Washington State football head coach Mike Leach held his weekly press conference on Monday. After a conference win over Utah, the coach was in a good mood.
Washington State football coach Mike Leach held is usual Monday morning press conference. He was much more upbeat compared to last week. As he should have been coming off a big home win over Utah. There are some interesting insights Leach shared with the media this week. Here are a few takeaways.
Balance, Leach style
When a typical football coach says he wants his offense to be balanced, he’s referring to the number of running plays to passing plays coming out close to even. Mike Leach is not a typical coach. His idea of balance has to do with who touches the ball not how the player gets the ball.
Leach equates balance to how many touches each player gets. Saturday night six different players caught at least three passes. In other words, spreading the ball around to multiple receivers is his idea of a balanced attack.
If anyone wanted to sum up Mike Leach’s offensive philosophy, this is it in a nutshell, in his own words.
"“It was a pretty balanced offensive effort, all kinds of positions touched the ball and we had a lot of touches by a wide variety positions and good contributions to the offensive effort,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking for, contributions from all of our positions. Passing yards have a funny way of spending just as well as rushing yards do.Leach continued “There’s nothing balanced about 50 percent run and 50 percent pass, cause that’s 50 percent stupid. What is balanced is when you have five skill positions, if all five of them are contributing to the offensive effort in a somewhat equal fashion.This notion that if you hand it to one guy 50 percent of the time and then you throw it to a combination of two guys the other 50 percent that, you’re really balanced. You probably pat yourself on the back and tell yourself that and people have been doing it for decades. Well then you’re delusional. That’s how I look at it.”"
That entire answer may have been one of the best insights into a coach’s mind that you will ever get.
Leach went on to compare his offense to the wishbone. He said there was nothing 50 percent run about it. The goal was the same as his, get the ball down the field with contributions from several positions.
More from WSU Cougars Football
- Washington State Football: What you need to know for 2018 Alamo Bowl
- Washington State Football: 6 takeaways from 28-15 Apple Cup loss
- Washington State Football: What you need to know for UW 11/23
- Apple Cup: History leading up to the 2018 edition
- PAC-12 Football Power Rankings week of 11/21 – Emerald City Swagger
There were several questions about the receivers. Leach discussed the development of Easop Winston as a Gardner Minshew target. Some of the things Winston’s been doing on Saturdays, he’s been doing since camp.
The coach said over the past few weeks, Winston has gotten more comfortable with the PAC-12 environment and Minshew is more comfortable throwing him the ball. What should be exciting to Cougars fans is that Leach believes the QB – WR tandem will get better as the season goes on and they get their timing down.
Leach was asked about his young “X” position receivers Jamire Calvin (Soph.) and Rodrick Fisher (Frosh.). He was very optimistic saying that he thinks both will become excellent players. Additionally, one of the two may still get redshirted, if Washington State can afford the “luxury” of sitting someone out. That was interesting to hear because it was somewhat out of left field, five games into a winning season.
Fear the stache
Maybe I was a little harsh last week when I criticized the fan question of the week. I should have looked at it more as comedy relief than something newsy. The thing is Leach always takes the question so seriously at first. This week he was asked for his opinion of Gardner Minshew’s mustache.
Leach said the funny thing was that Minshew showed up with the stache, he wasn’t trying to make a statement with it, but all of sudden the facial hair starting getting attention.
Of the mustache’s popularity, the coach said, this Halloween, kids would be drawing mustaches on their face and if they are dressing up as Minshew that the mustache would be required.
Leach ended the half-hour by telling about his own brief facial hair experiment. Like I said comic relief.