Fall camp day 5 roundup

Gunslinger no more? - William Mancebo

The Cougars put on full pads for the first time and the result was apparently very good.

If you are trying to avoid falling into another year of blind optimism, I would suggest skipping today's practice roundup. Not only did the Cougars have a good session on Tuesday, but there were several aspects which make it easy to dream.

Quick notes:

  • At this point, what would be the best things to come from a fall camp practice? The offensive line showing improvement? The running backs making plays? Connor Halliday working effortlessly within the offense? Well all three happened on Tuesday.
  • WSU running backs -- led by Teondray Caldwell -- had a very productive day, with Mike Leach praising the group after practice.
  • Part of the reason they were able to break off some long runs was better blocking. Leach said the offensive line is progressing quicker than he expected.
  • Halliday said Tuesday's practice was the "best day I've had with Leach going through reads."
  • Deone Bucannon didn't participate in team session. No indication as to why, but something to keep an eye on.

Blurb of the day:

This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read via Christian Caple.

The junior quarterback said he wasn't disappointed about not hitting any big plays in the skelly session on Tuesday, because he was able to make smart reads and take what was given.

"I wouldn't say it's the best day I've ever had here, but it's the best day I've had with Leach going through reads," Halliday said. "I think in skelly, I didn't have a big play but I hit four check-downs, and that's been the hardest thing for me. I hit big plays. The harder thing for me is to get it to the check-down, so I was happy with that."

Quotable:

Still aren't feeling the optimism in the air? How about this quote from Gabe Marks, again via Christian.

"We've got a lot more open space after we catch the ball nowadays," said Marks. "Sitting in the holes and stuff, there's a lot more room to run because we've got the spacing right."

The offensive line is improving faster than expected. The running backs are showing promise. Halliday appears to be functioning extremely well in the offense and the wide receivers are taking advantage of the Air Raid. It's only a fall camp practice, but that is about as promising as you could hope for.

Injury report:

While Bucannon sat out during team session, Rahmel Dockery returned to practice. According to Christian, he batted away two passes in one-on-ones against Marks. More good news.

Tweet of the day:

Videos:

You should watch Leach's interview today, just to hear him say the offensive line has gotten "better and better and better" for yourself.

Today's schedule:

WSU will be back on the field on Wednesday at 3 p.m. PT. Too many more days like Tuesday and it's going to be all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows around here.

Links:

Day 5: Pads come on at WSU camp - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Aug. 6, 2013
FROM LEWISTON — In some ways, Connor Halliday thought Tuesday was the best practice he's had under coach Mike Leach. And Washington State's running game looked better than it has since … a while ago. More details after the jump.

WSU receivers looking good on outside - Spokesman.com - Aug. 6, 2013
LEWISTON – The ferocity of Washington State’s competition at outside receiver is best evidenced each night on the team’s catch chart.

Offense Comes Alive in First Full Pads Practice - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The Washington State University football team practiced in full pads for the first time during preseason camp, working out for two hours Tuesday afternoon.

Washington State season preview - ESPN
Today we begin rolling out our day-by-day snapshots of each Pac-12 team heading into the 2013 season. We start in reverse alphabetical order with the Washington State Cougars.

College football Hot Seat Watch: Lane Kiffin, Kirk Ferentz top coaches with lots on line in 2013 | Campus Union - SI.com

• Mike Leach, Washington State: Washington State didn’t bring Leach to Pullman to see the Cougars put up the 109th-rated offense in the country (via Football Outsiders), a unit that ranked worse than the ones at Kansas, Eastern Michigan and Kentucky. Leach has a five-year contract, so he’ll likely get time to turn things around, but he can’t lose eight straight games again like he did in 2012. It’s still early, but let’s put Leach’s warmer on low, like it just rained a little bit and the seat could use some heat to feel toasty.

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