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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WSU offense sharp in team session


FROM PULLMAN -- The Cougars went with just shoulder pads and helmets today (and jerseys and shorts and shoes, too, for those of you scoring at home), but they also brought out some officials and ran through a fairly competive team session. You can read about it after the jump.


It was a strong day for WSU's quarterbacks during team session, which was probably a pleasant developmeny for coach Mike Leach and the rest  of the offense. That's because the defense won the skel drill.

But the offense rolled pretty well once team session got going. Connor Halliday and Austin Apodaca each ran a series under center, and each of the possessions resulted in a touchdown.

Halliday completed passes to Dominique Williams, Rickey Galvin, Isiah Myers (who returned to practice), Bobby Ratliff and Robert Lewis before hitting Williams on a short touchdown pass to cap the possession. 

Halliday missed Rickey Galvin on a fade pass on the next play, but that session was still a victory for the offense, and the defense was made to perform up-downs.

(Unofficially, I had Halliday 7-for-11 on the drive, though it's possible I missed a play.)

... Apodaca also had a pretty solid day, completing, by my count, 10 of his 11 throws, two of which might have been touchdowns if not for the fact that this wasn't a full-contact session, so plays were blown dead short of the yardage marker a player likely could have reached. But Theron West capped the drive by taking a handoff into the end zone for a touchdown to cap the day.

Ratliff caught a pair of passes from Apodaca. So did Lewis. Gabe Marks caught three, and Brett Bartolone snagged one, too.

Mike Leach was pretty short afterward, evaluating the day thusly: "I thought we had pretty good tempo. Bounced around, played fast today, both sides of the ball I thought played pretty fast."

... Everything looks pretty much the same from a personnel standpoint. Tana Pritchard is still playing with the No. 1 unit at WIL linebacker, and Darryl Paulo is still working at nose tackle with the bulk of WSU's defensive line still sidelined by injuries. Deone Bucannon is still out, too, so Taylor Taliulu is working alongside Casey Locker at safety.

... If you're ever at a practice, you might see the linebackers participating in an odd drill afterward. If they don't run to the ball with an urgency to coach Ken Wilson's liking, they line up after practice and run a certain number of yards, stopping to do an up-down every five. It doesn't look fun.

... There just isn't a whole lot else to report from practice today, so we'll pass along this brief conversation we had with Ken Wilson.

(On Tana Pritchard) "He’s competing to start so he’s done as good as he can do right now. He’s right in the battle with Justin (Sagote). I think that’ll go into fall. Hopefully Chester (Su'a) will be back with us by that time and give us a swing guy, but he’s played well. He’s got to get bigger but he’s had a really good spring. I like what I’ve seen so far."

(What's impressed you about Pritchard's play?) "He’s an athletic guy and he’s got some really good football intelligence. He’s been a quarterback, he sees things like a quarterback, so I like the way he learns, I like the way he can direct the defense out there. He’s got to get physically big enough to last a whole season. His summer job is going to be to eat and lift and be able to play multiple plays, and as much as his body will let him play, he’ll be in the rotation."

(Mike Leach said the defensive package has been cut down a bit. Did that happen before you got here?) "We all had input. Mike obviously had the first say from those guys last year, coach Leach,  they had already evaluated all that before I got here and then our job was to decide what we could use, what we could put in the package in spring and build on in the fall that would give us the best chance to win. So we’re kind of in the making of that. We added a coiuple things, took a couple things out and then as we see what these guys can do, then we’ll decide our total package."

(What do you think of the linebackers after 12 practices?) "They’re working hard. We’ve got to play harder. Everybody’s got to play harder. If we’re going to win in the Pac-12 we’ve got to play harder. We play hard at times, we play really well at times, kind of up and down as far as that goes, and I’ve been working constantly with them on just consistency. Right now we’re getting wild mood swings. Our highs are really high and our lows are really low, and we’ve got to get more of a common effort and play so we’re not in those wild swings, because those wild swings are worth points to us. We’ve got to get that cut out by the time we get to the season."

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