Washington State returns to the practice field today with the start of spring football. While that means the return of football things happening, it also means the return of Mike Leach press conferences. We haven't heard much from Leach since signing day, but he met the media for nearly 20 minutes on Wednesday.
The focus was on the start of practice and where the roster currently stands. Leach said a lot of things that basically every coach around the country has said or will say in the coming days and weeks. The offseason is going well, players are working hard, every spot is open for competition, etc.
Tyler Bruggman's status and potential has been a popular topic lately. Leach said he thinks Bruggman and walk-on Luke Falk are capable of pushing Connor Halliday. He said the Cougars will run two pass skeletons to allow the quarterbacks to get as many reps as possible.
Leach briefly discussed Daquawn Brown and his legal situation. If you remember, Brown was arrested earlier this month for felony second degree assault and misdemeanor assault. One of the alleged victims was a woman which would fall under Leach's one-strike rules for dismissal. Brown remains on the roster, which Leach commented on. Via Jacob Thorpe of the Spokesman Review:
We're going to have to wait and see how everything unfolds. I mean, right now it's appearing most of what's come out and been spewed around has been greatly embellished so we'll just have to see how all that comes out.
Finally, Leach also discussed the effort by a group of college football players to form a union. Leach had an interesting opinion on the matter, looking ahead to what could happen. Here is a bit of what he had to say, again via the Spokesman:
You know I'm not for or against any of it. I think whatever happens on anything like that within Division-I it needs to be the same. I think that also there's a lot of considerations on it. If somebody wants to be regarded as a professional then actually it kind of suits me because if these guys are professionals and they want everything to be like it is in the NFL then shortly we're going to be having a draft and I for one would be pretty excited about having a whole nation full of quality athletes to draft from.
In case you were wondering whether Leach needs spring football to refine his interview ability, he appears to be in midseason form.
Bud Withers: Does Connor (Halliday) weigh about the same? Has there been any effort to put any more weight on him?
Leach: Yeah, he's lifting. I haven't weighed him much, I don't weigh him very often. Bill (Stevens, WSU's SID) can go ask (Jason) Loscalzo (WSU's strength and conditioning coach) what he weighs and get you a more accurate thing.
Stevens: He's up to 197.
Leach: Well that's what this says (referencing the spring depth chart), but we just guess at that. I don't know if you weighed him or if you eyeballed him. What's it say he weighs here (looking at the spring roster)?
Leach: Well, that's good news, he weighed 165 last year. Yeah, so it looks like he gained 30 pounds.
Welcome back, football.