Mike Leach didn’t have too many kind things to say after his team’s 38-13 loss at Utah late Saturday night.
The loss was Washington’s second straight. And the Cougars have been outscored 88-27 since they had a 49-17 third quarter lead against UCLA a week ago. Leach said Saturday night that his team wasn’t tough like last season’s team.
“It’s difficult to say how tough Utah is because they had token resistance on both sides of the ball for us,” Leach said after the game. “And we’re a very soft team. We get a lot of good press. We like to read it a lot. We pat ourselves on the back. And if we get any resistance, we fold. And what’s amazing about this is that most of these guys were on the same team last year that was a tough team. Last year’s team was a tough team for us. And we got nearly the same guys. All of the sudden they’re not tough. They’re fat, dumb and happy and entitled.”
That was just Leach’s opening statement too.
It can be very tricky when a millionaire coach criticizes the toughness of his players who aren’t making millions of dollars. And Leach did cursorily mention the failures of the coaching staff to allow Washington State to become a team that he believes is soft.
“Coaching-wise, we failed to get through to them,” Leach said. “I didn’t see too much pouting among coaches but collectively starting with me we failed to get through to them. We let them evolve into a soft team. And they are soft.”
But it’s ultimately Leach and his coaching staff’s responsibility to figure out how to fix the supposed issues of toughness. That’s what they’re paid a lot of good money to do. If Washington State continues to be, in Leach’s words, soft, happy and entitled over the rest of the season, it’s more of a reflection on Leach and the job his coaching staff is doing in 2019 than it is on the players his staff recruited to Pullman.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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