Coach Mike Leach has done very well so far at talking the talk. He – the rest of the Washington State team – begins to walk the walk Thursday when they open fall camp in Pullman.
Leach had some interesting nuggets Wednesday in news release meant to whet fans' appetites and fill reporters' notebooks.
He didn't disappoint. Here are some of the highlights (http://youtu.be/TqBq8JWhCXU).
On which freshmen might make an impact the soonest:
"You earn your job every day. The starting lineup is going to be based on performance, not how many years you've played, how old you are or how many stars you had as a freshman. I mean, I didn't know anything about those stars when I recruited them, so that certainly doesn't impact now that they're here."
On what his biggest areas of concern are:
"Really, all of them. I've always viewed all of them. Our first level guys, I feel pretty good about, but by the same token you want to give guys enough reps to get guys established so they're comfortable with what they're doing…. We need depth pretty much everywhere….
"Occasionally there's a weak-minded guy that might feel entitled. I worry about the individual getting distracted by it. Our team won't. On an individual level I've had it happen. Where you see it the most is somebody had a great freshman year and now they're a sophomore and they think they have it all figured out. And they'll have a horrible sophomore year and hopefully they get back on track. But any of this far-away look like ‘I've got bigger concerns, you know, and the rest of the coaches and the teams just don't understand… bologna. We're not going to put up with that, you're going to have to go do that in your room because you're not doing it around here!"
On Leach being considered the savior of the WSU football program:
"Individually, I'm not the savior of anything. I've got a great coaching staff, I've got some great players to work with and we're going to work together and do the best we can. Not only do the best we can, but discover ways to do even better…. One thing I get a kick out of is a lot of times we'd have a pretty good season going and you'd play somebody – maybe Nebraska or someday like that. They'd say ‘I'm sure you're staying at the office a really long time, breaking out a bunch of new plays and having really hard practices' because you're playing somebody - a name recognition deal. Well, we talk about doing out best all the time. If you're not doing the best all the time that doesn't become a habit and you're not raising the bar repeatedly and developing your skills."