FROM PULLMAN — WSU outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons spoke with media just after midnight inside the Bohler athletic complex, and he had some strong words when asked about Marquess Wilson. Read on.
(On emphasizing effort) “We started emphasizing effort really the day after we got here and the day after we got around these guys. That was the whole point of midnight maneuvers and some of the exercises that we do as a football family, to try to increase better effort, better finish and more of a competitive advantage. At the end of the day the argument could be made whether we put the best athletes, per se, out on the field. But one thing we can control is how hard we play. … coach Leach pulled some clips and some interviews that were done about Jerry Rice and showed it to the unit last night. The biggest thing he talked about was his effort, especially in the fourth quarter when you think you can play hard, that’s the time that you play even harder and you’re able to out-compete your opponent and if you’ve ever lsitend to coach Johnson talk, especially on why dallas was successful when he was winning super bowls, the effort, and the character of a true warrior and how hard he plays. So that’s the landmark that we’re trying to get our program to. That’s the standard that we’re going to have and if it’s good for one, it’s good for all. There’s a coach over my door saying i’m coaching or allowing it to happen. I can’t get out there and play with them. I wish I could. I can’t get out with them anymore but I’m going to give the maximum amount of effort I can give my team.”
(On Drew Loftus getting to play) “This week was the week that he got his opportunitiy. I kid our trainers, I’m in the habit of losing a guy a week. Drew has been playing well, as well as Kyle Adkins in our Thursday night football so you play well, you show that you can do it, and you get an opportunity to play. And I think for all that stuck around and saw the game, you saw Drew make some plays. Like I said, it wasn’t just this past week. Drew made some plays in the spring as well. He’s kept his head down and he’s kept working and it paid off for him. He was able to showcase some of his talent tonight.”
(On Marquess Wilson) “I can only coach the guys that want to be coached by me and that’s here. You talked about Drew. Drew had a career day for Washington State. Dom had a career day for Washington State. … at the end of the day, I can only affect the guys that want to be affected by me and work with me, so that’s where the situation lies.”
(When the word “abuse” is used, how does that hit you?) “Honestly, it’s kind of laughable, because you and I both know, you’ve been out at every practice and if there was some abuse or physical abuse, I’m sure you would have saw it and everybody else would have reported about it. As people know me, they know that’s not true. As people know the guys that are on our staff, they know that’s not true. My mom once told me as a kid, a wise man never argues with an unintelligent person, because from a distance you can’t tell who’s who. So I’ll leave it at that.”
(Do you feel like you failed him at all?) “We had a drill. There were 64 guys out there. One guy chose to leave three minutes after the drill started. I ask you: how did I fail him? He wasn’t yelled at. He wasn’t cursed at. Now, he wasn’t chased after. But I mean, there was the same 65 guys that you saw play out there today was the same people that were involved in that drill.”
(Does it hurt your feelings that he'd say that?) “Yeah, I’m human. I’ve invested a lot of time in this as well as the rest of the coaches on the staff. As I told some of the guys that asked me the question the other day. My players are like my kids. I spend more time with them than I probably do my wife, which she’s probably upset I’m up here doing this interview, talking to you guys right now because I haven’t seen her since Thursday. But this is the business that I chose to involved myself in and this is the part of it. Does it affect me, does it hurt me? Yeah, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. because I mean, I got into this to make sure that everybody I work with is successful. Everybody.”