Thanks to those that wrote in. Well, the Dawgs didn't avoid the upset on the road and now everyone and their brother is an expert and wants Gilbertson fired. OK, that's an understandable reaction, given the passion surrounding Husky football, and given the pathetic opponent that beat the Dawgs. I can't wait to see the reaction if the Dawgs lose to Cal. Well, maybe I can. And now onto the letters . . .

From Atomic Dawg
Dear Dawgman
Love the site Dawgman, but like anybody else I can't stand to see what's happening... I like Gilbertson but am far from sold on the idea that he is the man for the job. I hate to think he would stay on another year and we would pass up a shot at having a Mike Stoops or Gary Pinkel take over. I just don't see much to build on here. Anyways my take/question for you is why all of the sudden do people say that this team has no talent, or Neuheisel couldn't recruit. We consistently out recruited 8 of 10 teams in the PAC year in and year out during Neuheisel's reign. We got a lot of guys other schools wanted. I agree the talent was not developed very well by the coaches but the majority of the Pac10 would have loved to have our recruiting classes. The only excuse of those being thrown around I am willing to accept is that Gilby took over in a rough situation, which is true, so did Lambright. But we are losing to inferior competition and not competing with comparable teams like we should (OSU and UCLA). I guess my question is why are you optimistic about Gilby, other than the running game, can anybody name one improvement on the team (including morale)? I just don't see the reason for optimism. THANKS.

A: I think the talent at the skill positions is great. Add to that some safeties that can hit, a defensive end that can get up field, and a tight end that can actually spread the field and this team is just fine. Injuries and lack of depth is what caught up with the Dawgs this year. That and a less-than-smooth coaching change. I'm not willing to pull the plug on Gilby yet, but your reasons for optimism are definitely tougher to find. I thought this year would be a great one with a senior QB, depth on the lines, two great new additions to the coaching staff, and a senior TB. That sure didn't work out, did it?
From Garrett Lorton
Dear Dawgman:
Although I couldn't watch the game yesterday I managed to listen to it on the radio. To say I was disgusted is an understatement. Two false starts in a row on the final drive to pull this fiasco out! What the hell was that? This year all I heard out of Rick's mouth before he was fired and out of Gilbys since is a return to the mental toughness that is husky football. Between untimely turnovers (CODY I'M TALKING TO YOU AS USUAL), and bone head penalty's I'm simply sick of it. I'm also very confused at Gilby's play calling too. I watched the replay today and in the first play Kenny James was feeling it. he had like 60 yards on 12 carries at half. He only got a handful of hand offs after that. Why? My only question is where does the finger of blame get pointed? This team is way too talented to play this kind of soft football.

A: Kenny James looked terrific, UNTIL he suffered a thigh pull. After that he was not the same and Gilby had to go to Sampson, who's a different type of runner. The penalties are perplexing to me as well, not so much the number of them, but the timing. It's been awful. Kids need to learn how to line up. The procedure penalties were on receivers, and that's frustrating. The mental toughness is going to take a little time to instill. This team is soft, and does not respond well when it faces adversity. That has to change.
From John in LA
Dear Dawgman:
Needless to say the debacle in the desert was disappointing. Beyond the obvious it points up a couple of important issues. Do you believe Gilby is a bit stubborn in sticking with Cody even though Cody was erratic and Paus played so well? Loyalty is great but Cody is the past and quite frankly is one of the most over rated QBs around. It is tiring to hear TV and radio commentators fawn over how tough he is as if that is an adequate trade off for lack of production. Will Pause get a chance at Cal? Thanks.

A: Gilby is very loyal to Pickett, true. But Pickett really is a better quarterback than Paus, it's not even that close. However, I think Cody might benefit from watching some of the game standing next to Keith and John (Pettas) for a series or two. And Casey did play very well in his half of action against Oregon. He was asked not to lose it, and he didn't. He threw some beauties and he threw some poor ones, but he didn't lose it. Hats off to him for that. I do know that Gilby will have a much shorter leash with Cody against Cal than he did against Arizona. To Cody's credit, he did lead a nice comeback against the Wildcats, it's a shame he missed Reggie when he did. I wanted to throw my laptop out the press box window, but we were totally encased, thus all it would've done is knock over Dick Baird's coffee.
From Phil S
Dear Dawgman:
I don't really have a question, I just have to get this off my chest. I get so sick of reading all the posts and letters from Husky fans who want to fire all the coaches and start from scratch. Gilby right now is the man for the job, and he should be given the chance to prove himself. He's the man because he is a Husky, period. If Gilby wants to change some personnel, fine. The way I look at it, we are starting from scratch after the bomb dropped on the Husky program by Neuheisel. I keep remembering a post I read by a Colorado fan when the Huskies were sky high during the Rose bowl season in Neuheisel's second year. He said to give Rick a couple more seasons to run the program into the ground the way he did at Colorado. And sure enough, he did. Rick won with players already in the program who carried over the Husky mentality that Lambo had. Not the highest rated recruiting classes but they were tough as nails. Now the players in the program are all Rick's recruits, and while they are talented, the mentality is soft. Don't get me wrong, I'm attached to the guys we have, they wear Husky purple and gold. They just need to learn to play like Huskies. I almost think this season shouldn't be counted against Gilby because he's just trying to pick up the pieces and clean up Rick's mess from the off-season. The game against Oregon was very encouraging in seeing that maybe Gilby is instilling that Husky mentality. It feels like I'm watching Husky football again. And while I know it was wrong for Khalif Barnes to go off the way he did on his personal foul for that late hit after the play, it showed how fired up the team's leaders were. It was a dumb thing to do, but dang it, the guy was playing with passion. I can forgive him for that. That kind of passion and tough mentality translates into wins if it's contained and channeled into legal play. The team was fired up like they were in the second half against Miami 9 yrs ago, and if I could feel that at home watching on TV, I can only imagine the electricity in the air at Husky Stadium! I, for one, will only start judging Gilby's performance in 3 seasons. That's how long it took for Rick's true influence to show. I'm thinking we will like what we see. If not, I'll concede it's time for a change. Patience, my friends.

A: Nice vent. No charge (grin). And congrats for not joining the lynch mob that is being assembled perhaps two years too early.

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