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Pac-12 football: Former Colorado coach defends Embree

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"It’s obviously not going to be extremely high," Bakhtiari said of morale. "But it’s not as low as I thought. The way I look at it, we’re 0-0 in the Pac-12. We’re tied with every other team."

A good attitude, because buying in is part of the solution. That’s Brown’s take anyway.

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"I’ve played in Pittsburgh as a Steeler, where everybody from the guy cutting the grass, to the guy delivering the paper, to the guy who cleaned the parking lot, to the guy who was painting my house, believes the Steelers were going to win every Sunday," Brown said. "There’s a reason that franchise is so successful — as a Steeler you walk around town and everyone believes in you. Everyone has your back.

"I’ve also been a Seahawk, where you stand in line at a club and you say, ‘Hey, I’m a Seahawk, let me in,’ and they go, ‘I should charge you more, because you guys aren’t so good.’ They don’t believe in you. So that collective belief is important to a psyche of a team and it actually influences what happens on the field."

That was precisely McCartney’s point, too.

"Are you watching (Embree) in the wake of a devastating time? He is demonstrating that he believes in his players," McCartney said. "During the most difficult times, that’s when people turn on people: ‘It’s not me, it’s got to be somebody else.’ You don’t see that.

"After what they’ve been through, this guy is not flinching. That’s how you recognize a leader."

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