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WSU football spring practice 2017: CougCenter Roundtable

Here’s what we’re talking about as the Cougs take the field again.

National Funding Holiday Bowl - Minnesota v Washington State
Kyle Sweet is going to be called on to step up in a big way.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Spring football has arrived at WSU! So, we decided to get together for a little roundtable discussing the developments of the offseason and what we’re looking forward to as practices get underway. There’s a surprise for you if you make it to the end!

Step into our Slack chat room ...

jeffnusser [6:14 PM]


brian_anderson [6:14 PM]

Let's talk about how the All-American (honorable mention PAC-12) offensive lineman that weighed 350lbs GOT BIGGER

NCAA Football: Washington at Washington State
Cody O’Connell when he weighed less than he does now.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

jeffnusser [6:15 PM]

Seriously though, I'm not sure how that's actually possible

goldenthroat (aka Michael Preston) [6:15 PM]

This is much better than when John Fullington played left tackle at like 255 (edited)

brian_anderson [6:16 PM]

Him pulling on Power up the middle should straight up terrify people. I can't even imagine what getting hit by 370lbs feels like. Probably a Volkswagon.

sherwood [6:16 PM]

What's bigger than a continent?

pjkendall [6:16 PM]

One holding penalty for every pound for Fullington

goldenthroat [6:16 PM]

A small planetoid?

pjkendall [6:16 PM]

The sun, because it's like the king of planets

sherwood [6:16 PM]

Can we start calling him Pangaea?

brian_anderson [6:16 PM]


sherwood [6:17 PM]

Have we gotten to BOOBIE yet?

goldenthroat [6:17 PM]

"And the ancient Mesozoic era continent with the great block on that play"

sherwood [6:18 PM]


brian_anderson [6:18 PM]

What are you most excited for about BOOBIE?

goldenthroat [6:18 PM]


brian_anderson [6:18 PM]

("everything" is not allowed)

goldenthroat [6:18 PM]


pjkendall [6:19 PM]

I don't know how many touches per game he got last year, but he needs at least 5-6 more per game this year.

brian_anderson [6:20 PM]

around 19

pjkendall [6:21 PM]

19 last year?

brian_anderson [6:21 PM]

Over 100 carries, which is pretty cool to see triple digits next to a running back

goldenthroat [6:21 PM]

I'd love to see him get more opportunities on screens. I know Morrow is the best all-around guy but BOOBIE running with O'Connell in front of him on a screen could be pornographic

I mean, I know he did it last year, but now with Pangaea

brian_anderson [6:22 PM]

Correction, 11.5 per game. Calculator failure

pjkendall [6:22 PM]

16-17 would be about perfect.

sherwood [6:23 PM]

Does Pangaea still fit on a football field? What sort of gravitational pull does something that large bring into the neutral zone?

pjkendall [6:23 PM]

Nice to see Jeff tell us to start talking football then pull the ejection handle.

brian_anderson [6:24 PM]

On a scale of Stephen A. to Stephen Hawking, how full of shit is the QB "competition" this spring?

pjkendall [6:25 PM]

Stephen A+

brian_anderson [6:25 PM]

I like Hilinksi a lot but there's just no way Falk isn't our guy, right? Bulked up to 225 this winter too, which is nice to see.

goldenthroat [6:26 PM]

Skip Bayless

pjkendall [6:26 PM]

How much of that was neck muscle? 5 pounds? 10?

sherwood [6:26 PM]

Stephen King?

goldenthroat [6:26 PM]

Unless Falk gets hurt, Hilinski ain't seeing the field

sherwood [6:27 PM]

All three of them were weighed holding a Christmas Ham

jeffnusser [6:27 PM]

Hey man in my defense I just got rid of my kids to the grandparents and now I can sit down again

pjkendall [6:27 PM]

It's like the time Leach said Austin Apodaca was right there with Halliday.

jeffnusser [6:27 PM]

I'm irrationally excited about Falk's weight gain.

brian_anderson [6:28 PM]

#neckstrength will be a thing people talk about

jeffnusser [6:28 PM]

I'm sure that's a weird thing to be irrationally excited about, but 210 at 6-4 is too damn skinny for as many hits as he allows himself to take

brian_anderson [6:28 PM]

He'll have either the heaviest or close to the heaviest OL in the conference too.

pjkendall [6:28 PM]

I was hoping the dumb neck thing would die down since he played the whole season.

sherwood [6:29 PM]

Dumb Neck Thing was the name of my band in high school.

brian_anderson [6:29 PM]

chokers were popular in the early 90s so that makes sense

sherwood [6:30 PM]

I went to high school in the late 90s. Who do you think I am? PJ?

brian_anderson [6:30 PM]


pjkendall [6:30 PM]

HEY! I mean, yeah.

brian_anderson [6:31 PM]

What wide receiver not named Tavares Martin Jr are you most excited about?

pjkendall [6:31 PM]

Bert Lewis

NCAA Football: Holiday Bowl-Minnesota vs Washington State
Isaiah Johnson-Mack
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

goldenthroat [6:31 PM]

Isaiah Johnson Mack

jeffnusser [6:31 PM]


goldenthroat [6:31 PM]

I'd like to see Kyle Sweet make some big improvements, the offense ground to a damn halt without Cracraft and it's clear Sweet wasn't particularly close to him in terms of ability last year

pjkendall [6:31 PM]

And that new freshman whose name I don't recall.

jeffnusser [6:32 PM]

Jamire Calvin?

pjkendall [6:32 PM]


jeffnusser [6:33 PM]

Inside receivers have been able to be productive as freshmen for Leach here, so I'm hopeful he can do some fun things

brian_anderson [6:33 PM]

Fans will know Renard Bell's name after the spring game. That kid could really turn some heads.

sherwood [6:33 PM]

I've been hearing things about this walk on freshman named Craver Ricraft

jeffnusser [6:34 PM]

what kind of odds would you need to be getting to place an actual wager on Kyrin Priester playing this year?

goldenthroat [6:34 PM]


sherwood [6:34 PM]

That line moves to even money if we lose to Montana State

pjkendall [6:34 PM]

I'm more curious than excited about Patmon, Bell and Porter.

brian_anderson [6:35 PM]

Bell can fly, man

goldenthroat [6:35 PM]

Patmon I thought would make a much bigger impact earlier, Leach's comments worried me a little

@sherwood *when we lose to the Fightin' Tyler Bruggmans

jeffnusser [6:36 PM]

I don't get worried about that, actually. If the coach cares enough to call you out, it means you can play and just need a little shove.

brian_anderson [6:38 PM]

Coaches thought enough of Priester to design specific plays for him two years it gets from there to here is pretty weird. I'd assume if classes are in order he could be a huge impact for the offense. It'll hurt not having him play next fall.

goldenthroat [6:40 PM]

Offense will still be the strong point (duh), so what worries us most on defense?

sherwood [6:40 PM]

Can we just talk about the offense again?

goldenthroat [6:40 PM]

I'm fine with winning 72-58

pjkendall [6:40 PM]

Calista Flockhart-thin depth on the interior line.

brian_anderson [6:40 PM]

We think the defense will be that bad? I'm not sold on that

jeffnusser [6:41 PM]

Nah, but that pass rush has to get a lot better.

NFL: Combine
The rug that held the room together?
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

sherwood [6:41 PM]

Shalom was the rug that held that room together.

pjkendall [6:42 PM]

Tied the room together. #wellactually

sherwood [6:42 PM]

Clearly I'm a fan

pjkendall [6:42 PM]

But you're right, @sherwood. I think he's the biggest void to fill.

brian_anderson [6:42 PM]

He was definitely the MVP of that defense. A combo of improved Nickel and capable Safety could make up for his loss though.

jeffnusser [6:43 PM]

I think safety will pretty easily be improved

brian_anderson [6:43 PM]

me too

goldenthroat [6:43 PM]

Isaac Dotson staying healthy for an entire season would help things tremendously

jeffnusser [6:44 PM]

Who ya got for nickel?

brian_anderson [6:44 PM]

Probably Dotson, but you have Justus Rogers bulked up now too

jeffnusser [6:45 PM]

Sean Harper?

brian_anderson [6:45 PM]

Definitely possible

jeffnusser [6:46 PM]

They just don't seem to have a guy who slides naturally there. But part of that is that Grinch has used a lot of different types of guys there in the last two years.

brian_anderson [6:47 PM]

They've oscillated between a OLB type and coverage guy type and general all-around type like Parker Henry

jeffnusser [6:47 PM]

I guess Kirkland Parker is listed at nickel on the roster along with Rogers

brian_anderson [6:48 PM]

DB is sort of nebulous until we see where they're sticking guys in the spring. The third-best corner could easily work his way into Nickel too.

jeffnusser [6:50 PM]

what else we got -- anyone worried about punter now that Zach Charme is gone?

sherwood [6:51 PM]

We aren't punting so

brian_anderson [6:51 PM]

A preferred walk-on just signed up right?

goldenthroat [6:51 PM]


brian_anderson [6:51 PM]


jeffnusser [6:51 PM]

his videos are ... well, he looks like a better FG kicker

goldenthroat [6:52 PM]

His kickoffs go a really long way!

pjkendall [6:52 PM]

Punt return yards are all that matter. If Sweet kicks it eight yards but there's no return, that's a win.

brian_anderson [6:52 PM]

as long as he doesn't fumble on fake punts we'll be cool

goldenthroat [6:52 PM]

If all he does are give us touchbacks, fine

brian_anderson [6:53 PM]

Predict a storyline from the first week of practice — what will the headlines be Cougs read at the end of next week?

goldenthroat [6:54 PM]

The offense will struggle early against the defense, as ever

pjkendall [6:54 PM]

New receivers stepping up.

sherwood [6:54 PM]

Pangaea absorbs an entire linebacker into his midsection.

pjkendall [6:54 PM]

I think Luvu is the big story once they start hitting.

jeffnusser [6:54 PM]

"You won't believe who's playing ________"

pjkendall [6:54 PM]

Tight end?

brian_anderson [6:54 PM]

is that because we have a proud walk-on tradition?

jeffnusser [6:55 PM]

You know there's going to be something weird that's going to be reported as a thing

pjkendall [6:55 PM]

Like Falk under center!

goldenthroat [6:55 PM]

Leach introduces the RPO!

pjkendall [6:55 PM]

He actually should do that.

brian_anderson [6:56 PM]

New offensive formations would be what I'd go with, that might take more than the first week though

goldenthroat [6:58 PM]

I'd be interested to see what Grinch does defensively without the big body that can play every down at NT. We could at least get some indication of what he's thinking for the fall

jeffnusser [7:01 PM]

Definitely going to be interesting to see reports on the mixing and matching. I'm sure he'll be trying a lot of guys in a lot of different spots. OK, last thing: How much beer are you going to drink at our Spring Game Tailgate Sponsored By Iron Horse Brewery?

goldenthroat [7:05 PM]

I can't wait to enjoy a few cans of delicious Irish Death.

brian_anderson [7:05 PM]

Too much

pjkendall [7:06 PM]

Florida beers will be well-represented (provided we don't drink it all Friday night)

brian_anderson [7:12 PM]

That tailgate was a lot of fun last season, I'd encourage anyone going to the game to swing by and enjoy a cold Iron Horse Beer. Because nothing goes better with WSU Spring Football than Iron Horse, All real Cougs drink Iron Horse. If you want Wazzu to win, Iron Horse is the beer to enjoy. Responsibly.

I will shill for Iron Horse, the official beer of our unofficial tailgate all day.

goldenthroat [7:13 PM]

"Iron Hose is the best beer I've ever tasted. Guaranteed." -George Washington

sherwood [7:14 PM]

If there's one thing I love more than BOOBIE, it's Iron Horse Beer.

Money, please.

pjkendall [7:15 PM]

"Iron Horse beer is terrible!" - Kim Jong Un