3 takeaways: Day Four of Washington State fall camp

LEWISTON - Day Four of fall camp for WSU was dominated by the defense. After the Cougar D controlled play much of the day, the offense had to do 25 up-downs together at the end of practice. Even that didn't go well. They had to restart at 15 which drew the ire of Mike Leach.

There was no media availability post-practice today after Mike Leach was upset with media reports of injuries to Gabe Marks and Cole Madison on Monday.  CF.C and other media were informed by WSU SID at practice on Tuesday that mentioning players who were limited or not participating would result in interview access being terminated.  CF.C has concluded that the broader context of our practice reporting still offers plenty of meat on the bone and it would be a disservice to our loyal readers if we were to stop covering practice.  Not being able to bring you what Mike Leach, assistant coaches and the players have to say would be a far greater sacrifice to you, our loyal readers.  Now, on to the practice report …

Following a bit of rain falling in the Lewiston area, Washington State players took to the field for a fourth time to get in some work. Though the field was a little damp, footing was good and the guys weren't slipping on the Sacagawea Junior High School grass. Once they settled in to practice, there were numerous great plays being made.

Here are just a few of the highlights with more to come later tonight:

1.     Wicks goes beast mode

-       Gerard Wicks ripped a monster run up the middle for what I believe would have gone for a touchdown in a game situation. Once he hit the edge there was no stopping that freight train. Wicks broke a tackle and then took off in a foot race with Shalom Luani chasing behind him. He’s been running hard all camp, but finally got to show his strength and power on the long run today.

2.     Taylor is quickly finding his way onto the field

-       Robert Taylor bounced back and forth from corner to safety today. It took him a few 1-on-1 reps at corner to get the hang of it, giving receivers a tough time for the rest of day. He recorded an interception on the first play of the 11-on-11 drills and had several other plays go his way. Taylor has improved drastically from the first fall camp practice and although the sample size is only four days, he looks ready to play at this level to my eye.

3.     Defensive line is starting to bring some serious pressure

-       The offensive line seemed to be collapsing almost every other play. Whether run or pass, defensive linemen were getting in the backfield today. They tallied several sacks and forced a lot of bad passes leading to some interceptions (Paris Taylor pictured above makes a pick). The rotation may still be a work in progress, but coach Joe Salave'a has the guys are working together to put a lot of pressure on the offense.

Check back with CF.C later for a full report on today's practice.

RELATED: Washington State QBs: Photos and early fall camp analysis


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