WSU’s Grinch: Moving pieces on the chessboard in search of speed

GETTING FASTER on defense sometimes means moving guys around, Alex Grinch tells And for all the improvement Washington State made last year on the defensive end, Grinch is striving for a much higher level of execution in his second year as the Cougs’ defensive coordinator.

Grinch didn’t get into the specifics of who, if anyone, might change positions this spring.  But as WSU continues its quest to become faster, it would seem logical some Cougar defensemen will, at the least in certain situations, be on the move.

“We’re always trying to find the best 11 guys -- so some of it involves position changes, where it’s a secondary guy going to linebacker, a linebacker going down to d-line, in the name of getting more athletic. Obviously, we’ve attacked it from a recruiting standpoint with guys who have speed potential as well as size potential,” said Grinch.

As it always does, great defense comes down to consistency and execution. And by definition it requires “extreme amounts of effort,” said Grinch.

“Our execution needs to get a whole lot better,” said Grinch.  “I don’t think we executed in a way that would lend itself to be a consistent defense. And I think that’s something that comes back to coaching – actually both of them do: demanding a high level of effort (as well).  We’ve got to do a better job as coaches to get our guys going in the right direction (and) there are too many areas of improvement to name them all.”

Grinch said he could mention the importance of effort 100 times and it still wouldn’t be enough. But there’s “no magic formula, no quick fix” in making those speed gains.

“We take pride in ‘out-efforting’ our opponent… We’re inching closer and closer to having the speed on defense to put us in a position in the Pac-12 to compete on a weekly basis. The process continues,” said Grinch.

We asked Grinch how he felt about the depth on the d-line headed into spring.  “It’s tough to tell, obviously we haven’t been out on the field yet,” said Grinch. But in college football… every year at every position guys are going to have to step up this spring and in the fall. Hopefully we can talk (more) about some young prospects in moving forward. But guys have gotta step up,” said Grinch.


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