Inevitable: Incapable of being avoided or evaded (example: an inevitable outcome).
With that, the inevitable happened for the Cougs in this year's edition of Fall Camp 2010, in more ways than one. First, a possible key backup on the defensive line has been lost for the season. Per Grippi's post from late Sunday, backup Jordan Pu'u-Robinson tore his ACL, and will be on the sidelines for 2010. While it's not a headline-type deal in that yeah, Pu'u-Robinson wasn't a starter, he was certainly in the mix as a backup at defensive end. Losing Pu'u-Robinson thins things out a bit, as Kevin Kooyman and Casey Hamlett are now the last two standing at left defensive end. The injury means more opportunities for youngsters like Sekope Kaufusi and Adam Coerper to slide over from the right side, so we'll see what happens there.
More in the inevitable department - bumps and bruises. Yeah, they are starting to add up after a tough, physical week of intense practices. Grippi ran them down here, and the list is fairly extensive. But keep in mind that Pu'u-Robinson is still the only major casualty of camp thus far. It still isn't THAT bad, you know? Just think back to a couple of years ago, Wulff's first camp, when almost half the team was nursing this and that on the sidelines. But the reality is that bumps and bruises, nicks and cuts and sore bodies, they are going to happen in camp. It's an "inevitable" outcome when young, fast, big dudes are crushing each other for a couple of hours a day!
The other inevitable from the weekend? The defense won the battle of the first true scrimmage of fall, per most of the recaps from Grippi, the official WSU site, etc. The thing is, just remember that throughout football, it's usually a general rule that early on, defenses are ahead of the offenses. It can be based on a number of factors, but a lot of it is simply timing from the offense. Meaning that offenses need the reps to develop the rhythm and consistency required for success on offense, and that type of thing can take a while to come together. It doesn't matter how they did in spring ball, or how hard they worked in skeleton drills over the summer, playing 7-on-7 in t-shirts and shorts. You get into that "game" mode that is a scrimmage, when the pads come on and the defense is trying to knock your block off, and it can be a whole different deal.
What's kind of hard to take sometimes is how the different perspectives can develop when one side of a team dominates the other side. For example, the defense dominated the scrimmage on Saturday. Is that a GOOD thing for the defense? Or, is that a BAD thing for the offense?? It's hard to really peg, especially after just one week of action. You can on one hand feel good that the defense is out there flying around and making plays with their newfound speed and athleticism not seen on the Palouse for several years. On the other hand, one can lament the offensive struggles with a still-young offense trying to develop some consistency! The thing is, when you "play yourself", one side is going to beat the other side. It just happens that way.
The thing to really watch is how the scrimmages go from here on out. If you still hear the defense is controlling things, especially after the next big scrimmage, then maybe it's time to start the hand-wringing. But if the offense strikes back and does well after more time working on things, making some adjustments here and there, then you can feel better.
But the bottom line for now? DON'T FREAK OUT.....yet.
Continue on for the links, as well as a first-hand report of the scrimmage from a well-regarded Cougfan poster.....
- You know what's kind of funny is the way the headlines from the scrimmage came together. For example, Grippi's headline was "Defense Makes Big Plays in WSU Scrimmage", and the Tacoma News Tribune headline says "Defense Wins the Day as Cougs Scrimmage". But did you see the Seattle Times headline? "Washington State offense inconsistent in scrimmage". Yet it's Grippi's story that they are using in the Seattle Times! Yes, the same Seattle Times that has pop-up ads of Jake Locker and UW, screaming "Saturdays are Husky Football" or something like that, I really don't know what the ad says because I can't close them fast enough....anyway, just kind of funny to see the different headlines that develop, especially when one of them takes the exact same content as another publication and spins it it's own way.
- Joe Nickell has this recap of the action, and highlights the most impressive part of the scrimmage of all - the big hits! Plus, these video recaps from coach Wulff, Jeff Tuel and James Montgomery:
- Cougfan had this official report on the scrimmage, highlighting the excellent play of the defense. Oh, and if you are wondering if Mike Ledgerwood is big enough to handle the middle linebacker spot?
He's definitely added the right kind of weight!
- "Extermin8tr" from Cougfan was a witness to the scrimmage on Saturday, and had this to report:
I'll post some of my observations, making sure to stay within your guidelines.
- First, this was the first scrim I've ever seen where I legitimately felt like the defense was punishing the offense. RB's and receivers were getting lit up right and left, and a lot of gang tackling. It got me amped for our D.
- Mizell is the real deal. I watched a series of it seemed like 5 straight plays where he was in on every tackle. It's like he has some homing beacon to the ball.
- Ledgerwood looked like a monster out there. The play you mentioned on Staden was very impressive.
- Rest of LB's are looking solid and I wouldn't want to be Niekamp have to be deciding between all that talent. But a good problem to have
- The secondary was really in tight on our receivers and it was really credit to some great athleticism of the receivers (and nice lobs by our QB's) to haul in most of the catches on the day. There was some coverage breakdown though.
- I can tell the speed is going to help a lot on ST's (and Ungerer.) Was nice to see one of the Sealby brothers to be the first one on the kick returner, about the moment he caught the ball. Appear as fast as advertised
- Monty looked good. Still fast and shifty! Wow. All in all, I'm way more excited/optimistic than I have been from scrimmages in the past, and definitely more so than I was after the Spring scrimmage. Let's get this season started already!
Nice work Extermin8tr!
- Finally, SB Nation looks like they are gearing up for previews and such. California Golden Blogs has a roundtable of sorts regarding WSU, with comments from a few different contributors over there.
That's it for now. Enjoy your Monday, and as always, GO COUGS!