Why Clancy Pendergast Makes Sense (To Lane Kiffin)

I wrote yesterday that Lane Kiffin’s already interviewed former Cal defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast for the USC job. That is one reason some USC recruits are being told the Trojans will play more of a 3-4 defense next season.

It is what Pendergast ran at Cal and is considered a better formation to stop the spread offense. And here is why Pendergast is attractive: Some elite coaches find the job a dead end because it could be a one-year stop if Kiffin is fired.

Pendergast does not have that concern because he needs a job. I’ve heard from NFL people he is able though some say his reputation is lacking among NFL coaches. I also heard he clashed with Cal coach Jeff Tedford.

But Lane Kiffin needs a defensive coordinator, so maybe Pendergast is the frontrunner.

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  • nard dog

    Fart. Smell it. Love it. Live it. Brought to you by the producers of gas-x. So suck it little gutties. Your breath smells like semen and turnips. The Nard dog has spoken.

  • Ben Factor

    I agree with Scott. Kitten’s hot seat, and his reputation for poor, in-game, offensive adjustments, which undermine the defense, and particularly in the second half, are going to narrow Kitten’s choices, even though he can pay a nice dollar. Any bright candidate has to ask how he will look on the open market after the 2013 season. And unless USC is going to hire an unquestionably superb COLLEGE DC, it may not make too much sense to guarantee a longer contract. But that DC is not leaving Alabama or ND or LSU or…or…or…to come to USC in 2012, with two more short recruiting classes ahead, and a head coach of dubious ability, who is on thin ice.

    BTW, some people think that tackling in practice is essential to the
    defense, regardless of the risk of injury. Not sure where Kitten is
    going on that issue. But if it is to be limited, that is one more reason why Kitten won’t get a top guy.

    By the stats, I guess that Pendergast had some success in the Pac-12. Ironically, he could not defend USC especially well.

    A great NFL reputation would not be expected, or Pendergast would be in the NFL. Nor is such a reputation sufficient, or Monte Kiffin would still be at USC The issue is what criticisms have been made by NFL coaches, and whether those complaints are germane to the college game. I would hope that Kitten can call his mentor, Jeff Tedford, and get a very complete picture of what to expect from Pendergast.

    And if Pendergast is the best available man, let’s hope that he does great
    once he gets his hands on USC’s defensive talent, which must be a step
    up from that of Cal. But maybe not without tackling in practice.

    • Cheap seats

      I don’t necessarily agree in putting all your eggs in the “stop the spread” mentality.

      The Rose Bowl and National Championship consist of all Pro-style / power oriented offenses. I think part of our problem was concentrating our talent on more quicker “spread stopper” guys and we ended up not being able to stop either type of offense.

      Yes, the Pac-12 has several teams running the spread. However, I think the best counter to the finesse scheme is to bring HITTING and NASTINESS back to defense. If you look back on many of the runs we gave up this season, I didn’t see too many occasions where SCHEME was the issue rather than willingness or desire to lay a lick on the ball carrier.

      During the Oregon massacre, I don’t know why they didn’t give Marriota the correct alignment that would option him to run the ball at least 15 times. When the kid would run, why not lay a good football hit on him instead of tip-toeing around the pile?

      Whoever we land, I just want the attacking and physicality back.

      • Ben Factor

        All strong points. What is needed is defensive flexibility. And, yes, aggressiveness, which I think starts with hitting in practice.

        I agree with Scott that the circs don’t give USC the pick of the litter.

      • RallyMonkeyUSA

        Yes please we need to get nasty and mean like redd says. We are weak minded and un motivated. I remember once upon a time we played smash mouth football. Ppl we’re seriously intimidated by the brand usc. Now we have 200 pound linebackers and an o line that’s scared to get in the defenses way.

        • Cheap seats

          Yes, 200 pound lbs and a number 55 who seems to hide behind blocks. “Sorry guys, I’m blocked so I can’t get to the ball” Dawson.

  • steveg

    After a new DC is installed, we still are stuck with the zombie like HC standing on the sidelines without emotion, passion, or inspiration, staring off into nowhere with his Denny’s menu in front of him trying to figure out what he can call next. Then when he decides, it’s wrong. Right now I dread 2013.

  • dtksr1 @dslextreme.com

    I am of belief Kiffin has gotten this far due to his associations with PC, rubbing shoulders with Norm Chow & being the son of Monte Kiffin. He got as far as the Raiders on this coattail ride until Al Davis finally caught on LK was a phoney and called him a liar in public. He was able to land Tennessee due to his Raider resume and then had the luck of PC leaving and MK going to Lane after his first batch of candidates said no (following a legend). Now that Kiffin has been better exposed, all he has now is the remainder of his USC contract, which he intends to recieve in full one way or another, and hope he lands on his feet somewhere afterwards… He has fooled some of the best, so now Max Nikias decides the immediate future (not Haden).

  • RallyMonkeyUSA

    Fire Kiffin and bring in Chris Peterson or Gary Patterson and allow them to hire their own assistantst. Why is Kiffin allowed to hire “his guy”. Pat Haden should take it upon himself to find a guy he thinks is right. Kiffin has proved that he lacks good judgement. The last thing he wants to do is hire someone with a nice track record and established reputation that may challenge either his authority or job security. This is going to be so painful watching our once top recruiting class crumble before our eyes because we don’t have a coordinator yet and were going to switch schemes. This is a disaster and its on ur watch pat Haden.

    • betomas

      Agree that Guy Smiley is letting this happen and he is kust as responsible as Kitten for this disaster.