In this segment, a question on whether USC would be better off if someone else called plays.
What are your thoughts on his performance and mindset?
Q: Mike said:
With all of the sunshine Trojans jumping off the bandwagon, it will be nice to find a good tailgate spot near Tommy Trojan and good tickets at face value. Now, is there any chance you’ll jump off the bandwagon, asked to be reassigned and we get a real reporter on the SC beat?
A: And then lose the chance to torment you? Not a chance.
Q: Trojan Conquest said:
This Barkley situation is tough. He keeps teasing us with glimpes, but then reverts to his old self of not getting it done in clutch situations. I’d rather have players with moxie and guts (Osweiler, Pflugrad) than pedigree and a sense of entitlement. Are we better off having Barkley stay another year, or go pro and get one of these young QBs going?
A: I think it’s hard to argue that a senior Matt Barkley is worse than a freshman Cody Kessler or Max Wittek. More likely, Barkley will turn pro and USC will need a new QB. I think Kessler’s got moxie and Wittek’s made pretty good strides since the spring. So I think it will be a pretty close battle in the fall.
Q: lbc trojan said:
This is my first honest and serious question for you, although I don’t think much of your opinion but ask for a response given the platform you have here on this blog. You (along with many of what I consider to be “entitled” USC fans) continue to complain that the head coach should not be calling plays and focus more on the team. I don’t think you’re focusing on the big picture. What exactly makes you think this is a solution for this team? Mike McCarthy calls plays for the Green Bay Packers and his team just won a Super Bowl. McCarthy’s demeanor is vastly different than Kiffin’s is, do you truly believe Kiffin’s personality would make this team any different with him stepping away from his play chart? I actually think this team would be worse that way. Kiffin’s play-calling at ASU was superb, aside from a couple of the early 3rd-and-long running plays and the FG 2-pt conversion attempt (which led to an unecessary timeout). His play-calling seemed fine when the 2005 Trojans averaged nearly 50 points a game, too. SC’s offense moved the ball ALL NIGHT against a good ASU defense but couldn’t cash in because of TURNOVERS. Those are not Kiffin’s fault, especially given his strong stance on them. 4 turnovers will lose the game for most ANY team, but keep putting our defense on the field time after time, what do you expect them to do in terms of both psyche and conditioning. So, given everything I included in this question, what exactly makes you believe Kiffin not calling plays would help this team?
A: I would not consider myself an “entitled” fan since I covered the team from 1996-2000 which might be the worst period in the history of USC football. What I do have is standards and I believe USC’s should be the highest.
First off, no one is confusing Lane Kiffin with Mike McCarthy. But that aside, USC needs someone to MANAGE the game AND call plays. When Kiffin is focused on one, no one is doing the other. Based on your question, you want Kiffin as offensive coordinator and think someone else should be the head coach.
Regarding 2005, I could have called plays with that group of athletes. Did you see the empty backfield fourth-and-1 with Matt Leinart getting stuffed by Texas. Or Reggie Bush on the sidelines on the biggest play of the season?
More important, I would not say the playcalling was superb at ASU. I’d point out the series inside the Sun Devils 20 when three straight plays went to Robert Woods and two of them were incomplete passes while the other play netted 2 yards. That’s called being too predictable.
I don’t expect anything to change but I do believe it would better to have Kiffin (or someone) acting like a head coach on the sideline. But I’m old-fashioned.