Athlon asks Pac-12 coaches to speak their minds, confidentially, on WSU, Mike Leach and others

ATHLON ASKED PAC-12 coaches to speak their minds about the other teams in the conference -- confidentially and without attribution. What did they say about Washington State? Well, for starters, the Cougars' defense is underrated and Mike Leach is one strange bird.

Here's what unnamed Pac-12 coaches had to say about WSU and Mike Leach, according to Athlon:

* “I would predict they’re going to be a good team.”

* “Luke Falk is the real deal at quarterback, and they’ve got a ton of good receivers back. Getting Gabe Marks to come back was huge. He’s very productive, hard to cover with one guy.”

* “Falk got hurt at the end of the year, and they weren’t the same, but if they can protect that quarterback and keep him healthy, they have a chance to win the division.”

* “I just think Falk understands the offense — he’s smart, he’s got a good, quick release. He gets rid of the ball, and those receivers have been with him a couple years so they have good chemistry.”

* “They’re always going to throw it a bunch, but they can run the ball when they need to and they’ve got a lot of weapons and different ways to get those guys the ball.”

* “They’re underrated defensively. I know they lost a couple interior linemen, but their front seven was one of the best in the league last year and their secondary was really active, really aggressive trying to force turnovers and they didn’t give up very many big plays.”

* “(Mike) Leach is a strange bird, but he’s getting it done. He sticks with his system and his system works and those kids have been in it now for a few years, so he just plugs guys in and now he’s got someone who can throw it. He’s got it going now like he did at Texas Tech where they’re not going to be the most talented team in the league, but he’s going to find guys who play with an edge and develop them and get the most out of them.”

For the full Athlon article with comments on all the Pac-12 schools, CLICK HERE

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