Thursday, August 13, 2009

Louis Bland - A New Hope?

First of all, outstanding post-practice reports from Sir Vincent Grippi. Get 'em here, here and here. Cougfan as well is spreading the info, with a free article to boot (!) in their chat with coach Wulff, as well as quotes from Louis Bland and Andy Mattingly.

Sounds like a busy day, splitting the practices between the rookies in the AM and mostly vets in the PM. And there's good tidbits to devour throughout all the coverage. But the best news, at least from where I sit? LOUIS BLAND, per the Cougfan story:

“We’re more united as a defense,” outside linebacker Louis Bland said. “Last year, it seemed when times got hard, we laid down a little bit.

“Right now, we’re not backing down from anything.”

Bland has been slowed by a left knee sprain suffered during spring practice, but he saw his most extensive action of camp on Wednesday. He joined the starters in a practice that involved only the No. 1 and 2 offenses and defenses.

I think I’ll be ready for the first game,” Bland said.

The part about Bland saying he thinks he'll be ready for the first game, yeah, I gave it some bold text. Now, Grippi doused the excitement a bit, with a quote from Wulff saying how Bland isn't quite 100% and still speculated that he may not be ready for the opener. But you can't help but love to hear some good injury news on such a vital part of the defense!

We can't say enough about Bland, after a breakthrough frosh season last year, playing his heart out as a 205-lb outside linebacker in his first NCAA action. That picture above, Bland hitting Toby Gerhart with basically his face, just speaks volumes about the kid. But to see that he's up over 220 lbs now, and running with the one's during some hard-hitting practice this afternoon? Very, very good news for a defense trying to rebuild it's image.

Also some good stuff on the rookies who stood out, including QB Jeff Tuel, WR Gino Simone and DE Travis Long. Simone and Long participated in the veterans practice, while Grippi reported that Tuel had thrown pretty well, even in the rain, and there were some drops due to his "fastball".

Anyway, I know I/we have been cool to the idea of Tuel actually playing this year...but...well, have you seen what's going on at USC? With Aaron Corp suffering an injury that is going to keep him down for a few weeks, true frosh Matt Barkley is taking the reins, at least for now. That's right, a true frosh QB. Clearly Barkley is on another level, I mean we're talking about the TOP GUN coming into NCAA football this year. He's ultra-elite, and was projected to at least battle Corp for the job anyway. Tuel, I think everyone agreed, should be redshirting....but....IF he shows a lot, should, never mind. Redshirt the kid, let him get his feet on the ground, and we'll see what happens next year.

Look for a Longball recap of practice in the coming days. As always, GO COUGS!


Chris '04 said...

Did anyone watch Hard Knocks: Bengals Fall Practice on HBO last night? Those guys are a bunch of loosey-goosey thugs. They are all but guaranteed another marginal season. Even Colin Cowherd was harping on them. How does this relate to our Cougs? Easy; this is the way they acted under Doba, and their performance on the field suffered. Structure and rigidity are are usually thought of as a bad thing these days, but it works. Plain and simple, look at the teams that win in the NFL: Steelers, Patriots, etc. Those teams are the most disciplined in the league. That is what the Cougs need, a good does of "STFU and play, or leave." I like what I'm hearing from the players. A lot of time they aren't aware of the changes that are taking place in an organization, in this case they are. Which means the changes have been swift and significant.

Lucas said...

“Right now, we’re not backing down from anything.”

That sounds very Will Derting-esque to me. Just glad to see Bland is rehabilitating at practice and not at the Coug!

Brian said...

It's easy to say they're not backing down from anything when you haven't played a game yet. We'll see if they "lay down" when things get tough, cause they sure will. Still though, I like the attitude.

Sure hope Bland is ready to start the season. How did the D-Tackles look?

Redshirt Tuel no matter what. We aren't going to a bowl this year no matter who the QB is, give him a redshirt and look to the future.

Jason said...

Child, please. "We're not backing down from anything?" You're not backing down from the practice squad?!? Ha.

If you cougs think that your hopes lie with a sophomore LB and a true freshman named Tuel, then you are in trouble.

Brian said...

Jason, if your hopes lie with the most inaccurate quarterback in the conference and a rookie coach, then you are in trouble.

Brian said...

Also... when was the last time you won a game? 2007? You're really talking trash when you haven't won a single game since 2007? In case you didn't realize, it's 2009 now... that means it's been 2 years without a single W...

Jason said...

Like you wouldn't take Jake if you could. Rated the #1 or #2 QB in the conference in just about every media source. If you want to compare coaches as well, this would be an unfair fight. Half of your fans don't even like wulff.

I love reading this blog. It makes me feel good knowing that the whole state is delusional, not just us west of the mountains.

Jason said...

Unlike your coug faithful, I'm not going to give up on my team because of a bad season.

Anonymous said...

"Half of your fans don't even like wulff." Where did you get that. We all know the Cougs are rebuilding and unlike UW we haven't even thought about axing him even after last year's fiasco. Besides, isn't it the Huskies that are running radio ads, pleading for "lost Dawgs" to come back. Talk about bolting.

Anonymous said...

Jason, nobody here is delusional. You obviously have not read anything these guys write but the last thing they are is delusional. I wish they were more positive some times to tell you the truth. And nobody is giving up on anything. If we did would we be here every day? And would you feel the need to try and stroll by and put us in our place with your amazing wisdom?

Porltand Coug said...

Like COWTURD says, why is it college football turns reasonable people into morons?Here you have a wine and cheese arrogant dog fan who has to go out of his way to try and tell Cougs to calm down. Whatever.

JasonRubenstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

I stroll because I care. And I refer to my coug friends and your poster boy, Jim Moore, who blasted wulff last month for allowing your entire strong safety position back on the team, when I say that the public image is that you don't like wulff anymore.

If you are reading this post, you probably love him, just like I liked Willingham for 3.9 years.

How does it feel to be ranked below a 0-12 team to start the season? And if you answer that with another question like "How's not win" I will be annoyed.

Jason said...

Where is Porltand?

Portland Coug said...

It's that damn iphone again. There is no Poltland or whatever I said.

Jason what rankings are you referring to? And does it matter, really? What is the point of seeking out a Coug blog when you have issues of your own. Go to Cougfan or Muttman or wherever it is you normally troll but there is no reason to be here.

Jason said...

Alright, later boys. Back to work.

I would be at Qwest on the 12th, rooting on UH, but luckily we've got Idaho at home.


GO HUSKIES!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Totally off subject but did you guys see the Mark Schlabach piece of hot and not on

One of his nots was the weak slate of non-conference games outside of USC-Ohio State in week 2. Then he gave a list of examples such as Idaho State at Oklahoma.

One of these bad matchups though caught my eye: Texas AT...I repeat "AT" Wyoming. How on stinking earth can Wyoming get a premier program to come to 30,514 seat War Memorial stadium in little Laramie, Wyoming (not unlike in size to Pullman) at 7000+ elevation (not an easy test for any low elevation team regardless of how good) when we can't get any decent large conference team in our 40,000 seat Martin Stadium, let alone get them there at a time such as November which would play to our advantage?

Shoot we could only get lowly Baylor of the Big 12 to play us in Seattle not Pullman. I remember when the best we could do out of the Big 10 was Illinois! And the last time we had a decent team scheduled to play in Martin Stadium stupid terrorists (may they burn eternally) killed 3000 of our fellow citizens on September 11 killing our game with Colorado that week as well. (That was when Colorado was still decent). The game could not be rescheduled and we played Montana State instead.

So if someone has a good answer to why Wyoming gets Texas at home or what kind of deal they swung to do it, I'd love to know.

(Yes I did double check to make sure that Schlabach had his facts straight).

kaddy said...

UWyo is a client - they guaranteed Texas $750,000.

Anonymous said...


What do you mean, "UWyo is a client"?

Where do they get $750,000 for paying off Texas? They can't have that rich and large of fan base. It can't be from filling the stadium alone. Is it from TV revenue? If that's the case, let's sign up some big name early season non-conference game for a big TV contract, pay them $750,000 and enjoy ourselves.

But I don't think that's it. Give me specifics. How do they afford to pay Texas off?

P.S.> How much did we get last time we headed to someone's big house? I honestly don't remember.

ptowncoug said...

Digressing from Jason's obvious hard on for the Cougs, the big question that has been stirred by your post has been Tuel and redshirting.
The issue: When is it proper for a coach to burn a true freshmen's redshirt?
My Answer: If the freshman will start (not just play) in at least half of the team's games. Starting can be at any position including special teams. If the frosh is better than what the team has in place at that position, then the RS can be burned. The only other scenario where I am ok with burning a RS with less than half of the games remaining is if you can't field a team. For example if you only have 4 Olineman, and need a 5th and have no one else to play the position, then ok to burn the RS.

Lucas said...

Hey Jason,

Your team hasn't won a game in 624 days. Tack another 30 days on until you play Idaho. You have zero reason to be trolling. As you mentioned how high media sources are ranking Jake Locker, they are the same media sources picking you to finish 9th!

Tiger Bait, Geaux Tigers. Can't wait for your streak to hit 15 consecutive losses!

Jason said...

You gotta pay the troll toll...

Sean Hawkins said...

You are right PTown. Half the games of starting is a good call. And true frosh play every year, in every program. We'll have at least two who letter in Simone and Long. But there are other options at QB, options that are both young in Lobbestael and Levy, and experienced in that they've had a taste of being college students. I would prefer to see Tuel get his feet on the ground for a full year, be a student and football player and get in that strength program, THEN we'll see how it's going next August. Until then, I'm perfectly happy having him light it up on the scout team!

One other thing about Tuel. The kid didn't start a ton of games in high school. He was first team all-everything as a senior, but barely played up until then. Let him get as comfortable as possible, then if he's good enough to beat out those in front of him next year, so be it. They have to think about now, but they have to look 2-3 years down the line as well and figure out who will still be around at that position.

Oh, and Anonymous, your question about Texas and Wyoming? What Kaddy is referring to (I think?) is that Wyoming is a client of HIS in the "real world" and he's privy to that kind of information. I know Kaddy has been out there a few times for business.

The Coug-A-Sutra said...

Two things about Wyoming:

1) Their coach (Christenson) is a former Big 12 guy who might be good friends with Mac Brown--hence the original connection.

2) Everyone needs money, so getting 750k for a gimme win on the road is something anyone would do.

3) Ever heard of Dick Cheney? Ever wondered outside of politics how he was connected to all that Jack? Answer: Wyoming is a closet giant for oil tycoons. So, T-Bone Pickens north probably slid about 7500 c-notes right under the AD's door to cement the deal.

Re and To Jason. The beautiful thing about the Dawgs is that year in and year out, you all are ALWAYS picked higher than us because you are always more talented--at least on paper.

But, in the end, the 10-9-9-10 finishes over the past few years speak for themselves: You have firmly established yourselves as a bunch of underachieving LOSERS-- irrespective of how much you might want to try to dress yourselves up or others down every pre-season.

And that is why I love you so, my little Defeateds.

Until proven otherwise, little brother WSU remains king of your castle.

WSU91 said...

Best wishes to Louis Bland. If he stays healthy, he could be one of the best linebackers we've seen roaming the Palouse.

If we all make a firm effort to ignore the trolls, the trolls will go away.

kaddy said...

Sorry for the delay in responding - my company does the retirement plan for UWyo employees, so I've been out there about 3 times in the last year. Their COO told me they had to guarantee UT $750K for them to come out to Laramie.

How do they afford it? Who knows...they probably figure the exposure is worth the money.