Whoever figured out that a great, experienced quarterback is almost a necessity for a championship team was a genius before his time. The recent Super Bowl confrontation between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints both had great quarterbacks-Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.
Now the University of Washington Huskies have Jake Locker back for another year to continue a tremendous re-building effort by new head coach Steve “Sark” Sarkisian.
Locker, who struggled through two futile years with the coach from nowhere whose name I refuse to even mention, finally found his proper mentor in Sark-a very successful single-caller in his own right at Brigham Young University.
Sark also coached two Heisman Trophy winners- ข่าวบอล Carson Palmer in 2002 and Matt Leinart in 2004, and mentored additional NFL-draft picks John David Booty and Mark Sanchez. All are quarterbacks.
In 2008, Locker and his teammates endured an excruciating, winless season (0-12). In 2009, with the arrival of Sarkisian, former Southern California offensive coordinator, and Nick Holt, USC’s former defensive coordinator, as the new defensive coordinator for the Huskies, Locker began “schooling” as an NFL drop-back quarterback. An interested, coachable student, Locker made amazing progress and the Huskies began to improve.
Washington played LSU tough in its opener but lost, 31-23, before beating Idaho 42-23 and then upsetting Southern Cal 16-13 in a game that became national news. The Huskies lost their first road game at Stanford 34-14, and lost again at Notre Dame 37-30 after taking the Irish into overtime.
After upsetting Arizona 36-33, they stood at 3-3, and then promptly lost to Arizona State, Oregon, UCLA and Oregon State, making some fans wonder if the upbeat beginning was in for a longer season end.
Thankfully, Washington absolutely decimated its cross-state rival, humbling Washington State by shutting out the Cougars 30-zip, and then upsetting a very good California team 42-10 to end the season on a triumphant note. The Huskies’ 5-7 record did not reflect how far they had come from a winless season, or how much they had progressed.
On the precipice of taking a giant leap forward in 2010, NFL scouts began drooling over Washington’s centerpiece of re-birth-Jake Locker. A junior quarterback with 4.3 speed and good enough to be a starting running back, Locker was an absolute must draft because almost any coach worth his salt knew the talented Husky had enough moxie and muscle to play about 7 different positions on the football field.
Sarkisian never thought twice about moving Locker from his QB station. Sark just wanted to make him into an NFL drop-back QB, and Locker went on a steep learning curve in a hurry.