Mkristo Bruce's Diary: The weights of winter

PULLMAN -- I hope everybody who bleeds crimson is well, and once again want to thank all of you for your support. I wanted to come by and give all you fans an inside update of what is going on with the team. Bottom line, as winter conditioning comes to an end, I can tell you many guys young and old have been turning heads.

Whether it's Husain Abdullah challenging linebackers in the squat rack, Jason Hill the last one standing in the power clean station or Bobby Byrd leading the O line, the weight room has been a picture of commitment. The linebacking crew, led by Scott Davis and Steve Dildine, is getting bigger, faster and stronger. And Tony Thompson looks like he's putting the whole weight room on his back.

There is a huge improvement with every position group on the field compared to last year. People are not only getting bigger, faster and stronger, but they are getting "better." That is one of the themes that Coach Doba has for each of us this off season -- to just get better each day. So each day we focus on a certain aspect of our game to improve.

As a team, we work out together, eat together, and run together. This is really going to help the "TEAM" aspect of our game.

As far as last season goes, we had a lot of young guys that came from a lot of different places. Now that we all have at least one year on the Palouse, and one year of Cougar Football under our belts, we can come together as a team and FINISH. We have all looked in the mirror and saw that one or two plays each game was the deciding factor between a bowl game and a very long off season.

The 2006-2007 season has a lot of our older guys drooling from the mouth. As seniors, we know it's our last go around, and our last chance to get those rings. Guys like Brackenridge, Turner, Jordan, Taylor, Davis, Dildine, Hill and many more would like to go out with a bang, and show these young guys what a bowl game tastes like. So work ethic is at an all time high, and the way to win is through these young bucks. Each day they get better, and each day they become better leaders.

We are going to take all of this weight and conditioning work and bring it to together with the pads in a couple of weeks (spring workouts begin March 21). It has been way too long this off season and those pads need to come sooner than later so that we can get a jump on next year's road to glory, that runs straight through the COUGAR NATION OF DOMINATION!

If you have any questions, concerns or updates, send them to Cougfan and I'll try to answer them down the road. Hope you all can out to spring ball and to the final spring game April 15. Until next time.... GO COUGS!

Mkristo Bruce, a WSU senior-to-be who was one of the Pac-10's sack leaders in 2005, will be an All-America candidate in 2006. The one-time quarterback from Renton's Liberty High has started 22 consecutive games for the Cougars. He was on the 2005 watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award. Last summer he graciously volunteered to give CF.C readers a window on the world of pre-season Cougar football preparation with a weekly diary. We're in the process of twisting his arm to do the same this summer as well.

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