Archive for the ‘Steve Broussard’ Category

Eye Witness Report: Longball Goes Star Gazing at Afternoon Practice

August 7, 2008
Well, you can never have enough AA batteries. I braved the 98 degree heat to watch the A squad in their afternoon practice yesterday, only to have my camera die on me before I could get any really good pics. Cougar Nation, I have let you down. It was a rookie mistake I wont make again, you can count on it!
While the images aren’t what I hoped for, I still have plenty to report. For instance, did I mention it was hot? Some of us observers were better prepared than others, as you can see Orville has switched to the cowboy hat since the morning session…

Good thinkin, Orville.

So without my own defense against the merciless sun I made my way round the field and got a few shots off before the camera went kaput. I am sure we are all concerned about Dwight Tardy’s progress on his surgically repaired knee and I headed straight for the running backs. Coach Broussard was putting them through the paces, yelling, “Trust your feet, eyes up! Don’t look at your feet! Why are you looking at your *&^%$ing feet?! Eyes up!” and so on. Sounds good to me. As they lined up for drills you can see Tardy, 31, in the back with his neoprene knee brace pulled down.

I took this as a good sign that he felt confident without it. He seemed to pay a lot of attention to how the knee felt after each burst of activity, but I never saw him labor, or limp at all and he looked just as sharp and confident as the other backs in their drills. Oh yeah, and he was the only one keeping his “&*^%$ing eyes up”, as coach Broussard was imploring them to do.

With a healthy Tardy and an elligible Ivory, I am really excited about this unit as a whole. Seeing these guys up close and personal did nothing to change that. The helmets-only look is not very flattering, they look like a bunch of bobble heads. But regardless these guys still passed the eye test, or the airport test, as it is commonly called these days.

I am sure many of you are also anxious to hear how Mr. Speedypants, Jeshua Anderson looks. Well, talk about passing the airport test, yowzah!

As you can see in the photo above captured with a special high speed lense, he wears number 85, but you usually just see a white streak. Anderson’s athleticism is in the realm of freakish and I got to see him pull off one particularly great grab, leaping over a defender for a Rogers thrown ball that looked like it was going to sail through one of the CUB windows. More than once I saw defenders simply pull him to the ground as he made his first move on them and it was obvious they were about to get clowned. I would like to see him continue to get stronger, and fight through a lot of that grabbing and holding like Brandon Gibson does, but he is definately bulked up from last year. He was a little gimpy after contact and while I never want to call a player’s toughness into question based on skelly drills, I do worry if he is a bit fragile. As Coug fans we are used to being one injury away from disaster, so its always on my mind.

The receivers are another unit where I honestly believe, crimson tinted shades aside, we are just loaded. We all know what Brandon Gibson does to defenses and the reemergence of Michael Willis so far as been a sight to behold. Two other guys that really stand out when you watch practice are Benny Ward, 15 and Anthony Houton, 88. They both have great size and athleticism and I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or both of them really emerge as a weapon this year.

As for the rest of the offense, I didn’t get any really good captures, but below you can see Rogers lining up behind center for some skelly against the starting backers and DBs.


Both Rogers, 17 and Lopina, 9 look the part, but it is clear they bring different things to the table and the coaches are going to play to their strengths. You see Lopina run a lot more designed QB runs and option plays, but he still throws a nice ball. It looks like shotgun is going to be our bread and butter this year and the drills include practicing hand-offs in shotgun with the coaches throwing intentionally bad snaps. I didn’t get to see too much of the offensive line, so I will watch more closely in the coming days.

Now some of you (Ptown) have reminded us in the comments that we don’t play in the WAC and defense matters too. Well I agree, and I was very curious to see one defensive unit in particular, our defensive line.

That my friends is a buffet’s worst nightmare. As you can see, big number 74, Andy Roof is practicing and no indication yet that he wont play. To his right are Eichelberger, 77 and Ahmu, 92, two seniors we are counting on to have solid and healthy campaigns in ’08. Clearly neither of them spent the offseason competing to be America’s Biggest Loser. Look at Andy Mattingly, 45. I cannot believe that guy was a linebacker! He looks D-end all the way to me. Just coming into the picture on the left is Kevin Kooyman, 93 who, together with man-child Mattingly off the other end, could be a huge problem for opposing QBs this year. Don’t fret (yet) folks. This unit has some promise. In no-pads action it’s hard to get a good read on them, but they’ll be strapping on the armor soon and we’ll get a better idea how they’ll be. With Mattingly, Kooyman, Mullinex, and Graise as our D-ends, I think its safe to say our concerns are at the tackle position. Sounds like a job for my main man, Toby Turpin!

I wasn’t able to give our backers and DBs the attention they deserve, so I’ll try to get a read on them in future practices and scrimmages. One guy that did stand out to me was Devin Giles. He has good size and I was surprised he wasn’t on the depth chart. They are going hard all day, every day against the likes of Brandon Gibson and Jeshua Anderson, so I am confident they are learning fast and will be ready.

That’s all for now folks! I wont be able to make it to the helmets and pads practice today, but I plan on being there tomorrow and this weekend so I can bring you more reports from the ground. Until then…

Go Cougs!

Six Down, Three to Go?

December 13, 2007

For those of you who wanted Control-Alt-Delete with the coaching staff, you may be getting your wish. Rumors were circulating last night, but today it appears official – According to Howie Stalwick, Wulff has released at least six of the nine existing assistants. Yarno, Burtnett, Walker, Long, Walkosky and Peterson are all gone. As has been heavily speculated before, Broussard stays on as RB coach as part of the new regime. There are also two other potential coaches that will be retained in Rosenbach and Levenseller.

Who knows with Rosey. It’s no secret he wants to be a head coach, and with Todd Sturdy coming to coordinate the offense and also coach QB’s, it’s not really clear what his role would be. In fact, it does seem rather odd that they would attempt to retain him.

Rosey’s been a polarizing figure the last few years among the fans. But I have to admit that I’ve never really had a problem with the guy, at least with his coaching. I thought he did a good job of introducing new wrinkles to the tired old one-back offense that we’ve been running since 1987. Notice how much shotgun we ran this year? And how many times we actually ran out of it? We started to turn into a hybrid one-back this year in very subtle ways. And, even Brinkhater loves to point out how genius the 2003 Holiday Bowl offense was that night in San Diego. Several times Kegel would be in the shotgun, and we ran J-Smooth out of that alignment several times. The trick play on the TD where Kegel motioned out of the backfield like a receiver, and the direct snap to Smith? GREAT call that led to a TD. Texas just hadn’t seen us run much shotgun coming into that game, and especially running out of it was something that they weren’t prepared for.

And I still remember an interview Kegel gave in 2003 about Rosey, and how great a change it was from the previous regime. Remember, Rosey got Heisman votes in 1988 as a QB in this one-back offense. He’s been there, done it, and that carries weight with players. Moreso than just being the son of the coach or whatever.

But it’s also been told to us here that Rosey hasn’t been real happy the last few years. I think the fan criticism has worn him down, and he’s heard it all. In fact, one story is that Rosey used to walk up the stadium stairs before kickoff to get to the coaches box, right through the crowd. I remember noticing it the first time at the New Mexico game in 2003, where he and a couple of others walked right up through the crowd before kickoff. But around 2005, with all the Brink-Swogger controversy, that practice ended. Rosey heard more and more calls of “you f-ing idiot!” and garbage like that as he would make his way up the stairs, so he started to go up to the press box another way. Maybe a change of scenery would be good and he can get a fresh start somewhere else, ultimately leading to a head job.

The real wonder is Levenseller. I want to personally stump for that guy. I really and truly hope that they do the right thing and keep him around. Levy has given everything he has to the program since 1992. Not only one of the best players in WSU history, but he’s openly regarded by many as one of the top WR coaches around. Jack Thompson on KJR Monday night called him one of the best WR coaches in the country and the best he’s been around. That’s saying something. Our WR’s have been pretty special of late. Jason Hill obviously, the biggest TD maker in school history. Brandon Gibson was a 3-star recruit from Puyallup that a lot of schools missed on, and he’s blossomed into a first-team All-Pac-10 pick who set receiving records this year and has a fantastic future on the next level. Bumpus never had top-shelf speed, but is tough as hell with excellent hands. Even Charles Dillon, banged up all season, had a productive senior year. Plus, it’s not just about catches and yards with Levy’s guys. They ALL block on running plays. It’s a requirement when you are a one-back offense that your WR’s also block and not pull Randy Moss-type disinterest when the ball isn’t coming your way, and they do the dirty work as well.

Whatever happens, Levy, WSU Football Blog salutes your years of faithful service and we are all hoping that you return to the Palouse! Do the right thing coach Wulff, and keep this man.

Finally, potential recruiting news. Cougfan has the FREE STORY today of center Jonathan Solomon out of Lawndale, CA. He favors WSU and UW, with “Dad favoring WSU, Mom favoring UW. I probably agree with my Dad more, but we’ll see what happens after I take my trips.” He’ll be at WSU on 1/11, and at UW on 1/18. He’s got a lot of schools in the mix, including Oregon, Boise State, BC, Oregon State, and Virginia among others. All have offered. He’s a sharp kid too, 3.5 GPA and 1490 SAT. One thing that stands out here is that he mentions that Trent Miles of UW is the guy who’s been recruiting him. Well, Trent Miles is no longer with UW, as he accepted the head coaching position at Indiana State University last week. We’ll see if that matters in a month or so.