Simmons' State of the Union: Coug Outside WRs

WASHINGTON STATE outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons had just finished a meeting with wideout Vince Mayle when Cougfan.com caught up with him. And as good a spring as Mayle turned in, Simmons says there's plenty that needs to be tightened up with Mayle and the rest of the outside receivers group.

Simmons said he's been using the time allowed by the NCAA this offseason to get his players in the ‘classroom.' The topics most often discussed?

"Stance, false step, using your hands, lack of using your hands, picking your routes, things of that nature," Simmons said.

We asked Simmons to comment on his outside receivers, and the Cougar assistant's answers were both frank and revealing.

Dom Williams: "Dom is a good football player. But if Dom wants to get to the level he aspires to get to and dreams to get to, he's got to commit himself a little bit more, he's got to do the extra stuff. Deone Bucannon is a perfect example of that… that kid earned that (first round NFL draft selection.) And those guys have gotten to see that… Deone was always doing something extra.

"I'm proud of Deone because his actions echoed his words. If Dom wants to get there, his actions have to echo his words. I talk to Kristoff, Vince and Isiah about that all the time. This is their last year. They're guaranteed the games we have this year and then after that, football is not like basketball. You can't go to a gym and get some guys and play a good game in football like you can in basketball.

"This is their last year…When you get to be my age, if it doesn't work out at least you can say I put all I had into it and I just wasn't good enough. You never want to be that guy who says I wished I would have done that, or if only I hadn't done that.

Vince Mayle: "Vince is working hard, he's doing the right things. But the season will tell it all. He changed his body and had great improvement from fall camp to spring ball. But there are still some things he can improve on. He's a big, physical powerful man, and he needs to play like that all the time. He's got to get past that hiccup where he's not feeling 100 percent or he's tired. That can't affect him. Everyone at the next level is tired and sore after Week 1 and they don't let it affect them."

Kristoff Williams: "The thing that I've shared with Kristoff – his passion is to one day be an attorney, which I am so excited for him. Kristoff… has done all the right things, he's done what you send you child to college to do… And my goal is for him to leave his mark on Washington State. Because from a physical standpoint, he can be the best receiver that has every walked through the door here. He is physically gifted. Runs fast, athletic, all those little intangibles. Now he's just got to put it together and really, just showcase his talent in a game like he does in practice when he doesn't feel like anyone is watching. If he can transfer some of those things from practice in a game, the sky's the limit."

Isiah Myers: "Isiah was one of the kids who was banged up (in spring). The thing with Isiah if he can sustain his focus for the season – there are games with Isiah where he's playing at a level where you can arguably say he's the best receiver out there. And there are games where Isiah has lost his focus, where he's just a guy. My goal and my job is to make sure he comes out with the same intensity and that same focus week in and week out of that guy I described first. Really with Isiah and Kristoff… they need to challenge themselves and not be afraid of how good they can become, and you can throw Vince in that category too."

Gabe Marks: "Gabe had some hiccups (Note: Marks posted on Twitter on April 20 that "surgery was successful" before removing the tweet) so we have to see where he's at. Coming out of last fall, there are definitely things he can improve on. Gabe is very competitive and has a passion for wanting to get open, he just has to do it within the confines of the scheme. He can't freelance and do his own thing, which got him in trouble and hurt the offense and hurt plays at times. That's not going to be allowed and he needs to understand that. But I do like his passion and his wanting to get open. He just needs to do it within the confines of what we practice and how we do it."

Drew Loftus: "Drew had a very impressive spring game.. his Achilles heel, what we're still harping on him about is attacking the ball on his routes with his arms extended. Drew has some of the same things I get on Isiah about, some things he's come up on and on some days you can argue he's one of the better receivers out there and other days that he goes dormant on you. His sustained focus is one of the things we'll be working on this fall as well."


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