Letters to the Publisher

Thanks to those that wrote in. Man, what a collapse that was in the Rose Bowl. After playing perhaps the best first half in three years, the Huskies worked so hard to get that lead only to lose it in about twelve seconds. Momentum is a strange and powerful thing. And now, on to the letters . . .

From RKB
Dear Dawgman
THANKS! Great site. Where is Dash Cruchley the tight end, is he hurt? Who are the top recruits in the State of Washington that the Huskies need to sign? GO DAWGS !!

A: Crutchley has worked at both defensive end and tight end, and is down the depth chart a ways. He is going to need a little more time in the weight room before seeing the field. The top guys are Matt Tuiasosopo, Keauntea Bankhead, Aaron Klovas, Chancellor Young, and Casey Bulyca. Bulyca is already committed, so that's a great start. Young will be the toughest to land in my opinion.
From Red Robin Rick
Dear Dawgman:
Do you think Gilby is the right Coach for UW? James was of course. Lambright ..absolutely NOT. Neuheisel , we all thought was the savior but....he proved that he too was NOT the right coach. Can UW will with Gilby despite his Husky roots? Will he be able to recruit effectively? How do we attract quality high profile coaches like a Bob Stoop or Mac Brown or even.......Bellotti?

A: I think Gilby is the right guy, I see no reason to panic yet. It's going to take him a little time to get his own system and staff into place, but there's no question that he'll need to win immediately. I think he will have success here, and have to wait and see if there are any changes above him in the athletic department. That could have impact as well. The others you mention would have no reason to leave their current jobs in my opinion.
From Michael B
Dear Dawgman:
Also on the theme of making Husky Stadium louder before the game, why don't we go back to Don James tradition of coming out of the tunnel last? Get the crowd fired up just before kickoff.

A: The Pac-10 now makes the home team come out first. Washington doesn't get a choice in that matter.
From Mike Kim
Dear Dawgman:
Is it just me, or does the recruiting that the Huskies have done out of the JC ranks been sub par recently? As I understand it, JC players are recruited to fill a need and should contribute immediately. Francisco Tipoti, Eddie Jackson, Taylor Barton, Mike Mapu, and Jon Lyon all seemed to have brought great promise, but have not (or did not) played any real meaningful downs and are deep, deep in the depth chart. Seems like the ones that they really wanted like Gibril Wilson and Donte Nicholson go to other teams. They're calling Nicholson the second coming of Roy Williams. Seems like their evaluation of JC talent is lacking when in fact it should be easier to evaluate a player with college seasons under their belt. Thanks for the great site.

A: Washington's track record of recruiting JCs has been spotty at best. The reason why the UW got Corey Dillon was because Dick Baird stayed on top of him, all the time, for SIX YEARS. While Washington did try to keep tabs on Nicholson, they apparently didn't stay on top of him enough to prevent him from bolting when given the chance. It happens. Nicholson really did hurt, but his commitment to Oregon State the year before kind of let the cat out of the bag that his ties to the UW were superfluous at best. Usually you get a JC guy for immediately addressing a need. Mapu could've addressed a need but he was distracted with personal issues off the field that prevented his conditioning. It's unfortunate but you hope that John and the UW make the most out of his redshirt season. Barton, Tipoti, and Jackson didn't work out as planned, but Lyon looks like he will fit nicely. He's added immediate depth, as you'd hope from a JC. Washington should scour the JC ranks for a WT and a safety, in my opinion. There are two immediate needs. Also someone that can bring heat from the edge, but perhaps Ty Eriks is the guy there? We'll see.
From Aloha Mike
Dear Dawgman:
I'm writing in response to comments about the UW band. Not having been exposed to the band prior to '92', I can't make any comparisons then til now. My daughter was in the band and they came out of the tunnel. That was sooooo cool. Courtney said when the band started come on field from the east end zone that was sooooooooooooo cool. Did you see half time of the Indiana game? Didn't the toga party appeal to you? That was a good half time show. THE BAND DOES IT'S PART AT EVERY GAME. PERIOD!!!!!!!!!! The previous letter complaining about the band must be one of the many Husky fans THAT DON'T MAKE NOISE AT THE GAMES.

A: Thanks for your letter Mike.
From Jack Sonnichsen
Dear Dawgman:
I find it interesting that Coach Gilbertson and his staff are not recruiting Johnnie Kirton and apparently have given up on Aaron Klovas. Why do you think that is? I have been a dawg fan for over 40 years and I can honestly say that after watching the huskies through their first five games this year that I believe the level of talent on this team has really slipped. We may be the fourth most talented team in the Northwest. After the money we pay this coaching staff, I honestly think we have a bunch of pretty poor recruiters.

A: I'm not sure where you got the impression that this coaching staff had given up on Klovas. That is incorrect information. He is a priority of the UW, he is a kick-ass tackle and they need a few of those. Casey Bulyca is a great start at tackle, and Klovas would be a terrific bookend for the other side of the line. Is this staff good at recruiting? We'll see. Under Neuheisel, I thought they recruited very well, but I'm not sure that Gilby will have the same "plan" in place as far as the big picture of recruiting that his predecessor had. You may see a departure there.
From Josh in Anchorage, AK
Dear Dawgman:
I know this might seem like heresy, but whatever happened to benching a player having a bad game and making mistakes? Which running back would be left in after two fumbles? If Cody is not throwing well, missing receivers, and fumbling, why not bring him out, let him settle down a little. At the same time we could give some backups a chance to work in games when they are still being decided. I am afraid of seeing games like Ohio State where he is just struggling and things just get worse and worse. I am not saying he has to do it all but it would be nice if occasionally he could be the spark in tough games. I think Casey should have come in after that first series.

A: I'm not sure that bringing Casey in would help things, to be honest with you. I wonder how it would affect Pickett to sit a series or two, though. You raise an interesting point in getting some experience for the backups. And perhaps the game would slow down a bit more Cody to watch a series or two standing next to Gilby. It's obvious that #3 is trying too hard right now.
From Jim Gregson
Dear Dawgman:
Are we going to see a screen pass this year? Some of the biggest games in the last couple of years have been won with the screen pass, just ask Rich Alexis and Paul Arnold.

A: Alexis caught a 27-yarder just before halftime against UCLA. They've thrown several inside screens to ET and Reggie, and I saw a couple of bubble screens to Charles as well. They haven't worked great up to now, however.
From Keith N
Dear Dawgman:
Recently there have been a number of "fans" that have emailed you and basically bashed the Husky Marching Band and J. Brad McDavid. I have a few questions with the first and foremost being, have any of these "fans" ever been in a marching band or played an instrument at all? Instead of just insulting the band and stating that it's boring, where are the suggestions for shows that aren't boring. Suggestions from the fans are where all the shows are originating from. The British Invasion show that was performed during the Stanford game was started due to lots of requests for a Who show, a Phil Collins show, and a Beatles show. Where they not entertained by the John Williams and Aerosmith shows of last year? In Eugene last year, as the Husky Band took the field they were greeted by boos and thrown pennies, but after performing the John Williams show they left the field with stunned silence and cheers. If the band can win over Duck fans, what must they do to win over their own fans? Lastly, if these "fans" where any kind of musician or actually listened to the bands they come across, they would notice that unlike USC and many other bands, the Husky Band has a large variety of songs and plays them musically instead of repetitive and as loud as possible like USC. And just so you know, due to security tightening after 9/11 the only people allowed to enter or leave the stadium through the tunnel on game days are the teams themselves. That's an issue to be taken to the athletic department.

A: Thank you for your letter and for sharing your knowledge of the band. That is interesting, about the tunnel and why the band cannot come out of it anymore. Thanks for sharing that. I have to admit that The Who is one of my favorite bands of all time. Too bad the band couldn't get the drummers to smash their instruments at the end of the show (see THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT).
From No name given
Dear Dawgman:
Your predictions from last year about running the table in the Pac-10 are looking pretty ugly. You keep talking about how good the Dawgs will be every year and they continue to be ugly. The recent UCLA game was totally embarrassing. The game plan was far from intelligent. You are always so positive about our season but it never ends up that way. I am not sure Gilby is the man to run this program. He was not all that successful at Cal which resulted in a firing. When can we actually call a spade a spade and say the Dawgs are a mediocre team at best. A very weak secondary and poor play calling. As a TV fan you can predict most of the play calls. I am not still certain we have the right coaching staff in place or is it the fact we are not getting the quality football players at UW. I am so tired of watching games we should win. I know that no matter what my comments you will stay confident and predict a bowl game somewhere likely out of the USA. After 40 years of being a Husky fan I am ready to give it up and root for WSU, at least they compete and win. Why can't we turn this around, no more excuses. The Cougs have turned around their program without high profile athletes. So why isn't this ugliness addressed or do we not care anymore. Don James is gone and so is Lambright. Is that the last of the true coaches at UW? I know that your response will be positive towards this mediocre team, but please do not try to tell us how good we can be. I predict no better than a 5th place finish with an invitation to the Tacoma Bowl against the 4A state champion. I said it last year and I will say it again - this team has no HEART. Pickett makes too many bad decisions and Reggie needs to keep his mouth shut and just go out and perform. Talk and jive is cheap. Do it on the field, but again that is a coaching thing. Hopefully we will have a coaching staff next year. Again, the UCLA loss was totally embarrassing. Thank god we have Nevada on our schedule, it might salvage a .500 season, but I have my doubts. Maybe we should look at dropping football for men's badminton. For the fist time in 40 years I am ashamed to be a Husky fan. Looking forward to the Tidy Bowl in December.

A: All I can say is, WOW. You need to stop beating around the bush. When you said my prediction of running the table was looking pretty ugly, you were wrong. It is looking Very ugly . No charge for the therapeutic airing of your pain, but next time please include a name.
From Alan Wolfson
Dear Dawgman:
Due to the unfortunate circumstances with Juan Garcia (another blow to the line) will the Dawgs give a scholarship to a walk-on senior?

A: They will be able to award his scholarship to a walk-on if they wish, yes.
From Neil Alexander
Dear Dawgman:
Watching that UCLA game was so painful. It was like watching the Sun Bowl all over again from last January. The frustrating point was Pickett actually had a little time to through the ball in the second half (seemed like the line was holding their own) but no one was executing. I rationalized the Ohio State debacle telling myself that it was all because the o-line was getting beat - but that didn't seem to be the case against UCLA - just nobody executing. I would be thrilled if Zack Tui never gets another ball handed to him or thrown to him - he was awful. Similarly, it seems like everyone knows they can throw a few quick 10 yard hitches on Massey for a quick 30 to 40 yards in a series - ala Texas, Ohio State, Cal, and now UCLA. Is he truly our third best DB - no break on the ball because he gives them such a big cushion. Also, it seems like the coaches are more worried about spreading the ball around on offense rather than just going with what is working - what are your thoughts on this? They were moving the ball great until we started throwing to the backs and fourth option receivers! The running game seems to be improving, but I'm worried this is shaping up to be another 7-6 or 8-5 season and I was hoping for so much more. Please tell me they will fix the execution or get those players off the field!

A: They went away from Rich on the ground when they got behind, very true. They also didn't throw as much to Reggie, although plays were called where the ball was supposed to be thrown to #1. I think Cody may be trying too hard, and should probably get the ball to Reggie whenever he wants it. There is a lot to fix, but on the positive side, the running game looks better, way ahead of last year's effort. I also don't think you are giving Chris Massey credit for improving this year. He had a nice breakup of a ball near the goal line and has played much better this year. I do agree with you, watching the UCLA game was extremely painful. Up in the press box, it's a very helpless feeling when you want to throw your laptop out the window.

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