PRACTICE: Cougs start Cal week on off note

PULLMAN -- Washington State took to the practice field Tuesday afternoon amid some boisterous music intended to provide some extra energy. Unfortunately for the Cougar players, Mike Leach was not satisfied with the effort, noting that both offense and defense were bland in execution far too often.

"It was really good in parts and then we'd relax," Mike Leach said. "We're a team that is too quick to embrace relaxation."

Indeed, the Cougs were hit-or-miss Tuesday. Quarterbacks would execute to perfection, but then on the very next play throw an unforgivable interception. Leach was far from thrilled with the offense as a whole, let alone the play of his sporadic quarterbacks.

"As a team, we don't know if we walk to school, or carry our lunch," said Leach of his inconsistent offense.

What that means, literally and figuratively, is up for discussion. Needless to say it speaks volumes toward the level of satisfaction Leach holds with his offense right now.

Leach, who has never been the head coach of a 2-4 team, said this week that transforming the 2012 Cougs into a group with a winning mentality is taking a little longer than he initially expected.

"It's alarming that at some point it has to be embraced at an individual level," Leach said. "Too many people think they can fool the man in the mirror. They can go out there and look like they're straining, but they look in the mirror and they can't fool themselves."

THIRD YEAR SOPHOMORE QB Connor Halliday again took the majority of the snaps. And all indications have been Leach intends to stick with him through thick and thin. But from the chair, if inconsistencies continue in practice and in game action, they may end up costing him playing time.

On the defensive side of the ball, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Xavier Cooper wreaked havoc in the backfield while running with the first team defense.

His play has defensive line coach Joe Salave'a very optimistic for the future.

"I challenged Cooper," Salave'a said. "He's got to get better every day we come out here. It's always good to have that kind of player who is hungry and taking responsibility for himself."

Similar compliments can be made for junior defensive lineman Ioane Gauta, another player in his first year donning the crimson and gray.

"He's a big wide body who can move around athletically," Salave'a said. "I think he can take it to another level next year… and he knows it too."

ELSEWHERE ON DEFENSE, senior leader and BUCK Travis Long, provided a monumental amount of energy this afternoon. Long got in a couple scuffles with a few different scout team offensive linemen.

At one point, Long got in freshman Eduardo Middleton's face after some excessive contact in one of the drills. Long proceeded to take Middleton's helmet which had come off, and throw it roughly 20 yards down the field. Middleton ended up having to run down the field to retrieve his gear.

In the defensive secondary, freshman cornerback Alex Jackson continued to impress in the scout team defense. Jackson was matched up against redshirt freshman receiver Dominique Williams for a majority of the afternoon and Jackson was in Williams' hip pocket all afternoon, knocking down several balls.

At the linebacker position, redshirt freshman Tana Pritchard had a solid day of practice. Pritchard, the 2011 Scout Team Player of the Year, knocked down a couple passes, as well as stuffing the running back in the hole on multiple occasions.

THE HIP-HOP music being played all afternoon was meant to bring a new level of energy to the team this afternoon but as noted earlier, results were mixed. So where did they get the music?

"This is all in my collection, you know -- I have all the records," Leach said, dripping with sarcasm. The head coach added that he tries to make it to Lil' Wayne and Drake shows regularly.

Running with the 1's for the scrimmage:

LT- Gunnar Eklund (Brevick got some time)
LG- John Fullington (Goetz/Meighen/Brevick got some time)
C- Elliott Bosch (Meighen got some time)
RG- Jake Rodgers (Goetz/Meighen/Brevick got some time)
RT- Wade Jacobson (Brevick got some time)
QB – Connor Halliday (Jeff Tuel got some time)
RB –Teondray Caldwell/Marcus Mason
X-WR – Marquess Wilson (Dominique Williams got some snaps)
Y-WR – Brett Bartolone (Gino Simone got some time)
Z-WR – Isiah Myers (Bennett Bontemps got some snaps)
H-WR – Gino Simone and Gabe Marks split reps

LT- Matthew Bock
NT- Xavier Cooper
RT- Ioane Gauta (Steven Hoffart got some snaps)
BUCK- Travis Long (Logan Mayes got some time)
SAM- Cyrus Coen
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Justin Sagote
CB- Damante Horton
CB –Daniel Simmons
FS- Casey Locker
SS- Deone Bucannon

LS - Alex Den Bleyker
P - Mike Bowlin
KO - Bowlin/Andrew Furney rotation
FG - Furney
KR - Marquess Wilson, Rahmel Dockery and Brett Bartolone
PR - Brett Bartolone (Dockery got some snaps)

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