November 23, 2004

Huskies 2004: Three Questions

What went right
1-many young players got their feet wet. Freshman such as Craig Chambers, Grayson Gunhiem and Jordan White-Frisbee got plenty of playing time. UW finished with 16 freshman in the two-deeps. Assuming they stick with the program, that will pay off down the road.
2-AD Todd Turner handled the dismissal of Keith Gilbertson fairly well. He pulled the trigger early, saving everyone around the program some stress. Kudos to Gilby too; he handled his “resignation” well.
3-Sweet Jesus, the team finished 1-10. By definition, not a lot went well.

What went wrong?
1-The Huskies never found a quarterback. Casey Paus, Isaiah Stanback and Carl Bonnell all got a shot, but none produced with any kind of consistency. For some reason, Paus was the default choice, even though his passing stats were awful and he lacks the running threat that Bonnell and especially Stanback bring to the position.
2-This team was wracked with injuries. Sure, when you are 1-10, it is more than that. That is true with the Huskies. However, consider that UW began the season with three legitimate All Pac10 players on offense: Charles Frederick, Khalif Barnes and Zach Tuiasosopo. Now think that all three missed most of the season.
3-This team was poorly coached. The Dream Job claimed another lifelong Husky. Like Jim Lambright before him; Gilbertson was put in an impossible situation, and then did little to save himself. He promised a looser, more option-based offense after Cody Pickett left, and then gave the QB job to Paus, who is no running threat at all. His coaching staff was an odd mix of Husky retreads like Chris Tormey and Steve Axman, and several professional vagabonds like John Pettas and Phil Snow. No single unit improved over the course of the season. That is a death-knell for a young team.

What is next?
1-It all depends on what coach Turner can lure to the Pacific Northwest. The frontrunner has to be Jeff Tedford. Tedford seems to be leaving the door open, as he was quoted in Sports Illustrated that he would have to consider it. If not the Cal coach, Dan Hawkins probably becomes the next best contender. If Turner is willing to go with a coordinator, you could see Norm Chow or Patriot offensive coodinator Charlie Weis.
2-Whomever is coach has to pick a quarterback. Stanback, despite his many rough edges, probably makes the most sense. Expect to see Craig Chambers the main wideout regardless of who is throwing the ball.
3-The new coach, and the AD, will have to prepare UW fans (not the most patient people in the best of circumstances) to deal with a rebuilding project. This team needs work.

Posted by Frinklin at November 23, 2004 07:06 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?