Bye week practice turns into a slice of hell

PULLMAN – Washington State coach Mike Leach's scathing Monday comments? Those were but a prelude. Tempers were high and patience was low on the Tuesday practice field. The Cougar coaches had no patience for excuses, mishaps or poor play. The offense and special teams struggled and consequences followed. And the quarterbacks and wide receivers – they may STILL be going at it out on the Leach Beach…

Leach really let the Cougs have it tonight.

After a Monday press conference in which the head man made clear his wide receivers weren't tough enough, the wideouts came out Tuesday afternoon and continued to display butterfingers. Leach didn't allow senior Casey Locker to slaughter the receivers like he joked that he was considering… but at this point they'd probably have preferred that over what transpired.

Less than 20 minutes into practice, sophomore wide receiver Isiah Myers was sent to the sand pit, likely due to dropping the ball in position drills. Not to worry, he wouldn't be lonely for long.

Fellow pass-catchers sophomore Kristoff Williams and freshman Dominique Williams failed to hang on to most everything thrown their way. Leach first verbally let them have it, then relegated the young playmakers to the sand pit to join Myers.

Unfortunately, things didn't improve. And it was about to be an extremely long evening.

AFTER PRACTICE WAS OVER, a two-hour session in which the offense was a complete catastrophe, the receivers and the quarterbacks met once again at the sand pit for what was to be undoubtedly one of the most memorable nights of their lives.

The quarterbacks and receivers began by doing up-downs and corkscrews in the sand.

That lasted almost an hour.

Then outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons and Leach pulled them out of the sand pit to catch passes repeatedly.

Over and over and over they caught balls. As soon as it seemed like it was coming to an end, they began catching tennis balls.

By 6 p.m. -- three and a half hours in -- coaches informed CF.C, ‘it may be a while' before any post-practice interviews might take place. Like around midnight or so, it seemed. Backup QBs David Gilbertson and Cody Clements looked to have been given a reprieve around this time, but Jeff Tuel, Connor Halliday and the receivers were still at it.

This report will go live around 7:30 p.m. -- and Tuel and Co. might still out in the blustery weather, throwing and catching passes until the cows come home.

Because of the extracurricular activities, coaches were deemed unavailable for post-practice comment once it became unclear when the night would come to a close and once it did, if Leach and the coaches would want to talk.

The Cougs have scheduled only have two practice sessions this week because of the bye. But the players must surely be hoping Wednesday is nothing like today's was.

NEEDLESS TO SAY, Leach is fed up with the inconsistencies on offense.

As for some of the on-the-field happenings on Tuesday, Tuel received a majority of the first team snaps, but did nothing to secure the position.

He looked apprehensive at times, holding the ball far too long and creating too many opportunities for the defensive line to wreak havoc. When third-year sophomore quarterback Connor Halliday took the reins with the ones, the offense moved with a little more gusto and threw the ball with conviction for most of the afternoon.

But Halliday couldn't fix the tone of the afternoon -- not by himself.

Tuesday's practice featured the most up-downs of the entire season and that's saying something. No WSU practice under Leach, fall camp included, had as much yelling and chastising as Tuesday night's disaster had.

The defense didn't do much to distinguish themselves either. The Cougs were lethargic, walking slowly and moping around within the drills throughout the afternoon/evening. That wasn't going to fly. Not after Saturday's performance. Not when the Cougs find themselves at 2-5.

Pullman was a stormy, windy mess for much of the evening, but if that's any excuse for this team to use on a day-to-day basis, they better bring their flip-flops and towels tomorrow, because they might be building a city of sandcastles next – or whatever fresh hell Leach decides on.

Update: Kristoff Williams and Dominique Williams were just spotted leaving Bohler Gym around 7:30 pm.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Junior wide receiver Marquess Wilson was absent for the second straight practice, and freshman running back Teondray Caldwell was absent from practice as well – not terribly surprising considering it's a bye week and both left Cal's game and didn't return with undisclosed injuries.

    Running with the 1's for the scrimmage:

    OFFENSE
    LT- Gunnar Eklund (Brevick got some time)
    LG- John Fullington (Goetz got some time)
    C- Elliott Bosch (Meighen got some time)
    RG- Jake Rodgers (Goetz got some time)
    RT- Wade Jacobson (Brevick got some time)
    QB – Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday ended up splitting reps by day's end
    RB –Marcus Mason/Carl Winston/Leon Brooks
    X-WR – Dominique Williams (Bennett Bontemps got a good amount of snaps.
    Y-WR – Brett Bartolone (Gino Simone and Tyler Baker got some time)
    Z-WR – Isiah Myers/Kristoff Williams/Bobby Ratliff
    H-WR – Gino Simone and Gabe Marks split reps

    DEFENSE
    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- Anthony Carpenter
    CB –Daniel Simmons
    FS- Casey Locker and Tyree Toomer
    SS- Deone Bucannon

    SPECIAL TEAMS
    LS - Alex Den Bleyker
    P - Mike Bowlin
    KO - Bowlin
    FG - Furney
    KR - Marquess Wilson, Rahmel Dockery, and Brett Bartolone
    PR - Brett Bartolone and Leon Brooks

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