PRACTICE: Job talk and a trip to Leach Beach

PULLMAN – The Cougars came out and struggled offensively Tuesday afternoon, but coaches didn't let it go unnoticed. Also, inside linebackers coach Jeff Choate discussed the Idaho coaching job and the multiple reports that he will be interviewing. And after a disappointing season, coach Mike Leach said there are few certainties headed into 2013 spring ball.

On a rainy day, few would volunteer to go rolling around in the sand. Unfortunately for the team, the Leach Beach was far from voluntary Tuesday evening.

The entire offense was summoned to the grainy pit when play after play returned lackluster results. Junior David Gilbertson led the second-team offense, although senior Jeff Tuel will clearly be at the helm come the Apple Cup on Friday.

"The biggest thing is to get a guy established and keep him in there," Leach said.

Tuel has been handed the job due to the recent absence of sophomore Connor Halliday. Halliday was once again absent Tuesday, as was senior defensive end Travis Long. The senior from Spokane watched from the sidelines, heavily favoring his right knee. His status for Friday remains very questionable at best. While coaches don't speak about injuries, Leach seems sure Long will be out there Friday.

"Great player; been a great example for everybody else," Leach said. "We look forward to having him out there."

As for the quarterback situation come spring, Leach said he refuses to commit to any one player, noting that no one has played their way into that luxury.

"There will be an open competition no matter what happens," Leach said. "I don't anticipate any favorites."

Leach added that a similar competition would be held in the fall.

"They've got to go out there and earn their job every day," Leach said.

One coach who may or may not be with the team next season is inside linebacker coach Jeff Choate -- but not due to a lack of performance.

In recent days, reports have surfaced that Choate will receive an interview for the coaching vacancy at the University of Idaho. Former Cougar quarterback Jason Gesser is the interim headman for the remainder of this season.

"I haven't had anything formal with the University of Idaho," Choate said.

Choate isn't new to the hiring process for head-coaching vacancies. Last season, as an assistant at Boise State, Choate was a finalist at Eastern Illinois. He elected to coach linebackers at Washington State instead.

"It's something that I think most coaches would like to pursue in their life," Choate said. "When the opportunity presents itself, it's got to be the right fit for both the individual and the university. They're hard to get."

On the field, one freshman who will likely see an expanded role next season is safety David Bucannon.

Since arriving in Pullman, Bucannon has packed on some weight, and routinely makes plays in the defensive secondary against the first-team offense while operating the scout-team defense.

Playing up in the box in front of Bucannon, is highly touted linebacker Jeremiah Allison, who has raised eyebrows this season. The freshman is one player Choate is really looking forward to incorporating in the defense next season.

"Jeremiah and Kache (Palacio) give the offense a good test," Choate said. "Had he been here in the spring, he probably would be playing with (the first team.)"

The Cougars hold their last practice of the season on Wednesday and will face off against the Huskies at 12:30 p.m. Friday (TV: FOX)

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 (David Gilbertson got 2nd team reps)
RB –Marcus Mason/Carl Winston/Leon Brooks/Teondray Caldwell
X-WR –Dominique Williams
Y-WR – Brett Bartolone (Andrei Lintz got some snaps)
Z-WR – Gabe Marks (Kristoff Williams got some time)
H-WR – Bobby Ratliff (Gino Simone got some reps)

LT- Matt Bock
NT- Ioane Gauta
RT- Xavier Cooper
BUCK- Logan Mayes (Kache Palacio got a few snaps)
SAM- Cyrus Coen
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Justin Sagote
CB- Anthony Carpenter and Nolan Washington
CB –Daniel Simmons
FS- Taylor Taliulu
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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