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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Mondays with Mike Leach, part 2


FROM PULLMAN -- Here's the rest of Mike Leach's press conference, with player videos, as well.


(How do you stop Oregon's offense?) "You gotta line up. They really prey on guys that don't get lined up quickly enough. You know, guys that are out of position. They've got a handful of plays that they run really well and they do it over and over. And they do it at a really high speed. And it's like 'all right, you can't line up and make the transition to execute your defense as fast as we can because we do it everyday, we do it all the time and we do it really fast, so here we go.' And that's what they do really well. The key thing is to get lined up and be able to transition your defense and switch it off as quick as possible."


(More on Oregon) "Teams in this conference … they're not the only one like that. No, they're good on defense. I think their defense is underrate. I think they are fast. You know, they're not a real elaborate group, which is one thing I've always admired about them. They've always valued execution over a bunch of tricks and slight of hand stuff.


(On Connor Halliday) "I thought he played pretty good. I think he's really emerging as a leader. I think at times great, at other times kind of pressed, tried to make too much happen."


(Does he get starter's reps this week?) Yes.


(Is he starting, then?) Well, we'll see.


(On moving Gabe Marks inside) Well the four guys we've had playing the best at receiver are (Isiah) Myers, Marks, (Brett) Bartolone and (Marquess) Wilson. Really, as they reveal themselves, we just want to get the top four on the field as often as we can."


(Did you think Marks would be more of an inside guy when he came in?) Thought he might be. And then we saw him as an outside guy, and nobody had really taken command of that position. You had Myers who was inconsistent and Kristoff who was inconsistent. And Right of of the blocks, he was the best one. Myers really got on a role. Myers really took off and was really explosive. Just kind of a sense of timing when to make plays. So Myers took off. Then we got to the point where we had them both stacked at the same position. With a young guy like Marks … and Marks is a really smart guy, one of the smartest receivers we have. I mean, he's just an intelligent guy. Like certainly not all of you, but he could beat some of you in Trivial Pursuit. And then the other thing, just a real sense of how to play receiver and how to setup routes and set things up. And how his role related to others. So I don't like making the transition, because I don't like the transition part. But I do think he's the most adaptable. And he's pretty fast. He's one of our fastest guys."


(On dropped passes) "I think it's focus. I think it's emphasis. You know, shoot, after a couple practices you've caught 400 balls. You've gotta catch it. All it is is a ball flying through the air. It doesn't matter where, when or how. It flies through the air. Either you catch it or don't."


(On some of the defensive gaffes late in the game) "Well the biggest things that should happen is all the plays prior to that should shape up differently. On those two specific plays, the substitution we need to get it out there quicker, but they were moving. There should've been two flags on the play. Because they weren't lined up either. They didn't have 14, but they weren't lined up. We left a gap … we played pass instead of run. Left a gap vacated that he ran through."


(On the fourth-down attempt in the fourth quarter) "Well our odds of making it were certainly higher than not making it, although then I think we threw an interception if I recall. And then the other is we had a significant lead. And then the other is … you know, it's funny that people view field goals as somehow automatic and fourth downs as impossible. I've always found that interesting. In the end, if we'd got three points, it certainly wouldn't have looked as good as seven. We did have a significant lead at the time. I don't have any second guesses about going for it. I thought about calling a timeout there and maybe should've. We did kind of hurry the play in in that situation. But I don't have a problem going for it. Our odds of converting that are probably as high as making a field goal."


(On Xavier Cooper) "Really intense, plays really hard. I like the way he's doing things. Kind of a guy … I mean, his intensity, burning desire to play … really plays well as a young player. What year is he? (Redshirt Freshman) Yeah. Plays really well as a young player. Advanced beyond his years. Right now, I think effort, intensity all that stuff is really high. Execution level, I think we've gotta get that higher. Which, I think we will because you've got a really motivated guy that really plays hard."


(When is Matthew McConaughey coming to a game?) "I don't know. He's having a lot of fun with that pirate sword I gave him. I think when that newness wears off we'll get him up here.


"You go to a wedding -- and I'm not an expert in the protocol of going to weddings and things like that -- so I asked one of his best friends … because as you go down the gift list of what to get Matthew McConaughey, that's a little tough. When I decided not to get him a tie because he's not really a tie person. The fella said, 'Well just get him something from you that he'll remember it's from you and Sharon, my wife, and that he'll remember the event. Most people aren't bringing anything, but if you do, something that he'll remember you and the event by.' So, well, got him a pirate sword. So, anyway, it turned out good and I think he and Camilla have hours of fun with it."

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