On a brighter note, the first team offensive line has pretty much pulled away from the pack and has “done some good things,” Mike Leach says.
LEWISTON, Idaho — After publicly declaring his dissatisfaction with the second team offensive line on Monday, Washington State coach Mike Leach experimented with a different configuration Tuesday, getting some young offensive linemen second team reps in offensive line drills.
“We’re taking a look at (Keenen) King and (Nilson) Gaisoa and seeing if they can get in the mix with the twos,” Leach said Tuesday afternoon after WSU’s practice at Sacajawea Junior High School.
Gaisoa is a 6-foot-5, 318-pound redshirt freshman from Waimanalo, Hawaii, while King hails from Las Vegas, and stands at 6-foot-4, 303 pounds. WSU experimented with Gaisoa at left tackle on Tuesday, but both players shuffled between guard and tackle spots.
However, in team period and 11-on-11s, the Cougars stuck with the second team offensive line that earned Leach’s ire the day before: Liam Ryan at left tackle, Cedric Bigge-Duren at left guard, Noah Osur-Myers at center, Robert Valencia at right guard and Josh Watson at right tackle.
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That’s largely because those five are most familiar with the playbook at this point, Leach said.
“We’re hoping everybody is elevating so it’s constantly competitive, but a portion of it is, so a guy can do something one-on-one, but as far as the continuity of knowing the play and all that, there’s a learning curve with a couple of those guys too,” Leach said. “So we go out there in team (period), and even though I want to get those guys out there and I want to rep them, the others just know the plays a little bit better.
“So we’re gonna try to elevate them and move some people around.”
The Cougars also had starting linemen Andre Dillard and Cody O’Connell take some second team reps at left tackle just to switch things up.
“They’d have to fill in there potentially or move somewhere if somebody went down,”
The good news is that the first team offensive line of Dillard, O’Connell, Fred Mauigoa, B.J. Salmonson and Cole Madison seems to be gelling as a unit.
“They do some good things, and if we continue to improve, we can be good,” Leach said. “But we definitely have a lot of improvement to make.”
Other notes and observations:
– Offensively, Tavares Martin Jr. had an…