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Washington State

Washington State

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Published by christiancaple

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Published by: christiancaple on Jul 25, 2012
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Washington State .doc 
 
1
  An Interview with:
COACH LEACHJEFF TUELTRAVIS LONG
Q. I would like to ask Mr. [Jeff] Tuelhow he is doing and ask Coach Price about thequarterback position.JEFF TUEL: I'm healthy, 100% healthy,hand it off to Coach Price.COACH LEACH: On behalf of CoachPrice, we want him accurate. He's got to makegood decisions and the single and most importantthing that a quarterback does is make the playersaround him better. He's a guy that he pulls thetrigger and distributes the football and the better hedistributes the football the better the overalloffensive effort is going to be. The ability -- itdoesn't matter if you run the option or throw theball, the quarterback that distributes the ball andmakes the decision at that point on what to dowhen, those are the best ones. Also, I think some level of presence aboutit are going to pull guys together and acceleratethe work ethic in the off-season and during practiceon the field and I think Jeff does a tremendous jobof that.
Q. Coach, I heard that you went bear hunting with Mike Polowski a few weeks ago,so you're getting an introduction of howPullman is different, can you give us an idea onhow Lubbock and Pullman are different?
COACH LEACH: Mike is a great guy,former Cal quarterback, anybody of you that cango bear hunting with him ought to. I don't think itchanges as much as people think. Both placeshad a unique, special identity. I think you want tobring out the positive points of that. The thing thatWashington State has that's truly unique, there is alot of places out there talking about being collegetowns that really aren't the truest sense of the wordand Washington State clearly is.The exciting things that I remember fromcollege is all of my experiences with my fellowstudents, some positive, some negative, butexciting nevertheless and I remember those to thisday. Pullman allows you to have that opportunityand experience and with our athletic director, hehas a proven body of work at Montana and other places where he has had a level of success.One thing nowadays is just the direction of the university and I think that's huge at WashingtonState and one thing that is similar to Lubbock isthere is a lot of people that have been toLos Angeles, for example, so they have a visual, atleast initially.There are a lot of people that hadn't beento Lubbock, Texas and there are a lot of peoplethat haven't been to Pullman, Washington, andonce they get there they love the place. They seethe electricity and the atmosphere that exists thereand that you have a specific identity that's special.So I think the key is getting them there and really Itell everybody they need to come to wait for all thesame reasons that I did.
Q. Travis and Jeff, in listening to theplayers with new coaches earlier, did you feellike there needed to be a change at WashingtonState from the Paul Wolfe era and if so, whatwas that?
JEFF TUEL: Obviously I think a lot of people felt that the way, but Coach Wolf was doinga great job of recruiting, the program was at such alow when I came in as a freshman and he startedworking hard. I think Coach Leach would tip his hatto that. What this coaching staff has done with thisprogram is, I think, safe to say something that theold coaching staff would never have done.The level of confidence that they bring tothis program and the level of excitement that they
July 24, 2012 
 
 
 
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Washington State .doc 
 
2
 bring to the university is tremendous.TRAVIS LONG: Sounded good.
Q. Coach, I know that the fan base upthere at Washington State is, you know, it's nota fan base used to national championships,things like that, but yet there seems to be a lotof high built around this season. Are youfeeling like you have to scale that back a littlebit and say, "Hang on. Give me a couple of years." Or what are your thoughts on that?
COACH LEACH: I think you do the bestyou can and worry about stuff from one day to thenext. I worry about developing our skills. Youworry about what we can control. We can controlour ability to improve, we can control how hard wework. We can control how hard we focus. I worryabout that. That's all I can really control.Expectations? Nobody expects more outof us than we do out of ourselves. I think withcoaches and players it's more meaningful for us todo the best we can and manifest our actions thebest we can.If you do well, everybody is excited. I don'tknow that anybody -- it's possible for anybody tobe more excited than coaches and players. If somebody is disappointed about something,maybe there is some article or some fan thinksthey're disappointed because something didn'twork out right, well they're out of their mind if theythink it's evenly remotely close to thedisappointment that exists with a coach and aplayer.So understanding that, I ignore that andworry about, you know, me doing the best I can asa coach, my players doing the best they can asplayers.
Q. Coach, you have coached a lot of receivers like Welker and Crabtree, how wouldyou compare the core you have now to them.
COACH LEACH: I think when you talkabout that, Marquess [Wilson] is explosive, he haslong range, he can get to balls. When you saythere is no way, that ball is overthrown, he'll get toit. And for a tall, angular guy he likes going intraffic. It reminds me if you watch it on film it lookslike a pinball machine, this guy working his waythrough the obstacles and stuff like that.So that's fun. I think the focus and workethic that both Michael Crabtree and Wes Welker had was great and the work ethic this guy isshowing is exciting.
Q. Coach, you were at BYU as astudent. What can you maybe impart toquarterbacks, present and future, from your experience and also from your experience atTexas Tech?
COACH LEACH: Offensively we draw alot from BYU and I think, you know, the challengein football is packaging plays, not finding them.Everybody has good plays. If we passed aroundsheets of paper to this room, and there are someexceptions in here, I'm sure, but if we passedaround pieces of paper in this room and saideverybody draw the best play you've ever seen or something you think is a great play, I guaranteeyou there are some plays that are going to be goodplays, indisputably, there is no question about that.But the thing is as you select plays andstuff like that, package 'em up, how you attack thewhole field. I know BYU was a good example for us, years ago, starting at Iowa Wesleyn. BYU wasa big influence on that. And as far as quarterbacksgo, a team is not just a quarterback, it has anumber of resources on it. The better you can doat utilizing all those resources I think is key. Andthen a lot of the thoughts and philosophies wehave borrowed from BYU, back when Edwardswas there and Doug and everybody, MikeHolmgren and Mike Chow, everybody that wentthrough there.
Q. Talk about the transition going fromCoach Wolf to learning to swing the sword withCoach Leach.
TRAVIS LONG: Easy transition, thecoaches came in and explained their philosophies. As players we latched on to that because we wantto be successful this year and we know we needtheir help and support to get that.JEFF TUEL: He made it easy. Made itknown that, listen, you're here to play football andthat's it. If you aren't committed to that, then youcan leave and he made an example out of a fewguys and opened some people's eyes and said,"He's not messing around here," and we need todo get our stuff together and get with the programand it was easy to do.
Q. Jeff, what was it like kind of goingthrough the offense for the first time and is itlike a dream, being able to get readied to startthis season with a wide-open offense like youhave now?
 
 
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3
 JEFF TUEL: Yeah, it was actuallysurprisingly easy to get a grasp on the offense andlearning the playbook is just the hard part. It'slearning what to do with the football and when inCoach Leach's eyes, and you want to get the balloff as quick as possible and that's been my biggestlearning curve and building my relationship with myreceivers and getting on the same page with them.It's obviously exciting and I know the pasthistory the quarterbacks have had in his systemand I don't want to put too much pressure or thought into it. I'm not going into the seasonsaying I'm going to throw for 5,000 yards becauseI've got to do a lot of stuff in order for that tohappen. I've got work to do and I have to get toknow this offense better and continue to work tomake that happen.I don't put too much thought or pressureon myself with regard to that.
Q. Coach, what coach in theconference would make the best hunt andfishing partner for you to go on a trip with?
COACH LEACH: Good question. Let'sthink about that carefully because we don't want toget this one wrong. Rich Rodriguez has spent a lotof time in West Virginia so potential rub-off there.I'm not as familiar with -- let's see, I have it down toa playoff, Rich, and Kyle Whittingham is definitelya good one, Colorado, I'm not so sure what hishunting skills are.I'm going to give the nod to Kyle. He'ssandwiched between a bunch of mountains,surrounded by them, and he's been there for awhile and he's a tenacious guy. So I think that if you were to go hunting in Utah, Kyle would be thekey guy to have around.
Q. We have a fan question from Twitter and Facebook. Which military leaders or generals would you compare Jeff and Travisto?
COACH LEACH: Jeff and Travis, let methink about this. I'm more of a Civil War guy of thewars, if I were to select wars. Let me think here.You know, I would have to say that Jeff would be alittle more like Stonewall Jackson, gets ahold of theplay, attacks from different angles. The cavalry isover here, no, we're here, he's not afraid to splitthe force and attack from different angles.Travis is more of a Ulysses S. Grant guy.He's in the trenches and if requires bombarding for a month, he's fully prepared to do it, he's going toguard the river, going to bombarded them till theybust providing he keeps his pads low and we'regoing to focus on that, right? And just, accordingthe bombardment will be shorter and just bash,bash, but quieter guy. So, you know, just kind of steady. Quiet, steady persistence, I guess that'show I would split it up.
Q. Travis, what do you expect toimprove the team defensively and what newschemes or influences, or something fromGeneral Grant might help as far as getting abetter defense this year?
TRAVIS LONG: We want to force our turnovers this year. Bring in pressure and justwork hard to force turnovers. That is somethingthat will help our defense.
Q. Jeff, what's the biggest differencebetween you as a quarterback from a year agoto right now, sitting up there?
JEFF TUEL: You know I would just saymy confidence level in myself. After not playing alot last year I learned continuously. I feel like I canlearn something from any given situation andthings happen for a reason.So although last year I wasn't able to play,I still took a lot out of it, I'm a confident, smarter player and I feel like I'm more prepared for thisyear, feel a lot more confident going into this year.
Q. Coach, earlier today Todd Grahamcame in today and he said when he immersedhimself in film he was surprised how under rated the Conference was and I thought thiswas a guy at ground zero that had thesefeelings. Are those inter conference games thebest way to make a case about how goodfootball is out here?
COACH LEACH: I've never really thoughtthe Pac-12 has anything to prove. That wholeargument is ridiculously self-serving. If you're anSEC person, you know, they're going to beat thedrum on the SEC, when I was in the Big 12,everybody thought the Big 12 was the bestconference. Big 10 does the same thing, the ACCwill have a couple of teams on top and then -- well,the Big East would but that argument didn't getquite the credibility until -- then of course theydefected to the ACC.But I think it's a hollow thing, wherever youare at you deal like you're the best conference, yougo out and play, do your job and if you win your 

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