Mattingly has stepped up as a leader of the linebacking corps and I believe that all COUG fans need to keep an eye on Hoffman-Ellis and Ledgerwood this upcoming year because they are going to make an impact.
In the secondary, I have been impressed with the leadership of Chima Nwachukwu. The newcomer in the secondary who might be most likely to impress on the field this year is Brandon Jones. He has tremendous work ethic and his speed and quickness is ridiculous. I am very excited to see what he will do this year.
Response to PhilX: I would definitely say it takes a combination of great athletes, playing with heart, coaching and the scheme to make a great defense. Without all of these components we wouldn't have an equal balance. And we need all four legs of the chair to be a solid defense. Question 2: It's been awhile since I've carried the rock but I would hate to crash heads with Darren Markle from what I've seen on tape. I haven't got to meet him yet but I hear he is a strong kid and I am glad he is a COUG. Another guy I would hate to meet up with as a running back is Louis Bland. He had a knee injury in the spring but he's getting back his quickness. I've seen him and he's working hard on it.
Response to Crazy4Cougs: I would say that most of the players look at Cougfan.com on a regular basis. I actually read it very often because it has information that we don't even hear while we are at football so it is nice to get the down-low on some things. Also, it is the best way to read up on the incoming recruits and get an idea of what the new guys will offer to our team.
Response to Extermin8r: I wondered the same thing when we first started our summer workout program about lifting after conditioning. Lifting after running actually doesn't seem to affect our lifts too much. I see it as a good thing because it allows us to be completely warmed up and we are less likely to pull or strain our muscles. It probably affects to some degree the amount of weight we push around but not dramatically.
Response to CougarMVP: I had a blast in Pasco showing off the new uniforms. It was great to see the Cougar PRIDE from everyone down there. It makes me proud to be a COUG and I hope to see everyone that was there at all of our home games this fall!
Response to Ferris9: Sadly I haven't seen any of the 12 new freshmen who arrived early yet, we have groups working out at different times. But from what I've heard they are all excited to be here and I am looking forward to see them working out in the near future.
THIS PAST WEEK saw a change out on the Palouse with the holiday, we had some time off to gear up for the second half of our voluntary summer workout program. Most of the players took off for the three-day weekend to enjoy the Fourth of July.
Yesterday was the first day back and it was definitely different than previously weeks.
Conditioning consisted of a whole lot of change of direction and quick feet drills. We are going to be a fast team this year, and I hope all the COUG fans are excited about it.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE, we have all missed Cory Mackay a lot this summer and wish he was here with us. To my recent understanding he needs all the help he can get. If you have the means to donate to the Cory Mackay Fund, that would be greatly appreciated. If you are unable to donate please keep him in your prayers and hope for a speedy recovery as he is still a COUG and will always be a COUG.
Editor's note: Insurance coverage falls well short of paying for all of Mackay's medical costs. Checks can be made out to the Cory Mackay Fund. Any checks may be dropped off at US Bank branches, or they can be mailed to P.O. Box 814, Redmond, Wash. 98073-0814.
If you have any questions for me, post them on the CF.C message boards. I might not be able to answer all of them but I'll read them and answer any that I can.