Time to tackle some reader questions on Pete Carroll, the Sun Bowl locker room incident and Lane Kiffin’s press conferences.
How much does the Willie Lyles scandal have to do with Chip Kelly interviewing for NFL positions? Do you believe Pete Carroll knew that USC was going to get hammered before he took the Seahawks job?
A: That is always the toughest question to answer when these guys go to the NFL. I’m sure it played a role with Kelly and Carroll. I think Pete Carroll felt like he had taken USC about as far as he could and probably sensed a little decline approaching. He also grew weary of Mike Garrett, I hear. And the great unfinished task inside him was showing his NFL friends that he could be a successful pro coach. When Seattle came and offered him full control, he felt it was too much to pass up. I’m not sure he really thought the NCAA would hammer USC because he was such an optimist and always told me he thought the university was clean.
Do you think there is any chance Kiffin goes with someone other than Max Browne as the starting QB next year? My guess is that there is nothing Wittek or Kessler can do as Kiffin has already made up his mind.
A: I really think it is difficult for any high school senior to come in and win the job. I still think it was a mistake for Matt Barkley to be named the starter at the outset of the 2009 season. I’m not sure Kiffin has Pete Carroll’s carefree attitude to pull off such a move, either.
What I think is more likely is Wittek starts the season as the No. 1 QB and if he struggles, Browne takes over.
Q: socal2582 After the season USC had and kiffin being on a hot seat next season do you think this will hurt USC in hiring a good quality defensive coordinator of a big name seems like pendergast is the only name thrown around and interested knowing whats at stake
A: We all know the answer to this question now. I don’t think any quality DC was going to work for a coach who might be fired after the season.
Q: 38-28 Scott,
Who won the fight in the locker room after the game? I can’t wait to read your article on it.
A: As you probably know, I wrote about an altercation in the locker room after the Sun Bowl. I know it involved seniors and freshmen and was more yelling than physical contact. I know there was some physical contact but not necessarily punches.
I don’t think there was a winner but I know one player who tried to break it up was basically ignored by his teammates.
my question is: a reader (Webb DuPree) recently pointed out you seemingly lost your joie de vivre this season. i agree. last season you and Kiff were like Martin and Lewis, you had the delightful Aja Dang! as your sidekick, and everyone looked forward to Kiff’s pressers anticipating more of your and Kiff’s friendly repartee.
but this season has been one “-Gate” after the other, no pretty girls and ultimately Kiff made an ill-conceived and ill-fated attempt to shut you down which blew up in his face and ruined the whole Martin-Lewis vibe, and possibly accelerated the team’s collapse.
so what was it? was it Kiff’s growingly paranoid behavior casting a pall on the season, or, are you mentally circling the wagons and getting ready to write that book everyone is waiting for??
say it’s the book, puh-leeeeeeeze???
A: I do think a book is a great idea. I think it would be great to capture the Carroll era and Kiffin era together.
There was less give-and-take between Lane Kiffin and I this season. The main reason is the press conferences were allowed by sports information to become short, informationless exercises that consisted of Kiffin going through the motions. Or in one case, a USC intern was given a question (will Marqise Lee play defense this week?) and forced to ask it the same day the deflated balls story went public.
It really was no way to do things but this is pretty much standard operating procedure these days.
Kiffin doesn’t want to answer tough questions and I don’t want to ask fluff questions. So it becomes difficult at times.