From Lewiston -- Wednesday was Day 5 of WSU's fall camp and the team was scheduled to go full pads. That didn't happen as the team came out in just helmets and shoulder pads for the third day in a row. When asked about the decision to just go with helmets and shoulder pads, Leach replied, "Right now we're a little fatigued, so I wanted to put that off a little bit Obviously, we'll be in full pads at some point, but we were essentially able to practice nearly everything similar to full pads as we are right now."
Here are some notes from the day:
Getting the mesh down - Leach got on his receivers a little bit for not executing mesh plays to the level he wants so far in the camp. If you are unfamiliar with what the mesh is, you can read this article written by Brian Anderson a few months back that explains how the mesh works within the Air Raid offense.
Receiver depth - Leach said that his philosophy with receivers is to "play with eight" meaning that two players at each of the receiver positions will see playing time during the game. At several receiver positions WSU has more than that. Competing for the Z receiver reps you have Kristoff Williams, Isiah Myers, and Gabe Marks, all capable receivers that have started and seen several snaps during their careers at WSU. Even at the X spot, Drew Loftus looks really sharp although he is likely well behind in the depth chart with Vince Mayle and Dom Williams ahead of him.
At the H receiver, there is competition for the No. 1 spot between redshirt senior Rickey Galvin and Calvin Green.
"Calvin Green and Rickey Galvin are having a heckuva a battle right now," said Leach.
There is little question that Green's redshirt is coming off this year. Leach said that the decision on whether or not to burn a freshman's redshirt boils down to whether or not that player finds himself in the two-deep.
Myers had a huge day in the 11-on-11 team session hauling in three touchdown passes, one of which was a diving catch of a Connor Halliday pass that really impressed Leach.
"One of the best catches I have ever seen was one of the ones Myers had. That's one of the best catches of my entire career," said Leach.
River Cracraft also had a spectacular one handed catch on the sideline. ESPN 700 was on the scene Wednesday and captured both catches:
Punters and kickers- Both Wes Concepcion and Jordan Descalo got a handful of punts off in a punt protection drill. They both punted reasonably well with Concepcion coming away with the better punt on the day. I feel somewhat comfortable that either Descalo or Concepcion will be serviceable in the position. The good news is that if whoever gets assigned punting duties for the first game against Rutgers doesn't perform well or gets a disastrous case of the yips at some point in the season, as Mike Bowlin did last year, then WSU will have another option.
I arrived a few minutes after practice had started and apparently I missed the kickers practicing field goals. Jacob Thorpe was there early and saw both Erik Powell and Quentin Breshears make attempts. Here is his report. The short story is that the session wasn't very encouraging.
DB stuff - Isaac Dotson and Beau Glover were both at full speed today which is a good sign seeing that both have been limited at different points during the fall camp. Dotson is a big, strong kid. That showed a few times during the 1-on-1 drill where he manhandled Robert Lewis, who is nearly 60 pounds lighter than he is. I don't think there's much question about Dotson's speed either. However, his inexperience showed on several plays where he went up against Cracraft during the one-on-one. Cracraft was able to get a step on him consistently to make plays. Freshman Sulamain Hameed also got some reps in at strong safety and looked good.
Hameed was not the only true freshman that played well on the day. Pat Porter and Marcellus Pippins also looked much better. They all seem to be adjusting well after getting a few days of camp under their belt.
Team Session- The No. 2's seemed to get a lot of extra reps today during the 11-on-11 team session with players like Mitchell Peterson, Darius Lemora, Pippins, Porter, Robert Barber, Jeremiah Allison, and Glover seeing several snaps. The play between the offense and defense was very competitive with the final outcome from the session seeming to end in a draw.
There were a couple of big skirmishes during the team session. One happened really close to where I was watching when Peterson did not disengage with Theron West as quick as West wanted him to on a busted run play. The pushing and shoving got pretty intense between the two as they went to the ground. Then it nearly turned into an all out brawl with several players from the offense and defense going at one another once law and order was breached.
The second skirmish happened near the end of the practice and was very similar with the offense and defense piling up on one another. I wasn't able to see exactly what initiated the incident from where I was. Thorpe had a little bit better view of it than I did. He said he wasn't entirely sure, but it looked liked somebody might have undercut Toni Pole to set off the melee.
There was an attempt to run the ball a few more times today, but pretty much every running play with the exception of a decent eight to ten yard run coming from Gerard Wicks got stuffed. Still, Leach said he was really pleased with the offense performance today during the team session given that he limited the number of plays called.
"We (the offense) were more consistent today. We limited what we ran. When you get right down to it for the most part we ran three plays today so I thought when you consider how much we limited them, I thought they played real well." said Leach after practice.