What they're saying: Media Day

NOTABLE MEDIA DAY quotes and notes from <b>Hamza Abdullah</b>, a team captain of the 2004 Cougars, and coach <b>Bill Doba</b>. Washington State's head coach and senior safety weigh in on a number of topics -- From how good that middle linebacker Derting is, to replacing last year's starters.. On recruiting trends, to taking risks that didn't pan out on top-level athletes.. On being selected fifth by the Pac-10 media, to how the coaching staff will approach Fall Camp. All this and more, read on..

On the benefits of being underrated... "I kind of like the eighth or ninth spot. We did a lot of damage from there."
On the media picking the Cougs to finish in the middle of the pack...  "Nothing is going to be handed to us. Time and time again, we've had a 10-win season and then, here we are, back again at seventh or fifth."
On the new defensive starters...  "Yes, we lost nine defensive starters.  But the guys that will be coming in to play for them aren't guys that haven't played before. I believe if you ask them, they can locate Pullman on the map, so I think we'll be OK"
More on the new defensive starters and how many of them, including himself, have seen significant playing time... "It's not like we're going to have to go looking in the woods for guys."
When asked to talk about how good Will Derting is... "He's OK.  Can I talk about Will Derting?  Have you got about three hours?"
On this past recruiting class, when the Cougs decided to take risks on several top-level recruits.  Seven recruits did not qualify academically...  "We took chances on too many kids."
On recruiting trends... "I hate offering kids (scholarships) early, but you have to because everybody else does it."
On the media offering a measure of respect to Washington State in selecting them 5th, despite having the fewest amount of returning starters in the conference...  "I'm amazed you all noticed.  I think these guys here have earned a lot of respect throughout the conference."
When asked if there will be pressure to win this year... "Yes, there's pressure.  The big thing we had to get over at Washington State is our kids expect to win, not hope to win.  And now our players expect to win.  Our players think they're pretty good, and I'll be damned if I'm going to tell them any differently."
On the approach the Cougs took during Spring Ball...  "We almost went back to the old thing putting tape on (the helmet) with the names to keep track of who they all were.  We kept it real simple (during the practices). Some people teach the whole part and then back up and teach the little things. We used to do that and I don't believe in that... I think they can lose confidence (that way).
On how the coaching staff is planning on approaching Fall Camp...  We'll go slowly, and when they're ready for the next thing, the next blitz, the next defense, the next coverage -- then that's when we'll put it in. But we can't go too slow.."

Cougfan Top Stories