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WSU football chat (transcript)

Apr 27 2016, 10:33 AM

srchat: Submit questions now for our WSU football chat, which begins at 10 a.m.

Apr 27 2016, 10:59 AM

Guest1383 (guest): How will Idaho dropping to FCS affect the WSU schedule this year?

Apr 27 2016, 11:01 AM

srchat: That's a great question, guest. While FootballScoop.com is reporting that Idaho intends to drop down to FBS -- likely accepting an invitation to the Big Sky -- the Vandals still have one more year in the Sun Belt before that happens. So, WSU will avoid playing two FCS schools in the same year, which would have bowl eligibility implications. That said, the NCAA can and likely would allow both FCS games to count toward bowl eligibility in such an instance.

Apr 27 2016, 11:01 AM

Guest166 (guest): Who do you see as the fastest risers on the offensive and defensive depth chart this spring?

Apr 27 2016, 11:02 AM

srchat: Well, the easy answer is the early enrollees. On defense Garrett McBroom and Jalen Thompson were both starting just 5-10 practices into the WSU careers, while Isaiah Johnson is in the two-deeps at WR. James Williams is also a player who carved out some playing time for himself this spring.

Apr 27 2016, 11:02 AM

Guest4955 (guest): Is Tavares Martin still in line to start at the X position?

Apr 27 2016, 11:03 AM

srchat: Yes, barring injury I think Martin has pretty much locked up that position.

Apr 27 2016, 11:03 AM

Guest7009 (guest): What are you biggest takeaways for spring camp? and what are you looking forward to see during fall?

Apr 27 2016, 11:05 AM

srchat: Mostly, I saw a team that was much more confident and energetic than last spring. I attribute a lot both qualities to the team's success last year, and some to the new wide receivers coaches. The team's average body type is changing, too. I've never seen so many big bodies on the practice field, and the big, fast guys from the past few recruiting classes like Frankie Luvu, Nnamdi Oguayo, Andre Dillard and even Isaiah Johnson are starting to filter into the two-deeps.

Apr 27 2016, 11:06 AM

cubsfan7331: Who impressed you most from the Spring Game? I thought Robert Lewis did an excellent job in route running and catches he made.

Apr 27 2016, 11:07 AM

srchat: In my opinion, James Williams was the most impressive. You're right that Lewis did play well, but he's been a solid player for the Cougars for years. This was Williams' first time playing in front of a crowd since high school and he rose to the occasion.

Apr 27 2016, 11:08 AM

NLSCoug07 (guest): if you had to guess, who are the starting LB's against Eastern? this can include any JC guys who are not yet here.

Apr 27 2016, 11:09 AM

srchat: Definitely Peyton Pelleur at MLB. Almost definitely Frankie Luvu at WLB. Probably Logan Tago at RLB. And most likely Parker Henry at nickel.

Apr 27 2016, 11:09 AM

GuestGuy (guest): Helinski v Bender... To be settled in the fall?

Apr 27 2016, 11:10 AM

srchat: I wrote about this a bit in last night's practice report -- I think Bender solidified himself as the backup this spring. Obviously, Hilinski can still overtake him if he's playing better than Bender in the fall, but right now I think Bender is pretty well established as the No. 2.

Apr 27 2016, 11:11 AM

Guest8018 (guest): Any insight into any ideas or plans the athletic department has to get out of its $13 million hole?

Apr 27 2016, 11:13 AM

srchat: I think the athletic department is hoping that football success starts to yield some larger donors than the Cougars typically attract. Bill Moos has spoken about naming rights being on the table for just about everything, and how those can provide a quick influx of cash. And all the Pac-12 ADs and presidents are brainstorming how the Pac-12 Networks can start to bring in more revenue.

Apr 27 2016, 11:14 AM

NLSCoug07 (guest): Great work this spring, Jacob. Any insight as to if the P12 is planning on partnering with ESPN for the P12 network? I say screw it, split the revenue with them in exchange for getting directv and way more national exposure

Apr 27 2016, 11:15 AM

srchat: Thanks, NLS. I believe there are a few ADs who would like to try a broadcast partner such as ESPN, Fox, etc., but I think they're still in the minority. The longer the network flounders, though, the more likely that possibility seems.

Apr 27 2016, 11:16 AM

Sid (guest): Why so many sacks in the spring game? And is that concerning? Bad O line or better than though D line?

Apr 27 2016, 11:18 AM

srchat: I think if one was to go back through all the spring games, he or see would see the majority of them have a high number of sacks. For starters, remember that the sack number is the combination of two teams. Secondly, the defensive players are pretty used to the offense -- they know when they can tee off and they know which moves the olinemen struggle against. Also, they only have to get a hand on the QB to sack him, and the offensive lines were a little mixed up personnel-wise to make the numbers work.

Apr 27 2016, 11:18 AM

srchat: So no, I wouldn't be concerned.

Apr 27 2016, 11:19 AM

GuestGuy (guest): I know your access is relatively limited, and this is especially with Leach corp. always looking on this could be a sticky question, but... Do you know if the coaching staff has talked to Falk about the type of hits he takes? He always seems to want to make the play and is thus willing to hold onto the ball for a long time... But it seems like something could be done about the types of hits he takes in the pocket and while scrambling, and I'm wondering the staff has talked to him about that..?

Apr 27 2016, 11:23 AM

srchat: When the rest of the team does special teams works, assistant coach Dave Nichol works with the quarterbacks on footwork drills and pocket movement. While I'm sure they try to instill good habits during this portion, you also don't really want to introduce more things for Falk to think/worry about in the middle of a play. They want him to play safe, but they're not going to have him go against his instincts too much.

Apr 27 2016, 11:23 AM

Guest76 (guest): Any guess on whether Deion Singleton sees any playing time this year? I know he was a pretty big recruit out of high school.

Apr 27 2016, 11:23 AM

srchat: He's a backup cornerback right now, so I'd expect him to see the field some, yes.

Apr 27 2016, 11:24 AM

Guest7009 (guest): Do you expect any of the limited guys to still be limited in the fall? Harrington? Dotson? Dimry?

Apr 27 2016, 11:25 AM

srchat: I expect Dimry will be ready to go, but we'll have to see if he can stay healthy. Harrington and Dotson are expected to be ready by fall camp, but with Dotson's extensive injury history you always have to wonder. I'm unsure about Daniel Ekuale, and I'd be pleasantly surprised to see Sulaiman Hameed play again.

Apr 27 2016, 11:25 AM

Guest3993 (guest): hey, husky fan here. other than the Falk to Marks connection, what should the rest of the Pac-12 be really worried about with this cougar team? better than expected secondary maybe?

Apr 27 2016, 11:28 AM

srchat: Hi, welcome to our chat. For starters, Falk is going to enter the season as one of most highly-regarded quarterbacks nationally, and he's shown the ability to make decisive plays in close games. I do think the secondary will be pretty good this year, and the defense as a whole should be competitive.

Apr 27 2016, 11:28 AM

GuestGuy (guest): Not getting a 3rd concussion is just 'another' thing to think about... okaaaaaaaay

Apr 27 2016, 11:28 AM

srchat: My understanding is that if Falk were to get another concussion it would be his second.

Apr 27 2016, 11:29 AM

Sid (guest): Falk Heisman candidate? Gameday to Pullman?

Apr 27 2016, 11:31 AM

srchat: I think Falk will enter the year in a lot of the Heisman lists in the 7-10 range. If WSU wins at Boise and is 3-0 when Oregon comes to town, I've got to think that game would be pretty enticing to GameDay.

Apr 27 2016, 11:31 AM

Guest9193 (guest): Does a healthy Dotson start this year?

Apr 27 2016, 11:32 AM

srchat: Probably not, at least not initially. He's gotten a little big for safety and the starters at LB and nickel have a lot of experience in those roles.

Apr 27 2016, 11:32 AM

Guest206 (guest): Jacob, can you give us an idea on what the player conditioning program will be before fall camp..... Daily lifting? running the hill, random unit stuff?

Apr 27 2016, 11:34 AM

srchat: They don't totally stop lifting but my understanding is that the summer is mostly about speed conditioning in the early months, and then they'll start doing more strength stuff later in the offseason. There's also a lot of conditioning through 7-on-7 drills and things like that. Mostly, though, the strength coaches will split them into teams and have them compete in speed drills and things of that nature.

Apr 27 2016, 11:34 AM

GuestGuy (guest): UCLA-1 (yes, that was a concussion), CU-2... Please don't take this as shots at you... I enjoy the work you do! I'm just of the opinion that another step in Falk's development has to be taking better care of himself; be that in getting rid of the ball quicker, or feeling the heat in the pocket, or taking the right kind of hit any any place on the field (when possible)

Apr 27 2016, 11:35 AM

srchat: I agree that the coaches will do whatever they can to take care of Falk, with the mindset that they don't want to make him a less effective quarterback and the understanding that all QBs take a lot of hits. I also disagree that he was concussed at UCLA, but we can't really go into too much detail about that here....

Apr 27 2016, 11:36 AM

Sid (guest): How is the kicking game? Didn't get to see any in the spring game.

Apr 27 2016, 11:36 AM

srchat: Same guys as last year, with the experience of another spring under their belt. Not too much game-situation kicking this spring, to be honest.

Apr 27 2016, 11:38 AM

cubsfan7331: I'm guessing GuestGuy is either a doctor or stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once. Speaking of Holiday Inn you know the Cougs are getting popular when the HIE in Pullman is booked for every home game. Wasn't that way a few short years ago.

Apr 27 2016, 11:39 AM

srchat: I would venture that 95% of all people who watched the UCLA game have the same opinion as GuestGuy, and he's asking good questions. It's obvious the Pullman hotel business is booming -- they keep building more of them.

Apr 27 2016, 11:39 AM

Guest9193 (guest): Look at the UCLA game "concussion" I've watched the replay and his head doesn't even touch the ground, the reports were that he a little hurt but it wasn't his head. Also Falk is trying to put on some weight to protect himself from those throwdown injuries

Apr 27 2016, 11:41 AM

Guest6114 (guest): Based on the depth you saw in the spring, which one or two newcomers would you expect could make some noise in fall camp

Apr 27 2016, 11:43 AM

srchat: The recruits I've heard the most buzz about are Robert Taylor, who is a junior college DB expected to contribute somewhere, and WR Dezmon Patmon.

Apr 27 2016, 11:43 AM

Guest9193 (guest): Do you see the Cougars burying some people this year? Doesn't seem like they've had the maturity or consistency in years past to bury less talented teams (See Portland State) Seems like an important attribute if they want to be a North Contender

Apr 27 2016, 11:44 AM

srchat: Well, I think they'll beat Idaho pretty bad. I'm not sure how good EWU will be next year, but I could see them winning that one handily, as well. As far as conference opponents, there aren't too many that are all that buryable. Oregon State, obviously, and the Cougars smacked them pretty well last year. WSU does get Cal at home and should be plenty motivated for that one after the last two years.

Apr 27 2016, 11:45 AM

cubsfan7331: I say that because I was at the UCLA game and was able to watch him on the sidelines and his interaction with the med staff and the drills they were putting him through prior to even going to the Locker room.

Apr 27 2016, 11:46 AM

Guest9193 (guest): cubsfan7331 I was also at the UCLA game right behind the WSU sidenline

Apr 27 2016, 11:47 AM

srchat: Let's not get into a shouting match over who saw Falk do what immediately after an obvious injury. I, too, was at the UCLA game and have spoken with a lot of people close to the situation. I'm satisfied that Falk's injury was not a concussion.

Apr 27 2016, 11:47 AM

Guest4912 (guest): There is a certain number of people that are clearly obsessed with Falk and concussions. Do you think they just want him to retire?

Apr 27 2016, 11:48 AM

srchat: Maybe they think their autographed jerseys will increase in value.

Apr 27 2016, 11:48 AM

Guest9193 (guest): cubsfan7331 started it

Apr 27 2016, 11:48 AM

srchat: Both of you head to opposite corners of the chat room.

Apr 27 2016, 11:48 AM

gary (guest): Do the chickens have large talons?

Apr 27 2016, 11:48 AM

srchat: I expect Oregon's running game will still be potent, yes.

Apr 27 2016, 11:48 AM

Guest7297 (guest): Time it was, and what a time it was, it was ... a time of innocence. A time of confidences.

Apr 27 2016, 11:48 AM

srchat: I'll thank you to leave your Marcel Proust out of the WSU football chat.

Apr 27 2016, 11:49 AM

NLSCoug07 (guest): wow people, get over the "debate" of if ucla injury was a concussion or not. publicly, receivers seem excited about their new coaches. you get the same feeling from watching practice day in and day out?

Apr 27 2016, 11:50 AM

srchat: Yeah, nothing against Graham Harrell or David Yost, but I think a change to a more intense/engaged coaching style has been positively received by the players.

Apr 27 2016, 11:50 AM

cubsfan7331: Thanks for the post practice videos you post? From watching them I get a sense that Leach is more satisfied with the team as a whole based on his more talkative nature and not so short answers. Am I interpreting him correctly? What's your view being there?

Apr 27 2016, 11:51 AM

srchat: I think Leach has definitely been more patient with reporters this spring, and it's just another example of how winning changes everything.

Apr 27 2016, 11:51 AM

Guest7297 (guest): I once saw a WSU quarterback get really woozy after taking a pretty rough shot. Of course, it was Ryan Leaf at The Coug on a Friday night in 1996, but I'm still pretty sure he was concussed.

Apr 27 2016, 11:51 AM

srchat: My finger slipped from "delete comment" to "post comment." Ah, well.

Apr 27 2016, 11:52 AM

Guest8018 (guest): What road game are you most looking forward to from your perspective? (I'm thinking location, stadium, etc.)

Apr 27 2016, 11:54 AM

srchat: Well, definitely Colorado. I really like Boulder and I've never covered a football game there yet. Then Boise State because I've never been to Boise and it's a unique stadium I've never been in.

Apr 27 2016, 11:54 AM

cubsfan7331: Who do you see as punt return guys? I know Fossum appeared later in the year.

Apr 27 2016, 11:55 AM

srchat: Gabe Marks and Fossum seem like the early frontrunners, and River Cracraft should probably stay sharp as well.

Apr 27 2016, 11:56 AM

NLSCoug07 (guest): Guest7297: no you didn't see Ryan Leaf take a shot at The Coug in '96 because the Coug didn't serve liquor in '96. You my friend, are a liar.

Apr 27 2016, 11:56 AM

srchat: Oh, looks like we've got a history major in the chat.

Apr 27 2016, 11:56 AM

Guest9193 (guest): Does River Cracraft get an NFL look?

Apr 27 2016, 11:56 AM

srchat: Yes, I think so.

Apr 27 2016, 11:58 AM

cubsfan7331: Begg with only a short time on DL, what do the coaches think/say about him. Would love to see him get some playing time.

Apr 27 2016, 11:59 AM

srchat: Haven't talked to the coaches too much, but his responsibility steadily increased throughout spring so it seems like they were happy with his work.

Apr 27 2016, 11:59 AM

NLSCoug07 (guest): any insight as to if ben moos is willing to play defense at the college level? sounds like he really wants to stick with offense and wazzu doesn't have his position.

Apr 27 2016, 12:00 PM

srchat: I expect Ben Moos to stay on offense. I also think there's a very good chance he plays offense at WSU. Sorry for being so cryptic.

Apr 27 2016, 12:00 PM

GuestGuy (guest): Anyone besides Dahl with a hot to get drafted this weekend? Do Allison, Williams and any of the DL guys have a good shot at a UDFA contract?

Apr 27 2016, 12:01 PM

srchat: I think Destiny Vaeao and perhaps Dom Williams could get drafted. I'm sure they and Darryl Paulo will get UDFA contracts.

Apr 27 2016, 12:01 PM

NLSCoug07 (guest): really? ben moos has the ability to play one of the 4 receiver spots at wazzu?

Apr 27 2016, 12:03 PM

srchat: Yes, Leach isn't opposed to having a tight end play one of those positions if they're up for it, and my understanding is that Moos is good enough to do it.

Apr 27 2016, 12:06 PM

cubsfan7331: Last chat until Fall. That's like Dan Guerrero at The Pac-12 AD meeting. What do I do now?

Apr 27 2016, 12:07 PM

srchat: Read a book. A couple sportwriter friends recently gave me All The Light We Cannot See, a book set in France during WWII, which was just fantastic.

Apr 27 2016, 12:07 PM

srchat: Well, that wraps up our live chat everybody. Thanks for joining us, and as always feel free to email me at jacobt@spokesman.com or tweet @JacobThorpeSR if you want to talk some WSU sports. Transcript will be up shortly.

 

 




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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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