By Derek Johnson
I keep reminding myself of where we've been.
The Willingham years. The only coach I've ever seen whose team got a delay of game penalty coming out of a timeout... Jake Locker laughing it up with teammates on the sideline while the Huskies were getting blown out.
The Sarkisian years: The only coach I've ever seen who received a Gatorade bath for run-of-the-mill conference wins in September and October... A casual disrespect for discipline... Keith Price grinning and giggling at the coin flip for overtime, after the epic fourth quarter collapse to the hapless Cougs.
But now we're in the era of Pissed Off Pete.
On the message boards of Hardcore Husky, there exists a gif that has become legend. It's from the 2014 game against Cal. Late fourth quarter, Huskies up 31-7. A Husky has committed a false start.
Were Willingham the coach, there would be the tedious, blank stare. Were Sarkisian the coach, he'd be doing chest bumps with wide receivers and looking forward to the postgame party.
But Chris Petersen is the coach. And you see him shaking his head angrily, dropping f-bombs about how unacceptable it was and how it's pissing him off. The gif runs in perpetuity on Hardcore Husky.
And so it was in yesterday's 66-27 annihilation of Cal. It happened twice late in the game, with Washington way ahead. Receiver John Ross, who in a just world would be the Heisman frontrunner, dropped a routine pass on a little out route.
Petersen was pissed! The message was loud and clear: Didn't matter that Ross already had 200 yards receiving and three TDs. Didn't matter how big a star he was. All that mattered was the current moment and that things were not done properly. All that mattered was his player wasn't focused.
Early fourth quarter, it happened again. Huskies up 56-27, coasting to victory. Jake Browning dropped back to pass, moved up in the pocket and held onto the ball for too long. Got sacked. As he came off the field, Petersen's eyes were shooting daggers! You would've thought that gaffe had cost UW the game.
It didn't matter that Browning had thrown six touchdown passes on the night. All that mattered was that he had not done things the way Petersen demanded.
Can you imagine the impact that makes on backups and underclassmen who saw that exchange between star and coach?
At this point, I don't know how it is we got Petersen and I don't much care. It feels so good to have an adult in charge.