Pete Carroll is quoted in the L.A. Times as saying:
"That's the best quarterback we've played in nine years here," Carroll said when told Washington has beaten only Idaho and USC the last two years. "Jake Locker has ridiculous talent, and had he remained healthy last year, Tyrone [Willingham] would still be coaching there."
The doctor calls that "temporary amnesia." On doc's post, there is a clip from the 2005 National Championship game in the Rose Bowl. It's fourth and fifth from the Nine-yard line with Vince Young leading the Texas Longhorns.
He takes the shotgun snap, drops two steps, and scrambles under no perceivable pressure. He hits the right edge of the line, the weak side of the defense, and finds no USC defenders for 10 yards. So he jogs into the end zone, and Texas wins.
So is Vince Young the best Quarterback Pete Carroll ever faced?
I don't think so.
First, let's look at Jake Locker:
6'3", 226 pound JUNIOR. Electronically timed 4.33 40-yard sprint. Not a Florida-timed 40-yard sprint.
25-45 for 321.
Two TD one INT and 51 rushing yards vs. LSU.
21-32 for 278 DROP-BACK PASSING yards vs. USC.
This year, Locker can pass and run equally well, but he is passing more than running. But that could be because he's playing quarterback—not running back (call me old fashioned).
Why would that make him better than VY? Think of Terelle Pryor; he could run, but couldn't pass. Pete loads the box with nine players and shuts down TP in probably the worst game of TP's life.
A good passing game requires balance from the defense committing to pass rush and coverage—sometimes one more than the other.
Pete couldn't game plan in a shut-down scheme for Jake Locker the passer. And what Jake couldn't get with his arm, he picked up in the clutch with his legs.
Jake had a decent running back to take some pressure off of him at 2.8 yards per carry, but nothing to lean on.
Young relied on his legs first to open the passing game, and then made most of his passing yards on play action. He had two dynamic running backs in Selvin Young and Jamaal Charles; they were legitimate threats.
The NFL has shown that Vince Young can't throw. He was Rookie of the Year on legs and hype. When teams figured him out, he's not starting anymore.
Doc lists a number of qualified quarterbacks that beat Carroll's Trojans or matched up in big games with them:
Aaron Rodgers - also had a 2,000-yard running game. Didn't have to do much.
Dennis Dixon - Runner
Ell Roberson - Who?
Jason Campbell - Didn't do much against USC
Brady Quinn - Marginally good, but one-dimensional.
Brad Banks - Who?
Jason White - Won the Heisman. And where is he now? Still in the pocket—his knees still don't work.
And then there was this from the Doc:
"We'll see the heights that Locker scales, and the hopeless pit of despair into which Steve Sarkisian will follow Willingham when his meal ticket moves on."
Sarkisian's meal ticket? WTF?
Someone hasn't done their homework. Sarkisian's resume as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at USC?
Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, John David Booty, and Mark Sanchez are all either in Heisman contention or have won a Heisman.
1 AP National College Football Champion (2003)
6 Pac-10 Conference Championships (2002-2003; 2005-2008)
2 WAC Conference Championships (1995-1996)
2001-2003 USC QB coach
2004 Raiders QB coach (ranked eighth in passing yards)
2005-2006 USC QB Coach
2007-2008 USC OC
He leaves USC and the Trojans pass for 110 yards against his own Huskies.
Willingham broke Jake Locker making him run and not teaching him to pass. THAT was meal ticket coaching, and Ty couldn't even do that well.
Sark has him passing first and passing well. It's an absolute transformation.
With Sark's resume and, as Pete Carrol can attest, Sark's recruiting skills—along with Nick Holt at defense—the Huskies don't look like they'll find a pit of despair any time soon.
Maybe Pete had a meal ticket...
Bad, bad, bad analysis, Doc. I'd like a second opinion.