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Mailbag: “Post Apeterocalypse” Edition

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Washington State v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Squat347: With Coach Pete stepping down, how does this affect the current recruiting picture?

Golden Dawg: How do you see Chris Petersen leaving, with Lake taking over, affecting our recruiting? One knock on Petersen that I’ve always read on this blog is that his ‘OKG’ methodology doesn’t necessarily resonate with blue blood type players. Will Lake’s swagger prove to be more successful on the recruiting front? With that said... do you think Smalls stays with us?

i8ntda1DAWG: To me i felt during CPs tenure,the BFL program had somewhat of a “Good Boy” feel to it,lacking that “Bad Boy” edge and attitude.Dont get me wrong i appreciate what CP did for this program,but i just felt at times that his teams lacked energy and ATTITUDE.Coach James teams had a swag and that tough lunch pale,construction attitude,to where CPs teams had that Private School jock,don’t break the rules kind of vibe. Which route does lake take?

UWDP: We obviously know a lot more about this than when you all submitted these questions. But the answer is that it hasn’t negatively impacted recruiting even one bit. Which is pretty amazing. It’s a testament to Jimmy Lake, but it also most definitely speaks to Chris Petersen’s method of soliciting a commitment. While some coaches will create an environment of hysteria and outsized hype around recruiting that borders on semi-controlled chaos, Petersen has almost entirely avoided playing to emotion in his time as a head coach. I don’t know what the “average” rate of sticking to a commitment is, but as a Husky fan, I’ve been able to feel exceptionally secure that a commitment from a high schooler is going to wind up with a player enrolling at Washington. Some fans love the drama surrounding signing day, and some coaches seem to as well (at least a little). And while no drama for Washington means none of the “good” surprises that some teams might get, there is absolutely something to be said for knowing what you’re going to get, especially when what you get is as good as it’s been here lately.

While it’s very likely that Don James had more players that would qualify as “edgy” than does Petersen, I think that fans and the media tend to conflate “energy,” “swagger,” “attitude,” etc. with “winning.” Nobody thought that mid-to-late 80’s Husky teams had those things. It’s also sort of a chicken-or-the-egg thing: Does winning beget swagger, or does swagger beget winning?

Dawgoner: Awhile back, I asked if Coach Peterson didn’t fix the Offense, who goes first, him or Sam Huard? Enough said. Thank you Coach Peterson

UWDP: The last thing I’m going to do is get the in the way of this point that you’ve clearly made. So yes, enough said.

ChicagoDog: What’s the track record for successful head coaches stepping aside for upcoming assistants? Any recent Pac12 examples? Only one I can think of is Belotti taking the AD role at Oregon so Chip Kelly could be promoted

UWDP: If you mean a successful head coach stepping down specifically so that an assistant could take the job, I can’t think of another example anywhere outside of Chip Kelly at Oregon. So, we aren’t talking about fired coaches. Even the worst jobs in the conference aren’t really stepping stone jobs, so there aren’t many examples of a coach moving on for a promotion outside of the NFL. Mark Helfrich took over for Kelly, had great short-term success, but then failed spectacularly. Same with Bill Doba at WSU. David Shaw took over for Jim Harbaugh with similar results, but has maintained a plateau of his own higher than either of those. Those two probably rode the wave of the previous regime before proving that they weren’t head coach material, whereas Shaw doesn’t burn as hot as Harbaugh, but has carved his own path. Lane Kiffin was a recent former assistant at USC when Pete Carroll left, but he wasn’t there right at the time, and USC was such a mess with sanctions that it wouldn’t be a fair evaluation. Clay Helton took over for Steve Sarkisian first on an interim basis and then permanently; his record in the conference is actually good, but that’s largely a factor of having Sam Darnold, and his tenure has been mixed (generously) at best. If you move outside of the conference there are obviously more examples: Bryan Harsin has done well at Boise State taking over for Chris Petersen, although a notch below the man himself.

I’m sure there are examples of improving upon the success of a predecessor, but I can’t think of any (outside of Kelly).

Golden Dawg: Chris Peterson. Wow. Wish him nothing but the best, and I hope that if he does coach again, it is not in the PAC-12. But what’s next? Lake is more than capable to lead a program, and I imagine our young defense still takes the next step next year. But what about our offense? Is Hamden out? Is there going to be a huge recruiting fallout?

Gu1966: Best guess as to the future of Bush Hamdan- does Lake cut him loose, demote him to QB coach and bring in a new OC or give him an opportunity to run an offense that isn’t CP’s offense? What players might leave beyond anyone declaring early for the draft? Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant could be graduate transfers for example. Lastly, what’s your assessment of Lake’s strengths and weaknesses in his new position?

ChicagoDog: Call your shot, which assistants are retained and which ones are let go?

Starrman: After the bowl game what are the most realistic changes that our new coach will make? Assistant coach changes and shifts, offensive philosophy?

MONTLAKEJAKE84: It sounds like Lake has a big announcement coming in short order, dare I ask is it regarding the state of the staff or of the offense? Maybe another big Woof? I saw it was alluded to in a tweet earlier.

i8ntda1DAWG: All respect to Coach Petersen and for what he has done for our beloved University.Now that he is leaving,How much if any change or difference will it be for Hamden to run “Petersens” offense? Was he handcuffed to CPs system?

RockDawg: Brad, it’s a clean sheet for the offense for Jimmy Lake, two questions: 1) knowing the current personnel, do you have a style you hope they will run; 2) Is there any particular person you hope Coach Lake brings ion to run the offense?

Gilly: Hamdan obviously takes the lions share of the fans blame for the offensive struggles this year, but do we really know how much this is “his” offense as opposed to Petersens? In other words, if Hamdan had full reign to re-create his own offense without Petersen looking over his shoulder, what would the offense look like?

UWDP: So here’s my take on what we know so far as it relates to the assistant coaches, and to an extent, recruiting as well:

Petersen stepped down early enough that potential recruits had plenty of time to reassess what they’re going to do in 2020. I don’t know if the timing of the announcement had anything to do with recruiting, or if it was just Petersen's choice.

Jimmy Lake isn’t really the head coach right now, there’s still another game in the season, and any coach he would want to hire as an assistant is less likely to make any sort of move now than he would be in January. But Lake is also tasked with finishing the recruiting class, and really has no choice but to utilize the resources that he has (the current assistant coaches). One of two things is happening, or going to happen: Either Lake is assuring recruits that their position coaches are staying on board, or he’s not saying anything either way (which isn’t likely considering that the players are certain to ask), or he’s saying one thing and then going to do people dirty in a month or so when the season ends, the way that Husky fans have criticized other coaches for doing around signing day every year. Lake is in a tough spot - he absolutely needs the resources currently at his disposal for the short term, but he also absolutely deserves to establish the team identity and staff that he wants for the long term. Transparency is almost impossible to achieve (“Hey, thanks for hosting me and coach Huff in your home. Not sure if Coach Huff will be around next year or not, but he’s still here helping me secure your commi-Hey Scott, where you goin’, man?”)

If the staff doesn’t come back intact, then people are going to get screwed. Some are professionals that should probably at least sort of expect it due to the nature of the job (the coaches), and some are kids. That’s too bad. The answer for them is simple - don’t sign a National Letter of Intent. Just sign the scholarship agreement. Any kid that finds himself in a bad spot has to see that he’s complicit in putting himself there - if he signs the LOI.

I really don’t have particularly strong affinity for anyone on the staff outside of Lake and Pete Kwiatkowski. There are some guys that have done some good things but don’t have “perfect” results, and I certainly have no issue with them coming back for the value they add.

Lake specifically mentioned an “attacking” offense. Bush Hamdan runs Chris Petersen’s offense, and when it has weapons, it can most definitely attack. Hamdan makes sense out of continuity, but that is the absolute only way. He’s not an experienced coach, he’s not one with a deep Rolodex of potential assistants to fill an offensive staff, he doesn’t really have an identity. I don’t like the simplistic pass blocking scheme the Huskies have run; maybe Huff has only done so because it was Petersen’s desire, and maybe Petersen hired him because that’s what Huff does best. His recruiting has a lot of momentum, but unless Lake sticks with the same scheme or Huff is well-versed enough to coach something dramatically distinct, it does not make sense to keep Huff for his recruiting alone (which then ties back into Hamdan - would he have the chops to help identify and then attract a top-tier offensive line coach?). I can offer very little in terms of assessing Keith Bhonapha; he’s the recruiting coordinator, and I assume that that’s an important role. As a running backs coach? Nice work with Myles Gaskin. Junior Adams is purely an incomplete.

Jimmy Lake is certainly smart enough to trust the resources he has for advice and counsel on stuff like this. His main adviser is, of course, Chris Petersen, who hired the current staff and probably thinks it’s pretty good.....

If there was a coach responsible for “holding back” Washington’s offense, I simply do not see it being Petersen, and it’s not close. Hamdan has no real track record to lean on. I still do not believe that it was an issue of either Hamdan or Petersen in a vacuum. All of the coaches bear the burden of obtaining quality execution from their units, consistently. That most definitely did not happen. There was a team-wide failure of coaching that is ultimately responsible for the inconsistency of the 2019 team, on both sides of the ball. In terms of the biggest bites available to improve things in 2020, I don’t think they’re at the level of play calling, or “not being handcuffed,” or whatever. We’ll see if it happens, or how it happens.

If what Lake envisions is an “attacking” pro style offense, then you and I shouldn’t expect too much to be different in 2020 (except, hopefully, the level of success). If he wants to be more aggressive, I really like the Air Raid/Smash Spread stuff that Oklahoma and USC have done lately. They incorporate many of the great things of the Hal Mumme/Mike Leach passing game, but still have a physical presence running the ball (see: Oklahoma’s trademark GT Counter). Kliff Kingsbury parlayed getting the ziggy from his alma mater into being one of the hottest names on every NFL team’s short list last offseason, and Graham Harrell at USC has seemingly ridden Kingsbury’s coattails, possibly because people don’t actually know which is which (like me). Harrell is now the lynch pin to USC’s success next year (heh), but the guy that I think is intriguing (and to be clear this is NOT because I actually know anything about him that isn’t on wikipedia) is Bill Bedenbaugh, the offensive line coach and co-OC at Oklahoma. He’s an annual finalist for the Broyles Award given to the top assistant coach in the NCAA, he’s known as a great recruiter, and he’s only making $750k right now. I like OCs to be former offensive linemen, it just seems like they have a better vantage point for how all things have to work together.

No matter what happens, it’s status quo at least through the bowl game (which will also cover early signing day). After that, we’ll see. Husky fans have great expectations about the offense in particular, I’m sure. If I was betting money, I’d put it on Lake sticking with what he knows best.

djselak: Why is coach Pete leaving. Is it wanting to go somewhere else because the Seattle media has murdered him instead of Hamdan?

Mountain Man: Comment/question. I have watched for years a relatively small % of husky “fans” crap all over both players and coaches over and over and over. As an example, I’ve seen a small but vocal bunch dump all over Jake Browning to the point where Myles Gaskin came to his defense publicly and Jake told folks these folks to go pack sand. Sad ending for a great, great Husky -- one of my all time favorites. (These same “fans” still post negative comments about him regularly.) Now Petersen steps away and I have to wonder if he didn’t grow sick of the crap -- similar to Browning’s sentiments. Questions... how much do you think the noise of today (twitter, blogs, media, etc.) sucked the joy out of coaching for CP and led to his resignation? More specifically, do you think some small % of the husky fans played a meaningful role in CP leaving? Do you think any UW “fans” who seem to love bashing coaches and players may learn anything from this and alter their on line bahavior going forward? I mean some pointed criticism is one thing... But I’m talking about the nonstop bashing by a few loudmouths.

UWDP: I think the general, dull roar of unsatisfaction mattered a lot. That isn’t to say Chris Petersen retired to avoid the criticism of fans, or even that Seattle fans actually register on the Hostile-Fan-O-Meter, but social media has created an avenue for pretty much anyone to say whatever he or she wants at any time, and the anonymity afforded really removes the impetus to filter comments in any way. UWDP is fairly tame in the grand scale of things, but I sometimes wonder what it would look like if we all stopped using aliases (which is why I cleverly add the “UW” to the end of my name) and signed what we wrote every time. But the real problem is that, for some reason, “social media” is given credibility. It’s brought up as if it’s a meaningful voice, and deserves attention. I simply don’t get that. We sit around and talk to and at each other. We yell vainly into the internet. The ability to sign in to the google machine and create some clever user name shouldn’t create credibility. But it does. I can’t change that.

When you’re leaning one direction on a tough issue like deciding to step down, then the constant cavalcade of general assholery from the fan base could absolutely be a tipping point. With a different level of energy and commitment, it has a different, lesser, effect.

KPreston: What”s worse? Peterson leaving or having another year of Ahmed falling down when touched?

UWDP: Almost as if on cue....

I hate thousand yard rushers.

Salvon Ahmed had a really good season. I certainly don’t understand much criticism being levied his way.

billn721: Coach Petersen just took Husky Football through the best 4 year stretch for wins since the program started in 1889. By winning their bowl game they will have won 40 games in 4 years. For some this doesn’t seem like enough. It feels like getting less than 10 wins a year just doesn’t satisfy the fan base any more. Has the CFP system put too much pressure on programs (coaches and student athletes) to win every game or feel like they failed? Are expectations out of line with reality in college football?

Mountain Man: Will this season do anything to get folks to stop with the “national title or nothing” mentality? Maybe recalibrate some expectations? It feels like ever since 2016, it’s just been constant bitching...even after wins. Any chance we, as a fan base, can start enjoying “failed” seasons that “only” end in things like pac12 titles, 10+ wins, Jan. 1 bowl games, etc.?

UWDP: I largely agree with the first part of this, but there’s a necessary caveat: Every single one of these recent Husky teams has played an extra regular season game, and some have played in a conference championship game as well.

Both sides of this debate put up, and subsequently tear down, straw men. Frequently they’re passive-aggressive, pouty, straw men designed to box us into corners.

The playoff has definitely changed things. Which is another great reason for massive expansion, but I digress....

I personally don’t think this is a winnable debate for either side, and I find that engaging in it lessens my enjoyment of Husky football. We either use it to feel good about ourselves for not being those other guys on the other side, or we devolve into angry straw men....

Set your own expectations, whatever they may be. Enjoy Husky football in the way that you want.

Mountain Man: Why isn’t the running game working? Also, why isn’t McGrew seeing any carries?

UWDP: It should be pretty clear to Husky fans at this point that, to Chris Petersen, the running game is a compliment to the passing game. Schematically and in terms of personnel, this is not a team that is built to grind and pound opposing defenses with its running attack, but can be incredibly dangerous on the ground when its passing game works and the opposition is off-balance.

For all the calls by fans to “pound the rock,” especially in the red zone, it’s simply not as easy as it sounds to be good at all aspects of offense, all at the same time. Petersen has landed on “diverse,” which means he can do all things well but isn’t necessarily great at any of them. The last few years, the team has had a huge hole that has seemingly undermined the foundation of everything. Rather than attempt to change for the short term, it appears that Petersen elected to ride out a temporary storm on the back of a great defense and “just enough” from his offense.

I don’t know about Sean McGrew. He had some injuries, but was healthy enough to return kicks. We’ll see what happens in 2020 with him.

PurpleReign: So much for an “uneventful” post AC week =( Everything so far points to Coach Pete just being burnt out. Sounds like he will continue to run the “build for life” program at Washington. How long do you think he will be in this “advisory role” that “does not involve much football” for? Do you think he will go back to coaching? If so, will it be at Washington?

Mountain Man: Would you please share your thoughts on the Petersen news? Would love to hear your take on it.

UWDP: When the Huskies needed a coach back in 2013 and Chris Petersen’s name came up, I had some reservations about him at least in some part because I connected his “sports educator” persona to Tyrone Willingham. I also had questions about his intensity, largely from an interview he gave while at Boise State talking about not seeing himself in coaching, at least as the head man, for a long period of time. The question about his intensity was answered very quickly, and I mostly didn’t think about the other part much.

I think he was really good at what he did, but I don’t think that being a “head coach at Washington” defined him, even with the cache and awe factor a title like that could engender. I’ve always hated any form of the question, “So, tell me about yourself” because I think it’s a trick; we tend to put the most importance on the first thing we say, and a typical lead to that answer is our careers. It wouldn’t surprise me if Petersen’s answer to that question wouldn’t begin with his coaching chops, or if it did, was to diminish the importance of his career in who he was, I don’t think he let his occupation define who he was. And so in that regard, his comment about “recharging his batteries,” which some might think is implicitly followed by “so I can take my next coaching job” likely means “so I can get on with my life feeling the way I want to feel.”

I didn’t really think Don James was justified in retiring the way he did back in 1992, and I sort of have the same feeling about Petersen. But like Petersen, I think James was sort of an “accidental coach,” and either could’ve been great in a near-infinite number of fields (unlike those that live and die with football, and wouldn’t be the same people without it). There are specific fulfillments and passions from aspects of the job, and those things kept them in it, but they could be replaced. And each has principles. So my surface understanding of their situations leads me toward disappointment in their decisions, but they each, separately, have earned the benefit of the doubt as to the application of their principles in a decision like this.

I don’t think we’re going to see Chris Petersen in coaching again. I don’t think we’ll see him in the public eye after he fully divorces himself from the University of Washington (this advisory position will be very temporary). No TV gig. Maybe a local appearance on radio at the kickoff of the Husky season for a few seasons. I think he’s going to find that he doesn’t miss any of the attention. And in five years, we’re going to read about how he’s volunteered as the QB coach at some local high school - for the last three seasons.

I truly hate that Petersen’s last game at Washington (and in my guess, college football) has been turned into some episode of reality TV by matching him against his former team. I’m sure he does as well. It has nothing to do with playing Boise State - I think that will be a good game. But Bronco fans, Husky fans, Petersen...I hate manufactured drama.

OregonDawg: Willingham destroyed us, Sark brought us back, Petersen gave us stability and national respect; what will Lake give us?

My take is that he will let the OC run the offense (that’s in need of an overhaul) and that may help us win some big games on occasion. Bowl game loses and losing to ranked teams were the biggest disappointments of the Petersen era for me. Yes, this is in part because we played in great bowls like the Rose, Fiesta, Peach, and that is a compliment to Petersen. But I’m a James era fan and the Huskies found a way to win some of those games. That all being said, Petersen a great guy and the good certainly outweighed the bad in his 5 year tenure. Right now I feel the program is close to being a perennial top 10 team but were missing something. Lake seems “cool” but don’t know much about him. Is Lake the missing ingredient the program needs to complete at the highest level. It’s OK to be optimistic, I think we are all willing to drink the Kool Aid right now.

UWDP: All we can really do is drink the kool aid, I suppose.

I think it’s probably in Lake’s best interest to let the offensive coordinator be the coach of that side of the ball. Especially while he gets his feet wet as the head of the entire program.

Mountain Man: Please talk me through this obsession some folks seem to have with insisting that we should be “rooting for oregon to succeed.” I get that perception of the conference matters with regard to getting a team invited to the cfp. But, I can argue the ucks’ singular success barely moves the needle in terms of tangibly helping UW in most real world ways. (Unless we’re a 1 loss team vying for a cfp spot, perception of the conference means jack squat. And oregon’s role in that perception is one team out of 12.) Moreover, they’re success probably hurts UW, big picture, more than it helps -- harder to win the north, tougher to recruit against, etc. Plus, they’re the ucks for gosh sakes -- the tiny possible reward isn’t worth the self shame of wishing them any fortune whatsoever!!! So, having said that, am I off base? Should I be asking for duck gear under the Christmas tree? (Wiping the vomit off my phone for typing that.) Or, can I still be a logical fan making a rational choice and want oregon to lose every game they play between now and the time the sun expands and gobbles up the earth in a fiery cataclysm?

UWDP: Here’s the way I do it: In every football game that has ever been played or ever will be played, from my teenage nephews playing two-hand touch in my parents’ back yard to the Super Bowl, I root for the outcome that’s best for the Washington Huskies. Of course you can’t avoid hindsight, but at the beginning of the season, that meant rooting for the ducks to beat Auburn, if you believed as most did at the time, that Washington would beat Oregon. In their bowl game, a duck win probably gives them too much momentum heading into the late signing day and 2020, so it’s best for Washington if they lose. Generally, keep your love of Washington above your hatred for Oregon. People fail in that regard too often.

RockDawg: Brad, what is the correct play to counter the run blitz that Colorado was using against us & what wasn’t done right by our offense that made it so effective?

UWDP: It’s not about a magic play call, there were lots of things that the Huskies could’ve run to counter that blitz. It’s about a concept that the offensive line uses to counter that look. What happens is that in the face of an overload to one side like the Buffs (and Cal) showed so frequently is that the offensive line responds by sliding their protection toward the pressure - the entire line is basically zone blocking on a pass play. So, what the Buffs did was show blitz to one side, and then at the snap, back out and blitz someone else from the other side. That left two or three of the offensive linemen with no one to block, and one guy needing to pick up two or three.

Stopping it involves a more sophisticated protection scheme and technique. Washington is a short-setting team on their pocket drops (meaning the offensive linemen stop dropping back closer to the line of scrimmage than most teams) to go along with their zone slide. The vertical set is a more difficult technique to master, and it inherently allows defenders closer to the QB, but it’s more versatile against those sorts of blitzes. Chris Strausser coached the short set drops at Washington, and when he moved on, Chris Petersen hired another coach that worked the short set drops as well. Technically, schematically, it can work; it’s not necessarily a matter of the whole concept being fatally flawed. But it’s not something you see very often anymore. Modernizing the pass protection is probably something that needs to happen for 2020.

Mountain Man: How much do you think Petersen’s legacy will be written or impacted by the next era of Husky Football?

UWDP: That’s a good question. Probably one that people will answer in different ways, according to their own biases.

When I look at the two youngest classes on the roster, and the talent on board to enter in 2020, and see what is going to be the most talented roster that Washington has ever fielded. I think the things that impacted 2019 in terms of recruiting mistakes, coaching mistakes, etc. had largely been answered, and were going to bear fruit in subsequent seasons. I think the Huskies were, and still are, entering a “sky’s the limit” period. That’s not a guarantee of anything, by any stretch. But hopefully, a new and highly energetic voice is able to add to that mix and become the binder that gets the Huskies to a new, higher plateau.

Bugs: If Lake decides to make a change at OC, what does a short list of replacement candidates look like?

UWDP: I’d guess 8 12 x 11, maybe 8 12 by 14. Yellow or white. Lines, definitely lines. Blue and or black ink, some names written in and subsequently scratched out. Notes in the margin. Folded, like it’s been in the back pocket of a pair of pants.

MONTLAKEJAKE84: Statue of coach Pete perhaps some day?

UWDP: Nope. Frankly, not even close.

Ragu: If you were a football player (pfff) who would you rather have as a head coach? CP or JL?

UWDP: I think being a position coach or a coordinator are very different than being a head coach. I don’t really know how Jimmy Lake will evolve into the role of a head coach, and based on his press conference, I don’t know that he does, either. What’s pretty clear to me is that he doesn’t have Chris Petersen’s personality, so if he tries to become “the next Chris Petersen,” the odds are overwhelming that he’s going to fail both in the goal and the role.

Jimmy Lake has to figure out, very quickly, how he works as the head man. Does he keep some of the brashness and coolness (that Petersen decidedly lacked) that makes him so popular as the defensive coordinator, or does he tone it down and speak in platitudes and vagaries the way most coaches do? And that’s barely scratching the surface....

While there will certainly be some adaptations to his personality, Lake needs to be who he is, and make that work. Maybe that means the OKG/Built for Life stuff is out the window, I don’t know. But don’t try to continue Petersen’s program, Jimmy, because you aren’t Chris Petersen.

Probably Petersen.

Darin Johnson: Imagine 2023. How many Pac-12 wins were you predicting for the Dawgs in that season? How many are you predicting now?

UWDP: Little known fact, but the Huskies are going to play 17 conference games in 2023.

I think with the talent on the roster that are going to be upperclassmen in 2023, this should be a really good team no matter who is coaching it. 8 with Petersen, 7 with Lake (only because he’s a complete unknown).

Darin Johnson: You’re Vegas. What odds will you offer that Jacob Eason stays another year? I’ll spare you the math headache. The correct answer is 1. It is not as sure he’s leaving as a lot of people seem to think. I suspect there was some discussion of this prior to Eason’s transfer. I doubt he agreed to stay for two, but I bet he stipulated that he would consider it in a serious way. Taking a one-and-done QB transfer is of questionable benefit to the UW, and i don’t think Petersen would have signed up for that if it were something like a sure thing.

You agree. Don’t you?

UWDP: I do. I don’t think that Jacob Eason, even with all of the physical talent he possesses, is going to be viewed as a pre-draft sure thing (and by that, I mean the way other QBs without massive college success are viewed as top-10 pick “sure things” by NFL talent evaluaters). I think there are flags that teams will use to discount him that may or may not matter (they will only be used to justify their pre-determined notions): he’s only played two years, with mixed results, on two different teams. He didn’t win big games. Those picks...and on and whatever.

On the other hand, I don’t think college football has been fun for Jacob Eason, and he might just want to be done with it.

I think it’s close, but I think he stays.

Darin Johnson: Upon reflection, I think the story of this season on the field is not the defense taking a step back, not the play of the QB, and not even the inexplicable decisions regarding receivers. No, the story of the season is the unexpectedly mediocre play of the offensive line. I’ve thought about this a lot, meaning it just occurred to me, so I’m very sure it’s true. Why, do you think?

UWDP: Yes, I agree.

I think it’s largely because you’re pedantic, and you tend to use one of your opinions as support for another of your opinions, and hence, each serves as proof that the other is correct.

Was that your question?

As I mentioned above, I think there’s a disconnect between what I see as a very well thought-out offensive design, and a very unsophisticated offensive line scheme (or technique). I don’t know why it seems the coaching staff would simplify such a critical aspect of the offense at the expense of maximizing the entirety of what they want to do (pass to set up the run).

I’ll have a chapter about it in my book, I’m sure.

All for now.