Finally. It's on. And not a moment too soon. I think we're all about "previewed out", wouldn't you say? I mean there is only so many ways you can look at the upcoming season before it all just kind of runs together. So enough of all that. It's time for the real thing. And now with cool new practice jerseys, including the Nike swoosh!
I'm sure by now you have heard all you need to hear about day one, and while there are a lot of stories and such, Vince's blowout recap from yesterday is the place to be. He also weighed in this AM as well with even more links and so on. Safe to say Vince has come out swinging in round one!
The toughness theme is there, and that's great. And really, is there any doubt that getting bigger/stronger/tougher is a theme that they are pushing for this year? When we saw them in practice a little bit this spring, and again after spring ball was over and Vince recapped the whole session, they did appear to be overall a tougher, crisper unit compared to the ragged '08 season. Even with some of the injuries and missing faces from the spring, they just looked, I don't know, different.
But it's not just for this year. As long as coach Wulff is at WSU, what we are going to see beginning now and into the future is a group that will pride itself on being a physical football team. It has been drilled into them since Wulff took over, the new approach to conditioning and nutrition and all that. It's not just lip service. It will be this program's identity, and it will happen sooner rather than later.
But of all the talk and excitement from day one, the early word I'm hanging my hopes on right now? Marshall Lobbestael and Jeshua Anderson.
Marshall was mentioned in Vince's post about the knee feeling good:
Lobbestael is coming off knee surgery, though he said it’s fine. “Feels good,” he said. “Got a new brace and it feels good. I was running, doing drops and stuff. I’ve just got to get used to doing everything. In spring I was sort of held out some drills, some running plays, but it feels good.”
Lobbestael would throw the day's only TD in skeleton drills. Big whoop right? Hey, We'll take WHATEVER WE CAN GET right now!
And the fact that Jeshua is out there practicing is very good news indeed. Even if it wasn't 100% clear that he would even return to the team until mid-July (did you know that?? It's not a surprise, but waiting until mid-July before deciding certainly is.). The team is, let's face it, lacking in play-makers at the WR position, and all things being equal, Jeshua is the biggest homerun guy in the lineup. Want to stretch the field and keep things honest? You better have a healthy, productive Jeshua out there to give the opposition a little something to think about. Even though we all expect the running game to be deep and all that, still, you better be able to get some things done through the air or else it could be another rough season with the football.
That's it for now. Look for some first-hand impressions from our own Longball in the coming days, as our Pullman "townie" should have some good looks at the team. Enjoy your day, and GO COUGS!