Well, what a crazy day this turned out to be, huh?
Not only a new direction for the Seahawks, but maybe also for the Pac-10 if the reports are true that Pete Carroll will soon be heading to Seattle. Danny O’Neil of our staff, however, had a good story on why it may not be as done deal for a day or two.
I wrote a couple stories out of what happened today.
First, this on Jake Locker’s press conference discussing his decision to stay. He boldly said he thinks UW could go undefeated next season. In something that didn’t get in the story, he also didn’t rule out that he might play baseball with the Angels in some capacity this spring or summer. Locker wasn’t specific at all, saying only that he had talked to the Angels recently and would again and that he would sit down at some point and see if “our schedules compare.” He reiterated that he won’t do anything baseball-wise that would conflict with football. But again, he didn’t rule out that he won’t do it.
I also wrote this analyzing whether there would be much of a chance that Steve Sarkisian would emerge as a candidate at USC if Carroll does leave. General consensus? He says he’s happy here and doesn’t sound like he’d be anywhere near the top of USC’s list (and one thing to consider — if Carroll does leave and USC does get hit with sanctions this spring, as is increasingly rumored, doesn’t that make Sarkisian’s job at UW that much better? The door for others to rule the league will only open wider).
Much of Sarkisian’s time on the podium was spent talking about Locker and Carroll, but he did speak a little about the team, as well. Much of that I reported in the earlier entry, such as Chris Polk’s surgery this week.
But here are a few other notes I didn’t get in earlier:
— Sarkisian said spring practice, which begins March 29 and ends April 29, will run Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday except for the last week, when the spring game is on a Friday. He said stretching it out and avoiding back-to-back days of practice should help the team stay fresh throughout the month.
— He spoke a little about Deontae Cooper. When asked that the team seemed pretty deep at tailback, he made an interesting comment that “we’re a little beat up there.” We probably should have pressed him on that but time was running tight today. Obviously, Polk is out for the spring with his shoulder surgery and maybe that’s all Sarkisian meant — he didn’t mention any other injuries to any other RBs.
— Sarkisian said the school has had deposits for more than 1,000 new season tickets since the end of the season — obviously, the Locker announcement helped in that.
— He said the team is actually in voluntary workouts right now and will get into mandatory workouts in a couple of weeks. He one thing that will be done during the off-season is showing the players film “cut-ups of their play and what they did well and where we need to improve.”
— In what to hardcore UW fans might be the most interesting note of the day, Sarkisian said his review of the season indicates that the major thing UW has to do to improve next year is become more physical. “We need to become a more physical football team,” he said. “And we improved at it as the year went on, but we had some moments where we ran into a couple of teams that knocked us off the football on both sides, and that’s not acceptable, and you can’t win in this conference with that happening. So it’s a lot of work on (conditioning coach Ivan) Lewis and his staff, and a lot of work on us from a schematic standpoint and a technique standpoint to make sure that we can continue to improve in that area.”
AND NOW A FEW LINKS. …
— Here’s a good overview of Carroll’s potential departure from USC and what it might mean for the program from the LA Times.
— Ken Goe examines how the search for a Carroll successor could impact the Oregon schools.
— Another Carroll story from the Wall Street Journal, and another from The New York Times.
— Sarkisian’s mentioned, but not real high, on this Orange County Register reader poll of who should replace Carroll.
All for now.