MMQB recap - 9/27

Pete Carroll today was very up about the game, how we came back and how we are building for the rest of the season. He said nothing special about Cal and declined to comment on what strategy we would pursue in the next game. On several occasions Pete was very complimentary about Stanford and the way they played.

On my drive to campus today for the Monday Morning Quarterback meeting I was thinking about John Robinson's retirement announcement and how many times I made the same trip to hear what JR had to say. Because my impression of our performance at Stanford was so lack-luster in the first half, I was also remembering JR's answer to a question at MMQB about why he had not pumped up the players for one of his games. He said that each game should be approached with the same level emotional preparation. That if you didn't, you would have up-games but you would also have down games and that that was not a way to win a championship. Coach Carroll gave almost exactly the same answer today at various times.

While we are on JR's past comments, let me recite for you one of his ideas about championship teams he shared with MMQB. He said that when a team can find a way to win a game even though they play poorly and suffer some bad breaks, then that's the kind of team that can win a championship. I hope that fits our current situation.

Pete Carroll today was very up about the game, how we came back and how we are building for the rest of the season. He said nothing special about Cal and declined to comment on what strategy we would pursue in the next game. On several occasions Pete was very complimentary about Stanford and the way they played. He believes that they will do well this season.

The coach reiterated a point that he has made to other audiences, so I feel free to report it. He said that the staff emphasizes "doing things right". He shared several examples of how he feels that this team has learned that if you keep doing things right, eventually games will come our way.

Probably the best part of today's meeting was during the question and answer period when Pete gave a thorough report of exactly what happened during half time. He talked about what the coaches did and what the players did. He always interjects humor and so the stories were very entertaining as well as informative. I don't feel that I can break his rule about not reporting his comments at MMQB on this subject however. Let me leave you with the point that hearing these insights into our program are well worth the effort to attend these meeting. So if you can make the next meeting after the Cal game, I think you'll be happy with your decision. (No meeting next week after the bye)

There was the usual taped replay of selected plays from the game. Special teams was first. There was nothing unusual about the selection except that we are able to see who makes the best blocks. Grootegoed and Thomas Williams had good blocks and of coarse Williams had a spectacular tackle on the last Kick-Off play. Reggie Bush's punt return was shown over and over and was indeed fun to watch.

Most of the offensive highlights were passing plays. Steve Smith obviously showed very well as did Jarrett and McFoy. On the running TD from LenDale White and the QB sneak from Matt Leinart our OL just moved forward in mass. We do have some wide bodies who are now working well together. I was also impressed with some blocks by David Kirtman from the FB position.

On defense it was obvious that the move to use Keith Rivers at DE paid off big time. We saw several plays where his speed and agility produced great results. Several of the defensive players received compliments from the coach for their play. We saw outstanding plays from Lawrence Jackson, Kevin Arbet (interception), Lofa Tatupu and Frostee Rucker among others. The domination in the second half was total. It was very much a team effort and sets a foundation for coming games.

Pete Carroll completed another positive report and MMQB adjourned for two weeks with an upbeat outlook on the team and its future.


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