Open Forum Answers

Here’s the first part of the Open Forum answers. I couldn’t do all the answers at once because I was too distraught over last week. The rest will be posted later today.

My feeling is the coaches do not have confidence in Joe McKnight because he was unable to learn all the plays properly when he was lining up at different spots and they also were bothered by his fumbles. They eventually cut back on how much he would need to learn. He still seems happy and was horsing around with his teammates Thursday night. Each week they claim he will play more but this week it seemed they finally dropped that little line of spin.

I do not know why Allen Bradford is not playing. But there’s a lot I don’t understand regarding the running back rotation.

My favorite blog commentator is Peter Caesar Carroll. Oh wait, that’s my favorite coach.

The coaches want to put John David Booty back in next week. However, if Mark Sanchez throws four touchdown passes and no interceptions, I believe they would consider keeping Sanchez in the lineup.

My least favorite questions involve ranking all-time players, teams, etc.

I don’t know if USC’s practices are the same as Florida or Ohio State because I don’t cover those schools. I just know when NFL people or college coaches visit USC, they say the practice tempo is faster and physical style much more than at other schools they usually visit.

I do not know when the bowl arrangements expire. I do know the Pac-10 dropped the ball by leaving the Cotton Bowl. The conference cited travel as a reason for leaving but the Sun Bowl is also in Texas. Today it would probably be near impossible to get the Cotton Bowl because it would not give up its pact with the SEC, which allows it to pick schools that bring huge crowds to bowl games.

The first-team defense respects Mitch Mustain and is impressed with how he’s led the scout team. Further views will be available in “Mitch and Me.”

Damian Williams is not practicing and is not fully recovered.

The coaches have always been excellent at firing up players with rah-rah stuff in practice drills. It’s an inate trait of coaching.

I’d like to see Carswell play but they refuse to play him.

Pete Carroll has a total hands-on approach to every aspect of the program, including play-calling and the offensive game plan.

There’s been no thought to separate the quarterback/offensive coordinating duties. Steve Sarkisian would tell you that John Morton takes some of the passing-game duties and shares some of the burden, which allows Sarkisian time to also coach the quarterbacks. Plus the way the current staff is structured, there’s no way to hire someone to coach quarterbacks. Sarkisian does have graduate assistant Yogi Roth help with the QBs also.

If John Robinson coached the 2006 team it would not have beaten Texas because he might have had Keith Burns calling the defensive signals.

The entire world should observe Mitch Mustain for a day based on the attitude of the commenters of this blog. I intend to schedule a day where I display his jersey and helmet and allow fans to touch and ogle it at Howard Jones Field, free of charge.

Joe McKnight needs to play more to see if actually has any breakaway capability to add to this team. I’d also play Brandon Carswell, who was equally impressive to Ronald Johnson in practices, but the coaches insist on redshirting him.
Who should play less? Any back that does not seem to add anything to the offense.

No talk about closing practices yet.

Yes, John Redcorn fixed the USC-Stanford game, whoever that is.

It’s too hard to judge the O-line right now because it lost two starters on one play, something I’ve never really seen before. Some guys have not played to their expectations but the injuries are darn near crazy along the line. If Butch Lewis sprains his ankle tripping on the stairs at his apartment, something’s wrong.

Hershel Dennis is going to play a lot more against Arizona.

Ronald Johnson will not play cornerback. The coaches think he is vital at wide receiver (only deep threat) and believe they can survive at CB (if you call last week surviving). Shareece Wright should be back next week which will solve some problems.

Petros Papadakis is anti-USC because . . .

The shaded face masks worn by Patrick Turner and supposed to adjust for night games. It should not affect him, but he has no explanations for the dropped passes, so I’ll go with it for now.

Kevin Ellison is a safety, not a cornerback. And Allen Bradford would require too much work right now to move back to safety and the drop off would not be worth the switch.

“What or who is responsible for your hatred of USC and why did you get your degree from the University?”

Hmmm, let me think. As an infant, I was left on the doorstep of Heritage Hall, where the football team discovered me and made me part of the Trojan Family, only to ship me to Notre Dame following the 51-0 loss to the Irish in 1966. Ara Parseghian took me into his home and raised me, with the sole intention of becoming a USC mole who would obtain a degree and then secretly strive to do nothing but drive fans crazy with my stories. Ara also foresaw the Internet and knew honing my blogging skills would further this nefarious goal.

“I would think that you would want to get away from such a vile place – at least that is what I take away from your articles – and concentrate on something that would be positive and worth reading.”

Actually, I prefer working at a vile place. It keeps me humble to remember my roots.

Kris O’Dowd and Brian Cushing need at least one more week off before being able to play. Gary Neville suffered a setback this week but should be ready following the international break while Nemanja Vidic suffered a knock that is not considered serious. I do not know when Michael Ballack will return however.

Regarding the egg theory (hey, you need to read these questions too, I do), it definitely feels like the defensive play is more conservative than in the earlier years. Maybe this is because Pete Carroll does not feel like the Trojans need to take as many chances, or maybe he feels like this defense is talented enough to keep things under control by playing a safe formation (until last week anyways).
But when you had Reggie Bush, LenDale White, etc., you could take chances and get away with it if they backfired because the offense could mask those errors. Right now, the offense is methodical and cannot answer back quickly.

Out of state recruits usually get a long leash because they are extremely talented as some of the best players in the nation. Then again, did Walker Lee Ashley (Minnesota) get a long leash? Or Antwine Perez (New Jersey)? Emmanuel Moody (Texas)? How much playing time has Butch Lewis (Colorado) gotten?

Pete Carroll does not attribute six interceptions solely to Booty. As most of you know, he said the entire offense is to blame and specifically, Stanley Havili and David Ausberry were blamed for two intercepions last week.

Regarding my video comment that prognosticators did not closely examine the secondary with their lofty projections regarding the defense, remember that Josh Pinkard was supposed to be a safety according to Pete Carroll. I am the one who constantly mentioned him better off at cornerback.
That said, Kevin Thomas has been hurt most of the past two seasons, so the jury is out regarding his impact. And Cary Harris’ injury has not had a significant impact.

Regarding Arizona State, even Petros Papadakis said they have a ways to go and he covered their game last week at Washington State. I’ll wait for a quality victory on the road before getting too excited.

The AP ballots are submitted Sunday morning. I believe a voter resigned last season for submitting a faulty ballot but I can’t remember the details. Too much going on around here this week to think clearly.

I don’t think Caesar regrets running off his assistants after 2004. We’ve discussed the Norm Chow situation ad nauseam and I’ve also heard Tim Davis left under strained circumstances. He didn’t run off Ed Orgeron, but how could you keep him when he got the chance to run Ole Miss into the ground.

Steve Sarkisian is on the field because he and Caesar can communicate better. It’s an odd arrangement but Mike Riley did it when he called plays for John Robinson. Personally, I’ve never liked it but I’m not a coach.

The players have been loose, upbeat and confident this week. They will be very fired up at the start of Saturday’s game but sometimes you can be too fired up and forget what you’re supposed to be doing. Pete Carroll’s usually good at addressing that problem.

The coaching staff yelled at the players this week to fire them up.

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