Mike Leach calls out seniors

Updated: October 10, 2012, 4:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Mike Leach evidently is not impressed by the leadership qualities of Washington State's seniors.

Unhappy with the Cougars' 2-4 start, Leach ripped some of his seniors for their lack of veteran leadership during a recent news conference, comparing them to "empty corpses" and "zombies."

Leach Some of them have had kind of this zombie-like, go through the motions, everything is like how it's always been, that's how it'll always be. Some of them quite honestly have an empty-corpse quality. That's not pleasant to say or pleasant to think about, but that's a fact.

-- Mike Leach on a lack of leadership from Washington State's seniors

"Some of (the seniors) have been great, and some of them have been very poor," Leach said Monday. "Some of them have had kind of this zombielike, go through the motions, everything is like how it's always been, that's how it'll always be.

"Some of them quite honestly have an empty-corpse quality. That's not pleasant to say or pleasant to think about, but that's a fact."

Leach, known as an offensive guru during his 10-year tenure at Texas Tech, is in his first year at Washington State after inheriting a program that has not had a winning season since 2003. The Cougars went 9-40 over the past four years under Paul Wulff.

The Cougars have lost their past three games and generated just 227 yards of total offense in Saturday's 19-6 loss to Oregon State.

Leach questioned the focus of his team and said some players need to "embrace adversity."

"We just need focused people. Rather than have fragmented focus, right now we're a team that if we face any adversity, we get discouraged," he said. "If you don't embrace adversity, you're never going to improve.

"We've got to be a team that embraces adversity, and right now we're a team that if it's not easy, we want to flinch and flounder. We've got to change that. Part of it is changing the way we think and part of it is we haven't really had the strength from our senior class we should get there. So we turn to our younger guys to develop them, and they're a ways off."

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