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Posts tagged: Mike Leach

WSU practice just a little too chippy

By and large, the Washington State football coaches don't worry about the normal practice scuffles that inevitably occur.

Over the course of a season, 100 adrenaline-fueled football players compete and are bound to get on each other's nerves, occasionally, and the skirmishes are typically over in seconds.

But on Saturday, three major fights broke out between the scout team offense and the regular defense with more animus and far more players than usual getting involved.

Gabe Marks and Sulaiman Hameed began the first brouhaha, with their teammates quickly converging on the pair. The conflicts were large enough and long enough to detract from practice as coaches spent more time than they'd like pulling frustrated players away from each other.

Still, defensive line coach Joe Salave'a is glad his team still has some fighting spirit.

“Yeah, you never want to lose reps,” Salave'a said. “That's what you can't have. But part of that, I'd rather have guys flying around and have that competitive spirit than not and we'll make (the reps) up tomorrow as we get going.”

We have more from Wednesday's practice after the jump.

Practice report: a new receiver and a reemerging running back

After Tuesday's practice Mike Leach spoke about Washington State's newest football player, receiver Kyrin Priester.

He said that the 6-foot-1 receiver, who will enroll in the spring after transferring from Clemson, is big, physical and has good hands. Priester will sit out next season and then have three years to play at WSU.

Leach said that he knows several Clemson coaches and that Priester liked the idea of playing in WSU's high-volume passing offense.

Our report from tonight's practice is after the jump.

Video: Mike Leach press conference

Mike Leach answered questions from the media for about 20 minutes on Monday about Connor Halliday, Luke Falk, punts and lots of other topics.

The video of his press conference, courtesy of WSU Athletics, is below and a transcription of his remarks is after the jump.


Halliday’s ankle broken at fibula and tibia

During Monday's press conference Washington State coach Mike Leach clarified what exactly the injury suffered by quarterback Connor Halliday is, a break of his fibula and tibia low enough to be considered part of the ankle. Halliday is still in the hospital, where he is greeting a steady stream of teammates. Here's our story on that. The photo above is from

Thursday Night Football and other practice notes

The Cougars held their weekly underclassmen scrimmage but first had one final practice to prepare for USC.

Our practice report is after the jump.

Preparing for USC’s defense

Three WSU coaches were asked about USC's defense and all three uttered the word “athletic” shortly thereafter.

The Cougars hope that the work they put in during Wednesday's practice can combat all that athleticism. How did it go? Our practice report is after the jump.

Mike Price and Jeremiah Allison fire up the Cougars

Before today's practice former Washington State football coach Mike Price addressed the team.

We weren't close enough to hear what he was saying, but judging from how animated he became during his speech, we're guessing it was something inspiring.

Price coached the Cougars from 1989-2002, taking WSU to a pair of Rose Bowls and three 10-win seasons.

“A good guy, I've know him for years,” current coach Mike Leach said. “A great guy, actually the first time I ever came out here was to speak at a clinic he put on.”

One Price finished up and exited with his former QB, Jason Gesser, as escort the Cougars took the practice field and linebacker Jeremiah Allison did his best to fill the motivational void.

We have more on practice, after the jump.

Video: Mike Leach at WSU press conference

Washington State football coach Mike Leach addressed the media during WSU's weekly Monday press conference. The video is courtesy of WSU athletics and a transcription is after the jump.

WSU defense prepares for Arizona’s race car offense

After practice Mike Leach said that turnovers weren't any particular point of emphasis on Tuesday, but the defensive ones and twos seemed to make it a priority forcing three consecutive fumbles at one point in practice.

Taylor Taliulu got things started with a big hit on a wide receiver, then the next two were forced by group of defenders all converging on the ball carrier.

“(Upcoming opponent Arizona is) the Indy 500 of offenses,” defensive line coach Joe Salave'a said. “Tempo never slows down one bit so I think our tempo in our practices is going to be critical and our work this week is going to be critical. We don't half-step anything and we're trying to keep up with the pace of the offense.”

Lineman Darryl Paulo capped a solid day for the defense with a pair of consecutive sacks and Darryl Monroe, who was recently passed on the depth chart by Peyton Pelluer, had the hit of the day on running back Austin Hall as the ball carrier tried to bounce a run outside only to be met by Monroe in the backfield.

We have more from practice after the jump.

Mike Leach Monday press conference


Washington State football coach Mike Leach addressed the media during his Monday press conference. The video above is courtesy of WSU Athletics and the highlights are transcribed after the jump.


Back to game preparations with a Sunday night practice

The Cougars returned to game preparations with their weekly 8 p.m. practice on Sunday night. Washington State only practiced for about 45 minutes or so but we've still got a practice report, and some quotes from defensive coordinator Mike Breske, after the jump.

Keith Harrington, running back

Freshman running back Squally Canada was one of the players absent during today's football practice. So during the Cougars' third and final Thursday Night Football scrimmage of the week, Keith Harrington got all the work between the tackles.

He's doing so well that running backs coach Jim Mastro won't give him back to the receivers. Mike Leach wouldn't go so far as to make the switch permanent for the receiver, who did play running back in high school, but admitted that “we're heading in that direction.”

More on today's practice is after the jump.

All sorts of shuffling at WSU’s practice

By my count there were 11 limited players at WSU's practice on Thursday and a few more appeared to be absent. That led to a number of players getting reps at new positions or with new units. Afterwards, the Cougars held a Thursday Night Football scrimmage for the second week in a row.

Our practice report is after the jump.

The Cougars return with an intense practice

Washington State hadn't taken the field since Friday and has no opponent coming up this weekend so the Cougars had a spirited practice on Wednesday with the ones on offense going against the ones on defense and capped it off with a Thursday Night Football scrimmage.

The Cougars had a team meeting before practice where coach Mike Leach spoke to the importance of not letting a lackadaisical attitude set in with no immediate opponent upcoming.

“You've got to maintain the intensity and make sure that guys come in focused to get better every day,” Leach said. “Just push them hard. But they did a good job today I thought.”

More on practice after the jump.

Video: Mike Leach after Stanford

Washington State coach Mike Leach addresses the media after the Stanford game. Sorry for the fireworks. The video is courtesy of WSU Athletics.

Cougars finish final practice before Stanford

It's only Wednesday but the Cougars have already finished the week's practices save for tomorrow's walk-through. The short week also means that today was Thursday Night Football for the young players who mostly won't be making the trip to the Bay Area.

Our report on practice is after the jump.

Cougars prep for Stanford

The Cougars just have one more day of practice before they'll fly down to the Bay Area for a matchup with Stanford. That's always a tough, physical game and the players and coaches are getting ready for a fight.

“I like these kind of games,” said defensive line coach Joe Salave'a. It's like back in the playing days, Pittsburgh weekend or NFC East matchup with Philly when I was a Redskin. It's a throwback type of mentality and we've got to make sure our guys are ready for those.”

After practice Mike Leach clarified the role of new assistant Eric Mele who is taking over for the recently dismissed Eric Russell, saying that he is considered the interim special teams coach.

He also gave his own thoughts on special teams. Unlike some coaches Leach plays a number of starters on special teams.

“I've really never had (a player) that ever went on and played past college that didn't embrace (special teams) because it's part of the game,” Leach said. “If you're a good player you're a competitive guy. The best players I've had campaigned to be on special teams …  If you're the right kind of player you want to be out there. If you look at a 53-man roster, they're all playing special teams. If you don't want to play special teams you're playing in the wrong place.”

More on today's practice after the jump.

Kristoff Williams returns to practice

The Cougars wrapped up practice at about 10:45 p.m. today, a combination of Sunday's late practice time and Tuesday's practice length as team tries to get as much good work in as possible before Friday's game. After practice we spoke with defensive coordinator Mike Breske, who talked about the defense's struggles in the second half on Saturday and what he expects from Stanford.

​The practice report is after the jump.


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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) 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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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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