It's all About Player Development, Stupid

For many years I took abuse from a good friend of mine who's an Oregon fan. On the surface, I deserved it. I made some seemingly wayward and crazy predictions. They occurred while then-football coach Tyrone WIllingham and UW president Mark Emmert were overseeing the destruction of Washington football. Oregon was in the process of overtaking the Huskies and transitioning to the galactic powerhouse status that they enjoy today.

What were my egregious errors? In successive seasons, I made the following predictions:

In August 2006  I told my buddy that UW cornerback Dashon Goldson would be Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

The following year, I remained undaunted. In an email sent in August 2007, I told him that UW wide receiver Marcel Reece would be Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year

Neither prediction came close to fruition. Washington had six games losing streaks each year and finished with losing records to boot. Consequently I suffered the slings and arrows of my buddy's barbs for several seasons. He sometimes even worked it into conversations not related to Husky football. 

However, some funny things happened while time moved on. As Winston Churchill said: "The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is."

EXHIBIT A: Dashon Goldson is a perennial Pro Bowler who started in the 2013 Super Bowl for the San Francisco 49ers.

EXHIBIT B: Marcel Reece was the starting fullback in the 2013 Pro Bowl for the AFC, representing the Oakland Raiders.

This shows that despite Willingham's 2007 lament that he needed "more bullets", raw talent did exist at Washington -- perhaps much more than we'll ever know. But player development was so utterly lacking that it took a brutal toll on the football program.

Of course, when I recently set the record straight with my Oregon buddy, by sending him an email pointing out the above facts, gaining ground proved tedious. 

His response: 

This e-mail came in blank? Please resend if it is still a relevant FYI?