Editor's Note: Before you freak out, Chris Petersen, does not hate you, Husky Nation. He just doesn't like "Husky Nation". I couldn't resist the opportunity to put the headline into print. Enjoy the write-up.
If you happened to be stuck in the legendary Seattle traffic or were otherwise occupied with the news of Steve Ballmer posting and $2.0B bid for the Los Angeles Clippers (Donald Sterling will be rueing how he is the most hated man in America while he is lugging his money bags to the bank), then you missed a true rarity: Chris Petersen hosted a chat.
I'm sure when Coach Pete was first asked about doing a chat with Husky Fans, he probably envisioned a fireside-type of environment where he might sit down with a bunch of kids and parents at a YMCA, answer a few questions, bang on a few ping-pong balls, toss a few kids into a pool and then go about his day. But, the Seattle Times had something more virtual in mind. Thus, they produced an online chat this afternoon in which several of our own UW Dawg Pound brethren participated.
As might be expected whenever Chris Petersen engages in anything involving the media, there wasn't a lot of news. In fact, Petersen may as well have been previewing the Huskies 2014 offense with all of the misdirection that he provided following the incoming questions. That said, his chat wasn't a total waste and, in fact, had several entertaining moments not to mention a few nuggets of insight.
The first big twist that came out of the chat was Petersen revealing that he found the term "Husky Nation" rather blase. He requested chat participants submit other ideas for names.
CP: I have a question for everybody out there: I think we need a name for Husky Nation that doesn't use "nation." Everybody uses that. We need something new for our brand. Any ideas?
After basically rejecting suggestions like "Petersen's Posse", "The Montlake Machine" and "Legion of Dawgs", Petersen hinted at his admiration for this very blog with this little exchange:
Fan CD: Suggestion for alternative to HuskyNation: DAWGPOUND
CP: Dawg Pound -- that has a shot.
So, what you are saying is that we have a chance!!!!
There were a few other nuggets that jumped out if you were following the chat. Petersen hinted on a few occasions that he was already reaching a certain level of exasperation with the Seattle media. Here are a few such exchanges with our own Husky In Exile.
Husky in Exile: OK, we've heard stories about how you can be withdrawn or aloof. What gives? You certainly appear cheerful in every interview I've seen.CP: Rule No. 1: Don't believe the media!
Husky in Exile: Have you found the Seattle press to be more difficult than in Boise?CP: I was hoping you'd ask that question. YES!
Other Dots that I picked up from the chat:
- QB Cyler Miles appears to be reintegrating with the team very well and will have a full shot in the QB competition this fall.
- Petersen doesn't expect that the Huskies will be fully comfortable with the details of the new systems being installed until sometime next offseason.
- Coach's family will finally be joining him in Seattle within the next two weeks! Great news as I know how hard it is to be separated from family (though I'm sure the dynamic is different with older kids).
- Jonathan Smith will definitely call the plays, though Coach Pete harbors secret (or maybe not-so-secret) desires to do so himself.
- One interesting thing that Petersen noted, which AC tweeted out, is that while he believes discipline is critical, he does not feel that penalties have "any bearing" on wins and losses. I imagine several Husky fans cringed at that statement.
- After one reader asked about the importance of the trenches, CP tipped his hand on what positions he most values:
- To my surprise, Petersen revealed that no single player has established himself as a clear leader in the offseason noting that the staff was "still working on that" and referencing the importance of seniors in stepping up.
- Running back appears to be a position that his heavy on Coach Pete's mind:
- Petersen noted that he was in favor of all conferences playing the same number of in-conference games in a season, but was indifferent to whether that was eight or nine games.
- CP called Coach Sacha is the best strength and conditioning coach in the NCAA, but the Huskies have to translate their excellent "combine" results into on the field performance.
- 2014 "Breakout Player" candidates he cited include: Lavon Coleman, Coleman Shelton, Jermaine Kelly and Keishawn Bierria
- Coach kayaks to work. Damn, that sounds good.
Bill: It's often said football starts and ends with the offensive and defensive lines. There seems to be good depth and experience this season. Any comments here?
CP: I do think there's some truth to that statement. I think more specifically you better have a big-time defensive end, a big-time corner, a great quarterback and one tough running back.
CP: We didn't have all of our guys healthy during spring, so Dwayne Washington is still a question; Jesse Callier is still a question; Deontae Cooper. So we'll have to see how they progress in the fall. Lavon Coleman and Ralph Kinne were the two who stayed the healthiest, so we have a good evaluation on those two.
In all, it was an enjoyable chat that, while light on news, provided a few more glimpses into the being of Chris Petersen.