FROM LEWISTON -- Defensive line coach Joe Salave'a just received a big pay raise from WSU for his efforts in building a strong defensive line, something the Cougs lacked for several years prior to his arrival. We had a chance to talk to Coach Joe after practice on Tuesday and learned how he feels about his new raise and found out what his philosophy is as far as rotating players in on the defensive line.
CougCenter: So coach, obviously big news coming out as you got a big raise. Can you talk about your thoughts on that?
Salave'a: I'm just excited to be here as part of the staff and part of this team. I believe in what we are doing and I look forward to seeing our guys get a little better each day and move forward.
CougCenter: You lost Junior Gauta and you have shifted some guys around on the line. Talk about how that is going?
Salave'a: It's just opportunities for the next person out. We've got some young guys that are naïve and don't know better. They just want to go out there and mix it up. The competition level and the quality of work has picked up in just a short time, so we're looking forward to seeing the young bucks. There is a lot of competition going on right now.
CougCenter: Can you talk a little more about how the depth is helping out this year?
Salave'a: To be honest, we're one of the few teams that does not rotate full teams up front. We've been able to play just three guys the last few years and they're playing 80 to 90 percent of those reps. You're talking about 60-plus plays each week. But to their credit they battled and that's a testament to their conditioning and what they're doing in the offseason. I think we've got some young guys to add to the mix. I'll never jeopardize quality for the numbers. I refuse to buy into that just rotating people for the gymnastics of it.