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WSU’s new specialists

The Washington State coaches value special teams pretty highly. All coaches do to some degree, of course, and all will say that it's a third of the game, etc. Still, many coaches see coverage teams as a place to stick second string players, and save their starters for use on offense or defense. Maybe they're worried about injuries, or maybe they think a player whose only chance to make a play is on special teams will find just a little something extra in themselves to really blow up the ballcarrier.

Not the Cougars. In the words of Mike Leach, "Best players play. If you can't start on offense and you can't start on defense then you better have a good reason for being able to start on special teams."

The Cougars will have new starters on special teams this season, at least they will at kicker, punter and punt returner. Our first 2014 position preview takes a look at the replacements.

More links are after the jump.

...

-- Washington State resumed practice on Friday. Thanks to a Thursday game against Rutgers, it was more of a Sunday practice with a dash of Thursday thrown in.

-- A Texas Tech website has a Q&A with new WSU offensive analyst Graham Harrell.

-- The nerds over at CougCenter have come up with a really cool, interactive graphic that examines WSU's all-time rushing leaders.

-- Washington borrowed the Seahawks' practice facility for a day.

-- Some Arizona State defensive backs have a friendly rivalry going.

-- Cal's linebacker depth is already being tested.

-- Unsurprisingly, a Colorado receiver is playing better with his foot problem behind him.

-- It's another season of high expectations at Oregon.

-- Stanford coach David Shaw has high expectations of an upcoming scrimmage.

-- UCLA's Conor McDermott wants more for his birthday.

-- A USC running back is fighting a shoulder injury.

-- Utah's defensive backs are trying to move forward without their leader.




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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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