FROM LEWISTON — Back in Pullman now, and with our newspaper story filed, we'll pass along some quotes from coach Mike Leach's media session after the Cougars opened camp earlier this afternoon.
(Overall thoughts) “It went good. I thought a lot of enthusiasm, bounced around good. Inconsistent, but I thought it was a good start.”
(On adapting to the new surroundings) “Good. That’s the other thing I thought was fairly impressive, we got here this morning and kind of didn’t miss a beat. Our transitions will get quicker. We’re not used to quite this much space, so it’s kind of fun to have it. I thought it went good.”
(On the grass surface) “This is a certifiably slow surface. I don’t know if there is a slower surface. I’ve always got a kick out of that. We were at the University of Kentucky where we had blue grass, a lot of the SEC has Bermuda, but we didn’t have Bermuda, we had blue grass. We let it grow out long and it was funny, some of those teams that had pretty good speed, it drove them crazy. It aggravated them to no end. I never have figured that out and I remember we were playing Mississippi State once, and coach (Jackie) Sherrill hollered out to one of our receivers, 'hey No. 21, I got a lawnmower if you need one.' The way I’ve always looked at it, one surface may be fast, one surface may be slow, but the fast guys are still faster than the slow guys, so there’s a relative quality to it.”
(On Vince Mayle) “He’s got the potential to be real physical. At times he did some good things, go in the end zone, make space for himself, take the ball away from somebody. We’ve just got to polish his routes, make it really sharp. He’s trying to do everything just right so sometimes he plays slow.”
(On the quarterbacks) “I thought they looked pretty good. I thought both Connor and Austin looked pretty good. I thought that (they were) a little bit streaky at times. We ran an awful lot of verticals, which we typically do the first day, as a matter of fact almost all. I thought they both looked pretty good.”
(Who stood out?) “Connor did, Gabe Marks sometimes did, I thought the linemen bounced around, did a lot of good things. Hard to tell, because we don’t have pads on. I thought (Jamal) Morrow did some good stuff, (River) Cracraft did some good stuff. Defensively, Destiny Vaeao did some good stuff. Daquawn Brown did some good stuff. They rolled the linebackers through there, they all looked pretty good.”
(Compared to last year?) “Better, significantly. It was more competitive, more people bouncing around. More people kind of knew what to do, where to line up, able to kind of build on and draw on what they did last year, in the spring, in the offseason. Had a lot more productive offseason, we’re stronger than we were last year and got a lot more work done.”