Ed Orgeron is about as far from a mannequin as you can get with his gruff voice and outgoing demeanor. But he is doing a great job as USC’s coach because he is not imposing his will on the Trojans like Lane Kiffin did. Orgeron is simply letting the Trojans be themselves.
When things went good, Kiffin often went out of his way to mess things up or created a controversy. Orgeron is a healer who thinks of ways to make the players happy. Kiffin made change for the sake of change: Morning practices, closed practices, silver cleats, red socks, etc.
Orgeron orders In-N-Out, delivers guest speakers and returns dessert to the training table. He also knows that sometimes doing nothing is the best course. When Kiffin was the coach, the players walked off the practice field listlessly this season. With Orgeron they bounce off the field.
Now here is the dilemma for Pat Haden: Is Orgeron pushing all the right buttons and doing an excellent job or is some of this a new coach bounce that comes simply by being anyone but Lane Kiffin?