MMQB report (9/15/03)

Coach Pete Carroll met with the Monday Morning Quarter Back luncheon group today in Town & Gown. The room was full and the crowd was happy. In honor of Pete's birthday, the group sang "Happy Birthday" to him.

Coach Pete Carroll met with the Monday Morning Quarter Back luncheon group today in Town & Gown. The room was full and the crowd was happy. In honor of Pete's birthday, the group sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Before he arrived, the MC announced that the starting time at Cal would be 3:30 PM.

The coaches opening remarks about the Hawaii game were all upbeat and positive. He commented about our well-rounded offense and the good play of the OL. True to form he also recognized that there were areas for improvement. He particularly complimented the special teams and said we reached our goal of holding kick returns to 17.4 yards.

He showed several special team plays on the large screen and in particular high lighted the running lanes that had been created on the kick-off returns. On the offensive tape, he concentrated on OL blocking and was complimentary to several players. Many of the plays he chose for showing were from later in the game when the second and third string personnel were in.

If you think about all the high impact plays in that game, then you know what we saw today. One point I think I can report safely was he replayed the ML block for the 4th time and had us look at the enthusiastic reaction of the team on the sideline right after it happened. The team went just as nuts as we did in the stands.

On defense he was also complimentary and explained that it was painful to give up 200 yards in the 4th quarter but that it was good for the program to give real-game experience to the young guys. He thought we could have and should have forced and/or recovered more fumbles in the game.

The questions and answers were the normal broad cross-section of topics. He handles this part of the program as well or better than any coach we've had (no, I wasn't around for Howard Jones and somehow I don't think he answered questions anyway). He did say he had some regrets about his own play calling. In response to one question he told us that he had changed some coverages as soon as mid 1st quarter.

MMQB and Coach Carroll have bonded very well. I personally wish that I could report more of the details like we did in the old days. But, I'll trade open reporting for his style of sharing confidential information with us. He just doesn't pull punches as far as I can tell.

Because of the bye week, there will be no MMQB next Monday. He will use this coming week to elevate the young guys and for general improvement in overall play. Regarding our next game he did say that Cal was a well-coached team.


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