We talked a little about culture change after Steve Sarkisian was hired. We talked about what Don James and Jim Owens did to take control of their teams. We spoke of Owens famous "Death March" and the "James Tower" above the practice field.
Two assistant coaches that are really going to help change the tone are Nick Holt and Dan Cozzetto.
I think the offensive line will be pivotal in determining any success the 2009 squad will be able to muster. I think we have the skill players to get by but the offense won't move unless we can rush the ball and protect the passer.
The consensus we heard on Cozzetto was that he was too hard on the kids the last time he was here. Those comments came from players and parents. He got in peoples faces like a Marine drill instructor. He called Stanley Daniels at 6:00 AM one morning and told him today would be the day he would quit football. Cozzetto is intense and Steve Emtman says his hire is worth two more victories next season.
Cozzetto only stayed one year at Washington and the OL improved a bit during his stay. It is just as tough to rate an OL coach after one year as it is a player. History does show that in a 29 year career spent coaching mostly for Dennis Erickson that the he is one of the best in the conference. Cozzetto is an unyielding task master that will work the current guys into the ground until they can get it right.
AAndy who writes Meanderings over on Dawgman had this comment earlier this month.
With all the goodwill extended to Sark & his excellent staff...How have returning players taken to the abrupt change?...For some...the new regime is not very comfortable at all...Then again Sark & Co. are looking for football players committed to winning...Wait until they raise the tempo another notch!
AAndy didn't know this at the time he wrote it but hiring Cozzetto is a huge change in tempo if you are an offensive lineman.
How about this one I picked up in the chat room over at Dawgman in the chat room a couple of weeks ago. Coaches showing emotion? What is that all about?
Apparently at a recent team meeting Sark blew up at the team as he was talking the kids were listening to their ipods and texting. F bombs were flying and Holt was banging his head against the wall. Apparently it went on for awhile and they were pissed.
Can you imagine Holt banging his head against the wall?
Sarkisian impresses me as a very smart guy that isn't going to take any crap. He is going to set the proper boundaries from the get go with his young team. Most will buy in at least part way and some won't as you will see when the spring roster is announced.
How about Holt pounding his head against the wall? You have to love that! Can you imagine Willingham pounding his head against the wall and dropping F-Bombs?
Changing the attitude on defense is a huge part of the recovery of this team. I think Holt will be able to fire these kids up and get a maximum effort out of them each week. I think we have the talent to play much better.
There needs to be a lot of urgency on everyone's part because the Huskies play LSU and USC in two of their first three games. Nobody in their right mind expects Washington to win these two games. What we do expect is to be competitive and make a game out of it.
Good football feeds on emotion. Good football and emotion were two things that have been missing for four years at Washington. The culture change that the coaching staff is bringing to the team will bring back emotion and great football to Washington.
It may not mean wins against LSU and USC next season but the Tigers and the Trojans will be sore the next day.