Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Will it Get Better? Or Have We Only Just Begun?

Don't you just love Pete Carroll? High School Harry, as they call him, but that genuine enthusiasm is infectious. Look at all the talent he gets on a yearly basis, just so much talent in the pipeline it's amazing, and yet all those kids play their butts off for him. He's got "open" Wednesdays in practice, where literally all jobs are up for grabs and the players fight like hell. On Fridays he's got the lineman vs. lineman game, wherever they are, and the only rule is no running plays. I know the Reggie Bush scandal, I know about the Matt Lienart - Dwayne Jarrett free rent deal, but they are the teflon program right now.

And what a perfect situation he's in down there. He's King of the LA football scene, making all that dough and just a complete rock-star coach in every sense of the word. As I told Brinkhater on Sunday, let the NFL rumor mill churn, but he's a complete FOOL if he ever bolts that program. Why walk away from something like that? I guess we all need a challenge in life, a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and there's only so many championships you can win on a lower level before the hunger eats you alive and you have to try on the highest level again. Especially since Carroll already gave it a shot at the NFL, and did an average-at-best job. But he's really a Dennis Erickson if you ask me, a guy who's going to be a hall-of-famer in the college ranks, but doesn't really need to prove himself on the next level.

Anyway, the P-I had some good notes on the ineptness of our '07 defense, so I had to use some of it this AM. Good stuff too. It's especially drastic when you compare where we are today vs. where we used to be, in very recent times as a matter of fact.

I did some housecleaning on the site too. Longball wanted some fresh links, so I've updated them to the right. The Spokesman link now takes you right to SportsLink, and the WSU roster was added as well. Also new is a link to the Pac-10.org stats site, which is an excellent point of reference that is updated by Monday morning at the latest. I removed the Oregon Ducks Wines Family link, as while it's a good site, I don't think any of us were actually reading it. I want to build on the links as well, and maybe we'll feature a Pac-10 section of blog links that hit each Pac-10 team. This thing is always a work in progress, so if there's something you want to see, let us know!

Finally, we're going to start seeing some advertisements hit the site in the next 24-48 hours. Nothing too distracting, and it shouldn't be a bunch of pop-ups or anything like that, but we'll see how it goes. We can always shut them off if they suck or whatever.

7 comments:

longball said...

Brilliant! Love the new links. Nothing like a one-stop shop for my daily Cougar fix.

Brinkhater said...

Great job, Sedihawk as always..

I think that things will get better if there's a reason for the team to think that there's a reason to get better. How's that for convoluted?

If we win this weekend, I really think we can withstand some drubbings over the coming weeks. Simply put, as long as the math adds up to 7 wins (Ariz, UCLA, Stanford, Washington, OSU) all will stay right in Cougarville.

From what I've been told, the new kids have talent, so if the rest of the team hasn't quit, we have a shot to be okay in late Oct/Nov if we can continue to stay healthy.

It all comes down to this week, though...lose this one, and it could be the first fall in a house of cards..

Brinkhater said...

Great job, Sedihawk as always..

I think that things will get better if there's a reason for the team to think that there's a reason to get better. How's that for convoluted?

If we win this weekend, I really think we can withstand some drubbings over the coming weeks. Simply put, as long as the math adds up to 7 wins (Ariz, UCLA, Stanford, Washington, OSU) all will stay right in Cougarville.

From what I've been told, the new kids have talent, so if the rest of the team hasn't quit, we have a shot to be okay in late Oct/Nov if we can continue to stay healthy.

It all comes down to this week, though...lose this one, and it could be the first fall in a house of cards..

Sedihawk said...

I want it to improve, man, I really do. But I guess you are only as good as the horses in the stable. Or, as Doba used to say when everyone bitched as to why the defense wasn't as good after the Palouse Posse left Pullman, "it's not the blites, it's the BLITZERS!" Beano Cook used to just marvel at Mike Price, calling him easily one of the best coaches in America and that "he does more with less material than anyone in the country." I know Cook is a windbag, if not entertaining, but he was always right about Price.

I was amazed to go back and look at our defensive successes during our great run. I mean my memories are good about that time, that we were pretty good defensively, but I had now idea how good we really were. Highly ranked in terms of turnovers, sacks, rushing yards and total defense rankings. And this was in the conference traditionally loaded with total offense machines. As much as we loved Gesser and the WR's like Devard, Sammy Moore, Bush, Troy B at TE, Scott Lunde, etc, we were really an elite defensive program from 01-03. Why aren't we back to those levels again? Like Doba said, it's the blitzers that are the problem.

But, again, ask yourself this - haven't we been sounding this alarm since spring ball? Looking at the depth chart for the Wisconsin game, and to see all those new, inexperienced faces on defense? Including the two late JC's that signed, thought to be basically special teams filler at the time in Dunn and Jackson, are actually STARTING the opener?? What's happened thus far is absolutely, positively no surprise whatsoever when you really take a step back and look at it.

Well, let's see what happens over these next two games. Anything can happen, and we see it every Saturday. Is it all that impossible to fathom that we could take care of business this Saturday against a 1-3 Arizona team that hasn't done anything this year, then follow it up with a huge, emotional homecoming game against Dennis the Liar? It could happen.

By the way, anyone notice all the scoring this weekend? UCLA and ASU, at 44 points, were actually the lowest total for a winning Pac-10 team? Boy is this conference loaded with offense. UCLA 44 over UW, ASU 44 over OSU, USC 47 over us, Cal 45 over AZ, and Oregon 55 over Stanford. And even in losing, UW got 31, OSU had 32, hell, even Stanford had 31! And here I was an idiot a week ago saying that things tighten up when conference games begin because everyone is familiar with everyone else!

longball said...

The two glaring differences in the great defenses that took us to bowls and this defense are the lack of pass rushers, and the lack of playmakers.

We were never stout, like the 94 team, but we always had great pass rushers with gaudy sack stats near the top of the league. We also made plays at least as much as we got burned. Fumbles, picks, the crushing sack on 3rd down, etc. I think Price did a great job of stocking key positions on D with great athletes that were surplus at the offensive skill positions. RBs became linebackers, TEs became D-ends, etc. We ended up with teams where the talent wasn't so lop sided as it has been lately. Lets face it, at Wazzu you cannot afford to have a great athlete burrid on the depth chart. anywhere. we just need all our horses on the field contributing.

This may be a stupid example, but Kevin McCall - always looks to me like an elite athlete who has just been unfortunate to be buried behind better talent at his position. Imagine if he had been knocking heads as a safety the last few years instead of getting just a couple garbage carries at the end of games?

longball said...

I guess to be more concise, i think the knack Price had for making chicken salad from chicken shit wasn't smoke and mirrors... it was very deliberate, flexible and well executed management of the talent he did have.

Sedihawk said...

Good call on McCall. Big, physical dude with decent quicks that seems like he could hit like a truck. I think OLB, but maybe a strong safety as well. But it is what it is.