Lane Kiffin told the team this morning he would play more players this year than last year. A main reason is Kiffin believed the team wore down at the end of games. The Trojans a ran a long, difficult practice in the heat at Howard Jones Field. Offensive guard Aundrey Walker left with heat dehydration.
Matt Barkley, Rhett Ellison, Christian Tupou and T.J. McDonald were elected team captains. JC transfer Jeremy Galten worked at left guard with the first-team offense.
“Nobody will take it,” Kiffin said. “We keep trying to give it away.”
Chris Galippo was inserted into 9-on-7 drills and tipped a screen to demonstrate his sprained shoulder feels better. He expects to be ready for the Minnesota game.
With tomorrow’s practice closed to family members, I think it is worth noting that Lane Kiffin is probably the most inaccessible USC coach to the general public since . . .
I might have said Paul Hackett but Hackett did not require a security escort to run off the field after practice and avoid any public interaction. Other than the required coaches tour and two Sport Chalet appearances, it’s pretty tough for the average fan to penetrate the Kiffin bubble.
I am not trying to put this anyway near the ultimate barometer of winning or losing for a coach. But interest in USC football is where it is in large part because Pete Carroll embraced the public and energized Southern California through his personality.
Even if practices were closed because of NCAA sanctions, Carroll would find time for the public. If you have short memories, John Robinson got himself another year as head coach in 1997 because he enjoyed strong support among the boosters, alumni and fans.
That is something Kiffin should keep in mind in the current cloistered environment he exists.