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Mondays with Mike Leach

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Here's a transcript of some of Mike Leach's comments at his Monday press conference.


(Was Saturday's game more ideal in terms of number of rushes?) “I think Teondray (Caldwell) coming back helped. I also think that there were situations where they gave us the rush. Also I thought our quarterbacks did a good job identifying some things there. We’re a far cry from ideal rushing the football. We’ve just got to keep getting better at it.”

(On Saturday's game) “Thought we played really hard. It was a strange game. I’ve never had four kicks blocked in a year much less in a game. We battled away and end up drawing the thing to the end and that’s against ridiculous adversity that we had overcome against a really good team.”

(What happened on the special-teams breakdowns?) “It was all very simple. Individual bust by our guard on the first field goal, the second one, individual bust by our tackle, a snapper rolled the punt and then our wing on punt whiffed the guy. It’s about as simple as that. The funny thing was the other parts of the unit were doing some good things. A lot of times if you have a problem there, it’s going to be one specific place. It’s going to be something over and over, it’s going to be something they’ve identified or they pick away at. It’s just four random deals, four random loss of focus.”

(More on special teams) “We talked about effort more than the plays on this one because we had really good effort and we wanted to reinforce that and continue to improve on it. Obviously we talked about the importance of 11 people focusing each play and can have bad consequences. A lot of times somebody doesn’t focus and some play doesn’t get what it should get and something like that, but special teams where you exchange a bunch of yards, a lot of times it nearly gets blocked, not in this case. They got all four of them.”

(On Jeff Tuel practicing last night) “Jeff’s doing some good stuff and Connor (Halliday) is too. Connor had a big game. Jeff was playing really well and then of course I thought Connor started out slow and had a gigantic second half.”

(On Marquess Wilson's abuse claims) “They’re all categorically denied. There’s no truth about it all and none’s been suggested, either.”

(Is there anything coaches have done that could have been misconstrued?) “No, no, no. Next question.”

(Asked if a disgruntled player might say those things) “I think that’s obviously the case.”

(On receivers Dominique Williams and Bobby Ratliff) “I thought they played really well. I mentioned something about addition by subtraction. I think that was clearly the case and probably long overdue.”

(On Tuel's injury history) “It’s unbelievable. Most people would have quit. He’s been through a lot of adversity but he’s a tough guy. I think he’s an example for everybody as far as real commitment to playing football. He’s never flinched on anything with regard to his role or anything like that.”

(On investigation being a distraction, asked by reporter who witnessed Wilson walk out of workout) “We did a great job ignoring the distractions. We don’t have anything to hide around here. And quite frankly, you in particular should know we don’t have anything to hide around here. You were the one sitting up there in the library. You saw it as good as anybody. You can write the story better than I can. You were up there the whole time. Plus you were at an elevated view of the whole thing. There you go. As a matter of fact you’re going to be one of the first guys I’m going to direct these people toward.”

(On Arizona State) “They play really good defense. They’re kind of an inspired group but they’re like us, too. They play in spurts at time. They’re really explosive. Their skill guys are really good.”

(On ASU's offensive struggles recently) “I think their level of competition changed a little bit. I think part of it, they played better people. I don’t know how deep they are so I think they’re probably getting thin like a lot of teams are this time of year but I think they’re  still explosive and I think they’re a very good team.”

(On offensive line play) “I don’t know if we were consistent. I thought we improved. I thought it was very meaningful for us. I thought we played hard. We had some individual busts here and there. The biggest thing, we played hard. I thought we gave our best effort. Now we need to try to sharpen it up. I thought they really did have a great effort. I thought (Elliott) Bosch played good.”

(On the weather) “This is more similar to Texas than people think. There’s more snow here. Texas there was times it would snow and stick around for a while. We had 0-4 snow storms a year. It’d always get cold. Here it seems like lately it’s been snowing and most of the storms I’ve been around other than 1 or 2 last year it warms up and rains on it and it goes away. I don’t mind it.”

(On a starting QB) “I’ll keep you posted.”

(On president Elson Floyd announcing the investigation) “Basically, I just think he wants to dispel all the falsehood that surrounds it, which I have no problem with that. Sitting right here I have an eyewitness that witnessed the entire workout that (Wilson) spent 15 minutes in and objected to and left. I mean, 65 people went through the workout and he left after 15 minutes. Nobody went after him. I think it says more about him than it does anybody or anything else. And the great thing is, I’ve got an eyewitness.”

(On what the investigation will entail) “I don’t even know what it is. Nothing’s specified.”

“I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t talked to anybody about it. Not concerned about it. The biggest place it’s a distraction is in here. So far our team’s done a tremendous job ignoring anybody that doesn’t want to be here, going out and playing as hard as they can.”

(On the halftime locker room at Utah) “Typical locker room stuff. Elliott could tell you better than I could. I can tell you with certainty that nothing inappropriate happened in there.”


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