MMQB recap (11/03)

The tempo at MMBQ continues to build. They over sold today's luncheon with coach Pete Carroll and had to ask people to stop saving seats at their tables. It was raining in Los Angeles at noontime but it did not dampen an enthusiastic and complimentary reception for the coach.

Pete's comments about the game last Saturday against Washington State were very upbeat and emphasized how much fun our players were having during the game. He talked about our strategy to deal with the usual "fast start" that WSU has had in previous games. He described our all-around fine play and the confidence our team is feeling about our ability to win. There were a couple of negative points made by PC, but those are best left unreported since anyone watching the game could guess what they were about.

The coach showed several plays from the game but in a new format. He had the tape organized so that the play selection rotated from one offense, to one defense to one special teams. It was another "highlight reel" with so many fine plays that it is hard to describe them all. We saw all the TD's and all the turnovers including both bad snaps on their punting unit. Our front four were absolutely dominating and Pete loves defense so we saw several of the QB sacks several times. All the front four got kudos as well as a special commendation for Dallas Sartz.

The Question and Answer session was long today. There were the normal questions about the performance of particular players and the strategy behind certain plays. He has that open kind of frankness that engenders confidence in his answers. He is not all compliments with sugarcoated answers, and I think we all respect that approach. Pete must have a lot of confidence that when he opens up that way, his comments will stay within the group. I know that I feel compelled to avoid specifics that might embarrass him or the program.

There were an unusual number of non-game related questions today. Questions about the referees, Pac10 scheduling, NCAA rule changes, psychology during a bye week, etc., etc., etc. One question regarding kicking off non-grass surfaces disclosed that we have a JC field lined up with artificial turf to practice on. One question about the reason for our improved tackling brought a rather complete answer as to what we are doing, but not wanting to look like he was bragging, he broke into the answer and quipped that it was mostly recruiting. He said it in a way that brought a big laugh.

Pete did repeat the answer reported in newspapers today that there was no longer a need to experiment with personnel this bye-week so we will be practicing hard and preparing for the Arizona game. A couple of recruiting questions were answered with the phrase "we aren't supposed to talk about that". He did say that recruiting was going very well and we were nearly full.

One side note about the program before Pete arrived. The MC always asks if anyone has extra tickets for a future game to help those wishing to buy or sell. He asked for anyone wishing to sell tickets to the UCLA game to raise their hand - and for the first time I can remember, no one did. There will not be a MMQB next week since we have a bye.


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