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Live WSU chat (transcription)

srchat: Welcome to our live chat. I'll be in at 11 a.m., but ask questions now if you have them and those will be answered first.

Aug 26 2015, 10:58 AM

srchat: Let's get started.

Aug 26 2015, 10:59 AM

Jonthecoug: Has Molton surpassed Pippins?

Aug 26 2015, 10:59 AM

srchat: It's starting to look that way, as Darrien Molton has been running with the ones in front of Marcellus Pippins for a few practices now. While Pippins has a little more experience, Molton does appear to have superior athleticism and maybe longer arms.

Aug 26 2015, 11:00 AM

ItsMe (guest): Who's gonna be the punter and placekicker?

Aug 26 2015, 11:00 AM

srchat: It looks like Erik Powell will handle kicks and Zach Charme will punt.

Aug 26 2015, 11:00 AM

Guest8022 (guest): Any cause for concern that our big & veteran OL seemed to not protect the QB as well as you'd have expected them to in camp?

Aug 26 2015, 11:01 AM

srchat: Not really. The defensive line got similar pressure last camp, and the offensive line held up pretty well during the season. It's important to remember these are "touch" sacks, which would not necessarily be sacks in a live situation. It's just easier to get to the QB knowing you only have to get a finger on him than it is to get a clear shot. Also, the defense knows the Oline, is familiar with the wide splits and generally knows what play is coming, too.

Aug 26 2015, 11:02 AM

ItsMe (guest): What about kickoff duties? And will they regularly put the ball in the endzone on kickoffs?

Aug 26 2015, 11:02 AM

srchat: I'm not sure the kickoff kicker has been decided yet. I think they'd like Matt Abramo to do it, but he's been limited. If Abramo can't go, then I don't think there will be many touchbacks.

Aug 26 2015, 11:02 AM

Guest1331 (guest): If Marks has a stand out season, does he leave for the NFL?

Aug 26 2015, 11:03 AM

srchat: I would not be shocked. Not because I think he'd be a high pick, necessarily, but if has 1,000-plus yards I'm not sure there's much more he could show the NFL, and he'd already have been in college for four years.

Aug 26 2015, 11:04 AM

Guest1331 (guest): But Marks has two years left with his redshirt?

Aug 26 2015, 11:04 AM

srchat: Including this season, yes.

Aug 26 2015, 11:05 AM

Guest4033 (guest): How safe is taliulu?

Aug 26 2015, 11:05 AM

srchat: He seems to have weathered an initial challenge to his spot, but with Shalom Luani getting more comfortable I wouldn't say he's particularly safe.

Aug 26 2015, 11:05 AM

Guest3786 (guest): Mastro seems to love James Williams. Is he going to pass the other running backs as true frosh?

Aug 26 2015, 11:06 AM

srchat: I doubt it, Mastro is pretty enamored of the other three as well. If all three remain healthy, I expect Williams to redshirt.

Aug 26 2015, 11:06 AM

Guest1331 (guest): Looks like Ware is out? Confirmation?

Aug 26 2015, 11:07 AM

srchat: We can't confirm until after today's 7:30 p.m. practice, but it sure seems like he's off the team.

Aug 26 2015, 11:07 AM

Guest3786 (guest): How's the smoke?

Aug 26 2015, 11:07 AM

srchat: The AQI is 89 right now, slightly worse than yesterday but good enough to practice outdoors.

Aug 26 2015, 11:07 AM

Guest6769 (guest): With an 11am kickoff do you think it's possible the game could just be delayed to a later time in the day, when air quality improves ?

Aug 26 2015, 11:08 AM

srchat: I doubt it. There would be no guarantees the air quality would improve by the afternoon and you wouldn't want to send everybody home. Plus, there are TV considerations, etc.

Aug 26 2015, 11:08 AM

Guest1331 (guest): First play of the season: Run or Pass?

Aug 26 2015, 11:08 AM

srchat: Kickoff

Aug 26 2015, 11:08 AM

srchat: But pass.

Aug 26 2015, 11:08 AM

Guest3516 (guest): Players going to be able to attend today's memorial?

Aug 26 2015, 11:09 AM

srchat: I believe that's the reason for the 7:30 p.m. practice.

Aug 26 2015, 11:10 AM

Guest8022 (guest): how has zach charme looked? are we going to be watching 35 yard line drive punts again this year?

Aug 26 2015, 11:11 AM

srchat: He's had about a week and a half of really good practices, with consistently booming punts. Accuracy might still be an issue.

Aug 26 2015, 11:12 AM

Guest4033 (guest): Anyone You'd like to see climb the depth chart and get more playing time?

Aug 26 2015, 11:13 AM

srchat: I'm curious to see what C.J. Dimry can eventually do as a big receiver. And I'd like to see Calvin Green at safety at some point.

Aug 26 2015, 11:13 AM

Guest4109 (guest): Who's your leader in the clubhouse for punt and kick returner?

Aug 26 2015, 11:14 AM

srchat: I think we'll see Gabe Marks return punts and Kyrin Priester and Tavares Martin Jr. returning kicks with some Keith Harrington reps as well.

Aug 26 2015, 11:14 AM

Guest3516 (guest): Has Calvin Green looked better making the switch to defense than Caldwell did?

Aug 26 2015, 11:14 AM

srchat: Yes.

Aug 26 2015, 11:14 AM

ItsMe (guest): Do you ever get tired of Mike Leach's attitude with reporters? I know it's not your job to be buddy's with coach, nor his. But be honest, wouldn't it be more fun to cover a coach with Pete Carroll's attitude toward the media than Leach's or Mora's, for example?

Aug 26 2015, 11:15 AM

srchat: Leach can be short at times, and there are times it would be fun to cover one of those really upbeat, positive coaches. But at least he's not Paul Petrino.

Aug 26 2015, 11:15 AM

Guest303 (guest): I saw Joe Dahl made the preseason Pac 12 team. Do you think any other Cougs should have also been on it?

Aug 26 2015, 11:16 AM

srchat: I think a few other players like River Cracraft or Dom Williams have the potential to make the list at the end of the season. But I don't think the Cougars have anyone whose body of work should dictate that they be on the list ahead of the players on there right now.

Aug 26 2015, 11:17 AM

Guest8022 (guest): i noticed last year (specifically apple cup) our punt returners struggled catching the ball and instead would let the ball roll 20 yards to inside the 10. has there been an increased emphasis on preventing that from happening and possibly moving closer to the line of scrimmage to catch the line drive punts and not let them roll inside the 10?

Aug 26 2015, 11:18 AM

srchat: I haven't noticed a specific emphasis on that, but I think a lot of that coaching goes on in the team meetings that we're not typically privy to.

Aug 26 2015, 11:18 AM

Guest3516 (guest): Nice of Jim Walden to join the chat seasion

Aug 26 2015, 11:18 AM

srchat: Hey, Jim!

Aug 26 2015, 11:18 AM

Guest7789 (guest): Right now the air quality in Pullman is like it was Saturday and Sunday. Gagging!

Aug 26 2015, 11:19 AM

srchat: I have noticed folks walking around in doctor's masks and very few of them looked like MDs.

Aug 26 2015, 11:19 AM

Guest1331 (guest): This being Grinch's first DC position, how is he doing?

Aug 26 2015, 11:20 AM

srchat: I think he's done well. I have noticed his intensity in practice ratchet up at the season gets closer.

Aug 26 2015, 11:20 AM

Guest4109 (guest): With Rutgers current dilemma, do you think that has any effect on our game with them?

Aug 26 2015, 11:20 AM

srchat: I think it only helps the Cougars. I suppose there can be a closing of ranks and bringing of a team together during a situation like that, but I tend to view it as a distraction.

Aug 26 2015, 11:21 AM

Guest303 (guest): What backups are you most and least comfortable with their abilities?

Aug 26 2015, 11:21 AM

srchat: The backup running backs and receivers are all really good. I think the backup DBs and to a lesser extent linebackers aren't quite Pac-12 ready.

Aug 26 2015, 11:21 AM

ItsMe (guest): Fair enough. It just seems so unnecessary for him to cop an attitude with about 25% of your questions when all you're trying to do is provide fans with interest in HIS team.

Aug 26 2015, 11:22 AM

Guest3516 (guest): Have you noticed less fights this year during camp? Team seem more focused?

Aug 26 2015, 11:22 AM

srchat: Way fewer fights than last season. I don't know how to gauge focus, but I suppose fewer fights could be an indicator of more focus.

Aug 26 2015, 11:22 AM

Guest1331 (guest): Bold what if scenario: What if the Cougs win 8 plus games, do you see any coaches get offered for bigger roles?

Aug 26 2015, 11:24 AM

srchat: I think Salave'a will get offers pretty frequently as long as he's at WSU. Some of of the coaches (McGuire, Mastro) are such Leach guys that I think schools lay off unless they hear they're looking. I wouldn't be surprised if Graham Harrell was offered a QB coach job at a big school or the NFL, and if Grinch has a good defense I think he'll be a sought-after coach in a couple years.

Aug 26 2015, 11:24 AM

Guest7789 (guest): Speaking of Petrino, as a beat writer, have you ever witnessed a scene like last week's incident with the Tribrune and Daily News beat writers?

Aug 26 2015, 11:26 AM

srchat: No, but if I did I would sure as heck write about it. As a reporter, you expect the people to cover to disagree with what you write about at times and we all get yelled at. But there's a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it, and in that situation I think the writer was correct to hold Petrino publicly accountable and start a discussion about the relationship between coaches and the reporters who cover their teams.

Aug 26 2015, 11:26 AM

Guest8022 (guest): Do you feel Leach's schtick annoys the older(50+) alums than the younger ones? I get the feeling the older generation hates how he doesn't speak in cliches and acts all hunky doory all the time. From what I can tell, the younger generation could care less and therefore support him much more.

Aug 26 2015, 11:28 AM

srchat: Perhaps. I've actually found that older fans generally care less about his perceived gruffness, while the younger fans I know think he should make more of an effort to be outgoing. I think the older generation grew up with coaches that were more strong and silent, etc., while the younger generations see these really engaging, energetic ones.

Aug 26 2015, 11:28 AM

Guest5184 (guest): There is talk that if Falk starts he will be under center more which will open up the run game more and play-action pass. Is this true or just the fan base over-analyzing the off-season too much?

Aug 26 2015, 11:29 AM

srchat: Where is this talk? I haven't seen one quarterback go under center more often than the other, but Falk does check into run plays more than Bender does.

Aug 26 2015, 11:29 AM

ItsMe (guest): Generally thoughts comparing your first Fall camp last year to your second one this year?

Aug 26 2015, 11:30 AM

srchat: WSU is a better, deeper team at most positions but losing Halliday hurts.

Aug 26 2015, 11:31 AM

Guest199 (guest): Not sure if you can answer a scheme question, but do the Corners always stay on one side of the field?

Aug 26 2015, 11:32 AM

srchat: Yes, unlike the boundary-field CB of last year the cornerbacks are always on their designated side of the field.

Aug 26 2015, 11:32 AM

Guest4033 (guest): Most exciting player to watch this year?

Aug 26 2015, 11:32 AM

srchat: Gerard Wicks for now. Kyrin Priester once he gets going.

Aug 26 2015, 11:32 AM

Guest303 (guest): How do you predict Broughton's year goes? When does he get up to speed to start contributing?

Aug 26 2015, 11:33 AM

srchat: I think he probably still has to wait for the NCAA to sign off on him practicing. Once that happens, he'll need a few weeks to get into a groove and work up the depth chart. I think a good-case scenario is him being ready to go after the bye week in time for the start of Pac-12 play at California.

Aug 26 2015, 11:35 AM

Guest9380 (guest): I see a lot of hype for Priester, but people need to remember he is still a freshman. Should we pump the brakes on getting excited about him or is he the real deal?

Aug 26 2015, 11:36 AM

srchat: He wasn't a huge factor in the spring game (when they kept his reps down) or in the scrimmages, so I think it may still take a little time for him to be able to use his talent at game speed. There's a lot of talent there, though.

Aug 26 2015, 11:36 AM

Guest7642 (guest): in what way does losing holliday hurt?

Aug 26 2015, 11:38 AM

srchat: He was a fifth-year senior quarterback who had started for years and knew the offense cold. He was the offense's undisputed leader and had a better command of the huddle. Losing that will always hurt, especially in an offense that passes so much. Additionally, he had a much more powerful arm than the other QBs, and could threaten a defense in a way they can't. Remember some of those bombs to Mayle, or those off-balance fourth-down completions against Utah? I don't think the current QBs can make those throws

Aug 26 2015, 11:38 AM

srchat: so the opposing defenses aren't stretched as thin.

Aug 26 2015, 11:38 AM

Guest3516 (guest): Martin JR. look like a lock for the two deeps?

Aug 26 2015, 11:38 AM

srchat: Yes, Martin Jr. will be the backup at Z.

Aug 26 2015, 11:39 AM

Guest5184 (guest): I should not have used the word "talk" but I have seen a couple articles that we could see Falk under center more instead of the shotgun -- compared to what we saw with Halliday. http://espn.go.com/blog/pac12/post/_/id/88166/washington-state-looks-for-greater-offensive-balance-under-center

Washington State looks for greater offensive balance under center - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN

Aug 26 2015, 11:39 AM

srchat: Well yes, as we've reported since spring the Cougars are going under center some this year. But I don't think it's a matter of Falk vs. Bender, they will both do it.

Aug 26 2015, 11:39 AM

Guest199 (guest): Do you expect Dotson to play mostly at Nickel or Safety?

Aug 26 2015, 11:40 AM

srchat: I still think mostly at safety but it does seem like they will use him at nickel frequently, rather than just in certain situations.

Aug 26 2015, 11:40 AM

Guest3234 (guest): Brougton in or out ?

Aug 26 2015, 11:40 AM

srchat: He was at practice yesterday in street clothes. I expect he's here but waiting on NCAA clearance.

Aug 26 2015, 11:41 AM

Guest303 (guest): Will we break last year's record for total offense in a game this year?

Aug 26 2015, 11:42 AM

srchat: Last year the offense got 812 yards against Cal. That'll be tough to match, simply because the offense was on the field so much with Cal's return touchdowns and quick scores.

Aug 26 2015, 11:42 AM

Guest3234 (guest): falk has legs and that will add at least 1 more win to the total

Aug 26 2015, 11:43 AM

srchat: Every player anywhere has legs. Falk can run a bit, and that helps, but I doubt the two or three eight-yard scrambles a game and a few avoided sacks make up for Halliday's experience and arm strength.

Aug 26 2015, 11:44 AM

Guest3234 (guest): Ware to deep in the depth chart to come back or something else ?...is Dillard in the 2 deep ?..they were so high on him ?...

Aug 26 2015, 11:44 AM

srchat: Dillard is a backup tackle, he's doing just fine. Ware is no longer on the roster and probably not on the team.

Aug 26 2015, 11:46 AM

Guest3234 (guest): Disagree on legs...you know what I was talking about...Connor was terrible on the run and it cost the Cougs..my comment actually came rom 2 NFL qb's who watch the Cougs...so I think its valid..remember Tuel in the Apple Cup with his legs, Falk last year..its called an extension of a play !

Aug 26 2015, 11:48 AM

srchat: Fine, you win. I guess watching every snap from both players the last two years meant nothing. Falk runs for 1,000 yards and the Cougars win the Rose Bowl. Better go book a flight!

Aug 26 2015, 11:49 AM

Jonthecoug: Dline looks pretty solid. Do you expect 8-10 to be in the rotation this year?

Aug 26 2015, 11:50 AM

srchat: Maybe not that many, remember they only start three defensive linemen. I think there are 7, maybe 8 that rotate regularly.

Aug 26 2015, 11:50 AM

Guest199 (guest): I think the Rush linebacker position is very important this season. How has Palachio/McClennan looked?

Aug 26 2015, 11:51 AM

srchat: Both have looked good. McLennan, in particular, is starting to put everything together.

Aug 26 2015, 11:51 AM

Guest1331 (guest): When will Wazzu be the Pac-12 North Powerhouse and start getting 5 star recruits?

Aug 26 2015, 11:52 AM

srchat: Very few schools ever give 5-star recruits unless they are near a major population center or have multiple national titles. But there aren't very many 5-star players, anyways. If WSU can make a bowl this year and then win 8 or so games next year I think they'll be able to regularly get more than a couple 4-star guys.

Aug 26 2015, 11:52 AM

NussCoug: (never)
Aug 26 2015, 11:53 AM

srchat: ^ Must be a Husky.

Aug 26 2015, 11:53 AM

Jonthecoug: How has Aaron Porter looked? Is he running third behind Pueller and Leniu?

Aug 26 2015, 11:53 AM

NussCoug: (just a realist who agrees with everything you just said)

Aug 26 2015, 11:54 AM

srchat: Porter has been OK, but he's a little slow. Luvu looks like a better option behind Pelluer.

Aug 26 2015, 11:54 AM

Guest6073 (guest): While the cougs do lose halliday, and I think there is going to be a big step down in arm talent, it seems to me like we will not have to be such a gunslinger offense that lives and dies throwing balls into tight windows (to some extent) which in the end should result in less turnovers and put less pressure on the defense. But I doubt we'll see the same halliday passing stats

Aug 26 2015, 11:56 AM

srchat: I agree, there are certainly benefits to not taking so many shots downfield. And if the offense doesn't sputter, it ultimately won't really matter. But the Halliday-Mayle combination likely also prevented some turnovers by moving the offense down the field quickly (more plays=more turnover opportunities). And Falk/Bender have thrown at least as many interceptions in practice as Halliday did.

Aug 26 2015, 11:56 AM

srchat: I think fans remember Falk's performance at Oregon State and assume that he's going to never turn the ball over and be calm and cool in all situations. But that's not what I've seen in practice and I don't think it's realistic in his first year as the fulltime starter.

Aug 26 2015, 11:57 AM

shurtyj (guest): Any guesses as to why the o-line as struggled a bit with pass pro so far?

Aug 26 2015, 11:57 AM

srchat: Hey shurty, we went into this in depth up above but the short version is that I don't think they've actually struggled as much as the sack numbers indicate.

Aug 26 2015, 11:57 AM

Ryan Rylee: Do you think we might see a two tight end formation in the red zone this year??

Aug 26 2015, 11:58 AM

srchat: Well last year they brought out that formation with seven offensive linemen, I think we could see that again. They've only really got one tight end on the team, so it'd be hard to get two true ones out there.

Aug 26 2015, 11:58 AM

Guest4033 (guest): Hows oguayo looked?

Aug 26 2015, 11:58 AM

srchat: He's made a few plays. Good athlete. Contributor down the road.

Aug 26 2015, 11:58 AM

Guest7789 (guest): I know this is off your beat but the women's b'ball team losing Galderia has got be devastating. Galderia was the type of player a coach could build a team around.

Aug 26 2015, 11:59 AM

srchat: Yes, losing her and Tia Presley means that coach Daugherty's team will have an entirely different feel next year. They've brought in some good recruits the last couple years, but it's going to be tough not to take a step back.

Aug 26 2015, 11:59 AM

Guest1331 (guest): Who's going to be able to stop 5 vertical routes with Marks, Priester, Dom, Cracraft, and Lewis on the field at the same time?

Aug 26 2015, 11:59 AM

srchat: A team with a really good pass rush.

Aug 26 2015, 11:59 AM

Guest3234 (guest): Glad you and Nuss work in tandem have each others back...silly...probably more of a coug that both of you...maybe 35 plus years.

Aug 26 2015, 11:59 AM

srchat: Your award is in the mail.

Aug 26 2015, 12:00 PM

50_plus (guest): Think the D-line and linebackers will fare better against the run, particularly vs. Rutgers?

Aug 26 2015, 12:01 PM

srchat: Sort of tough to say on the defensive line. It all depends if Barber and Ekuale are ready to replace Pole, a pretty good run-stuffer. I do think the linebackers will be a lot better against the run, particularly because the run defense improved last season once Allison and Pelluer entered the lineup.

Aug 26 2015, 12:03 PM

Ryan Rylee: Do you think Molton takes hold of a starting job by PAC12 play??

Aug 26 2015, 12:03 PM

srchat: I think he might have already taken hold of one.

Aug 26 2015, 12:04 PM

NussCoug:

Aug 26 2015, 12:04 PM

ItsMe (guest): Why did it take half a season for the coaching staff to realize Monroe was not their best option to start at LB last year? Seems like there have been a few occasions where this staff has been slow to recognize the talent gaps between their own players.

Aug 26 2015, 12:04 PM

srchat: According to Monroe's dad, he played much of last season with a minor injury that prevented him from playing at full speed, so it may be that they were waiting to see if he could adjust.

Aug 26 2015, 12:04 PM

ItsMe (guest): Jordon Simone comes to mind as another example

Aug 26 2015, 12:06 PM

srchat: Chris Ball recognized Simone's talent at WSU. It's why he was so happy to get him at ASU.

Aug 26 2015, 12:07 PM

ItsMe (guest): exactly.

Aug 26 2015, 12:07 PM

ItsMe (guest): What's the #1 reason WSU doesn't win 6 games this year?

Aug 26 2015, 12:07 PM

srchat: The defense is still a year away.

Aug 26 2015, 12:08 PM

Ryan Rylee: Any insight on Calvin Green? I know he just switched but,is he close to pushing for playing time?

Aug 26 2015, 12:08 PM

srchat: He's run mostly with the 3s but gotten a couple shots with the 2s. I don't think he's super close to playing yet but I think he's someone who will play, if that makes sense.

Aug 26 2015, 12:08 PM

Guest3234 (guest): Sorry to inform you..Wicks looks to be a very good RB, still like the hit he put on Thompson in the AC....however the most exciting players this year will be...Dom, River, Priester, Marks, lemoara and White...

Aug 26 2015, 12:09 PM

Guest3234 (guest): Simone would not have been the same player in last years Coug D...ASU had a fierce pass rush and good corners..makes a difference...he not not in good but overated, was expoed at times lst year in case you missed some ASU games

Aug 26 2015, 12:09 PM

srchat: and on THAT note, thank you all for joining our live chat, the transcript will be up shortly.

 




Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

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