Hello Followers. Hope you had a great weekend.
Normally on Monday we have SeanHawk doing one of his wondrous, video-laden practice recaps.
Unfortunately, he is out of commission for a few days, leaving me and the rest of the idiots to “house-sit” while he’s gone.
So, for a few VERY quick Spokane Week thoughts, read on.
We start today’s hot-link action out with the recent feature on Grandpa Bill Doba by the venerable John Blanchette.
For me, three points emerged from the article: (1) Doba is still a great guy. (2) Its hard to believe that we haven’t been to a bowl in nearly ten years; (3) Its hard to believe that Blanchette actually made it seem like Wulff was lying when he said he took over the worst program
As our very own Longball will tell you (especially if you buy him a beer on Saturday), that 2008 group that Wulff inherited, especially when injured, would have struggled to finish in the top 3 in most 1-AA conferences .
That all said, feel free to throw out your favorite and/or non-favorite experiences with Grandpa Bill.
Moving on, Brian Floyd, lead scribe for our almost BFF’s at Cougcenter, had a nice practice re-cap over the weekend, replete with video’s and a lot of bulleted remarks that look so much cooler with that SB Nation formatting than what I can muster with the Penguins.
Anyhow, don’t know about you all, but I remain a bit surprised that the D is actually holding their own this spring, injury issues to our offensive
line notwithstanding. A couple of additional thoughts from the littany of practice re-caps out there on the internets:
1) Is it just me, or are any of you starting to grow increasingly concerned with Kristoff Williams’ health issues? I mean, doesn’t it seem like just when the kid starts to really turn heads he winds up on the DL and/or the exercise bike? In any case, here’s to hoping that Kristoff heals up in time for Saturday because I have been really looking forward to hearing about him, especially how that big NFL body looks and functions in the Air Raid.
2) Are any of you growing concerned about Jeff Tuel’s performance so far this spring? Me neither. But, when I see a 47% completion rate to go alongside 200 yards in nearly 50 attempts, well, I wonder what is going on. While I am hoping that his struggles have at least something to do with the Hair Raid defense, part of me is fearful that our WR’s still haven’t learned to be physical enough to get off the line. (Remember how Stanford and Oregon State just JAMMED us last year?)
Beyond that, a few additional questions for you as we head into the meat of Spokane Week:
1) Who has been the biggest surprise for you so far this Spring? And relatedly, if you’re going to the game (and our tailgate) this weekend, what aspect of the team are you the most excited about seeing?
If I was going,( shame, shame, SHAME on me), I’d be the most interested in watching the play of the lines, especially the play of Rico
Forbes who I think needs to be a major contributor for us this year. I’d also really like to see how the Running Game and the Running Backs fare in the Air Raid offense. And, on defense, I’d like to see how Eric Oertel looks in person, especially how fast he plays around the ball.
Okay, that's all for today. Longball will be back tomorrow with his Road Warrior series. And of course, we’ll have more details on the tailgate as the week moves on.
It is fairly stunning that we are hearing Lintz's name so much this year, when we hardly heard it at all last year. I'm also a bit concerned about Tuel's quickness of release, but I guess they have plenty of time for things to settle in.
I remember Leach saying that there were some drops and Tuel talked about how tight coverage and how the times receivers weren't gloved by the DB's, they had great breaks to swat the ball down. On a sad note, the wife committed us to a wedding this weekend without checking my calendar so I won't be breaking in the Stiffmister's party cabin on wheels this weekend. And quit stealing my profile picture for your posts! I would have changed into a wife beater that didn't have a pizza sauce stained if I had known it was going public!
To answer the question about Tuel, yes. I'm not sure he's accurate enough or has a quick enough release for the Air Raid. Still very early, though, and he has a lot of talent.
@Jenkins I am not sure I agree with this, but this is a BOLD call, Jenkins. Good for you.
@Sutra @Jenkins Wait for Halliday to get healthy, as Leach is doing, have him put on some weight this summer, and start him. Unless Tuel is head and shoulders better than Halliday, why are we going to start a senior over a sophomore that in my opinion showed a TON of potential during his two games last season (ASU and Utah). Tuel has been great for the program during its rebuilding phase but why not get Halliday the starts now and give him the keys for three years? @Sutra @Jenkins
@AirRaider272 @Soze @Sutra @Jenkins There seem to be a lot of people ready to hand the keys to Halladay after a quarter and a half of good football (His play in the first half against Utah was dreadful). Tuel, on the other hand, put up pretty good numbers over an entire season in an offense where he spent most of the time on his back. Tuel is also more mobile. At full strength, i don't think they're that close... yet. With Halladay out for the Spring i don't think there is going to be much of a QB battle. Coach will probably imply there is more of one then there is to keep the competition and the effort sharp, but by Fall Tuel will lock this thing down.
As far as accuracy and release, I think Tuel is very accurate. His completion % has never been huge, but under the duress he faced it was bloody miraculous. His release, on the other hand, is rather slow. He has a full wind up, almost like a center fielder and I suspect Leach will tweak that. Even last fall it appeared he had worked to shorten that up. Like a golfer tweaking their swing, there are bound to be some hiccups along the way as he works on that. This is what Spring is for.
Also, Halladay better have eyes in the back of his head. Nobody who watches practice regularly comes away impressed by his accuracy. Its fine, but not his strength. Have you seen what Cody Clements completion % was in high school in a tough league in So Cal? Scary. I think he threw a single pick and was over 75%.
I would also add Pu-Rob to the "is this guy ever gonna be healthy?" list. He has played some this spring, but is still being held out of action way too often.
I remember going to the 2008 Spring game with Hooty and actually being excited about guys like Gary Rogers, Michael Willis and Chris Ivory. By Fall camp that team was looking like it would have trouble competing in the GSL. Guys like Willis, Pellum, Roof, Franks were all gone already and that was BEFORE the injuries hit. Amieable had never been around a D1 football team before and she just looked at me and said... "Where are the big guys?". My heart sank. Up to that point I was actually pretty optimistic, but there was just no denying it, that team was a shambles.
@Longball Pellum played in 2008. Had a 1st Qtr interception in the Crapple Cup.
@Longball Always a blur looking back at those two seasons!
@Longball I forgot about Willis... that kid had loads of potential. Whatever happened to him, injuries?
Personally, I'm most interested in watching Lintz as a pass catcher out there and also watching the new look D, especially the linebackers with all the new faces. I really can't wait to watch this offense in person too. It is too bad Halliday isn't healthy enough to lead a team as well, I think it would have been a fun battle watching both Tuel and Halliday lead the offense to see how each does.
Sounds like the RV's are being placed in the back lot away from the cars for tailgating this year. Look forward to doing some spring tailgating, I am a bit out of practice during the off season.
@SelahcougYa, me too. But I think that the team will be good when Lintz is the #3 or #4 option, not the #1 guy. When he's leading the team in catches, it makes me feel like the rest of the boys are being jammed, or Tuel's just dumping it off before he gets killed. That said, I think it will be cool to see a guy that big lined up wide. Cool stuff.