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Mike Leach rips WSU’s effort


FROM SALT LAKE CITY -- Here is the full transcript of WSU coach Mike Leach's comments after the Cougars were beaten 49-6 by Utah here today.


(Have you ever come that close to being shut out?) “We may as well have been. Our effort today was pitiful. It starts with our coaches. Our coaches, me in particular, it starts with me, start with my assistants, we need to be able to reach our players, get good effort. Our effort was horrible. We’ve had games this year where maybe one side of the ball or another had bad effort for a quarter, you know, then this side had good effort and the other side didn’t and so forth. We had bad effort on all sides of the ball for four quarters.”

(Is this especially perplexing after last week?) “I don’t know if somehow they think there’s some level of accomplishment in that which there’s not because we still lost last week, last time I checked, and there’s plenty of ways we could have played better last week. If we’re taking satisfaction out of last week we’re out of our mind. Not one play last week counts for this week. So no, right now we’re a team that doesn’t give good effort which means all the stuff we do in the weight rooms, meeting rooms, practices, we’re wasting our time if we’re not going to give good effort. We’re going to be working on effort this week.”

(How do you work on effort?) “We’ll get something figured out. I don’t know. If you figure it out give me a call. Because I can’t fathom on any level how you work at anything and then come out and just not even try. It doesn’t matter what physical condition a person’s in, how old, how young, anybody is capable of great effort. Anybody is capable of it. The fact of the matter is today we refused to give it.”

(Did Utah surprise you by playing so much man coverage?) “We’d seen a lot of man. The thing is, Utah’s a good team, deserves a lot of credit and all that. Utah’s not that good and we’re not that bad but despite what the score is, they could have beat us by 100.”

(On the protection struggles) “Shoot, a part of it’s effort. A part of it’s effort and some of it borders on cowardice. Our five couldn’t whip their two. Sometimes they brought two. Our five couldn’t whip two. If five of our guys went in an alley and got in a fight with two of theirs we would have gotten massacred. That’s just ridiculously inexcusable. It was one of the most heartless efforts I’ve ever seen and our d-line wasn’t any better.”

(On taking Jeff Tuel out, then taking Connor Halliday back out) “Just let Jeff see the field. I thought Jeff did as good as Connor did. It’s hard to gauge. There are definitely some decisions I’d like over again. They’re a little tough to gauge today. When you have (three) seconds or less to throw the ball it’s kind of tough to gauge what they’re doing and what they’re not doing. Clearly it wasn’t a great effort by them. On the field they lead these guys once you get out there on the field but by the same token, some cases it’s hard to gauge. The worst of it was, it wasn’t even not knowing who to block or things like that. Just refusal.”

(Was the poor tackling a reflection of effort?) “I think it’s 100 percent reflection. We didn’t want to tackle very badly. Utah wanted to win, Utah wanted to compete, Utah wanted to play, battle for everything, every opportunity out there.”

(Do you know exactly what it is that coaches aren’t doing right?) “No but whatever it is, it’s not. If lesson one, pee-wee football lesson one is effort. We’re responsible for this team and for whatever reason we haven’t had the ability to convey great effort. Not to the point it stuck that we had any great effort plays today. I don’t recall any.”

“There’s also some individuals that aren’t going to be here next year. When we get off the plane as coaches we’re going to meet and we’re going to discuss and adjust our approach and figure out what we’re going to do throughout the week.”

(On Utah going for two ahead 37-0) “I could care less. What do I care? If we don’t like it, stop it. Who cares? You think there’s some level of satisfaction if I deduct one point from however many it was they beat us by, and our pitiful effort, and our refusal to line up to it? If we’re too stupid to line up to it, it’s our own damn fault.”

(Do you feel like you’re losing players?) “I’m going to lose some of them, I believe it. If you have to beg an 18-22 year old kid to give good effort, you’re dealing with the wrong individual.”

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