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WSU football chat (transcript)

ep 21 2016, 11:01 AM

srchat: Thanks for joining our WSU football chat, everyone. Got any questions?

Sep 21 2016, 11:01 AM

Sid (guest): Is this coach, AD and school above the law?

Sep 21 2016, 11:03 AM

srchat: No. Hence, all those arrests.

Sep 21 2016, 11:03 AM

Guest6459 (guest): First of all, thanks for the great job that you do! Last year, you gave a short summary of your views after each game (I forget what you called it). Can you do that again this year, as it was very insightful last year?

Sep 21 2016, 11:04 AM

srchat: Thanks 6459, you're very kind. I'm glad you thought that was useful feature. I'm happy to bring it back, maybe this weekend to replace our game day coverage.

Sep 21 2016, 11:04 AM

Guest175 (guest): With all of the issues off the field, do you feel like the team is lacking in cohesion or is distracted?

Sep 21 2016, 11:05 AM

srchat: I'm sure it's distracted. As much as the Cougars insist they are focused only on the games, I do not see how a person cannot be distracted while his friends are dealing with these legal troubles.

Sep 21 2016, 11:05 AM

Guest175 (guest): The Pullman police are completely out of control and make a living hitting flies with a sledgehammer. Do you get the impression that the AD is threatening legal action behind the scenes, or otherwise trying to cut a backroom deal?

Sep 21 2016, 11:06 AM

srchat: I do not think the athletic department is doing those things. But, if the prosecutor does press charges then those might be options lawyers for the players choose to take, if they believe they have grounds for a lawsuit or leverage to cut a deal.

Sep 21 2016, 11:06 AM

Guest7906 (guest): Been a fair amount of commentary on Falk performing as well as expected...do you see the same ?...seems healthy...

Sep 21 2016, 11:08 AM

srchat: I think Falk has been a little too tentative, something I saw in the early goings last year as well. Falk's strength is that he's a pretty selfless quarterback, happy to get the ball in the hands of the best athletes and let them get the glory. But, you saw against Boise that the offense started to hum in the second half when he took a few risks, throwing deep to Tavares Martin and Gabe Marks and trusting them to make plays.

Sep 21 2016, 11:08 AM

Guest7906 (guest): Did Tapa play much against Idaho ?

Sep 21 2016, 11:09 AM

srchat: We don't have snap counts, and I haven't charted his snaps against Idaho, but it seemed to me that the defensive line rotated quite a bit more than in the first two games. I saw Tapa on the field quite a bit.

Sep 21 2016, 11:09 AM

Guest7906 (guest): Looks like Garret McBroom saw some action, thoughts on how he performed ?

Sep 21 2016, 11:10 AM

srchat: The one and only Vince Grippi actually turned to me during the game to comment on McBroom's play. As I choked on his noxious breath, I think I heard him say something about McBroom looking pretty good.

Sep 21 2016, 11:11 AM

Sid (guest): Nebraska ran 194 of 228 yards between the tackles against Oregon. Cougars stick with the run against them? Try and keep Oregon offense off the field?

Sep 21 2016, 11:12 AM

srchat: It really depends on what Oregon does. The Cougars have been getting a lot of soft cover 4 looks, and against Idaho did the best job of taking advantage by calling run plays whenever they were presented with a favorable look. Considering how successful they were, I think Falk will continue to call those runs whenever teams present the opportunity.

Sep 21 2016, 11:12 AM

Guest7906 (guest): Garlic breath ? !

Sep 21 2016, 11:12 AM

srchat: Worse. Grippi Breath.

Sep 21 2016, 11:12 AM

Guest8014 (guest): Any thoughts on how some of the true freshmen have looked? Specially Skyler Thomas, Mason Vinyard, romello Harris, and Keenan King?

Sep 21 2016, 11:14 AM

srchat: I hate to give such a vague answer, but really not much to say on those guys yet. The scout team runs at about 20 percent speed, and the guys you've mentioned have yet to really break out in Thursday Night Football. I will say that Vinyard has a pretty impressive frame, and looks like someone who could be impressive if he does what strength coach Jason Loscalzo tells him to do.

Sep 21 2016, 11:14 AM

Guest7769 (guest): Biggest worry against Oregon? Besides the obvious answer of Freeman?

Sep 21 2016, 11:15 AM

srchat: Well, Freeman is hurt so I'll say Devon Allen. Oh, wait. He's hurt, too. Against the Ducks, the answer is always speed. The starters are fast, the backups are fast, the folks carrying the water are fast. Oregon will test the defense's discipline and its ability to keep leverage. It's that simple.

Sep 21 2016, 11:15 AM

Guest1212 (guest): Do you think the staff could have gotten in front of some of this assault problem? Contact accuser and see if apology and some kind of restitution? Fights between students do not have to result in assault charges. Can't someone come in and try to settle this without court proceedings? The accuser can drop charges or decline to testify?

Sep 21 2016, 11:17 AM

srchat: I think the staff and athletic department has tried to be pretty proactive in dealing with cases, contacting the police and trying to get different sides of the story. I don't know if they talked to the accusers, but it would not surprise me if they did.

 

Sep 21 2016, 11:17 AM

Guest175 (guest): Given the lack of depth on the defensive line, and the lack of a pass rush this year, and the pending arrests/expulsions, how screwed are we on a scale of 1 to 10? Who do you see rotating at NT next year? Think the coaches will get some JC talent?

Sep 21 2016, 11:19 AM

srchat: It's going to be really tough to replace Barber. Not only because he was a good player at an important position, but because he was a key leader, particularly among the Polynesians. I think the coaches will keep grooming Ekuale to play inside, and obviously Tapa's role gets a lot bigger if Barber's appeal is not upheld. I could definitely see the coaches targeting some Juco players. But Juco nose tackles are very highly coveted recruits. If they're just starting to build those relationships, that's tricky.

Sep 21 2016, 11:21 AM

Guest888 (guest): What redshirts has WSU burned so far this year? Patmon, Johnson-Mack, Mauigoa, Thompson - anybody I'm missing?

Sep 21 2016, 11:21 AM

srchat: Derek Moore has also played.

Sep 21 2016, 11:22 AM

Guest4170 (guest): I like the chat, any chance of an update so we have sound option and get your answers?

Sep 21 2016, 11:23 AM

srchat: What do you mean by sound option?

Sep 21 2016, 11:24 AM

Guest175 (guest): Why does WSU struggle so much with basic things? This has been an iron truth since at least the Price eta.

Sep 21 2016, 11:25 AM

srchat: The Cougars seem to find different reasons to be in their own heads. At first it was because they had not won in forever. Then it was because they had started to win and sort of forgot just how tough it is to keep winning.

Sep 21 2016, 11:25 AM

Guest4170 (guest): We submit the written questions and can hear your voice answer

Sep 21 2016, 11:25 AM

srchat: Oh, no. I don't think there's anything like that. But I do weekly interviews with Lindsay Joy of SWX and she tweets out the links. She asks insightful questions about the team and I try to give thorough answers.

Sep 21 2016, 11:27 AM

Guest7906 (guest): Looks like they are moving Shalom around...Taylor looks fast and athletic, Kaleb looks like the best punt returner cougs have had in a while...is Harrington getting frustrated in not seeing the field..i think he is every bit as good as Chico although fumble in AC hurt

Sep 21 2016, 11:27 AM

srchat: We have not talked to Harrington since the preseason, but I would assume he's frustrated not playing, yes.

Sep 21 2016, 11:27 AM

Guest4170 (guest): Anybody on the chat know any of the victims? Will they only be satisfied with jail time for the players?

Sep 21 2016, 11:29 AM

srchat: I'm sure your intentions are good, 4170, and I don't like to call you out. But I don't think we should engage in anonymous speculation about the motivations of the accused players or victims, or put words in their mouths when they're not here to defend themselves. Thanks.

Sep 21 2016, 11:29 AM

Sid (guest): How does the Barber appeal process work? What is the timeline?

Sep 21 2016, 11:29 AM

srchat: He has 21 days to file the appeal, and is supposed to hear back within five days of having his second hearing.

Sep 21 2016, 11:29 AM

Guest7906 (guest): Gesser was high on Tyler yet mentioned he had a hitch in his throw..looks like its gone, can he be a top performer in the air raid?

Sep 21 2016, 11:30 AM

srchat: Yeah, Hilinski had kind of a weird throwing motion his first year but has worked hard to shorten the throw and it's paid off. I think he has a chance to be one of the better quarterbacks in the Pac-12 once the game slows down a bit more.

Sep 21 2016, 11:30 AM

Guest175 (guest): For example, DBs couldn't even get lined up in week 1. We're 0-3 on fieldgoals...

Sep 21 2016, 11:30 AM

Guest4170 (guest): I live in SO Cal. What game should I travel to in AZ or CA for a W?

Sep 21 2016, 11:31 AM

srchat: Well, your only options are @Stanford and @ASU. The Sun Devils are the easier opponent, but by no means a guarantee or even probable win. You should probably just make the trip to Pullman, or save your pennies for a trip to Santa Clara for the Pac-12 Championship.

Sep 21 2016, 11:32 AM

Guest4170 (guest): Personally I was hoping things could get settled out of court.

Sep 21 2016, 11:33 AM

Guest175 (guest): I know you're a UW alum, and a professional journalist who would absolutely not ever have any bias towards one school or another... That being said, have you found yourself with an appreciation of WSU-things that you may not have envisioned yourself having when you took the job?

Sep 21 2016, 11:35 AM

srchat: Oh, without question. Before I started covering WSU I'd never spent any extended time in eastern Washington. Now many of my best friends are folks I've met out here, and many of my fondest memories of my early to mid 20s are in Pullman.

Sep 21 2016, 11:35 AM

Guest7906 (guest): Over the years we have seem some great Rb's on the Palouse, Grandberry, Jones, Porter, Mayes, Harrisson, Broussard, Williams seems to be one of a kind..i have to think his presence will help the O a lot , thoughts ?

Sep 21 2016, 11:37 AM

srchat: He will certainly help the offense. He's dynamic with the ball in a way almost no other player on the team is. He's still getting his feet wet, and guys like Jamal Morrow have earned the trust of the coaches by consistently proving to be effective. But Williams is going to make some plays that nobody else would make in that situation, and keep the offense on the field or in the end zone because of them.

Sep 21 2016, 11:37 AM

Guest4170 (guest): Rams score a touchdown this weekend?

Sep 21 2016, 11:38 AM

srchat: Skyler Cracraft, nice to have you in chat! No, I don't think the Rams will ever score a touchdown. Sorry, Skyler.

Sep 21 2016, 11:38 AM

Guest7906 (guest): Think AZ has a legit shot at AZ this week ?..does AZ fill the stands ?

Sep 21 2016, 11:39 AM

srchat: I guarantee Arizona will win in this hypothetical Arizona at Arizona matchup. I'm not sure the combined fanbases of Arizona and Arizona will fill the stands, but I expect the crowd's loyalties to be evenly split between Arizona and Arizona.

Sep 21 2016, 11:41 AM

Guest4170 (guest): When do you think we clean up all the penalties?

Sep 21 2016, 11:41 AM

srchat: If it doesn't happen during the bye week then penalties could be a problem all season.

Sep 21 2016, 11:41 AM

Guest7769 (guest): I don't know if you have addressed this yet, but will Morrow have to sit out part of the Oregon game?

Sep 21 2016, 11:41 AM

srchat: He will have to sit out the first half.

Sep 21 2016, 11:41 AM

Guest7906 (guest): Very good answer for a mutt !

Sep 21 2016, 11:42 AM

Guest6848 (guest): I'm somewhat torn on how leach has handled this situation. When I read and heard his prepared comments I for sure felt like he had a valid point and didn't feel he was excusing his players. But seeing Barber out there is still a tough pill to swallow. If you were King of WSU football how things be handled?

Sep 21 2016, 11:44 AM

srchat: If I was king of WSU football, and I believed what the coaches believe in terms of player guilt/innocence/etc. I can't say I would necessarily handle the actual punishment any differently. What I would do is be more open from the beginning about what I was doing and why in terms of suspending or not suspending players, with the belief that would in the end be less of a distraction than a lot of speculation.

Sep 21 2016, 11:44 AM

srchat: But that's more of a style thing.

Sep 21 2016, 11:44 AM

Guest7906 (guest): So many of the backups in the NFL seem to be lacking, Halliday done with FB ?..what is the real rap on this guy, strong arm, accurate, tough...

Sep 21 2016, 11:46 AM

srchat: Halliday has to do nothing but gorge himself every day and lift weights, and then put on a 10-pound weight vest to weigh 200 pounds. I think he got tired of the relentless grind to play a sport that he was not necessarily in love with anymore, and not being offered millions to play.

Sep 21 2016, 11:46 AM

Guest175 (guest): Is Mike Leach a different dude when the cameras are off?

Sep 21 2016, 11:48 AM

srchat: Yes. I've seen many sides of Leach, from the gruff guy you see on camera to the super inquisitive bookworm you read about to the mile-a-minute storyteller you read about in all those profiles. The guy has a lot going on.

Sep 21 2016, 11:48 AM

Guest4170 (guest): Being tagged as a felon for getting in a fight is a tough break. Spur of the moment that changed a few peoples lives.

Sep 21 2016, 11:49 AM

srchat: That's why, more than anything, Leach seems to be mad at the players for not leaving the situation as soon as it started. I think that's also why he told us he gave the whole team conditioning.

Sep 21 2016, 11:49 AM

Guest7769 (guest): Did communication on both offense and defense seem fixed (or at least better) on Saturday?

Sep 21 2016, 11:50 AM

srchat: Yes, it did. But once the game got out of hand, I wonder how complex the offense and defense were getting.

Sep 21 2016, 11:50 AM

Guest175 (guest): Is the team going to be better or worse next year?

Sep 21 2016, 11:50 AM

srchat: The first three games of this year kind of show just how futile and exercise year-to-year projection is, don't they?

Sep 21 2016, 11:50 AM

srchat: That said the team will lose in the first round of the CFB playoffs next year. That's my guaranteed, stone-cold lock. Please hold me accountable.

Sep 21 2016, 11:51 AM

Guest4170 (guest): Any chance we can get a mic at the press conference that can pick up Leach's voice? He is impossible to hear on the internet. Also we don't hear the question.

Sep 21 2016, 11:52 AM

srchat: The videos I link are mic'd by WSU Athletics, so I've got no control over the mics. Please send an email to William Stevens wsstevens@wsu.edu with any and all concerns, though.

Sep 21 2016, 11:52 AM

Bing (guest): Good seeing Dimry get a catch. Any chance he can break into the rotation?

Sep 21 2016, 11:53 AM

srchat: It would not surprise me at all to his role increase, at least in red zone situations.

Sep 21 2016, 11:53 AM

Guest7906 (guest): Seems like they really miss the speed of Kache and Ivan off the edge..anyone going to fill the void this year, pash rush is subpar !

Sep 21 2016, 11:54 AM

srchat: Dylan Hanser played well against Idaho, so if he can keep up that momentum it would help. I do think pass rush is going to be a problem for WSU throughout this year and I'm not really sure how they can drastically change that, short of Mata'afa turning into a cyborg All-American.

Sep 21 2016, 11:54 AM

Guest4170 (guest): North Dakota State win proves the lower division are no slouches?

Sep 21 2016, 11:55 AM

srchat: North Dakota State wins prove that FBS athletic directors are masochists. Why on earth does anybody schedule the Bison?

Sep 21 2016, 11:55 AM

Guest7769 (guest): What do you think the biggest issue with the d-line not getting much pressure? Lack of depth, bad technique, or what?

Sep 21 2016, 11:56 AM

srchat: Lack of depth and lack of pass rushers. The two rush linebackers last year brought a lot of heat, and so far the Cougars have not been able to replace it. I also think Mata'afa is finding life harder without Destiny Vaeao there occupying blockers.

Sep 21 2016, 11:57 AM

Sid (guest): Why does this team always come out flat? Seems like game after game and year after year.

Sep 21 2016, 11:58 AM

srchat: That's a good question, Sid. Leach has alluded to mental toughness issues, sort of saying that the team has trouble forcing itself to focus. But if there was an obvious answer, they would fix it.

Sep 21 2016, 11:58 AM

Guest7906 (guest): any thoughts on how Big Joe is taking all of this...?...

Sep 21 2016, 11:59 AM

srchat: I'm sure it's been really hard on him. He has assumed a very fatherlike role for the players, and he has close relationships with their families. It has to be very difficult for him to see those players having these difficulties.

Sep 21 2016, 11:59 AM

Guest9625 (guest): What position groups have performed the best and most poorly up to this point in your opinion? Thanks!

Sep 21 2016, 12:01 PM

srchat: Hmmm tough question. The receivers have made a lot of plays, to be sure, but I still feel like they are underperforming their potential somewhat. Falk has put up numbers, but I think he can do better, particularly on crucial downs. I think the secondary played poorly against EWU but has been pretty good the last two weeks. I don't think the front seven has played well.

Sep 21 2016, 12:01 PM

Guest7906 (guest): did Petrino and Mike miss a handshake ? !

Sep 21 2016, 12:02 PM

srchat: They did not meet on the field after the game at all.

Sep 21 2016, 12:02 PM

Guest9625 (guest): If you had to grade Falk at this point in the season what grade you give him? Thanks!

Sep 21 2016, 12:03 PM

srchat: I'll say a B-. That's grading on the curve of him being First Team All-Conference last season. He's moving the ball for the most part, but last year he was just money when he had to be -- red zone, third down, fourth down, etc. This year those seem to be the plays when a pass gets away from him or does not come out quick enough.

Sep 21 2016, 12:03 PM

Guest4170 (guest): Do you think Falk is 100%? Sidline throughs seem weak.

Sep 21 2016, 12:04 PM

srchat: I subscribe to the theory that nobody is 100 percent after playing 30 snaps or so. I'm sure he's dealing with some soreness, but I don't have a reason to think it's more than he's dealt with last year.

Sep 21 2016, 12:05 PM

Guest7906 (guest): What Ol are projected to have a shot at the NFL and I had to laugh at dawgman last night, they said Eastern is a weak opponent , was taken aback...lastly when is the PAC 12 Channel going to dump the 2 homers ?....

Sep 21 2016, 12:07 PM

srchat: Dillard and Sorenson seem to have the best shots of getting drafted. I could see any of the others getting shots in camp. I don't know who dawgman is, but remind him that EWU put up 52 points and Kupp had three touchdowns the last time they played. Homer Simpson would be an incredible Pac-12 Networks analyst and I would hope that he never leave.

Sep 21 2016, 12:09 PM

srchat: Alright everybody, thanks again for joining our live chat. Hope it was useful and we'll do it again next week.



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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