Bold words from Wulff

COACHSPEAK IS ALL the rage at this time of year, with well-worn cliches and play-it-safe answers to mundane questions. But not at Washington State, not this year. In the lead up to fall camp, which starts Sunday, Paul Wulff has expressed a confidence not seen in his previous three seasons at the Cougar helm.

Wulff is talking about winning games -- a lot of them.

The Cougs are still young but Wulff has said they have enough talent to win now.

"I think we can be in every game, and I think we can win any of 'em," Wulff told ESPN recently. "I do think we've risen to that level. Maybe our depth isn't quite there that we want but we'll see, we'll see how the season evolves."

Truth be told, Wulff has been talking this way in various interviews since spring ball.

During the spring session, he saw things on the field he hadn't seen in his three previous years at WSU. Things he has been waiting to see. Things that it took three-plus years to develop and get back into a program that had fallen.

The offensive line's work in the spring earned a considerable praise from Wulff, though depth becomes a question after the top six-seven. It's not as bad depth-wise as it was in prior years but WSU isn't ultra deep there either.

If Jeff Tuel has adequate time, he could throw for miles this season given the depth and quality of the receiving corps. But opponents know this and will focus on stopping the air attack. And the Cougs will have to be able to run. They have to at least establish that as a viable threat, to keep defenses honest. This spring saw Rickey Galvin and the RBs show some sparks.

On defense, Wulff knows the Cougs are still young but they're also better and stronger at the point and in the box. The yards after contact looks poised for a marked decrease. The secondary is playing like experienced players should play. There's more confidence and speed across the board but mostly, there's one thing that speaks loudest: There's more competition at more positions than in any year since Wulff has been at Washington State.

That competition is going to mean good things. Maybe a youngster pushes by a veteran, or maybe the youthful challenge ends up pushing the veteran to raise his game and becoming that much better a player.

However it plays out, Wulff sees Washington State winning football games in 2011. And he's not been shy about saying exactly that. If nothing else, he gets high marks for this refreshing departure from the coachspeak his Pac-12 colleagues have been dishing out in recent weeks.

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