MMQB recap

Trojan coach Pete Carroll met today for lunch with the Monday Morning Quarterbacks. The meeting was quite upbeat with a full house of about 150. Injuries were the only negative vibes at the table.

The coach arrived a little late because of meetings with players. PC was particularly buoyant today with a very positive take on last Saturday's game. He expressed appreciation for the crowd support and said that the team fed off the "energy" that came from the stands. He also called attention to the "walk-in" that the team does before the game. They leave the bus at Figueroa Street and walk up to the Coliseum, through the peristyle entrance, down onto the field and then into the dressing room. I got the feeling that he would like for this to grow into an even bigger event that it already is.

He commented about our success running the ball and our good showing in the second half. He did talk about injuries but because of the non-quote rule you'll have to get that from the newspapers.

The showing of taped plays began with the kicking game and I got the feeling that he feels very good about the progress of Ryan Killeen. He showed several of our most successful running and passing plays and explained why they had worked so well. He had great praise for several players. The line blocking and the way our backs are seeing their opportunities is accounting for a large measure of our success. Carson's ability to hit receivers while he is on the run was another positive in many of the plays shown. Apparently, the two tight end formation was utilized to reveal a certain weakness in the Cal alignment.

The defensive plays featured several players in the starring role. Grootegoed looked spectacular on several plays shown. On the interception the ball was shown hitting Pollard in the back before he crushed the Cal receiver and was therefore not pass interference. It bounced up in the air and Jason Leach caught it. Marcell Allmond also came in for compliments as well as several DL players.

The Question and Answer period was again a long one where most everyone who had a question got a serious answer. Pete is humorous and does tend to find a humorous angle for many of his answers but he does try to address the substance of each question. Cal's fast start and how we adjusted was the subject of several questions. Several questions were asked about the performance of specific players. Pete does answer those questions and I frankly think he will continue to do so until someone embarrasses him by printing his answers outside the meeting.

The coach talked a lot about the coming game with Washington. His remarks led me to believe that Washington will be a difficult opponent with a great passing offense. But, an offense that will be different in character than those we've seen so far.

Around 1:15 the meeting was adjourned. Top Stories