What Mike Leach said when asked about prosecutor's decision not to charge safety Shalom Luani

PULLMAN – The majority of Mike Leach’s Monday press conference was overshadowed by one question. The Whitman County prosecutor released a statement on why he won’t be charging Cougar safety Shalom Luani. Leach was asked for his thoughts on the matter. And it must have taken a supreme effort to say as little as he did.

Leach on Luani: “I don’t have any comment on that… I don’t have anything to say about it. We’ll just let it unfold and I hope that justice prevails on this stuff.”

Later, when asked again about Luani: “I don’t have anything to say about it, I’m just rooting for justice to happen on all fronts.”

Turning to Oregon and the game coming up Saturday (6:30 pm, Pac-12 Networks) Leach talked about the Ducks' new defense and new d-coordinator Brady Hoke, the bye week practices, improvement on special teams, improved running game, former WSU assistant coach David Yost’s move to Oregon and the reads being made by Luke Falk.

Leach also said he’s very optimistic on the matchup with the Ducks on the heels of a highly productive bye week.

Here are some of the more notable comments from Monday’s press conference:
•      On the players: “We’ve been on them, and we’ve hammered them, and we will continue to hammer them, and the hammering won't stop until after the bowl game.”

•      On Hoke’s defensive scheme: “It’s aggressive defense, and he’s been a career D-line coach, or had his hand in the D-line for years – so pretty aggressive. Pretty front centered – you know, a lot of tricks with the front, twists and blitzes and things.”

•      “We had a lot of energy in practices. I have been happy with the way we’ve been practicing. Now we have to transfer it to the game. I thought we had pretty good practices in camp – I didn’t feel like we transferred that as well as I would have hoped. Last week we did a really job – a little bit of a slow start. So I’m optimistic about this week.”

•      Leach thinks a bye week works best two-thirds of the way through the season.

•      On Eric Mele’s progression as WSU special teams coach: “Does a real good job. Brings a lot of energy, and we’ve been playing very aggressive on special teams. We’ve been able to block some kicks, our kickoff coverage is very aggressive. And I think that he’s gotten better and better. There’s a lot of moving parts with special teams. I mean, you coach more people simultaneously at the same time… I think it kind of takes a special kind of coach to do that, and the assistants all pitch in and he’s real organized as far as assessing how it went… I think he’s done a really good job and I think we’re getting better as we speak.”

•      “Anything in football’s got to be based on execution. You’re only as good as you can execute, all smart ideas in the world are a waste of time unless you can execute it.”

•      "I think our group has probably thought a little too much about last year than they should have. I mean, we need to focus on us and this group right now. I mean that was great for last years’ group. That was all the guys last year that made those plays – that wasn’t any of the guys this year. I mean there’s some of the same people but this is 2016… They better think about that and focus on this year otherwise it won't be a very productive, happy experience.”

•      “Our conference is a little tough to decipher… Yeah it looks like there’s parity, and it looks like teams are battling to emerge and do some good things – and some will for sure there’s no question. But yeah, in our particular conference there’s more questions than answers right now."

•      “Now our offensive line has improved, so now they typically need 6 in the box to adequately stop our run, so we’ll see.”

•      Leach on Yost to Oregon: “I was happy for Yost ‘cause he wanted to coach quarterbacks you know – and obviously that’s kind of tough at our place (where Leach is the QB coach). So I was happy for him and his family of course that got the opportunity to do something that he wanted. But I thought he did a good job here. He’s a very organized guy.”

•      Leach on FCS transfer rules: “I guess I don’t care. I mean, I think – well what it is essentially is a reward for a guy who graduates, so why not? I honestly think it's more of an award and sort of a motivation for a guy to graduate early.”


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