Answer Friday! (Part 3)

Why is Pat Haden keeping Lane Kiffin and the size of the defense are the topics in this segment.

Q: Ben Doverz
Why does Pat Haden think so highly of Lane Kiffin and his ability to coach when he’s shown that he’s not really good at it? I mean 25-11 at USC ain’t nothing to write home about.
A: I think Haden has a natural disposition to not fire coaches in any sport. I also think Lane Kiffin’s made a continual case that he is coaching during NCAA sanctions and that limited his effectiveness. Haden said this week USC was overrated before the season, which also bolsters his case.
As I mentioned earlier this week, some inside the athletic dept. believe USC cannot afford to fire Kiffin and his staff and pay a new coach $5-6 million per year. All of this serves to resist firing Kiffin, if you are inclined to keep him like Haden.
Q: Troy
I’m reposting since it wasn’t originally answered. Monte’s Tampa 2 Defense revolves around hybrid players who are more athletic and faster in their respective position. This sacrifices size and power. Do you think this attributes to the “softness” of the defense? Why not recruit/build/corn feed our players to be more massive and powerful (the team got over powered by Oregon)? You can still be fast and quick. This would force other teams to adjust instead of our team adjusting to find players capable of stopping a system offense like the spread. What do you think? A new off season conditioning program needed? Thanks

A: I don’t think the defense’s size was an issue. Remember Matt Grootegoed is one of the best linebackers in school history and he was 5-9. Guys like Dion Bailey can be effective against any defense. Now this defense is not the same size as the Brian Cushing-Rey Maualuga-Clay Matthews defenses but those were bigger than usual.
I believe scheme and coaching is the problem, not size.

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  • gotroy22

    Troy is right, our defense has become soft and wilted at the end of the Stanford and fucla games. It was painful to watch Oregon run through us like a hot knife through butter.

  • CheattheSystem

    The yards don’t matter. It’s the points that matter. PC’s defenses were well known to be a “bend but don’t break” style of defense. Contrary to Scott’s answer, scheme is not the main problem. The biggest problem for our defense this year has been execution and poor tackling. I can point to at least 2-3 plays per game that may have blown the game open or reversed the flow of the game.

    For example,

    Oregon: Dawson drops sure pick 6. (that’s a 12 – 14 pt swing, what was the score again?)
    Ucla: 2 Franklin touchdowns and the first down–missed tackles. Dawson drops INT. PHANTOM “Targeting” call (it’s not even listed on ESPN play by play!)

    Arizona – missed tackles at the end of the game (fatigue?)

    Stanford – I actually thought that despite the outcome, this was one of our better games–We did let the TE get open too many times.

    Our worst game was either the Syracuse or Washington game…

    Thoughts? Ultimately that comes down to coaching and in-game adjustments. It’s not the scheme.

  • “execution and poor tackling” is a direct reflection on the coaching, period. If Hayden buys into the exagerated excuse of sanctions and allows the Kiffen’s to continue to lose almost every meaningful game, he should go also.