FROM PULLMAN — Admittedly, the highlight of Tuesday's practice wasn't actually Tuesday's practice. It was Mike Leach talking for 10 minutes afterward about renowned artist Jackson Pollock — a fellow native of Cody, Wyo. — and his impact on abstract expressionism in the United States. It really was enlightening. But for now, we'll stick to football. Read on.
Seriously, Leach is a Pollock enthusiast, and was pleased to learn that some of the artist's work is currently being displayed on WSU's campus. The most interesting revelation from Leach's mini-lecture: when he was coaching at Valdosta State, Leach made his own splatter painting in he and his wife's two-bedroom apartment, and taught the neighbor kids how to make their own, too. … Back to the gridiron — Connor Halliday continues to take starter's reps, though I'm not sure if that's really news at this point. … Dan Spitz still isn't at practice. … Adam Coerper, a regular contributor at defensive end last season, wore a red jersey today and did some work with the offensive line. He also played along the defensive line on the scout team. Offensive line coach Clay McGuire said Coerper continues to be a “team player” and is helping out with the offensive line looking a little thin recently. … Wade Jacobson wore full pads and did some work during practice, but still isn't taking any reps with the No. 1 offensive line. McGuire said he anticipates that WSU will start the same players at offensive line as last week, which would imply that Jacobson will miss another start. … Kristoff Williams is working with the two-deep receive rotation during one-on-one drills, an indication that perhaps he's closer to making his way into the in-game rotation. … Blair Bomber joined a group of players doing conditioning drills on the side, along with Mansel Simmons and Matt Adamson.
Here's a snippet of Mike Breske's comments after practice, taking a look back at the Oregon game and ahead to Oregon State:
(On Oregon State) “Pro-style offense, very balanced. When they get into 12 personnel they’re very balanced between run and pass. Short game, medium game, take their shots downfield. Quarterback’s 60-some percent completion rate, really improved from a year ago in terms of his confidence, believes in his o-line, sits in the pocket, true pocket-style quarterback. Got a windup but he gets the ball there so they’re getting the ball out to the perimeter, making plays, only got one interception in three games and he’s playing very very well and really managing the game and making plays.”
(Difference between this year and last year for Sean Mannion) “Confidence. You see it. How he carries himself, you see quite a difference.”
(On defense against Oregon) “I thought we played with .. we’re going to give up some big plays. The first half we played with good intensity. We had some good stops. We were put in tough situations several times and rallied with the fourth down and after the onside kick held them to a field goal and felt good and came out flat the third quarter. Really disappointed there, first drive, set the tone there and then we turn it over the next play and it’s a quick 14 points and then we settled down and played football. We can’t do that. We’ve got to play with the eye of the tiger in the third quarter. They didn’t do anything we hadn’t prepared for and it was just a matter, initially in the first quarter, of getting used to the speed. You can’t simulate in practice. It’s like playing option football, you’ve got to get to it right away.”
(On defensive backs improving) “We put them in man to man situations primarily, played a lot of man with no post help, just because of the option, and I was real happy with how they played. They were put in some tough situations and responded. (Deone) Bucannon had two game changing plays and played very well. Questionable penalty on Tyree Toomer that we’re off the field, potential field goal, but the drive continues and they score.”