Last month I had some harsh words for Anthony Morelli.
Who could blame me? The kid had done nothing up until yesterday. He made terrible decisions. Threw into coverage. Took unnecessary sacks. He sucked on the biggest stage of the biggest games. Worse than all of that, he didn't show any emotion on the sideline when the offense sputtered. I was convinced he was a loser.
Yesterday's Outback Bowl changed my perception of Anthony Morelli. He was sharp and showed good judgement completing 14-of-25 for 197 yards, 1 TD, and 0 INT. He looked poised and confident. Most of all he got the monkey off his back of not having a big win on his belt.
Now, maybe this is a case of a broken clock being right twice a day. But there is reason to believe Morelli has turned the corner. The comments by his high school football coach saying a current high school kid read defenses better than Morelli really lit a fire in his belly. Maybe that's what Morelli needed. Maybe he needed that Larry Johnson "Me vs. The World" mentality. According to his coaches and teammates, Morelli practiced like a man on a mission after he aired out his grievances to the press. Before the game Derrick Williams had the following to say:
So maybe I was wrong. Maybe Morelli does have the right stuff. I think it's too soon to crown him the leading Heisman candidate for 2007. But I think he's answered some of the criticism that was fairly or unfairly heaped on him. And it couldn't come at a better time. With nine months until the 2007 opener, a quarterback controversy would fester in the message boards threatening to divide the fan base. For now the anti-Morelli voices, including this one, have been silenced.