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The Unfiltered Truth- WSU Offensive Line
Written by OpenToClose   
Saturday, 13 March 2010 18:58

Our offensive line the past two years has been the worst in the country among all teams in BCS conferences. Last year alone the oline gave up 53 sacks. Think about that for a second. In the past two years, we've had two quarterbacks break their backs, two quarterbacks with season ending leg injuries, and we've actually held tryouts to add another signal caller to the roster. Simply put, we could have played with a Frankenstein of Jason Gesser, Ryan Leaf, Mark Rypien, and Drew Bledoe and still won only three games over two seasons with the offensive line as bad as it was. If we give up the same number of sacks this year it is a virtual guarantee that Jeff Tuel will not finish the season. In case you were wondering, we were just as bad against the run. We averaged 70 yards a game on the ground. By far the worst in the Pac-10.

 

Overview: The production of the offensive line the last two years has inevitably (and rightfully so) led to pretty significant changes. First, the offensive line coach and possibly the worst coaching decision Paul Wulff has made since he came to WSU was let go. Replacing him is Steve Morton. A venerable and well respected offensive coach that has deep ties to the Pac-10 and as an added bonus has also spent the past several years in the Bay Area coaching at San Jose State under Dick Tomey. The Bay Area happens to be an area of emphasis for our recruiting. Also, new are two JC tackles that spurned Arizona and Tennessee to sign on with the Cougs.

 

If you want to focus on one unit this Spring it should be the offensive line. Coach Morton will be installing his system and the depth chart will likely change quite a bit. The bottom line is if we don't cut down on sacks by half and increase our running attack by 50% we will be looking at another 2-4 win season. Offensive line will determine a lot of our team's success or failure in 2010.

 

Let's take a peek at what you should be watching for as practice gets rolling in a few weeks:

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The Unfiltered Truth- WSU Tight End's
Written by OpenToClose   
Thursday, 11 March 2010 13:57

When was the last time we had a game breaking tight end? For one reason or another it's been hard to keep our tight ends healthy over the past several years. This year represents an interesting mix of players but none that currently project as a dangerous pass catching tight end. You typically start with tight ends that can do at least one of two things well: blocking and pass catching. If you land a tight end that can do both then you have an entirely different dynamic to your offense. This season we should be happy if we find a couple of tight ends that can do at least one of the above really well.

 

Overview: This Spring's grouping of tight ends mirrors the rest of the offense. Lots of youth and plenty of question marks. The hopes are pinned on the fact that the young guys picked up a ton of quality reps last season even if they didn't perform that great while getting them. The other big positive is that the unit is truly the size you need in your tight end's when playing in the Pac-10. All of the tight ends that play will be in the 260 pound range and possibly heavier in the Fall. That sort of weight gives you many formation options and the ability to possibly run the ball more effectively than we have in the past.

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The Unfiltered Truth- WSU Quarterbacks
Written by OpenToClose   
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 11:21

No position has been more painful to watch the past two seasons than Quarterback. It seems like a century ago when we were hoping that Gary Rogers would be the next version of Matt Kegel. Since then we've seen two broken backs at the position and two season ending knee injuries. It's enough to make a Coug fan yearn for the days of Paul Mencke and Steve Birnbaum.

 

Nevertheless, real hope emerged last year when Jeff Tuel entered the game down in Los Angeles against USC. He showed the spark and energy and playmaking ability that had left town with Alex Brink. He completed nearly 60% of his passes as a true freshmen. He got 121 pass attempts in last season which essentially equates to about five full games of experience. Now we'll get to see whether he has taken another step in the weight room heading into Spring camp. He played at 207 pounds last season and there is no question that he'll need to be closer to 220 next season if he wants to finish the year. Jeff Tuel has the potential to be the next star Quarterback at WSU and it could come as early as next season if he stays slightly ahead of the curve on his progression. Marshall Lobbestael is a nice backup. Best case scenario is that he's WSU's version of Seneca Wallace. Only play him if Tuel is injured or we are blowing a team out. He is not a quarterback you can win with consistently in the Pac-10. This Spring should be all about Jeff Tuel.

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The Unfiltered Truth- WSU Running Backs
Written by OpenToClose   
Saturday, 06 March 2010 14:41

As we continue our look at WSU football going into Spring practice we focus on running backs today. The story here is somewhat similar to the wide receivers. Some talent, little quality depth, and hopes placed on the young or injured stepping up in a big way.

 

We'll try to do our preview a touch differently. We'll cover on what to watch for, what you should be freaked out if it happens, and what you should hope will happen for each unit. We'll start out with wide receivers!

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The Unfiltered Truth- WSU Wide Receivers
Written by OpenToClose   
Friday, 05 March 2010 11:42

Lots of spring previews are going to be coming your way. Beware what you read. It's hard to get a gauge of who is playing well when the team is playing against each other. We'll give you our perspective good and bad and leave it unfiltered. If you want unbridled optimism this probably isn't your series of previews. If you want to be nega-Coug then this isn't for you either. Instead we'll bring you what we think is objective truth on each unit going into Spring Practice. Then when practice kicks off we'll bring you as much insight we can from our guys that will be observing most of the practices and talking to various people connected to the program.

 

We'll try to do our preview a touch differently. We'll cover on what to watch for, what you should be freaked out if it happens, and what you should hope will happen for each unit. We'll start out with wide receivers.

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