Hello Followers. Hope you’re having a great week!
Today, we start a six (or maybe seven?) week summer feature that will run in lieu of my usual Thursday post.
We’re simply calling this feature “Three Questions.”
Each post will include a very small Q & A (3 questions to be exact) with the folks whose work we have come to especially admire over the years, including notables such as Ted Miller, Cindy Brunson, Bob Condotta, Brock Huard, Bruce Feldman, and Madonna (okay, maybe not Madonna, but we do have Howie Stalwick from Cougfan/Kitsap Sun/etc too)…
In contrast to my posts which tend to leave you wanting less, each of our forthcoming interviews are destined to leave you wanting more...So, the good news here is that, in case you're left hungry for more of what our special guest stars are cookin', all of our them are available through their own respective channels.
But, thanks to their kindness and goodwill, as well as my ability to be particularly charming with the celebrity folk…
They have decided to grace these very, very dirty pages for a very short period of time...
(e.g., the amount of time before the cops came and we had to let them go)
So, today we start our feature with a very special and remarkable talent, Brock Huard. For that and a bit more, read on.
Followers, there are FOUR Huskies who have achieved “Most Favored Nation Status” with me over the years. The first two were Husky Hoopsters.
Specifically, “Chet the Jet” Dorsey and James Edwards were huge Idols of mine as a wee lad--especially James Edwards...
You see, I went to the same school as James’ sister, Eedie, and James would occasionally come to my school and dunk the ball really, really, really hard...He was very, very cool back then.
The next two guys were (gulp!) Husky Football Players. Greg Lewis was always a favorite of mine because I played Little League baseball with him.
But even more than that, the main reason why I liked Greg Lewis was because I played Little League baseball IN FRONT OF HIM (As in, "How did that pine feel on your backside as you watched me play in front of you, GL???"").
So, when Greg went on to become a big football star, well, I had my 6th grade athletic acumen to fall back on...
And then, there is my final Husky favorite. And that man is Brock Huard.
You see, Brock stands unique among all Huskies for a few very special reasons. First, he was the first Husky to ever seriously utter the words “Our job this year is to be exactly like Washington State.”
Second, following our Rose Bowl clinching win in 1997 over the Huskies, Brock Huard waited in the tunnel following his 12 INT performance (it felt like 12, Brock) to congratulate all of the Cougar players on our incredible achievement.
Simply put, Brock has some serious, serious class.
Since that time, Brock has done pretty well for himself. Following a respectable NFL career as a backup QB, Brock landed a pretty nice daily gig alongside his pal, Mike Salk, on a radio show that you can hear on ESPN 710 in Seattle each weekday from 9am-12pm. It’s a great show that I listen to whenever possible from the compound in upstate New York, as do many of our blogfathers around here.
On top of that, Brock has served as both a studio and booth college analyst for ESPN's College Football Today and writes regular “Insider” features on ESPN.com. In fact, Brock is so darn good at what he does that you can count me in as a guy that is doing all that he can…
to lobby the folks in Bristol. I mean, who is more poised to take Craig James’ former spot as first mate to Kirk Herbstreit than our man Brock Huard? He’s really good, folks..
With that in mind, our good friend Victory Bell “sat down” recently with Brock at an undisclosed Seattle location and conducted the following “Three Question” interview. So, let’s hit it…
Victory Bell: Last Fall, before the wheels started to come off the 2011 Cougar Football season, you cited Mike Leach as a potential great fit for WSU Football. What exactly led you to form that opinion? And how good did it feel about being the first to be “right?”
Brock Huard: I don't know if I was first, but I know Leach was first on Bill Moos' list of replacements for Paul Wulff. Leach has everything Moos was looking for:
- Proven Track Record (10 Bowls in 10 Seasons at Texas Tech)
- Swagger (Won't Settle)
- Scheme (Fits the West Coast supply chain of WR's/Scat-backs)
- Understanding of what it takes to compete and win w/in a challenging recruiting environment (Lubbock is no Pullman, and Pullman is no Phoenix, Los Angeles, Bay Area, Boulder or Seattle)
I developed great respect for Mike Price and his staff during my time at Washington.
I thought Coach Price was the ideal fit at Wazzu. And while Leach is even more eccentric than Price, the two share many of the same convictions when it comes to offense. Leach is a game-changer for Moos and the Cougs.
Victory Bell: You penned an interesting post recently on the KIRO website about Keith Price taking a possible step back this year. Notwithstanding the ways that Leach’s system figures to skew the numbers a bit, who do you think is poised to have the better year for their respective systems: Jeff Tuel or Keith Price?
Brock Huard: Keith Price is the better quarterback and imagine how much further hype and attention the Cougs would be generating if Price were under center for Mike Leach this Fall. That said, your question is a good one.
Statistics alone, Tuel should throw for many more yards than Price, but the challenge for both will be staying healthy and playing efficiently (i.e. completion %, TD/Int ratio and avoiding negative plays).
Price and the Huskies face the most arduous opening six weeks in college football (@LSU, @ ORE, USC & STAN at home). With a rebuilt offensive line, an unproven running back and the need to find a third receiver I really don't think Price will be able to repeat the record-shattering season he had a year ago.
Tuel had a really good Spring against a very susceptible Cougar defense, and fortunately for Leach and Tuel the first six weeks of their season is much easier than the second half. I fully expect Tuel to be ahead of Price in every statistical measure heading into late October, including wins, but the race should even out into November. If both stay healthy, and that's a big if, this question will be fully answered on the 23rd of November in Pullman where a bowl game should be hanging in the balance.
Victory Bell: One of our Bloggers, who calls himself the Coug-A-Sutra among other names, thinks that the WSU-Oregon State game is THE swing game of WSU’s season. Do you agree with his assessment? And if so, who would you favor for that October 6th game in Corvallis?
Brock Huard: I think as we evaluate the schedule in June there are clearly three very large games for Leach and the Cougs if he wants to keep his streak of bowl games in consecutive seasons alive. Colorado, at Oregon State and the Apple Cup will all play an enormous role in determining whether the Cougs go bowling.
Leach, like Chip Kelly, lives in the moment and I really believe doesn't spend any energy weighing questions like this, nor should he. He knows that every season and every schedule takes on a life of their own once the ball is kicked in Provo September 1st. The Cougs have depth issues defensively and need more speed across the entire roster to create the momentum-turning plays that became a staple of Leach's run in Lubbock.
That said, the Cougars have enough talent and experience returning offensively to win two of the three aforementioned games. And if they do, they should end up with the six wins Bill Moos and the program could desperately use in their re-making of the Cougar program....
So, there you have it, our debut episode of “Three Questions.”
Thanks again to Brock Huard for being taking the time to grace our humble abode!
And, please remember to tune in to Brock & Salk each weekday from 9-12 on KIRO 710. I know I will.
I’ll be back next week with another special guest star for the Coug blog faithful.
All for now. Go Cougs!
Great interview, really enjoyed reading this. I have a lot of respect for Brock. I always rooted for him as a Seahawk, and I just thought he was a really decent dude when he was at uw.
And he's a lot of fun listening to on the radio. He's informed and well-spoken, but you can also tell he's having fun doing what he's doing. I mean, compare him with a guy like Softy on KJR! Holy crap what a difference in terms of objectivity and class.
Fact is, there have been a lot of classy husky players over the years. It's their moronic fans that get under my skin. They have a lot of great fans, but you only have to read the previous post's comments to see how bad some of their fans can get. Don't know why so many huskies are so pissed off at the world, but there you go.
I'm looking forward to the rest of these interviews.
Agree with much of the sentiment here... overcoming my general antipathy towards Huskies is a high burden to overcome, and Brock Huard has done so. First of all, big props for even taking time to answer questions for us, and secondly, that was some honest, objective insight. I think he would be an outstanding broadcast replacement for that turd Craig James.
Brock Huard is the best thing to come out of UW next to Dawn Wells. Seriously, Dawn Wells (Mary Ann from Gilligans Island) went to UW and graduated with a degree in Theater. And in countless surveys men pick Mary Ann over Ginger 3 to 1.
Be careful Brock, those Husky fans from yesterday's post/comments are going to light you up if they see your objectivity.
@Soze Brock Huard is a brown nosier to all articles. He is like a bandwagon duck fan. WSU can have his suck up to get noticed personality.
@Husky Fan @Soze Ha! Love that ATTITUDE. We'll gladly adopt B. Huard. His knowledge and insight stands in stark contrast to regular Husky and Cougar blowhards like u and me!
Brock was a grea kid as a playe, and he contiues to show class as a broadcaster. All the good ones try to both objective and sympathetic with every team they cover; fans of both teams are all pert of his audience (Customers!).
I hope Leach does brin success to Pullman, but still hopewe win the Apple Cup. I'd enorosly enjoy seeing most of th eams inour divison 'beat up' SoCal & AZ schools . . .
I was sort of worried Brock would be a bit of a Husky Homer when he started his TV Work at ESPN, and even 710ESPN for that matter. That being said, I think he is an incredibly objective commentator and radio personality. Always love hearing that story about waiting in the tunnel to congratulate the Cougs after the 1997 Apple Cup. Thanks for joining us Brock!
Basically the exact opposite of Ed Cunningham. Seriously Ed? Leach was really one of the worst off-season coaching hires? Ok pal...
@LucasNurmi I believe Ed and Craig James are/were decent friends? That might tell you everything you need to know about his criticisms of Leach/WSU.
Great work Sutra, and a huge thanks to Brock Huard for participating! I always enjoy another perspective from those in the media, who aren't fans. He makes excellent points and he's right, defensively we are thin and we don't have a roster full of blazing speed. But there are still positives here, like Jeff Tuel and the offensive talent returning and a decent schedule to boot, that we could be looking pretty good early on. I'll take it.
Brock is great though, I don't know if there are many regular listeners on our blog but he does a great job. The thing I love the most though is how he talks about that '97 Apple Cup, and how he flat-out OWNED the moment. He didn't hide in the locker room or pout and not talk to the media. He stood there after the game and answered questions from media types for 45 minutes, and did it with class. He's blowing up big-time now too, with the ESPN TV gig and his radio show, and I feel lucky that I get to listen to him and Salk in the AM.
@SeanHawkins Yep, a stand up dude...
Don't know about you, but reading his response about our "need for speed" makes me shudder...I mean, if we need speed now, then what were things like a few years ago with Jason Stripling "running" on the outside in C-Ment?
Were we bad then or what? .
@Sutra @SeanHawkins Tuhr-ible in Charles Barkley-speak. Slow, thin and not very big, we know the story. Hopefully the O can make the need for great D a moot point but as long as it is even average we should get by!
@SeanHawkins @Sutra @SeanHawkins Much as I hate to give a Husky anything, BH is a class act. I do listen to him sometimes. The speed comment really hits home though. I'm praying CML is looking in that direction, especially on defense. Our offense speed is reasonable. That will win us some ballgames. We won't win many if any championships without a top notch defense and that means one with LOTS of speed and quickness