MMQB met on October 22, 2001. It should not surprise anyone to hear that
nobody was happy. Attendance was down and those who I talked to only wanted
to discuss the things that went wrong at ND. We were asked to raise our
hands if we had made the trip to see the game and over half those in
attendance signified "yes". It was a knowledgeable group.
The coach made a "professional" presentation. He did not blame anyone else
and took full responsibility for the play calls and shortcomings in
execution. Those of us who have attended MMQB for several years are now
experts on judging how head coaches respond to stress. At 2 and 5, this is
a stressful time.
Pete Carroll apparently is aware that things could indeed get worse before
they get better. He said they would be firm with the team. You can give
that any interpretation that you feel fits this situation.
He knows the psychology of group dynamics IMO because he started by showing
the tape of the fake punt play and basically took that issue head on. The
questions about that decision were direct but there was no sarcasm or
hostility like we have seen at certain times in previous years. Most of
what he showed were successful plays.
After the tape, he went back to Q & A for nearly 30 minutes and handled
himself well. He never got flustered or reacted negatively. Pete promised
to continue leveling with MMQB and we adjourned.
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