Chris Petersen: 'It's how they sit in meetings and study film. It's different'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Saturday July 29, 2017

Chris Petersen knows every player talks about loving football. The best players have a little bit more.

At Pac-12 Media Days, Petersen said the physical skills of a quarterback are overrated. That’s size, arm strength, etc. At Boise State, Kellen Moore didn’t have the physical skills, but he holds the FBS record for wins and is still in the NFL. At Washington, Jake Browning was a 4-star recruit, but he had the other level Petersen looks for.

“Everybody gets so in love with the physical talent of football players in general,” Petersen said on KJR in Seattle. ”Then when you have a quarterback that’s 6-foot-4 and can run whatever and has this laser arm, it gets so many people so excited. What gets me excited is when they have the right mental capacity and demeanor that goes with it. Jake and Kellen are very similar, in terms of those things.

Everybody talks about loving football and studying it. Is there a guy in here today the coach wouldn’t say (doesn’t love football?) But there is a certain different level. They bring that intent every day. It’s how they sit in meetings and how they study film. It’s different. You know that guy is different. That’s what these guys have.”

Browning is back, coming off a College Football Playoff appearance, and the Huskies were picked to win the Pac-12 North, but there are key areas to fill, such as the secondary. Petersen says you never reload.

But just like the intangibles of the quarterback, you need to see it in the team. Petersen knew the Huskies would be good last year, because of how they handled the 7-6 season in 2015. Now they have to handle success.

It’s the process of day to day. Does that feel right? That’s why we were pretty good, he said. “It didn’t start last year. It was the year before, when we had a mediocre record. I was so proud of those kids that year. We lost a bunch of tight games, like we won (in 2016). When you’re losing those tight games, there’s always a tendency for guys to back off. That’s life. You keep not having success. The strong that can preserve and keep fighting, those are successful people in life.

“When you care about something so much and you put so much into it and  you don’t have those results right away, human nature is backing off and losing your edge. But they did not. They were frustrated, did not point fingers. You could feel it coming. We were going to get better and build skill, if they don’t lose their mentality, and we did. We won our last three games and carried that in to the next year.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to