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WSU's Alex Grinch Grinch wants more from Coug DBs this spring

THE COUGAR SECONDARY has a lot coming back but as defensive coordinator Alex Grinch said in a radio interview this week headed into today’s first spring football practice, no one defensive unit operates independently of another.

And in replacing a good amount up front on the defensive line (two down linemen in the 3-4 plus the Rush) the secondary may have to be better, longer.

“If we want to be good against the pass, we’ve got to have an appropriate pass rush up front… if we need to hold up a little bit longer in coverages as we break in some new guys up front then we’ll do just that,” Alex Grinch told KJR’s Ian Furness and Jason Puckett.

Grinch, who coaches the secondary in addition to being WSU's DC, also talked about the need for more production from the defensive backs, to get more hands on more footballs, and to win more battles with the ball in the air. 

Grinch said “the sky’s the limit” for d-lineman Hercules Mata'afa in that with his motor he can put himself at the point of attack in addition to the plays that naturally just come to him. 

“His strength at his size is pretty unique,” said Grinch.

Grinch called Peyton Pelluer a prototypical MIK with some rising talent alongside him in the linebacking corps. 

Frankie Luvu played really good in our bowl game. And that’s got to be his ‘every day.’  Isaac Dotson is another one that could have the body type and speed potential to be a real force in that second level of the defense.  And then a number  of other guys, some junior college guys, that we’ll piece in as they come to the program this summer,” said Grinch, referring to Chima Onyeukwu and Suliasi Tamaivena.

Takeaways continue to be the big emphasis on D at Washington State, Grinch said.

And while Grinch tends to be from the under-promise and over-deliver school, and like Mike Leach he often emphasizes how starting jobs are continually earned, it was interesting to hear him say “we feel pretty good about the 11 we’ll throw out there, at least going into (Thursday) and then we’ve got to develop that as we go.”

Grinch said he and the defensive staff had long discussions this offseason about having enough variance “in the package,” without having too much. Having too much in the playbook can result in the defense in turn having to remember too much, and not playing as fast as the coaches want.

You can listen to Grinch's interview with Ian and Puckett HERE.

RELATED STORY: Dotson taking lessons learned to second level this spring


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