Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Eye Witness Report: Longball Visits Fall Camp

Greetings Cougar Nation!

Since I live in Pullman, the center of the WSU Football universe, the good folks here at the WSU Football Blog have asked me to provide some eye-witness reports of the action taking place as the Cougs kick off Fall camp. I'll be their boots on the ground, as it were, and I'll do my best to make sure that Coug fans in Yakima, Bozeman, San Antonio, Baghdad and anywhere else the Crimson faithful have settled get the up close and personal Coug news they crave. I'm glad to be of service and as my first order of business I trekked up to campus with my coffee and camera for the morning practice. Here's what I saw...

I am sure most of you have been following the stadium construction here, but I thought I'd share what I saw today as I made my way to the practice field. First of all...


Huh? Who hired these guys? Maybe the Vandals pay their rent for using our stadium in cement. After the whole Big Papi jerseygate in the new Yankee Stadium, I think someone should check this pour for shenanigans.

Moving on, I am sure you are all excited about our giant new video screen, and while I promise you that pictures do it no justice, its the best I can do...

The entire red area is the screen, but you won't understand how big and beautiful it really is until you see it in person. As you can see to the left the Cougs were assembling for their morning drills so I made my way down to the field to see who was knockin' heads this morning.

Above you see CPW and Coach Sturdy guiding the QBs and RBs through some drills.

I was disappointed to see that Rogers and Lopina weren't out for the morning practice. It was definitely not the A squad, but a few notables were there. Number 8 is Lobbestael (not 12 as some rosters have him) and also of note in this picture is 22, Chantz Staden. He is the smaller, quicker, scat type back as advertised, but he is solidly built and looks to be strong for a smaller back, much like J-Smooth and Jerome Harrison were. As you can see they're not in pads, so I didn't get to observe him in a full contact situation. However, they did line up for some run plays against the D and he showed he can beat our backers to the outside. My first impression of Mr. Staden was a good one and I'll keep my eye on him throughout camp.

Above is a nice moment for the Cougar family scrap book. The gentleman in the foreground is Orville Sears who made the short trip from the family ranch on the Johnson Road to watch his son, co-defensive coordinator Jody Sears (background) leading the DBs through their drills. Jody and his older brother Cotton are both Pullman High grads, local rodeo legends and former Cougar wide receivers. No doubt Orville is proud of his boy and as Coug fans we all hope he can help turn our defense into the bloodthirsty wrecking crew we used to be so proud of.

For Mr. McBoob, the fat guys...

Much to my delight they got together for some light scrimmaging so I could observe some matchups. In the middle is my main man, Toby Turpin, 90. More on him in a moment.

One guy I was on the lookout for was Bernard Wolfgramm, 99. You can easily spot him above sporting the Don Sasa/King Kongaika hairstyle. He faced double teams most of the time and was able to hold his ground, not getting pushed off the line. He did a workmanlike job of keeping the middle clogged. He held his own in there, but didn't show me a whole lot, though I do dig the hair. As a contrast, when my main man Toby Turpin was in, he was splitting the double teams, getting his big old paws into the offensive backfield and generally raising hell. Just to the right of Wolfgramm above you see Staden, 22, who is about to bust one around the edge.

A closer look at Mr. Wolfgramm...

Of course any time you are watching your own defense and offense against each other every positive play for one side bodes poorly for the other. So while you are thrilled to see a D-tackle wreak havoc in the offensive back field, or a RB break off a big run, you worry that what you are really seeing is a vulnerability in your offensive line, or a weakness in your rush defense. What I did observe that looked good for both sides was energy and an emphasis on hustle and effort that the players have been alluding to. There was constant yelling from the coaching staff, imploring the guys to go 100% all the time. Like I said, this was not the A squad, but they still looked good. I'll hope to catch this afternoon's practice as well and bring you some images of some of our big guns.

Until then, Go Cougs!

11 comments:

Sedihawk said...

All welcome Longball! Great job man. Strong takes too. Love hearing that Turpin and Wolfgramm are causing some havoc too. Great work!

WhidbeyHQ said...

Finally, a good source for the real news on Cougar football... Why bother asking anyone else?

TiltingRight said...

Good to hear Turpin and Wolfgramm are getting after it. Especially since it looks like Jesse Feagin and Josh Luapo (another JC transfer) won't be academically eligible. Another hit to our depth chart.

Go gettem boys... but please stay healthy....

Chain Lady said...

I enjoyed reading about our guys even though they weren't the collective "A" team. Hopefully we will acquire more depth at all positions as the back-up guys learn the system. And three shout-outs for the "not-quite-ready-for-primetime players." It has been hot, hot, hot this week in P-Town and these guys are busting their butts for a chance to stand on the sideline to wait for the call. Tell us more about all the players, Longball.
Doesn't everyone bleed CRIMSON?!
Chain Lady

oldzeke said...

The U of I concrete trucks are hauling in new wet for the house. Nothing hidden in the cement, not even Achy, Vandals play all home games in their ID dome. Now if we can get a Horizon "Coug Air" fly over for a packed home game. Ah... the life of a Coug Fan.

ptowncoug said...

Great stuff Longball! Thanks for the shout out to Yaki-Vegas. Many Cougs can be found in the Palm Springs of Washington.
Amazed you actually crawled out of bed to catch the morning crew.

cougar jen said...

Impatiently waiting on a pm report from the nkotb?? Rogers, Gibson, Willis, Mattingly, Ahmu, how did they look?

Brinkhater said...

Exhibit A as to why Cougar Jen is chief President of the Brinkhater army.

Who else would be able to bust out the nkotb refernence? Cougar Jen: Are you Marky Mark in drag?????? (how sexy is that, by the way??)

Longball: EXCELLENT work. Nothing quite like raising the bar to 7 ft 7 3/4 on your first jump.

BTW: Did i ever tell you that BH's personal best is 7 ft 5.

Nice work, rookie!

Man, its cool when the culture of the WSU football program changes, but when the culture change hits the WSU football blog?

Sheesh!!!!

Longball said...

I cant believe there are people who get paid to go watch the Cougs and then write about them like I did today. Unbelievable! Thanks to all my peeps for checking in on my first post, and to the Hawk, Hater, Hooter and Rooster for letting me in on the fun. And dont worry Coug Jen, the afternoon session had the star power you're looking for and I'll be sharing what I saw there soon.

E said...

that ... was ... awesome! Nice work buddy. Thanks for the shout out to Big Sky country.

TXCOUG said...

Appreciate the nod to ol' san antone!

Longball, you may need to hold out for a salary increase, as the addition of your talents, insights and wit are a game-changer to this blog - and a gift to all of cougar nation.