Grippi's latest highlights Steve Morton, the line coach who is trying to turn the offensive front into a tough, strong, cohesive unit. Not that it's easy to pull that off just seven practices into spring ball, and it looks pretty clear that this thing is a work-in-progress. But so far, so good. The players seem to be taking to his style, and that's a good start anyway. Micah Hannam was asked about Morton's personality and how it compares to the prior o-line coaches he's played for:
“I would say he’s kind of a mix of both,” Hannam said of his newest coach. “Etheridge was a little more easy-going, Yarno was very demanding and loud. He’s kind of both.
“He gets on you when you need that discipline but then he can kid around with you the rest of the time, which is kind of nice. He provides the best of both.”
I know our own Longball can at least attest to some of this based on his scrimmage report from Saturday. Morton was spied repeatedly raising his voice during the scrimmage, not only getting up in his o-line's faces but urging the entire offense. Sounds like a nice breath of fresh air for a coaching staff that, quite frankly, probably needed a boost like Morton.
The other thing to like about Morton is that he's, well, he's honest. Especially when discussing the technicalities of coaching the offensive line:
As Morton sees it, being successful on the o-line isn’t all that complicated.
“Football is this simple up front,” he said. “If you can count to four, and know which way your center’s going, you can play. That’s it. They can bring four off of one side, four off the other side, that’s it.
“It’s that simple. Us coaches do a great job of making this a whole lot more complicated.”
Hmm, count to four and know which way the center is going. Got it. Seriously though, it looks like we are starting to see why the hire of Morton was largely applauded by the WSU football community. The timing of his arrival could be just the thing that the offense needs to take a big step forward by the fall.
Part of Grippi's recap detailed a hard-hitting practice on Tuesday, but one of the things to be reminded about in spring ball is the constant shuffling of personnel. Not so much because of injuries (yeah, there are some of those, such as Zack Williams still sitting with a bad shoulder), but it's easy to forget these guys STILL HAVE TO GO TO CLASS! They have had the o-linemen moving around quite a bit, such as the absense of BJ Guerra, Micah Hannam and Tyson Pencer all away from practice at some point on Tuesday due to classes. It might take until August camp that we really see the progress once they can get that dedicated time on the practice field on a full-time basis.
Meanwhile, Cougfan's latest touches on the strong defensive showing on Tuesday (premium article here). Among the highlights was a good showing by Daniel Simmons, a surge by the defensive line, and coach Wulff happy with the defense thus far.
Congrats to Reggie Moore, the young Coug hoopster who has landed on the CollegeInsider.com All-Frosh team. Nice to see his name next to the likes of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, etc, although you'll probably have to catch Wall and Cousins in the NBA next year. It might be interesting to look back at this list in, oh, two more years and see who's still in college!
Hey, did you hear that Donovan McNabb was traded??
Dewey Beats Truman!
JFK to address nation on Russian missiles in Cuba!
Man Walks on Moon!
Blah, blah blah.
But the reason to mention this is to show how Madden '11 is coming along. That's a screenshot of Donovan F. McNabb in a Redskins uni. Looks weird doesn't it? McNabb as a Redskin, just seems wrong. But the screenshot is amazing, all the way down to the sweat stains on his jersey at the far-bottom right of the screen. Here's another one that has surfaced:
Speaking of EA Sports, NCAA '11 has updated their website with some new features. This time they hit on the game-play improvements with something called "Locomotion", which is used to try and emulate the tackling, running and jukes that you see on the field every Saturday. Looks pretty cool:
That's about it for now. Enjoy your humpday, and as always, GO COUGS!