Hello Followers. Hope you’re having a great week!
Today, we start a six (or maybe seven?) week summer feature that will run in lieu of my usual Thursday post.
We’re simply calling this feature “Three Questions.”
Each post will include a very small Q & A (3 questions to be exact) with the folks whose work we have come to especially admire over the years, including notables such as Ted Miller, Cindy Brunson, Bob Condotta, Brock Huard, Bruce Feldman, and Madonna (okay, maybe not Madonna, but we do have Howie Stalwick too)…
In contrast to my posts which tend to leave you wanting less, each of our forthcoming interviews are destined to leave you wanting more...So, the good news here is that, in case you're left hungry for more of what our special guest stars are cookin', all of our them are available through their own respective channels.
But, thanks to their kindness and goodwill, as well as my ability to be particularly charming with the celebrity folk…
They have decided to grace these very, very dirty pages for a very short period of time...
(e.g., the amount of time before the cops came and we had to let them go)
So, today we start our feature with a very special and remarkable talent, Brock Huard. For that and a bit more, read on.
Followers, there are FOUR Huskies who have achieved “Most Favored Nation Status” with me over the years. The first two were Husky Hoopsters.
Specifically, “Chet the Jet” Dorsey and James Edwards were huge Idols of mine as a wee lad--especially James Edwards...
You see, I went to the same school as James’ sister, Eedie, and James would occasionally come to my school and dunk the ball really, really, really hard...He was very, very cool back then.
The next two guys were (gulp!) Husky Football Players. Greg Lewis was always a favorite of mine because I played Little League baseball with him.
But even more than that, the main reason why I liked Greg Lewis was because I played Little League baseball IN FRONT OF HIM (As in, "How did that pine feel on your backside as you watched me play in front of you, GL???"").
So, when Greg went on to become a big football star, well, I had my 6th grade athletic acumen to fall back on...
And then, there is my final Husky favorite. And that man is Brock Huard.
You see, Brock stands unique among all Huskies for a few very special reasons. First, he was the first Husky to ever seriously utter the words “Our job this year is to be exactly like Washington State.”
Second, following our Rose Bowl clinching win in 1997 over the Huskies, Brock Huard waited in the tunnel following his 12 INT performance (it felt like 12, Brock) to congratulate all of the Cougar players on our incredible achievement.
Simply put, Brock has some serious, serious class.
Since that time, Brock has done pretty well for himself. Following a respectable NFL career as a backup QB, Brock landed a pretty nice daily gig alongside his pal, Mike Salk, on a radio show that you can hear on ESPN 710 in Seattle each weekday from 9am-12pm. It’s a great show that I listen to whenever possible from the compound in upstate New York, as do many of our blogfathers around here.
On top of that, Brock has served as both a studio and booth college analyst for ESPN's College Football Today and writes regular “Insider” features on ESPN.com. In fact, Brock is so darn good at what he does that you can count me in as a guy that is doing all that he can…
to lobby the folks in Bristol. I mean, who is more poised to take Craig James’ former spot as first mate to Kirk Herbstreit than our man Brock Huard? He’s really good, folks..
With that in mind, our good friend Victory Bell “sat down” recently with Brock at an undisclosed Seattle location and conducted the following “Three Question” interview. So, let’s hit it…
Victory Bell: Last Fall, before the wheels started to come off the 2011 Cougar Football season, you cited Mike Leach as a potential great fit for WSU Football. What exactly led you to form that opinion? And how good did it feel about being the first to be “right?”
Brock Huard: I don't know if I was first, but I know Leach was first on Bill Moos' list of replacements for Paul Wulff. Leach has everything Moos was looking for:
- Proven Track Record (10 Bowls in 10 Seasons at Texas Tech)
- Swagger (Won't Settle)
- Scheme (Fits the West Coast supply chain of WR's/Scat-backs)
- Understanding of what it takes to compete and win w/in a challenging recruiting environment (Lubbock is no Pullman, and Pullman is no Phoenix, Los Angeles, Bay Area, Boulder or Seattle)
I developed great respect for Mike Price and his staff during my time at Washington.
I thought Coach Price was the ideal fit at Wazzu. And while Leach is even more eccentric than Price, the two share many of the same convictions when it comes to offense. Leach is a game-changer for Moos and the Cougs.
Victory Bell: You penned an interesting post recently on the KIRO website about Keith Price taking a possible step back this year. Notwithstanding the ways that Leach’s system figures to skew the numbers a bit, who do you think is poised to have the better year for their respective systems: Jeff Tuel or Keith Price?
Brock Huard: Keith Price is the better quarterback and imagine how much further hype and attention the Cougs would be generating if Price were under center for Mike Leach this Fall. That said, your question is a good one.
Statistics alone, Tuel should throw for many more yards than Price, but the challenge for both will be staying healthy and playing efficiently (i.e. completion %, TD/Int ratio and avoiding negative plays).
Price and the Huskies face the most arduous opening six weeks in college football (@LSU, @ ORE, USC & STAN at home). With a rebuilt offensive line, an unproven running back and the need to find a third receiver I really don't think Price will be able to repeat the record-shattering season he had a year ago.
Tuel had a really good Spring against a very susceptible Cougar defense, and fortunately for Leach and Tuel the first six weeks of their season is much easier than the second half. I fully expect Tuel to be ahead of Price in every statistical measure heading into late October, including wins, but the race should even out into November. If both stay healthy, and that's a big if, this question will be fully answered on the 23rd of November in Pullman where a bowl game should be hanging in the balance.
Victory Bell: One of our Bloggers, who calls himself the Coug-A-Sutra among other names, thinks that the WSU-Oregon State game is THE swing game of WSU’s season. Do you agree with his assessment? And if so, who would you favor for that October 6th game in Corvallis?
Brock Huard: I think as we evaluate the schedule in June there are clearly three very large games for Leach and the Cougs if he wants to keep his streak of bowl games in consecutive seasons alive. Colorado, at Oregon State and the Apple Cup will all play an enormous role in determining whether the Cougs go bowling.
Leach, like Chip Kelly, lives in the moment and I really believe doesn't spend any energy weighing questions like this, nor should he. He knows that every season and every schedule takes on a life of their own once the ball is kicked in Provo September 1st. The Cougs have depth issues defensively and need more speed across the entire roster to create the momentum-turning plays that became a staple of Leach's run in Lubbock.
That said, the Cougars have enough talent and experience returning offensively to win two of the three aforementioned games. And if they do, they should end up with the six wins Bill Moos and the program could desperately use in their re-making of the Cougar program....
So, there you have it, our debut episode of “Three Questions.”
Thanks again to Brock Huard for being taking the time to grace our humble abode!
And, please remember to tune in to Brock & Salk each weekday from 9-12 on KIRO 710. I know I will.
I’ll be back next week with another special guest star for the Coug blog faithful.
All for now. Go Cougs!
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