It was mostly quiet on the football front at Westwood to start the week. Guess given the drama we have had at certain points this season, it might not be a bad thing (knock on wood). Still lot of bits and pieces of news involving our opponent has been coming out of Seattle as Steve Sarkasian is trying to keep his guys motivated for their last three games. Apparently the Huskies might be rolling out black jerseys for the UCLA game. While Sarkasian didn't confirm those rumors he confirmed a "black theme" for next Thursday night:
We asked Sarkisian about the rumors that the team might wear black jerseys for the UCLA game and he said that "there will be a black theme'' leaving it at that. I think that will be all the official comment you will get on that topic but think you can read between the lines.
Yeah, we can infer that they are going to be pulling out all the stops for this game. Again, I wish UCLA had been smart enough not to schedule another Thursday night game facing up another jacked up opponent. This time though there should be no excuse for looking unprepared and intimidated, given the Bruins are going to be taking on an opponent they are going to match up well on both sides of the ball.
Keeping our focus on the Huskies, per Sarkasian, Jake Locker will not practice this week. They are going to wait to see whether he can practice on Saturday night:
He said Jake Locker will not practice Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The team will then take Thursday and Friday off before practicing Saturday night. Sarkisian said it was too early to know if Locker will practice on Saturday. But he said Locker will need to practice to be able to play against UCLA.
More on Sark's thought on Locker from the Seattle Times:
On what it would mean to get Locker back: "Well, we get our starter back. That's the natural spark there. You get your captain, your senior leader. There's a lot of obvious sparks there. I think that we could make a mistake here of putting all of our eggs in Jake Locker's basket. That's not what the point of all of this is about. If we get Jake back, that's great, we'd love to have him, he's a fantastic football player. But if we don't, that doesn't mean we can't win the game. And if we do, that doesn't mean we automatically win the game. We've got to prepare as a football team for this ball game next Thursday night.''
On what will go into a decision to play Locker: "This isn't going to be an emotional decision, one that because Jake wants to play and his heart's in it and all that. He wanted to play Saturday against Oregon. We've got to make an educated decision here, what our medical staff tells us, from a health perspective, where he's at. He and his parents and ourselves collaborating on this and making a decision for him, and his health, and also for our football program of where he's at. That's how we'll do it. It will be a calculated, educated decision.''
Still wondering how it was a calculated, education decision to play him against Stanford even though he was really banged up. Given the NFL future that is ahead of right now, wonder if it is even smart to rush him back in just to make a tough run at some cheap bowl game appearance. Then again, it's a decision Locker and his family will have to make.
As for our guy in charge, another quirky comment from Norm Chow:
[W]ith the Pistol most effective when the quarterback is a threat to run, offensive coordinator Norm Chow encouraged Brehaut to keep it more this week than he had in the past.
"I keep preaching to him that he's not a robot, he's a quarterback," Chow said. "There was a study done in the NFL, over 70 percent of plays made are off rhythm. He needs to be a guy that can go and play and he did that OK. That's what an athletic quarterback needs to do."
I wonder what took Chow so long to recognize Brehaut is a mobile QB. It's also interesting to hear from Chow talking about Brehaut not playing like a "robot" even though his previous comments on Richard seemed to indicate that he was expecting him to play just like a robot, making the precise reads all the time (as an underclassman QB who barely had any starts) playing within perfect rhythm. It's so weird.
Whatever, I guess. Hope Brehaut keeps developing and keeps making plays. His confidence should be building up as his team-mates clearly love playing for him. I fully expect Brehaut to make a mistake here and there, just like McNown use to in his first two years (when he compiled 20+ starts). Brehaut has had only 4 starts and he is clearly getting better every game. Hope he can take another step by bringing home his first road victory of his UCLA career.