Eleven topics Mike Leach touches during a QB meeting
- by Zach Barnett 3 months ago
Growing up as a kid in Wyoming, Mike Leach, like all other kids, really, played Cowboys and Indians. Except Leach always imagined himself on the side opposite the Cowboys. That anti-establishment viewpoint shaped the rest of Leach's life. It shapes the way he thinks, the way he coaches, and it's why he wrote a book on Geronimo, which is released on Tuesday.
Michael Weinreb of SportsonEarth.com trekked to Pullman to spend a day with Leach, to get inside the head of the rarest of all men that could coach a major college football team and write a book a legendary Native American figure. Leach is in that stratosphere of coaches who will never be accused of underexposure - at this point, coverage of Leach is rivaled only by Nick Saban, Les Miles, Urban Meyer and Kliff Kingsbury - but Weinreb does a good job of creating fresh perspectives instead of following the same old, worn ones (he went to law school! he likes pirates!).
Leach's thoughts on Saban: "Oh, I like him. I think he's a great recruiter, and he's a very fundamental guy, just as we are here, too. He holds his players accountable. These being the most important things, we agree 100 percent."
Leach boiling football down to its basics: "They have football so big people can slam into big people, and if they do it well they get to run over little people"
Leach on designing plays: "I could go to any junior high school in the country and find good plays"
My favorite part, though, was this catalogue of topics Leach bounced between during a quarterbacks meeting. This is just Leach at his Leach-iest.
1. The most accurate gauge of a quarterback's success. ("Do you march down the field and score?")
2. The psyche of running backs. ("They need to feel like they're superhuman, because running backs should be superhuman. That's why they play running back. When we were picking sides as kids, no one ever said, 'Hey Mike, why don't you play running back?'")
3. That time when George Costanza fled a children's birthday party by plowing over every kid and senior citizen in his way.
4. That time he went to a Jerry Seinfeld performance at Texas Tech.
5. An offensive lineman nicknamed "The Continent."
6. The original version of The Longest Yard.
7. Zen and the art of play-calling. ("You've got plays that are your identity, that are what you do.")
8. That time Wes Welker, who played for Leach at Texas Tech, kicked a field goal for the Miami Dolphins. (Leach really seems to love talking about Welker, who appears to have altered the passing-game paradigm in the NFL the same way Leach did at the college level.)
9. Speedy receivers. ("You've got to keep fast guys going fast, so they keep going fast.")
10. Offensive line play. (When an offensive lineman doubles up on a lineman rather than blocking an onrushing linebacker, Leach says, "He needs to put meat on his own table.")
11. Mistakes. ("Some quarterbacks have the Midas touch of s---, you know.")