The Cougars have six months to play a football game, so they don’t emphasize perfection.
“I told the guys to make a million mistakes,” Washington State coach Jake Dickert said after the second spring drill practice Thursday. “But don’t make the same mistake two days in a row.
“I’ll be ready for them to respond on Saturday,” he said of their first day in the pads.
The invitation to error is aimed in particular at the offensive line. As the Cougars lose tackles Abe Lucas and Liam Ryan until graduation, Dickert said 2021 guards Jarrett Kingston and Ma’ake Fifita will play tackle throughout the spring as coaches assess students second-year freshman Christian Hilborn and second-year Rodrick Tialavea at guard.
Konner Gomness remains at center and “has done an amazing job taking charge of the offensive line and the calls,” Dickert said.
The long-term view of the O line is complicated by the possible addition of transfers before the pre-season drills in August. Specific positions are therefore not set in stone.
“It’s not about tweaking or overstating every little thing they do,” Dickert said earlier this week, “but I want to see every member of this offensive line unit take a step forward every day. It’s part of the development process.
“The most important game in football is the next game,” he said. “So if we’re beaten, we’re going to pick ourselves up, we’re going to learn from it and we’re going to keep getting better as we go. Spring is the best time to get our stance down, get our craft down, get our technique down. , and this is especially what will happen on the offensive line.
Juice Men of the Day, the award Dickert cooked up, went Thursday to sophomore rookie Orion Peters, who hit an early one-handed catch, and senior nickelback Armani Marsh.
Dickert has steered away from some aspects of his predecessor Nick Rolovich’s MO, but one thing he clings to are morning practices. The Cougs start at 7 a.m. or 10 a.m. for 14 of their 15 spring sessions, except for their final scrimmage, which begins at 3 p.m. on April 23.
“I think that’s the core of who we are,” Dickert said. “There is a tenacity factor in this game, and part of it gets us out of bed. It’s our purpose, it’s what we do, and I haven’t heard a single guy complain about it.