Q and A with Mike Leach

RaiderPower.com chats with Head Coach Mike Leach...

Note: Graham Harrell appeared at practice in an orthopedic walking boot. I could not find out what the extent of the injury was but I did find out it didn't happen at practice. Various rumors had only one common element: he broke the leg sometime over the weekend.

Question: What one group do you think has made the best overall progress in spring training?

Mike Leach: Ah, they go back and forth, it's kind of tough. They go back and forth on that, it's kind of a tough question to answer. I think the DBs have improved a lot. I think the D-line has. Some young receivers have. Collectively, quarterbacks have done some good things. But it goes back and forth. Some days, yeah, and some days not so much.

Question: Is there one particular person who really stands out in your mind?

Mike Leach: See, they rotate around, too.

Question: Who did you think looked good today?

Mike Leach: I thought Phillip looked good today. I thought Cody looked good today. Receivers – we had some guys do some good stuff there today; we did a pretty good job of spreading it out. I thought our O-line looked good today.

It's hard for me to nail down just one receiver, we had several do some good things – I liked Brandon Douglas. He looked good today. And then defensively I thought Keyunta Dawson looked good today. I thought that kind of the secondary as a whole did some good things, in team. Let me think – Oh, I thought Fred (Thrweatt) looked good today, yeah. I'm leaving somebody out – Meeks, I thought Meeks did some good stuff.

They kind of leapfrog over one another from one day to the next, so it's tough – which is encouraging because people are improving, but it's hard to nail down just one guy.

Question: Is that part of spring training, or is that because it's young guys?

Mike Leach: It's good that people are improving. We're improving some collectively, but then once you go through in your mind, the next day are the other guys catching up or are they complacent? I think in the whole scheme of things it's a combination of both, you know? .

Leach spoke about the Hodges brothers for a local television reporter, who seemed interested in a possible psychic link between the seniors and whether Coach Leach had seen flashes of that during his years of association with them.

Question:Do you sense a little something about them?

Mike Leach: They've always done some of that. When Cody's in, you know Slade plays at a different level. Some of it's just that they're familiar with one another.

They know what each other's going to do, so there's been a certain amount of that, really, from the beginning. And they've played together from, since childhood, and I imagine that's to be expected. I don't know that the senior year has that much to do with that.

Question:With Graham banged up and Phil Daugherty getting more reps, does that maybe give him an edge in the race, a chance to show off his skills?

Mike Leach: I thought Phillip looked real good in skill. So he'll get more reps out of the deal. You know, just looking forward to seeing how well he does and how he progresses in the next couple of practices.

Question: Not really saying that he has real problems, but what do you see as the biggest thing holding Phillip back from pushing himself into the starting role?

Mike Leach: I think he throws the ball really well. It's just the collective controlling of the 10 other people out there and knowing all the dimensions of a play, rather than just lock in on one guy, you know, you watch the whole play. I think that he did a pretty good job of that in skill today.

Question: Did anybody have any really effective fakes or anything like that that you saw today that you liked?

Mike Leach: Brandon Douglas did that hitch and go, which I thought that was real good. Oh, a pretty good fake on the reverse, when they ran the reverse in team. I'd have to look at the quicks and see, ‘cause we fake off of that, too.

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