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Washington Waddler

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  1. It’s difficult to grade a first year head coach who is going through a ‘sorting-out’ season, characterized by establishing his own culture, and allowing the safety net (otherwise known as the transfer portal) to catch those who perhaps are realizing they’re now going to have to work harder for their stars than previous head coaches had demanded of them. Because that process affects team focus, I’d give DL an A for effort, and a solid B for results. Does make me yearn at times for the cultural stability of the Brooks/Bellotti years when players knew what to expect and felt they could trust it to stick around. Hope we get to see something akin to that again!
  2. Yeah, part of me wants to step-back and say, is the road to elite success that duh OSU and that other hand-full follow really where we want to end up as fans? On the other hand, two losses in a row to the Beavers?
  3. Nothing lasts forever; at least that’s worthwhile. I’m admittedly old school, so I value the Rose Bowl just because it’s not like the new stadiums that cater to new habits of convenience, and try to replicate your temperature controlled indoor living room with 80” screen, cushy chair and frig just down the hall. For that matter, I like any decrepit outdoor stadium just because they’re trying to sell only one thing: football.
  4. Once again, a great example of why winning teaches you one thing, and one thing only: you like it. We all do, and we suffer when it doesn’t happen. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, “We feel your pain.” But, unbelievably painful losses like we just experienced are also golden opportunities — if you’re willing to seize them — and I don’t see Dan Lanning as the type who backs away from a hard challenge. As much as we hate losses like these, they open the door to what we need to do, and where we need to go. The thing about the past is you don’t have to have lived it to learn from it, and if you know anything about the Ducks, you know we’ve been here before, learned from it, and got back on track — many times. It’s that type of Oregon smarts and tenacity that makes me cling to that old cliché when we hit bumps in the road like this: when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
  5. Thanks for some greatly needed perspective Eric. While inexperience can become too easy an excuse for poor performance, I still feel any first-time head coach who lacks any working knowledge of the league he is about to do battle in is at a great disadvantage when it comes to understanding the unique nature of what it’s going to take to win those inches and seconds in that league’s biggest rivalry games. Understanding the focus required from similar situations in another league certainly helps, but it’s only by experiencing the distinct nature of these new emotionally-charged rivalries that instills in a new head coach what it’s going to take and how to prepare. Lanning will get there, but you don’t walk into Washington or Oregon State games for the first time knowing what to expect.
  6. Because of the loss of players to both the portal and injury, Kelly’s team remains in a ‘wait and see’ development stage as both Philly and the freshmen gain real time reps and get up to speed. I think Graves would agree with that. Kelly’s re-tooling of his recruiting philosophy — moving towards a leaner and faster approach that forces a higher degree of focus from a bench that knows it’s only minutes away from live action — has me excited as it appears to be gaining traction; but, unavoidably remains a work in progress because of the ups and downs of developing freshmen into consistent contributors. As AM suggests, the continuing offensive development of Kyei will greatly effect the focus of opposing defenses, and further free-up our veteran guards who we must rely upon for the foreseeable future. On my wish list is to see Philly develop a pull-up 5 footer that would freeze opposing bigs, and further disrupt attempts to contain our guards. She has a nice shooting touch, so practice could add that to her tool box.
  7. I think anyone who finds themselves more engaged by the NIL process than by the process of finding high school students who identify and want to be a part of your university football program probably identify much more with the NFL process than they do the traditional college football process.
  8. It’s never easy to gauge the effect on a coach who is being offered the chance to ride into his home state and alma mater like the cavalry come to save the day. You could call it the Mario effect. It probably tugs at such a guy like a magnet. And if enough money is being thrown at them it can tip the scale. You just hope that KD is as smart as they think he is, and lets the emotional pull and money wash over him until he can come to a clear understanding of what is at stake. If he does that, it’s hard to imagine him walking into that mine field.
  9. It’s one thing to be an assistant coach focused on your own group in the super-charged atmosphere of a big time, over-heated rivalry game, and another being the head coach responsible for not letting those emotions take charge, and losing touch with the calm, cold focus which is what wins games like these. It’s likely Lanning experienced this type of atmosphere quite a few times with Smart, and observed how his head coach handled it — sometimes well, sometimes not so well. But in either case, it can’t really prepare you for the first time when you’re in charge of keeping a firm grip on the bull’s horns, and just how tough a task that is to do. But that’s how the good ones learn, and I’m in agreement with others: give Dan a bit more time in the saddle while assembling his pieces, and he’ll get there.
  10. That’s what Huskies need to understand is meant when they say, “Bow-Down”.
  11. I don’t wish the Cane fans any ill will. They’re just fans, like anywhere else. But the best advice to them or any other fan base when desperation to be a winner is taking over? Be careful for what you wish because you just might get it. Have to say as a Duck fan: glad you got your wish!
  12. Sounds just like the I-5 traffic going into Seattle. And don’t forget, they’re also the ones with their heads out the window, slack-jawed with slobber running off their tongues onto the windshield of the car behind them.
  13. As always, I’m interested in the subjective, non-quantifiable outcomes of games played. If you at all believe in the theory that winning teaches you that you like it, and losing teaches you everything else, then the Georgia game proved to be the ultimate focus tool for the coaches in their attempt to get the team’s attention. Judging from the results post Georgia, seemed to have worked.
  14. Special arrangements aside, the tradition (not sure if it’s part of the rule book) has always been that away teams wear white jerseys, but the pant color is optional, in which case the puppies could wear purple.
  15. Know how late this is, but when Saban talks it’s all careful, controlled, and — like a lawyer — knows the answer before he asks the question: pure but boring defense. When Leech talks it’s like a guy noodling for catfish or taking a swing at a hornets nest like it was a piñata: pure take my chances offense.
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