraps on their hands, each apparently out with a hand injury. Tana Pritchard was limited, as was Darryl Monroe, meaning WSU's linebacker depth could be interesting on Saturday. Not sure if Monroe will be able to go or not, but it seems unlikely. We wrote about that, focusing on fullbacks-turned-linebackers Jared Byers and Corey Laufasa, for tomorrow's newspaper. Darren Markle worked with the No. 1 unit in place of Monroe, with Laufasa filling in for Su'a on the weakside. Byers will back up each of those players during the spring game, though his primary position is mike (middle). … Another area without much depth is safety, with Tyree Toomer and Locker both out. Anthony Carpenter has been taking the reps alongside Deone Bucannon with the starting secondary. “Every year there’s going to be guys sitting out and every year you just deal with it,” Leach said. “You just don’t know when, where or what, and then you just go on, you know? So if they’re there you coach them. It’s about as easy as that.” … One of the highlights of today's practice was Daniel Simmons and Tracy Clark snagging interceptions on back-to-back plays during the mini-skeleton passing drill near the goal line. … Cyrus Coen is starting to make more and more plays at linebacker. He intercepted two passes during practice, including one off David Gilbertson that he read and plucked out of the air above his head after dropping into coverage. … An interesting quote I want to pass along from Leach, who was asked why DUI doesn't factor into his “big three” offenses that are grounds for dismissal. He said: “We look at each situation separately and just consider the facts of the situation, and the other thing is, I’m not going to share internal stuff, but when there’s other things – fights, minor under the influence, things like that, then we evaluate it on a case by case basis. And I’m sure you’ll agree, because the facts on this are pretty indisputable, my line’s a little more solid than it is the rest of the way around the country with regard to dismissals and the big three there. So you might like it, you might dislike it, but that’s what it is.” … Other players who were limited or did not practice: S Tyree Toomer, WR Henry Eaddy, WR Kristoff Williams, RB Kruger Story, CB Spencer Waseem, CB Brandon Golden, S Max Gama, RB Teondray Caldwell, TE Mansel Simmons, DB Ryan Nungester, DE Adam Coerper, DE Darryl Paulo, OL Matt Goetz, OL Denzell Dotson, OL Chas Sampson, DE Jordan Pu'u Robinson, DE Justin Clayton, DE Lenard Williams.
All for now.