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Cougar Football spring workouts pick up steam

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Five workouts down, 10 to go.

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Good morning. The Cougar football team held another workout Saturday in Pullman, amid temperatures in the 50s. As has been the theme throughout the offseason, the coverage of WSU's fifth workout focused on the developing rapport between the quarterbacks and both the new receivers and the receiver who wasn't with the team in 2016.

With Jacob Thorpe gallivanting about the western United States to cover Gonzaga's Final Four run, Peter Harriman covered practice for the local newspaper and wrote about just that.

Priester accounted for one of those flashes with a sliding catch in the end zone on a ball thrown by sophomore Tyler Hilinski that sent celebratory "whoops" from teammates echoing through empty Martin Stadium. No one is burdened by a belief that he has to become the man, according to Priester. "We’re all just learning from each other, working with each other every day."

Hilinski earned a pretty glowing report all around, and his progression seems to one of the highlights so far this spring. I think he will be pretty fun to watch at the spring game in a few weeks. Something tells me Priester will also be one of the names we're all bringing up after the spring game. I just hope it isn't for naught.

Jon Wilner also took his turn at spring football analysis this week, closing out his Pac-12 series with a look at WSU and Washington. Wilner also writes about the importance of Hilinski's development:

The competition will be good for Hilinski, and WSU needs to be settled at second string. Falk is as tough as any QB in the conference, but he takes a pounding.

Wilner also went with a bit of a bigger-picture view than we've seen throughout these spring previews, and rightfully so.

Offseason workouts, spring practice, summer drills, training camp — it’s all as critical to the Cougars as to any team in the conference...The reasons: WSU’s schedule and its recent history. The Cougars started slowly in each of the past two seasons. A repeat in ’17 would be highly problematic because the first five games are at home, which means — lemme do the math; OK, got it — five of the last seven are on the road. Stumble in Pullman, and they’re playing from behind in the standings with a road-heavy second half. They must be close to mid-season form for the season opener.

Mid-season form in the opener? Facing a Big Sky team? NO PROBLEM THERE!!! Or...yeah. I'd argue that WSU has started slowly in the past three seasons, what with the 2014 opening salvo that contained a tough loss to Rutgers and a no-show in Reno, but Wilner is 100% correct. WSU can not afford a slow start next season. That makes the development of the lesser-experienced position groups all the more important this spring.

EDIT: Here's a video recap of Saturday's practice. Two observations: 1) Robert Lewis made an outstanding catch in the endzone. 2) Luke Falk is teetering on the edge of mullet territory.

The Cougs will hold their sixth spring workout Monday afternoon.

Football

WSU Cougars work through their progressions during spring practice | The Spokesman-Review
One third of the way through spring practice, Washington State University players and their coach, Mike Leach, are saying all the expected things about focusing on the now, honoring a process and trying to improve every day.

Spring practice previews of Washington and Washington State
The NW schools were the last tandem in the Pac-12 to begin spring practice. How will Washington replace its NFL-bound defensive backs? WSU has holes to fill at receiver.

17 For ’17: Key Pac-12 Questions | College Football News
With the first five games at home – even if one of them is against USC – this might just be the hot team everyone is talking about going into October. There’s no excuse to be anything less than great.

PFF scouting report: River Cracraft, WR, Washington St | PFF
While Cracraft doesn’t have ideal size or speed for an NFL wide receiver he has the ability to end up in an NFL training camp when he’s fully recovered from his injury.

Basketball

Rankings the Pac-12 coaching jobs
I'm sure WSU would be ranked ninth here. Yeah, definitely ninth.

Baseball

Splat

Late Inning Surge Lifts Cal Past WSU - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
Washington State suffered a 7-2 defeat after California scored six runs in the seventh inning at Evans Diamond Saturday evening.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: The two of you who read this are probably aware that it tends to be dark beer-heavy. Not this week. It was hot down here Saturday and there was yard work to be done. That's not exactly a combo that calls for a stout (even though I had a really good one Thursday). So I reached way back into the beer fridge and pulled out a Paw Paw's Peach Wheat, courtesy of Back Forty Brewing in the metropolis known as Gadsden, Alabama. It was the perfect complement to the sunny weather.

Five mistakes to avoid when you're buying craft beer - LA Times
Here are some common beer-buying mistakes to avoid on your next shopping trip.

Non-Sports

How Netflix Took Over Stand-up Comedy – The Ringer
With plans to air a stand-up special every week this year, Netflix has ushered in a digital comedy boom. This is how the network took over one of premium cable’s preeminent genres.