Tag Archives: USC

Huskies Land Big Fish in Football

Sure, the Dawgs were spurned by a couple of former players kids when Josh Garnett (Scott Garnett’s son) and Zack Banner (Lincoln Kennedy’s son) chose Stanford and USC respectively over their pop’s alma mater. Yes, it hurts but let’s be real. Maybe these guys wanted to make a mark in a school different than where their fathers played. I get that.

But all is not lost…

Steve Sarkisian landed an even bigger fish. Shaq Thompson is the #1 rated safety in the country and one the top 5 players nationally. Certainly, all these kids still need to perform, but this was a coup for the Huskies. They also picked up a few more kids from California this evening and their class is rounding into fine shape.

You never know what you’re getting. Sometimes kids don’t pan out. But, on a week that sets the stage for years to come, the Dawgs should be pleased even if they didn’t land Garnett and Banner. The best of the bunch may be heading to Montlake!

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

 

 

Monday Morning QB – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Let’s start with the “Ugly” and work backwards. I like ending on a high note…

High School Football – I was at the North Kitsap – Bremerton game Friday night. Bremerton dominated. RB Kyle Kennedy (amended) reminds me of John Riggins. They trounced the home-standing Vikings and deserve accolades for the win. Why is this an “Ugly?” Because Bremerton coach Nate Gillem allowing his team to humiliate an opponent is totally classless. Bremerton intercepted a Viking pass on their own 3-yard line with only a couple of minutes left in the game. They were winning 35-7. Game over, right? Wrong.

After getting out of the shadow of their goal line, Bremerton preceded to pass the ball downfield (with their starters) to attempt to score again. They threw long, they ran trick plays, as NK coach Steve Frease screamed at them from the other side of the field with his finger pointing to…the scoreboard.

With seconds to go, Bremerton ran a reverse play to score a TD. Not an off-tackle, not a dive, but a reverse. Thank goodness they were called for holding, so it didn’t stand. They then kneeled down to end the game, but the damage was done.

Gillem explained they needed the win (already firmly in place by only 4 tD’s). He also said he let his players call the plays. Great. So that’s why every coach on your sideline was encouraging the players to score. Sportsmanship needs to at least stay in high school sports. In an era where parents are out of control on expectations, and kids are being wooed by colleges at younger and younger ages, you’d hope coaches would at least show some measure of respect and charity. I’m all about winning. I’m not about humiliating kids and coaches in front of their fans. Coach Nate Gillem was way over the line and should be reprimanded. His players should have been in the spotlight after the game. Not him.

Bad – the Seattle Seahawks offense. Fortunately for them, the “Ugly” went to someone else. Special teams won the game the previous week. No such luck in St. Louis. Coach Carroll has 2 weeks to figure out a way to make first downs, much less touchdowns. This is getting to be as anemic as the Mariners offense. And they at least had Felix Hernandez to help them out every 5 days. Oh, wait. They never scored runs when he pitched. Never mind.

Good – Spectacular – Tremendous – Jake Locker was left for dead by the national media and even members of his local media and fans. Like the Phoenix, he rose from the ashes and single-handedly led his team to a huge victory in Los Angeles over USC. Nebraska? A distant memory. 1-0 in conference and one win closer to a bowl game. If it took the Nebraska loss to catapult them into a positive Pac-10 season, I’ll take that loss every time. That could very well be a season-defining win for this team.

P.S. My daughter and I tied for the Fantasy Baseball bragging rights. I guess we will have to break that tie next year!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Book Review – Win Forever by Pete Carroll

I just finished reading Pete Carroll’s book, Win Forever. I have to admit when I picked it up at the airport to read on my trip, that I wasn’t planning on being overly impressed. I thought I was simply getting a football book and I wanted to learn more about the Seahawks new coach. I have to say that I’m very impressed.

The Win Forever philosophy espoused by Carroll is one I have always held but never able to express as well as he has. The whole concept is about competing (which we heard from Day 1), but not only in football but in life. I walked away with a couple of pages of notes on themes I will carry forward into my personal and professional life. When that happens, you know a book has been valuable.

I find it fascinating that when Carroll was hired at USC after nearly 18 years in the NFL as a coach, coordinator, and head coach, he was thought to be a “pro guy” and wouldn’t succeed on the college level. Now, 10 years later, he is thought of as a “college guy” who can’t possibly inspire men. Ironic.

In reading Carroll’s book, I genuinely come away liking the guy, the coach, and the traits. I believe the guy is a winner. The process in Seattle will not be quick, but I believe there is a purpose behind it. Heck, he started out 2-5 in his first 7 games at USC. From then on, it was a glorious ride.

I recommend the book for a couple of reasons:

1 – It’s got a terrific message. The philosophy of being positive and competing in all you do resonates in everyone’s life. I walked away pumped up and ready to play!

2 – Get to know the coach who is leading your team. Yes, I know he came from our arch-rival, however so did his protege Steve Sarkisian and he turned out okay so far. In fact, his Trojan background quickly faded with success, and I anticipate the same with Pete.

I’m glad I bought the book. It’s an insightful, compelling and good read.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Stanley Cup and Pac-ish

The Chicago Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup since before I was born (they last won in 1961). This is a shout-out to all my pals from the Windy Cindy on what mist be a joyous day.

On the homefront, it’s been busy with Pac-ish “stuff:”

1 – USC just got drilled. Sanctions due to the Reggie Bush fiasco has cost them a 2-year bowl ban and what may be much worse – severely limited scholarships for the next three years. Washington had two years of scholarship reductions in the mid-90’s and it took 5 years to recover. Ironic that this mostly focuses on Reggie Bush just like Billy Joe Hobert was the “criminal” in the UW debacle.

2 – Colorado is now official. I expect up to five more schools to join – Texas and Oklahoma being the most notable. Actually adds some excitement to not just football, but to the entire cadre of sports.

3 – How tough will it be for USC to climb out of this hole now? It used to be you needed to jump over about half the teams in the conference. Now, the competition on the field and on the recruiting trail will be so tough…this may be an incredibly difficult hurdle to overcome.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Seahawks Now Playing with the Williams Boys

Step back in time about 6 years. Had you heard that the Seattle Seahawks had just signed (in the same day) Washington WR Reggie Williams and USC product Mike Williams, you would have been ecstatic. It would have been a dream come true for the Seahawks Nation and Matt Hasselbeck, right? Well Seahawks Nation, your dream has come true. But now 6 years later, it’s barely front page news in the sports section.

Both WR’s recently signed contracts to attend training camp in July. Their efforts at last week’s mini-camp gave them that opportunity.  For both of them, it could be their final chance.

Six years ago, these guys were the cream of the WR crop coming out of college. Reggie Williams was the 9th overall pick in the 2004 draft by Jacksonville. I watched the guy play at Washington. He was a freak. Great athleticism and speed. Lots of yards after catch. A “can’t miss” player. Mike Williams (no relation) came out the next year leaving USC early. He was the 10th overall pick by the Detroit Lions. M-Williams was the quintessential big WR. He was exactly the right guy to be the “go to guy” for any teams passing game. What happened?

To be honest, I’m not sure. Bad decisions and injuries plagued Reggie. I’m not sure what the problem with Mike was, but he never came close to realizing his potential. Neither played in 2009.

Reggie earned a shot at mini camp probably because of his local ties to Lakes HS and the U-Dub. Mike got the chance due to his ties with new Hawks coach Pete Carroll being his coach in Los Angeles. Both were signed and will have an opportunity to make this team. Both would have to be considered long shots.

But, in a perfect scenario, can you close your eyes an envision both of the Williams boys finding the 80% of the skill they once had and bringing it to Qwest Field? If they both pan out (I know, I know, it’s a lng shot) the Hawks will have taken a significant step forward into being able to move the ball forward in their passing game. And Matt Hasselbeck will indeed then be thrilled.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Lane Kiffin to USC – A Stab in the Back to Tennessee

Lane Kiffin just screwed Tennessee.

Hired only a year ago, he bolts the university (taking with him staff) only three weeks before the letter of intent day.  It puts Tennessee football in a precarious position, with no coach, recruits leaving, and long-term ramifications for the program.

At what point does ethics come into play? Kiffin was being paid big bucks to take on a major power.  He has let down every kid he recruited last year and this year; every player on the team; and the university.  You might say, “What about the Seahawks starting this whole mess by firing Jim Mora after just one year?”  Here’s the difference…

  • Mora still will cash a cool $12 million over the next three years.
  • You’re dealing with professional athletes, not student-athletes.
  • I understand college football is big business, but these are still 17-22 year old kids you are sticking a knife into.

I’m sure Kiffin and USC are perfect for each other. I understand it’s business. However, in this case it was bad business. specially for the University of Tennessee and its football players.

Dan