Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Alex Grinch plans on remaining on sidelines to coach defense

WSU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch coaches up his players on Thursday, March 31, 2016, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.  TYLER TJOMSLAND (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Alex Grinch will remain a sideline coach for the foreseeable future, preferring the ability to make quick corrections on the field to the bird’s-eye view of the booth.

Grinch, WSU’s second-year defensive coordinator, spent his game days in the press box until moving to the field for last Saturday’s game at Boise State, which the Cougars lost 31-28.

“I will keep doing it going forward,” Grinch said. “Every group is different and some guys maybe need a little bit more one-on-one attention on Saturday. With this group, it’s a good group I really go believe that. I don’t think we’ve played our best football yet and we’re running out of time to get there.”

Grinch said the communication with the coaches in the booth was smooth and efficient, and the Cougars did show palpable improvement on defense. The Cougars intercepted All-Mountain-West quarterback Brett Rypien, a Shadle Park alum, three times. Two of the picks gave the WSU offense the ball deep in Broncos territory.

“He brings his intensity and his perspective, especially being a (defensive back) he can give you some pointers face-to-face,” said nickel Parker Henry. “Him just being able to keep us calm and focus us (helped).”

The BSU offense scored just 24 points – seven points came on an interception return. But the WSU defense still has some noticeable issues, with the lack of a pass rush so far being the most glaring.

“Obviously we’ve got to do much more to get ourselves in the winner’s circle, so from that standpoint we’ve still got a ways to go,” Grinch said. “Certainly there’s improvement and we’ve got to have improvement in Week 3.”