Blog matters: Cougars, Vandals, Chiefs
A sampling from the past week of entries in The Spokesman-Review blog SportsLink at spokesman.com/ sportslink.
Washington State finally put on full pads on Thursday. The coaches put on headsets and officials were in uniform. The reason for the extra accoutrements? The Cougars had their first live-tackling session of spring.
The day began in a somewhat sloppy fashion for the Cougars, particularly along the offensive line. WSU was in the middle of its run-and-screen drill when coach Mike Leach stopped the drill to lay into the young offensive line, which was holding less than its own against WSU’s veteran defensive line.
Linebacker Darryl Monroe took advantage of their poor play to stick running back Jamal Morrow in the backfield. He showed off his versatility on the next play, running step by step with Morrow on a go pattern to the end zone.
The offending unit was made to do up-downs and then sent to an end zone for extra reps while the rest of the team moved on to special teams.
“I thought they lumbered out here to get through the drill, but I did think they responded and did some good stuff after that,” Leach said.
Ashley Ambrose, a 13-year NFL veteran with experience coaching at high-level college programs, has joined Paul Petrino’s staff as secondary coach. Ambrose spent three years at Colorado (2008-2010) and two seasons at Cal (2011-2012), where he coached defensive backs. He played with the Colts, Bengals, Saints and Falcons and was named the AFC Defensive Back of the Year in 1996.
“We’re real excited to have Coach Ambrose on the staff,” Petrino said in a statement. “He was a great player in the NFL and played under some of the greatest coaches ever. He brings great knowledge of the game.”
Ambrose has a big task in front of him – Idaho ranked second worst in the FBS last year in passing yards, allowing (315.8 per game), and its best cover corner, Solomon Dixon, left the program after the season.
Ambrose has worked at UI as a consultant to the coaching staff during the first week-plus of spring ball. He replaces Mike Mickens, who spent one year at Idaho before leaving for Bowling Green.
Left wing Adam Helewka and defenseman Colton Bobyk were the Spokane Chiefs’ representatives on the NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings of North American skaters for 2014. Kootenay’s Sam Reinhart, at No. 3, was the top player from the Western Hockey League.
• Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur will assist at the Western Hockey League’s U.S. Combine Cup, at Anaheim, Calif.
• Goalie Eric Williams, who just completed his career with the Spokane Chiefs, has signed with the Colorado Eagles of the East Coast Hockey League.