Mike Leach and Washington State take on Oregon this weekend. Interestingly enough, over the last several seasons the Ducks have brought a total of four guys on board that have worked with Leach previously, including Ducks running backs coach / run game coordinator Jim Mastro and linebackers coach Ken Wilson.
That familiarity led to a question during yesterday's weekly press conference on if that presents any problems in the game planning process. Leach's answer started off pretty standard, with "Generally not, because all your games are on film and they see all of them."
But then things turn a left turn as Leach addressed play callers who cover their mouth all the time while calling plays.
"The other thing, and I get a kick out of it, is these people that are covering their mouth all the time like there's lip readers."
"You know...America’s always been this huge bastion of lip readers. Starting from kindergarten in some parts of this country, children are raised to read lips. So that’s why it’s so necessary for coaches to constantly take their game plan, or their script to cover up their mouth, so you can’t read their lips"
“Quickly telling your signal caller on, say, your defense, what you read that their lips said, deciphering it, discovering what play it’s going to be, aligning your defense accordingly so they can stuff that play and get after the offense. And do all of that...well, and maybe substitute, so it’s even more beneficial to you, and do all of that in 20 seconds."
"But, you know, that’s the world we live in. Everybody can read lips nowadays, and so they just adjust their defense or their offense around what they see.”
Then Leach really opened things up with an inventive idea to throw a wrench into the system of those lip reading coaches.
“What they ought to do is just give these guys mouth covers. I ought to invent this, and we ought to go together on this since you thought it up. Instead of a Zorro mask that covers your eyes, we’re just going to have one that covers the mouth. We could sell it to football coaches everywhere. You could have a deal where it kind of attaches on your ears, you know, kind of like eyeglasses and hangs right here like a veil," he shared, pointing to his lips.
"Not as exotic. We’d make it a little more studly and masculine, and it hangs like a veil, because we don’t want them to look like a belly dancer, per se but it looks like a veil. It hangs right here. So then they don’t have to constantly hold up their script, and then on that rare occasion they forget to hold up their script, ‘Oh my gosh! I forgot to hold up my script! They know everything we’re going to do!’" Leach joked before adding that you could even brand them with the school logo, or have some fun with one like for Wazzu's they could have some "cool cougar teeth, a little bit of a nose, and some whiskers."
"Then we could literally put these lip-readers out of business.”
See Leach's full comments in the clip below starting at about the 10:05 mark.