Cougars, Corpses and Zombies, Oh My! Washington State’s Mike Leach Follows in Footsteps of Kansas’ Charlie Weis, Calls Out Senior Leadership
October 10, 2012
Still, it looks as if even the Mad Scientist has a breaking point, with the Pullman Pirate Monday referring to his team’s senior leadership as little more than “empty corpses” and “zombies” on a conference football teleconference, ESPN.com reports.
Commented Leach on his seniors, “Some of [them] have been great, and some of them have been very poor. Some of them have had kind of this zombielike, go through the motions, everything is how it’s always been, that’s how it’ll always be.”
“Some of them quite honestly have an empty-corpse quality. That’s not pleasant to say or pleasant to think about, but that’s a fact,” WSU’s head coach continued.
Leach’s comments come in the wake of three straight losses for the now 2-4 Cougars, with the most recent, a 19-6 loss on the road to Oregon State, finding Washington State’s offense – one patterned off the extremely successful Air Raid offense Leach installed and piloted during a ten-year tenure as head coach at Texas Tech University – generating just 227 yards of total offense.
Many of those comprising his team remain unfocused, Leach claimed, and refuse to “embrace adversity.” “We just need focused people,” he said of his players. “Rather than have fragmented focus, right now we’re a team that if we face any adversity, we get discouraged. If you don’t embrace adversity, you’re never going to improve.”
“We’ve got to be a team that embraces adversity, and right not we’re a team that if it’s not easy, we want to flinch and flounder,” Leach maintained. “We’ve got to change that. Part of it is changing the way we think and part of it is we haven’t really had the strength from our senior class we should [to] get there. So we turn to our younger guys to develop them, and they’re a ways off.”
Washington State has not had a winning season since 2003 and compiled a record of 9-40 in the four years the Cougars’ previous head coach, Paul Wulff, resided in Pullman.
Leach’s statements also oddly coincide with the decision of Kansas Jayhawks head football coach, Charlie Weis, to hold a team practice this past Sunday absent of the team’s seniors, who, instead, reportedly worked out on their own.
Commented Weis on the matter, “If you are going to develop a team that’s at the bottom of the league, development is key to becoming competitive. I think the team needs to understand that there is only so much developing you can do with the seniors. They are already five games into their senior year and have seven games to go. It is what it is, and for everybody else, you got to see progress being made on a daily level if we are ever going to get any better.”