From Pullman — The Cougars practiced inside their indoor practice bubble for the first time this season, meaning that us reporters were unable to see what happened after the first 15 minutes. We did see players tricking out of the facility throughout practice, however. Find out why after the jump.
The practice held today, and those being held on Saturday and Sunday are only possible because the Cougars are eligible to play in a bowl game. Like many coaches, WSU's Mike Leach utilizes bowl practices not only to prepare for the upcoming game, but to get younger players on the roster a head start going into next season. That was the theme of Thursday's practice, as the first string players only participated in the first 30 minutes or so of practice.
“We had about 30 minutes with the vets, we finished 7-on-7, they went in and lifted and then we started this all over again,” defensive coordinator Mike Breske said. “For us on defense, we did our tackle circuit again, our everyday drills. Then we got to 1-on-1, 7-on-7's and then we got to team (11-on-11's), which the varsity guys didn't have. So we got a good number of reps here and that's what it's about. This is an advantage, there are teams that don't get this and you take advantage of that and these guys have to understand that. We met after practice, defensively, to communicate that.”
Breske and head coach Mike Leach spent the last few days on the recruiting trail — the rest of the coaches are still on the road — and both acknowledged that their pitch has received a warmer reception following WSU's 2-1 finish to the season.
“The reception has been real good, especially for me in the Tri-Cities and Yakima area are strong Coug country,” Breske said. “Especially when you go into schools there are a lot of Cougs, it's been really good and they've been really positive about Coach Leach and everything that's been going on here.”