Mike Leach Q&A on eve of fall camp

MIKE LEACH held a conference call with media on Friday and the Washington State coach was asked, among other things, if he expected all the incoming freshmen to be present and take the field on Saturday, the first day of fall camp in Lewiston.

Q: Are all freshmen expected at practice Saturday, and are there any new arrivals expected?

Leach: “We expect them there, and there could be one or two add-ons, but we’re pretty well set.”

Note: CF.C previously reported last week that CB Sean Harper and OL Joseph Price were absent from the official roster released by WSU last week and were expected to be academic casualties.

Q: Although he’s only been working on the field with the team since spring, how has DC Alex Grinch made an impact on the team?

Leach: “He has a very clear message -- clear-minded guy -- the players know their roles which accelerates their skills. In the past, the defense has been more scattered than ideal, due to a blending of philosophies, but coach Grinch has a very clear path and mission.”

Q: Will youth in the secondary help or hurt the defensive backfield?

Leach: “Both. The younger guys are very enthusiastic to beat out some of the players that have been here before, but if they perform better, we’re going to reward that.”

Q: Are there any JUCOs on D pushing hard for a starting role?

Leach: “They just have to get out there. We think the JUCO guys have a better chance to do something early. For all things I’ve been most right about in this business, the thing I’m the worst at is speculating which guys will come in and perform. The problem with speculating is there are lots of intangibles with transfers coming in, a player’s motivation, and the guy that adjusts the quickest. We look for the guy that comes in and does their job, it’s not about the guy that does the most.”

Q: Any depth chart changes from the spring depth chart?

Leach: “I don’t pay attention to depth chart too much, we just play who looks the best and is the most ready each week. I can’t really think of any changes from spring, but we’ll see once we get started.”

Leach was asked about players transferring or being dismissed:

Leach: “I worry about the kids that are here, not the ones that aren’t here.”

Q: Taylor Taliulu hasn’t been able to hold on to starting safety role, anything you guys do to help him with that?

Leach: “Periodically players just beat him out, but it’s up to him to get better, not up to us to make him do it. All around it’s hard for anyone to hold on to a position as we’re changing and players improve each week.”

Leach was asked to talk about the decision to again hold the first fall camp practices in Lewiston:

Leach: “The biggest thing is we get to avoid distractions and make everything about football because there is nothing happening on campus in Lewiston. We try to bunk people with others they may not know. Try to give everyone a chance to meet others that they may not be familiar or have much in common with. (It's the) chance to be together as a team and get our work done. It’s always been positively received by the players, so we keep going back.”

Q: Is going to Sacajawea Middle School in Lewiston in any way an attempt to help build the WSU market to the Lewiston area?

Leach: “That’s really a byproduct of the camp. When we started going down, our practice fields were taken up with construction, so we moved down to Lewiston. Team bonded really well out there, so we’ve been going ever since.”

Q: After all the talk of football being back, what’s the feel of getting football finally getting started?

Leach: “The best part will be to get on the field. Once you get the first two days under your belt things really get on a roll.”

Q: Are you any closer to naming the starting quarterback?

Leach: “No.”

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