Dennis Simmons: My door is always open to Wilson

PULLMAN – The absence of All-American wideout Marquess Wilson is already taking a toll on some players and coaches. And while head coach Mike Leach didn't have much to say on the matter, wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons took a more emotional approach. Oh, and Travis Long is the Cougs' new punter – at least for today.

"I haven't called; he hasn't called," Simmons said. "I think it's very sad. It's very unfortunate."

Simmons, clearly troubled by the matter at hand, expressed his discontent with the situation. He said both sides seem to be standoffish, and neither has yet to reach out to the other.

"Where we go from here, I don't know," Simmons said. "At the end of the day, I love these kids like they really are my kids. It's more than a player-coach relationship after some time."

Simmons noted that the entire situation has been distressing for the coaching staff, adding that he finds himself warring with what to do: Contact Wilson and attempt to reconcile the issues – or let the junior learn the hard way by figuring it out on his own?

"Part of me feels like I probably should be more of the adult in this situation and reach out to him," Simmons said. "In life, you learn things. With the way my mom raised me, she had to sit back sometimes and let me learn on my own.

"I don't know what to do. I'm kind of at a loss."

Simmons said he can empathize with Wilson's frustrations at this point in the season; 15 weeks in and a lot of hours put forth. Something can really begin to fester in a player's mind when a team isn't winning, he said.

"If he came and wanted to talk to me my door's always open," Simmons said. "I think I can speak for Mike (Leach) when I say his door is open, too."

Leach, demonstrably exhausted from the barrage of coverage on the topic, said he, nor any other coaches, have contacted Wilson. Leach maintained Wilson is suspended for at least one week, and where he and the sporadic wide receiver will go from here is still up in the air.

"I worry about the guys out here," Leach said. "He's suspended for violating team rules. It's between me and him."

One thing that should help cauterize the wound a bit is the resurgence of sophomore Isiah Myers. The Florida product returned to practice, although only partially. In the limited action that he did participate in, Myers jumped right back in with the 1s, looking crisp and exploding out of his cuts.

Another player returning to action Tuesday was freshman running back Teondray Caldwell. The spunky, shifty young scat back hasn't played since leaving the game against California with an apparent concussion. Caldwell, along with senior Carl Winston, junior Leon Brooks, and sophomore Marcus Mason all shouldered the load this afternoon.

Who exactly will be blocking for those backs became a little more muddled Tuesday with the absence freshman tackle Gunnar Eklund. Stepping in for Eklund this evening was junior Matt Goetz.

Senior offensive lineman Taylor Meighen was absent from practice once again, and has been for a few weeks now.

With the absence of Eklund, just redshirt freshman Joe Dahl and junior Zack Brevick could step in play on the offensive line without burning a redshirt. Burning the redshirts of Eduardo Middleton, Pierson Villarrubia or Denzel Dotson would prove rather detrimental to the program this late in the season.

On the field, the incredibly thin offensive line line looked a bit lethargic in individual drills all afternoon, though during the scrimmage portion of practice they did seem to pick up the energy level and blocked well on running plays.

Probably the most intriguing development of the day may have been on special teams. With punting being an issue in recent weeks, special teams coach Eric Russell elected to give senior BUCK specialist Travis Long an opportunity to punt after practice. Long impressed, averaging somewhere between 45 to 50 yards per punt.

Not only that, the hang time on his boots was unprecedented.

The 1's
Running with the 1's for the scrimmage:

LT- John Fullington
LG- Jake Rodgers
C- Elliott Bosch
RG- Matt Goetz
RT- Wade Jacobson
QB – Jeff Tuel (Connor Halliday got quite a few snaps as well)
RB –Marcus Mason/Carl Winston/Leon Brooks/Teondray Caldwell
X-WR –Dominique Williams (Isiah Myers got some time)
Y-WR – Brett Bartolone (Gino Simone got some reps)
Z-WR – Gabe Marks (Kristoff Williams got some time)
H-WR – Gino Simone, Bobby Ratliff

LT- Logan Mayes (Destiny Vaeao got some time)
NT- Ioane Gauta
RT- Xavier Cooper (Matt Bock 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
SS- Deone Bucannon

LS - Alex Den Bleyker
P - Mike Bowlin
KO - Bowlin
FG - Andrew Furney
KR - Rahmel Dockery, Leon Brooks, Theron West, and Brett Bartolone
PR - Brett Bartolone, Leon Brooks, Theron West, Rahmel Dockery and Marcus Mason

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