Since his arrival in November last year, Mike Leach has preached about making “the routine play”, it’s never been about anything else. In his brief halftime interview against the Ducks, he was asked what was going right. His answer? “We’re making the routine plays”. When asked immediately after that how they would continue to stick with Oregon after such a nice half, he looked back with a puzzled look and quipped, “Keep doing it”, bringing a chuckle from his interviewer and likely the thousands of Cougar fans watching the broadcast. That’s just how Leach likes his team to do it. Do your job and let everyone else worry about theirs. Do the things you are supposed to do and let everybody else worry about their own assignments, everything will work itself out.
In his Monday press conference this week, he said something that made even more sense then all of that. He said that he told Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday: “The more plays that you have out there that I could’ve done myself, the easier it is”. The comment was directed at the qb, but really it’s the advice that he has been giving his Cougars all along. Make the easy play more and more often. Leach pointed to the fact that there are “the ball only he can throw is gonna be a heck of a deal and bail you out of a bunch of stuff”. He went on to say “It’s hard to do it (make the superior throw) ten times in a row, but where they’re overplaying or there’s stuff underneath, you need to take advantage of it.”
The Cougars have been “improving” to the delight of their coach, but they aren’t there yet. Duh, but he’s also been saying that the things the Cougars are doing well are more than good enough. It’s a consistency thing and is the difference between being good for half the game and being good for all of it, which is a problem the team has been battling since opening week against BYU. For now, all the Cougs can do is take it day by day and get better at making that routine play as often as possible.