Senior receiver Gabe Marks and senior nickelback Parker Henry joined Washington State coach Mike Leach at Pac-12 Media Day this week to give the media a season preview.
Among the many highlights that came out of media availability with the Cougs’ three representatives, Mike Leach discussed Pokemon Go, and poked fun at the media for asking too many “milestone” questions.
Marks hailed his quarterback Luke Falk as “The Messiah of the Palouse” and said Falk should get the bulk of the credit for the Cougs’ resurgence because “without a quarterback that people can follow as a leader, you can’t win.”
“Especially in this offense,” Marks said. “We throw the ball so much that if your quarterback is not a leader, then your receivers are leading the offense, and that can’t work. We’re assistants. I’m a manager. I’m not the CEO, he’s the CEO.”
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Also, Marks didn’t throw anyone under the bus specifically, however, if you’re still looking for a reason as to why last year’s WSU team was so much better than the team from 2014 despite having a lot of the same players, this comment from Marks sheds some light on that situation.
When asked to identify the key element behind WSU’s success in 2015, Marks said:
“We don’t run the ball so little short passes are key and that’s what helps you get the extra points that we didn’t have before. We didn’t have quarterbacks who were willing to be patient and take what they give us, or receivers all the way across the board who could catch the ball every time the game was on the line.”
Here’s a full battery of links from WSU’s participation at Pac-12 Media Day:
— To kick off media day, I had this story about the real reason Gabe Marks took a redshirt year in 2014, and why he chose to return to Pullman for his senior season instead of leaving for the NFL.
— Marks is apparently really good at the water bottle toss, as this Pac-12 Network video shows.
— Pokemon Go, zombies and milestones: A compilation of top quotes and facial expressions from Mike Leach at Pac-12 media day
— Speaking of quotes, Alan Burton has compiled a book of Leach’s best Leachisms. Yes, really. The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel has more on that here.
— Our Adam Jude was in Hollywood for media day, he has this story on Mike Leach stumping for Falk for Heisman
— WSU was picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 preseason media poll
— WSU and UW both have stability at the quarterback position, which is quite the luxury in the Pac-12 this year, Jude writes
— The Tacoma News-Tribune’s Christian Caple wrote about how former walk-on Parker Henry was almost forced to leave WSU because he couldn’t afford to continue paying tuition.
— Mike Leach spent the offseason coaching football in Italy, says Jacob Thorpe
— The Salt Lake Tribune also had this story about Luke “The Messiah of the Palouse” Falk.
— As usual, Leach was a hit with the media — The L.A. Times calls him “the Pac-12’s leading funnyman”
— Leach also believes NFL teams are insecure about their ability to actually coach quarterbacks. Strong words.
— ESPN.com’s Chantel Jennings rewrote Leach’s quotes into haikus. Because, who not.
— Gabe Marks returned to WSU to complete some “unfinished business”
— Marks also had some words of wisdom for current prep stars at his alma mater, Venice High. The Pac-12 media event in Hollywood was a homecoming for the receiver, who is from Venice.
— Also, WSU backup linebacker Chandler Leniu has left the team, his father, David Leniu, confirmed to the Seattle Times on Friday