PULLMAN — Washington State coach Mike Leach often has warned not to make early judgments on…
DAY 8 PART I: WSU Notebook
"It's the same as it is on the screen as it is during the walk-though, if it's half-speed, if it's full-speed and 7-on-7 and now the dynamics are going to change because you're tired. Well that's not good enough," a somewhat frustrated Leach said to the media following practice.
Some of the tongue-lashing was aimed at senior quarterback Jeff Tuel who was having trouble reading signals from the sidelines, as well as struggling to keep the tempo up.
"Ya know, all the fancy little plays in the world don't mean anything if you don't have good effort," Leach said.
Leach was emphatic in stating that it all boils down to concentration, and that he expects more from the offense, and Tuel.
EVEN BEFORE JUNIOR right tackle Rico Forbes was possibly lost for the season, there were question marks as to what the offensive line will look like in 2012. O-line coach Clay McGuire said the picture is still coming into focus, and who the starting five will be on Aug. 30 at BYU remains unknown.
"We've had a good camp," McGuire said. "We still are figuring things out, and we still need to solidify things out there."
Senior offensive lineman Wade Jacobson, who had not been a full participant this fall camp, (presumably as he works his way back from surgery) couldn't agree more.
"We're a lot further than I thought we would be at this point," Jacobson said. "We've made great strides and a lot of guys are really showing up. I didn't get to play in the spring, so it's great to be out there grinding and competing."
Jacobson on Thursday was in full pads, participated fully and ran primarily with the second team.
The Cougars are very inexperienced in the trenches, but McGuire said that won't force the team's hand in playing some of the younger players.
Bottom line – don't expect freshman o-line redshirts to be burned this year.
"It would take an absolute tragedy to get the freshmen out on the field this year," McGuire said. "I love what guys like (Sam) Flor and (Eduardo) Middleton are doing out there, but they desperately need a year in the weight room, as well as time to learn the system."
The freshman offensive linemen have not been participating in team scrimmages. Instead, you can find the young beef doing individual drills on the sidelines.
DESPITE THE WAY practice ended, there were some bright spots on this sweltering hot afternoon.
The defense showed up for most of the session, consistently stopping the offense for short gains.
One defender who did not have a good day, however, was junior linebacker Eric Oertel. Oertel is explosive but on Thursday he was constantly out of position. Coach Jeff Choate finally pulled the plug, replacing Oertel with sophomore Cyrus Coen for the remainder of the afternoon.
THE HIT OF THE DAY came when shifty freshman wideout Brett Bartolone caught a quick 5 yard slant, but was immediately met by senior safety Tyree Toomer.
Toomer leveled the young pass catcher.
IT WASN'T ALL briar patches and brimstone for Leach on Thursday. When asked his impressions toward his impending bobble-head that was announced today, Leach cracked a smile and loosened up a bit.
"Other people have been subjected to being a bobble-head so I guess it's my turn," Leach chuckled. "I heard it as a rumor a while back and thought 'Oh, you gotta be kiddin' me.' I don't know, I mean if folks want one, now they get one."
If fall camp follows the script from the spring, when a practice marked by poor concentration was followed by a very good one, Friday's practice could be a sight to see.
INJURIES HAVE BEGUN to stack up for the Cougs, although at this stage a lot of players with dings are going to be held out to try and ensure they don't make it worse and that they're ready by the time the season starts. Leach and WSU do not comment on injuries, but here's what was observed on Thursday:
--Freshman wideout Dominique Williams was sporting a soft cast on his left hand, and did not participate. Instead, Williams ran the stairs in Martin Stadium for the majority of the afternoon.
--Junior defensive back Anthony Carpenter left today's scrimmage early with an undisclosed injury. Carpenter left with a training staff member and from the naked eye, it appeared it might be a head injury (concussion).
--Junior linebacker Darren Markle left the day's practice with what looked like a left ankle injury. Markle had the ankle taped and tried to run back out on the field, but left one play later to the locker room with a training staff member.
--Freshman running back Teondray Caldwell was not suited up, and instead observed all day.
--Sophomore defensive lineman Kalafitoni Pole missed practice, working on the stationary bike all afternoon.
--Freshman defensive lineman Xavier Cooper rode the bike again all day.
--Freshman defensive lineman Destiny Vaeao rode the bike all day as well.
--Sophomore wideout Kristoff Williams was not suited up again, watching for the duration of the afternoon.
--Junior offensive guard Niu Sale was not suited up and watched all day.
Meanwhile, several players returned to the field. Junior cornerback Nolan Washington and senior Daniel Simmons were both at full strength for the afternoon.
Andrei Lintz also returned at full strength on Thursday.
Linebackers Corey Laufasa and Tana Pritchard both participated all afternoon, making several tackles during the scrimmage.
--Junior kicker Andrew Furney was 4-4 on the afternoon on field goal attempts, while sophomore Mike Bowlin was 0-4 on his tries.
--Gonzaga Prep center Jerred Sonneborn was in attendance for today's practice.
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