Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Paul Wulff Radio Show Recap - Week Ten

Week ten already? Is that right? Wow. Well, no time to waste, so we'll get right after it with the usual radio show recap:

  • Bud Nameck in the big boy chair this week, hosting the show. Leading off, Nameck asked how the bye week went. What did the coaches do? Wulff said that they were recruiting hard, with seven coaches hitting the road on Wednesday (the NCAA max you can have out at once is seven coaches). The coaches hit Utah, California, Oregon and Washington. Saw some high school games, saw some coaches, and continue to find players emerging in their senior year. They are still looking for kids who want to be Cougs. The more rocks we turn over the more we will find. It also takes a lot of work and effort in recruiting. But Wulff said he is "amazed at this staff's attention to detail on recruiting and the energy, the effort." EVERY guy is on the same page in regards to recruiting, and he's never been around a staff quite like this.

  • They talked briefly about how the heck you keep all that recruiting information organized? Recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen uses a recruiting radar software program that keeps it all under control. It's also great for compliance and keeps a large database for recruits. It allows you to dissect information to get a read on the vitals of kids you are recruiting, etc.

  • Bud asked about an update in recruiting, without getting specific in terms of player names (which he obviously can't do). Wulff said that they just got two verbals (you can see them here in Quayshawn Buckley and Jamal Atofau). But he also said that we are really close on a few more commits, and they should come shortly. But they are going to recruit, hard, all the way until signing day and you never know what's going to happen. Wulff also touted some of the great people within WSU and how much of a help they have been for campus visits. He even mentioned that June Daugherty and Donnie Marbut helped out this summer talking to some of the kids.

  • Wulff was asked about Willingham, and what he thougth of the situation. Would he be worried about a new coach and the buzz that would create, as well as the chance to steal away some of WSU verbals? Wulff said you know, we're too worried about ourselves to worry about what they do. They will still recruit their own commitments hard, and if a kid backs out of a verbal commitment to go elsewhere? Then maybe they never really wanted to be Cougars in the first place and it's probably for the best. Wulff said they want the highest character kids they can find, and if they back out of their word too easily, then it probably wasn't going to work out. ("we didn't want them anyway", isn't that what UW message board types always say when WSU gets a verbal commitment??)

  • A caller asked a tough question - you are now 2/3rds of the way through the first season. How would you grade your own coaches? Wulff said that while he wouldn't hand out letter grades or anything like that, he felt like they have done a pretty good job. Still, they can ALL DO A LOT BETTER (obviously). But Wulff also again talked about change, and the human resistance to it that can make it very difficult at first. Wulff also said that coaches and QB's go hand-in-hand, in that he believes that coaches get too much of the credit when things are great, too much of the blame when things aren't. They basically run parallel to each other. But he restated, again, that the coaches can all do a lot better, and while it's easy to second guess some things, he does feel that they are doing and will do a better job.

  • Wulff talked about how the coaches are, still, getting to know the players and the players are getting to know them. It's not like you walk into their lives and suddenly everyone knows everyone else, knows their backgrounds or the things that make them tick. It's been a huge learning experience for the players, but also for the coaches in every possible way. He said they are still trying to figure out some of the players, and it is something that will come with time spent together. But overall, again, can they do better? Absolutely!

  • Nameck brought up something Dennis Erickson said back in the day. Erickson said that after his first year at WSU, as a staff, they were a little surprised at the difference between Wyoming and the Big Sky compared to the PAC-10 and the schemes, etc. Wulff said that maybe back then it was an issue, but today, it's not so much of a big change. He said it's still football, still a lot of the same in terms of x's and o's. Or as Jim Walden says, "it's less about the x's and o's and more about the Jimmie's and Joe's!"He did mention, however, that he and the staff felt they saw a lot more things run against them last year at EWU than they have seen this year in the PAC-10. Wulff said it seems like this level is possibly even a little more simplified vs. where he was, and that it's a lot more "athlete driven" at this level. Some of the things just don't seem as complex as they thought. But overall they need to get better in matching up with the rest of the conference, because right now it's awfully tough (as we've seen!).

  • A caller asked about how they handle the recruiting, in terms of the sheer volume of kids and how to figure out who to contact. Of course they are using the software, but Wulff also said it's all about watching tape on kids, and calling them, getting to know them. It's all about building up relationships and getting to know them, see where it goes. Wulff did say that the coaches will talk about the school's successful history, talk about their current situation and where that player might fit in, and most of all, where they are headed as a program on the field and facilities, etc. But it all goes back to the building of the relationship and how that all goes. Wulff said that you can tell pretty quickly if a kid is interested or not just in how some of the initial phone calls go. They have limited contact they can do every recruiting season, so, they don't spend a lot of time on kids that are not interested.

  • Nameck brought up Stanford, and what they've been able to do so far with Harbaugh. Nameck mentioned what a boost the new stadium renovation has been for them in recruiting, and Harbaugh has done a heck of a job so far(Don't believe me? Check out Stanford's list of current verbal commits. There's a lot of star gazing going on right now!).

  • The name of Toby Gerhart was brought up, about what a factor he's been for Stanford this year. One of the top running backs in the conference, if not the country, he's a tough, physical guy with deceiving speed. Wulff said they saw immediately on film that with him on the field, Stanford is a MUCH better football team, and without him, their level of play drops off. He missed some time vs. UW and only had two carries in that game, but he's been running well of late, with now three straight 100+ yard games. Nameck also brought up turnovers and how they've been an issue for Stanford, as they are ahead of only WSU in the turnover ratio department in the PAC-10 rankings. Wulff once again railed about turnovers, about how they can just destroy your chances at getting a win. He them went back to our own turnover issues, and how they just need to clean up that part of their game and things could really turn around. But we have to stop hurting ourselves.

  • Nameck asked about the last week of practice, taking things indoors and all that. Wulff said they had a good week, and it was time to get away from outside distractions and resharpen their focus on the task at hand. They are sticking together and they worked really hard on a lot of things, and Wulff was happy with how it went. They are back outside practicing now, as the weather has been great to be able to do so.

  • A caller asked what the deal was with the APR and the eight scholarship losses. Wulff said that by the end of the academic year, things should be back to normal, and by next fall they will be allotted the full 85 scholarships. However Wulff said that in at least that first year, they MIGHT not be at the full 85. They might be just under it. But he said by the fall of the following year (2010), they will for sure be at the full 85-scholarship limit.

  • A caller asked about the rebuilding plan, and if that has changed at all. Wulff said ideally they start out with the idea of redshirting every single player they recruit, and going from there. Obviously he couldn't do that this year, as necessity has so many young players out on the field. It is what it is. He also said that over the next two or even three seasons, you are probably going to see them play young players earlier than they would like to, again, out of necessity. But ultimately, you want to have your kids with years in the program, learning and growing before they are counted upon as true leadership within the team. By the time they get to be upper classmen, they are ready to be leaders and have experienced some difficult moments. They want to have that core group to have the whole team lean on when times are tough and who to look to during adversity. It will take time.

  • Nameck then asked him about the Vince Grippi article, and if it was accurate. Wulff said it was "pretty good...but they left a lot of the details out." He honestly didn't sound all that thrilled with it (TAKE THAT VINCE!). He did say that it painted a solid picture of what they are trying to do, where they are headed, the overall plan, etc. But that was about it.

  • Nameck asked the question of the week, of course, the QB situation. I know it's been reported everywhere already, but Lopina is going to start the game. But young J.T. Levenseller WILL PLAY this week. They have decided to burn the redshirt, but you most likely know that by now (and Wulff more or less broke that on last week's radio show, but it's official now). Wulff did say that they will likely play him in something like the third or fourth series of the game, and then they would go from there. The situation will dictate who plays or who doesn't and what things look like into the second half. He didn't get any more specific than that.

  • Wulff talked about Kevin Lopina. He has really improved, to the point that doctors now say he's near 100% physically. Wulff noticed that he's moving considerably better in practice and looks a lot more fluid, not stiff like he was before. But Wulff also said that Lopina needs to build up the mental recovery aspect of it, and get that confidence back.

  • Some other injury updates - Dwight Tardy is back, and will play. However Chris Ivory still hasn't been able to get over the hamstring, so he's out. Tardy will be in the mix for carries with Logwone Mitz and Chance Staden. Devin Frischknecht is still out with an ankle injury, and is at least two-three weeks away from coming back. Marshall Lobbestael will have surgery on his knee tomorrow, and then he'll be ready to go for rehab. They talked about the hydro works machine, the underwater treadmill, that will be used for rehabbing ankle and knee injuries. They REALLY are excited to get that thing going, and it's supposed to be ready next month. The O-line is looking OK, with Steven Ayers and Vaughn Lesuma both back this week. Micah Hannam is nicked up, but might be OK this week.

  • Finally, Wulff talked about Stanford's defense. They are pretty tough up front, second in with 26 sacks, so they will be a handful for the offensive line. The QB's are going to have to play better too, so, hopefully they are ready for the challenge. But Wulff again brought up the focus, and intensity, and what they need to do this week. They need to see a much better effort by everyone, and Wulff said he has a decent feeling about it this week. He has seen some improvements. He really emphasized that they need to keep up the intensity and focus early, even if things aren't going well. If they can hang in there and not give in, then things will turn around.

So that's pretty much everything. Some of it sounded familiar to what we've been hearing or reading over the last few weeks. But some decent insight as well into recruiting, etc.

Enjoy your Wednesday, and as always, GO COUGS!


Anonymous said...

Good recap for the out of towners. Although not much news here. reads like a recap of many news that was out yesterday but still thanks for this. I like recruiting info the most. I think this crew knows what they are doing.

Sedihawk said...

Yeah, you know I read some of the articles this AM about what he said yesterday during his press conference(s) and you are right. He did seem to restate a lot of what he already said earlier in the day. I think part of it from yesterday might be who was in the chair. Bud seemed to ask some pretty standard things, where Bob-Rob might veer off somewhere else and get some good answers that way.

But oh well. There's always something extra to get out of the radio show that you might not get from anything else really.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else think mccain will steal this thing? Why hasn't your Barack Obama run away with it?

Consumer confidence is at an all-time low. The job performance rating of the outgoing Republican president is at Nixon-Carter levels. Nine out of ten voters think the country is off on the wrong track. The Democrats lead in the generic congressional preference vote by a double-digit margin.

Obama has outspent McCain on TV advertising three or four to one (though McCain is matching him in some key states here at the end). Obama has four thousand paid organizers in key states, an unheard of number. Most voters think that McCain’s running mate is not qualified to be president. Many people wonder aloud if McCain is in fact too old (72) to be president. Much of the media coverage of Obama has been fawning to say the least, and with good reason. He is one of the most winsome, charismatic candidates to have appeared on the scene in decades.

Still, in today’s “traditional Gallup” Daily Tracking Poll (the one that screens likely voters most rigorously, based on past votes), Obama leads McCain by only two percentage points, 49 to 47 percent.

Uh oh. What will you lefty losers do when Palin is dancing with Mccain on Tuesday night? Still think it is funny to post bad pics of her here? Clowns.

Grady said...

Allow me to be the first to say "wtf" to the previous comment by anonymous.

Sedihawk said...

WTF is right Grady. We posted some funny "frazzled hockey mom" pics in the past, and it obviously struck a nerve with Joe the Anonymous. It's a touchy-sensitive time right now.

joe the anonymous said...

No, it caused the striking of something other than a single nerve with me...

Blake said...

Joe Anon,
Realize that the election of our president is decided through the electoral college, not "the polls". No matter how close McCain is in national polls, its the electoral college that matters, where Obama has roughly a 355-156 lead in nearly every projection.

Woody said...

Can't we leave politics out of this site.

This election year has been insufferable. My wife and I started a tally whichever candidate we see the most commercials for, we are voting for the other guy. That will show them!

I think we go to sites like this to avoid politics. So, I have one simple request; for users and the blog hosts: TAKE IT TO OTHER SITES! Lord knows there are plenty to choose from.

We come to this site to read and talk about all things WSU: Football (mainly), athletics, how cool WSU is etc. and occasionally veer off into other Sports Topics: Northwest related and big time national stuff.

Is that really to much to ask?

Go Cougs!


kaddy said...

Mike Graise dismissed from team today - per Spokesman...just when he was starting to play pretty well and contribute.