Talking linebackers, Stanford w/ Chris Tormey

PUNDITS AND FANS this season are talking about Andrew Luck in historical terms. What makes him so special? And how do you defend him? We put those and other questions to WSU linebackers coach Chris Tormey..

COUGFAN.COM
What makes Andrew Luck so special? How does he compare with conference greats like Elway, Aikman, Plummer, Bledsoe and others you've coached against?

Chris Tormey
He's got all the tools. He's got a tremendous arm, he knows what to do with the football in most every situation, he can really run. He's just a tremendous player. As for the guy you mentioned, you definitely have to put him in that category….he really has no weaknesses in his game. He's as good a QB as I've ever seen at the college level. I think the closest comparison to him in how he plays and his strengths, would probably be John Elway.

COUGFAN.COM
How do you – and no one else has this year – stop a guy like that defensively?

Chris Tormey
They're a tremendous running team -- and they run first and pass second. If you don't stop the run, that's all you're going to get. And a lot of his big plays come on play action because they do run it so well. So we can't just focus on him, we have to focus on their offense as a whole. And that's going to be a challenge. They are a very, very good football team.

COUGFAN.COM
How did each of the LBs grade out on Saturday and how is Sekope Kaufusi's arm?

Chris Tormey
I think we're getting consistently better. We gave up a couple long runs where our eyes weren't where they should have been. Overall, though, I thought well played pretty well. Alex Hoffman-Ellis was once again very, very solid, Sekope Kaufusi did some very good things and he was playing hurt. C.J. Mizell is getting better at certain things, I'm very pleased at his effort and toughness. We still have to work on reading our keys better. We're doing better, but we can play better. We executed very well for the most part, there are two or three plays we have to fix, but I've seen some progress. We have a good chance to be pretty solid as we go through the second half of the season. Sekope is doing fine, we expect him to play.

COUGFAN.COM
In particular, how are your guys doing in terms of getting off blocks, shedding guys?

Chris Tormey
We're getting better at that, we've made steady progress, I think…. We're all going to have to raise our game, not just the linebackers but the defense and offense as a whole against Stanford. They're a tremendously sound football team.

COUGFAN.COM
What's the one thing the linebackers need to improve most, perhaps properly combating misdirection?

Chris Tormey
There was one particular play we got hurt on a few times against UCLA, I'm not going to go into great detail… but we need to read our keys.


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