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Post-practice with Joe Salave’a

From Pullman — The Washington State football team again practiced indoors today, meaning that we reporters were not privy to what happened after the first 15 minutes. After practice we spoke with defensive line coach Joe Salave'a, however.

Read the Q&A after the jump.

(Was today more about the younger players like on Thursday? Or were the veterans involved as well?)

Both, a little bit of both. Mainly give the young guys extensive work. Those are priceless, they're just excited to get those opportunities.

(Is anyone standing out?)

Everybody's about the same right now. It's more about revisiting Football 101, hand placement and those things. When you're trying to identify those things you're oblivious to the guy that's winning and not. But I think everybody's getting a dose of fundamentals.

(Was it a nice change of pace to hit the road and do some recruiting?)

We're trying to make sure that as our program moves forward, we need to bring in better premium athletes and that's what we're trying to get done.

(Are recruits excited about the program's progress?)

I don't know about excitement but I think they notice a change in our kids' play and the competitive spirit. Those things confirm that we're doing the right things.

I always tell these guys, 'you've always got to prove something.' That's not going to change. In the team setting, yeah, we want to compete because the ultimate goal is to win. But you can't win a good fight if you can't be sound in your mechanics and fundamentals and I think our guys are starting to come around and improve in those areas. I think those little things, you're starting to see them in a game setting as far as our guys being firm and having a sound feel for executing what we want to do.

(What's the mood of the team?)

I think our guys have a sense of “let's go to work” type mentality. That's something that we can continue to harness so long as they have that spirit for anything that we do in the team setting. It makes for productive sessions and today was no different. I think our guys have a sense of urgency in getting better today.

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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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