The Akey Tapes

WSU DEFENSIVE coordinator Robb Akey recently joined CF.C regulars for an online chat. The discussion was fast and furious. From spring ball to incoming freshmen; from head coaching aspirations to the officiating in the Pac-10. And that's just for starters. If you missed the chat, here's the transcript.

COUGFANcom:: Welcome, Coach Akey, to the Cougfan.com chat room, we're honored to have you here..ready to answer some questions from the Cougar Nation?
CoachAkey:: Hi Cougs! This is Coach Akey on line!!

dgibbons:: Thanks for joining us coach. Do you think any of the redshirts will see significant PT?
CoachAkey:: To answer the first ? about redshirts, We hope to have a few of them see some good PT. Specifically Ropati, A. Johnson, Husain Abdullah in particular.

Kennewick Man:: Coach: How serious did you consider the Idaho head coaching job?
CoachAkey:: The Idaho job really didn't fire me up to much even though I would like to be a head Coach.

810neopal:: Hi Coach! How's Christian Bass doing, seeing any time on the 1st team? (thought he'd be pushing for playing time but haven't heard much)
CoachAkey:: Christian Bass is showing good improvement, he is not running with the first unit but I think he will play a good role for us this fall that will grow as he continues to improve.

bestcougr:: Coach, I hear you snow board. Ever considered training for the half pipe? I'm trying to imagine the AIR you'd get!
CoachAkey:: I did give the snowboard a chance after recruiting when my son was learning how. I got it figured out but I will stick with the skis!

LynnwoodCoug:: Thanks for joining us coach. Is this year's D going to be able to use the same blitzing style we saw from last years senior group?
CoachAkey:: In regards to 'Will we blitz?', we will have some ability to, and how much will be determined as we go on and find out who all will be out there and what their limitations may or may not be. We have a chance to stay aggressive though!

Kennewick Man:: I vote for you to be our next head coach when Coach Doba retires. Can you wait that long?
CoachAkey:: I appreciate the vote for Head Coach but I think we have a great one right now in Coach Doba!!!!!!!!

LanceUppercut:: Hi Coach, two part question: 1.) What's the latest on Randy Estes? Is he going to be able to go to WSU right away? 2.) Do you own any pairs of pants? Because we can probably pitch in and all get you some Dockers if you're cold...
Whoisyourcoug:: Hey Coach! I would like hear about Estes and if he'll be in Pullman this fall!
CoachAkey:: In regard to Randy Estes the indications we have now have been very positive and we expect to see him here this fall if all continues to go this way. In regards to my pants you can keep your money. I move around enough to not get too cold!

810neopal:: Who looks to be the early leader at the open DT spot. Pitoitua? Howard? Ware? Johnson? All even?
GoCougsBaby:: Hey Coach, it looks like Odell Howard could be a major cog in next year's defense. Having never seen him play, how good will he be?
CoachAkey:: In regards to the vacant tackle position, we are having some great competition but no one has taken control of it yet. Ropati is running with the first unit this week with A.J. and Odell running the second unit. Olson and Boyer are getting a little time in there as well. The depth has changed a little throughout spring and I expect it will as we go. I would like to think we can get Ropati,AJ, and Odell to handle that spot through rotation and it will get better as we go!

LynnwoodCoug:: Do you think there is any downside in moving Dert inside? Do you think Davis and Bennett will be able to step in and dominate the way Will did outside?
CoachAkey:: In regards to moving Derting inside, you always are a little concerned when you take a successful player to a new spot and we approached it with that in mind. The good thing is with him in the middle it makes it harder to run away from him. The other positive is the fact that it suits Davis, Bennett, and Dildine to play outside. The move looks like it has been good and Dert is getting comfortable. I also think those other guys will be good players for us.

georgiaCoug:: Hi Coach! Thanks for taking questions! As more people hear about our aggressive D, is recruiting getting easier for defensive players? I saw how we missed out on a high school cornerback, and I was wondering what position on D is the toughest to recruit?
CoachAkey:: The success we are having as a team always helps recruiting. The toughest positions to recruit are DT and Corner, no question.. Everybody is looking for those!

theRabidCat:: Coach, what role do you see Matt Mullenix playing in the 2004 Cougar D?
CoachAkey:: Matt Mullenix is doing great, has been having a good spring and will play a good role for us in the fall. Hopefully something along the lines of what Braidwood did when he was a youngster.

Whoisyourcoug:: Coach, Will you approach the New Mexico Game differently than you did in 2003?
CoachAkey:: We will know more about the New Mexico plan as we determine exactly who we will be playing with and what we will be able to do to attack. Last year they did a nice job of keeping a lot of people in to protect the QB and took some shots deep on us. They had a good line. I think they will be a little different as well.

Q: Coach, good luck next year and what do you see as the major concerns for the future, if any?
CoachAkey:: In regards to the future, my biggest concern right now is making sure we have the other tackle position handled and the other corner spot as well. I am excited about the future because I think this team will continue to improve and could be even better the following year.

810neopal:: Is Pitoitua truly already up to about 285 already (and is Reyshawn Bobo really at about 196-lbs or is that an old weight?)
CoachAkey:: Ropati is about 280 right now and Bobo is about 210-215

theRabidCat:: Coach: Who out of the that great D last year (that has graduated) has the best shot at landing a NFL job?
CoachAkey:: It sounds to us like the guy with the best opportunity to be drafted off last season is Erik Coleman. I think some other guys could have a chance as well.

LynnwoodCoug:: do you see any incoming freshman or JC's competing for starting jobs or seeing quality PT next year?
CoachAkey:: We expect Letrell Myers, and Tyron Brackenridge to come and compete and play! They are both fired up to be here! It can be tough for a Freshman to come play right away at this level but Estes and Willis are two pretty special guys that could have a chance!

JMKCoug:: Coach, with the success and attention the D is getting I'm sure you'll be considered for many Head Coach positions in the future. Any thoughts on staying long enough to step in when Doba decides to retire?
CoachAkey:: In regards to the Head coaching ? it would take a special opportunity to pull me from here and they are hard to get. I would be very proud to succeed Coach Doba but I certainly don't think that will happen any time soon. We have a great one in Coach Doba!

GoCougsBaby:: Bobo sounds like virtual clone of Ike Brown. Will you bring him in for that "guided missile" pass rush factor, or do we already get that from Bruce and Braidwood?
CoachAkey:: In regards to the Reyshawn Bobo ? I see his role developing just like it did for Isaac and DD. Pass rush guy early in career that we will hope to turn into a full time player!

Kennewick Man:: Does Willis have qualifying SAT and GPA?
CoachAkey:: I understand Willis is making great progress and he will need the remainder of the school year to make the grades and the test score match. Indications are positive right now.

Q: With Hamza Abdullah looking solid this spring, and an experienced Jeremy Bohannon back there as well, would it be fair to assume a redshirt on Estes/Willis? It sounds like you envision them playing next year.
CoachAkey:: In regards to the safety position we are pleased with Hamza and Bo and Husain Abdullah is coming on as well. We will know more about the role of Estes and Willis when they get here and if they are ready to play there is a number of ways to get them on the field.

theRabidCat:: Doba and staff seem like a pretty close bunch of guys, is that an accurate impression? Is Doba, as he appears to be, the greatest guy in the world?
CoachAkey:: In regards to our staff I think we have a great crew that does get along very well! Coach Doba is what you see, a great person and that makes it great for each of us!

Kennewick Man:: Who do you consider the best WSU DB of the last five years?
CoachAkey:: I couldn't name the best DB over the last five years. They each had great qualities and played great roles for us. It is just sad they all can't still be with us!

theRabidCat:: Evaluate the Cougar offense, or rather, their potential 10 days into spring ball...are those backs for real? Is the o-line looking tough? Is Swogs the man?
CoachAkey:: In regards to our offense my attention is paid to the defense even though we are competing against each other right now. I don't know how thorough I could be on them but yes Bruhn is a very good back, I am glad he is on our team. It seems that Swogs has the advantage now and I think he will be a good player and we have some depth there so that is good. The O line is working their tails off and there are some good ones in there. I just want to make it as hard on Yarno every day as I can!

810neopal:: Coach, what areas do you recruit and who were some of the guys who you recruited in this last class?
CoachAkey:: I recruit in So Cal, the inland empire area. This year I brought in Brackenridge and Myers and Prator.

Whoisyourcoug:: Which running back has been facing the 1st Team Dline this Spring?
dgibbons:: How often is it 1s versus 1s during scrimmages?
CoachAkey:: When we scrimmage we get 1 vs 1 work in the middle of the scrimmage and it works out probably about 40 plus percent of the time.

LynnwoodCoug:: Coach, the Seattle game, do you like playing a home game there? Does it help recruiting in your opinion? Are you guys gonna whip up on UW this year or what?
CoachAkey:: Lynnwood Coug, when Seahawk stadium is full of loud Cougs it is a great venue for a game! It may help recruiting in the fact that kids from that area can get to the game easier but it hurts in the fact that we cannot talk to them like we could if they came to our campus. We will do everything we can to take care of the Apple Cup so we can all smile before we go to the bowl game. It took a long time for the Holiday bowl to come around this year!

JGoCougsB:: Without getting yourself into any trouble, what did you think of SOME of the celebration/personal fouls called on last year's D. Any word from the Pac-10 if they're going to be a little less anal-retentive this year?
CoachAkey:: I think the celebration penalties are called inconsistently and we will work with our guys to make sure they just don't give a guy a chance to make a judgment call. I thought the Holiday Bowl was officiated great, they let the kids play!

810neopal:: How's Paul Stevens looked? Still the plan for him to play LB? (Is he still around 260?)
CoachAkey:: Paul Stevens is doing great and we are giving him a look at DE right now had a good practice yesterday, first day at that spot. He will be a good football player for us.

socalcoug:: Knowing that we lost a great core of experienced players on D, where do you think next years group stacks up in terms of 1) talent and 2) in terms of where this group may compare to last years Defense, i.e. 75% of where we need to be to equal last year,etc? Thank you.
CoachAkey:: This years defense will have 9 new starters but 8 guys besides the 2 returning starters have good game experience so that helps. The best thing is they put forth the effort and swagger of last year's defense and that helps a ton! They will play hard and they will get better as they go.

theRabidCat:: I know you have to leave the chat soon, coach. Just wanted to say thanks for everything. You're one helluva coach and fun to watch, too!
Kennewick Man:: Coach: I need to leave shortly but wanted say thanks for chatting. You are DA MAN! And remember: ONWARD CRIMSON SOLDIERS!!!!!
socalcoug:: Just know that there are a lot of loyal Cougars behind you across this land and We will stand tall for you in Southern California!

CoachAkey:: Thank you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are great Cougs and we really appreciate your support! I am proud to be a representative of your football program!!!!!!! Gotta go, Coach Ake

GoCougsBaby:: Thank you coach. This has been really fun.
COUGFANcom:: Coach, thanks a million!!!!
georgiaCoug:: Thanks, coach!
bestcougr:: that was fun, cougfan. Thanks for doing that.
COUGFANcom:: Thanks to everyone who participated. We hope to have a transcript on Cougfan this weekend or early next week. Go Cougs!

GoCougsBaby: Thanks CF.C! Please schedule some more of these, this was a great way to spend my lunch hour.
COUGFANcom: More coming in the near future!
georgiaCoug: Thanks, Cougfan! And good job writing those articles up already -- you didn't waste any time on that.

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