USC Coach Steve Sarkisian Defends Justin Wilcox (Again)

COWHERD.AUGUSTSteve Sarkisian appeared with USC fan Colin Cowherd (above) today and was asked again about defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.

“Nobody’s at their best when they feel like they have to perform or they feel like they’re distracted by outside influences, and I don’t believe that with Justin at all. I think our defense is going to continue to improve. It’s fun to watch our young guys running around out there. Can our run defense improve? No doubt; we’re working on it. But I think our future, just like our program on defense is extremely bright.”

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  • Helen

    Scottie trying to manufacture a story (again).

    • TireBiter

      …at least he didn’t use the same Wilcox picture he’s used 1000 times…you know the one.

      • USC Rah Rah’s Rule

        Deep throat?

  • Alvarado

    I don’t understand what you expected Sarkisian to say other than he’s (Sark) a coach/manager that stands by his hire/staff. Did anyone ask Mora about his squad’s defensive coordinator Tom Bradley per their (UCLA) near loss two weeks ago? What? No?

    How about you and Wang switch ‘beats’ for a couple of week and let’s see how brave you’d be if you had to ask Mora the same Wolf.

    • Jack B

      Mora would take on Wolfie. I’d pay to see the smack down.

    • j metaphor

      Al,
      You make a good point which I believe is part of SoCal Sark’s problem. Sark isn’t in a position to be aggressive with anyone because of his previous antics. I think Sark is distracted by the “outside influences” he says Wilcox is not.
      Sark has talent on his team but he isn’t even close to the coach Mora is.
      Players and recruits will figure this out.
      But what do I know, I’m just a Troll….

      • Alvarado

        Hmm I don’t know – per Sark yeah he has an ‘average’ track record I’ll admit that but as to Mora? What a failed former NFL head coach at two sites (ATL &SEA) and has yet to beat Oregon or Stanford and more importantly he failed to prepare his team for last year’s Pac-12 CG.

        Methinks Mora is obsessed to proving to the world he is a good coach and yet he somehow can’t get the Pac-12 Championship…that elusive holy grail….

        • Clay Russell

          Ucla is the Clippers and they’ll both fall short again this year.

          The hype around Ucla and Mora is ridiculous. Even some long time ‘SC fans have bought into it. It seems some of them are close to having a Caitlynesque, late-in-life transition and slide into something powder blue. For shame…

          • j metaphor

            You think about Caitlin often, Clay?
            Let me simplify the question for you. If your son was a highly recruited football player right now, who would you rather have him play for: the UCLA staff or USC’s?

          • Clay Russell

            My son would be committing to a university and not a football coach. That university would be the University of Southern California. Fight On!, Dude

          • UCLA owns LA Football

            There’s no accounting for taste Clay.

            A musical comparison if you don’t mind Clay, your son prefers “Hole” to Linda Ronstadt.

          • Clay Russell

            If I caught my son listening to either he’d be doing up downs.

          • j metaphor

            If your son wants to attend the University in Los Angeles that is in a bad neighborhood, second best in academics, athletics and world reputation, good luck to him
            Great that he has you to offer such sound and reasoned advice, dude.

          • then I suppose suucks could be compared to WWII Germany? When discussing ssuucks..
            why does it always come back to references about that CROMWELL guy und das chokink zound?

          • Clay Russell

            Man, you guys and your colorful names…

          • Billy Jean

            You are sooooo intelligent

          • UCLA owns LA Football

            Maybe Clay, but it must be tough for you when someone mentions the Toejam Men’s Basketball team.

          • Clay Russell

            Nobody mentions Trojans basketball and nobody cares. College basketball is maybe my 6th or 7th favorite sport except around tournament time. Ncaa hoops is infirm and unwatchable otherwise. I think I’d be more upset if Usc did give me a reason to watch it. I’d never forgive them.

          • Safer In Westwood

            EEEeeeestuuuupid analogy given the fact UCLA BBallers have more NBA tittles and Hall of Famers in the league, have you noticed the Lakers lately??

            UCLA FB = NBA Clippers

            #TrojanAF

        • dear Avacado….it’s ONLY year 4 for Mora as head coach….Read all the posts from RAH RAH’S….Mora has you guys scared….Really?
          It’s just the beginning for Coach Mora…he’s in the process of turning EVERYTHING UPSIDE DOWN…….
          #sleepwithoneeyeopen

          • Ray

            I’ve heard that before. How’d it work out for UGLY?

          • sas

            The Miami Hurricanes and Wisconsin Badgers said…NOT SO FAST!!!

          • UCLA owns LA Football

            Ok sas, I concede Miami and Wisconsin were cupcakes compared to Boston College.

          • Pasadena Trojan

            Well, he did turn Urlbcht upside down on the field that day. I though Mora and him were going to have to find a room. Yes, I am saying it is not acceptable.

          • UCLA owns LA Football

            Maybe, but the UCLA AD will never skip down, half gassed, to the sideline to hold Mora hand.

        • j metaphor

          Beating you his first year is an excellent start in my book.
          SoCal hiring Sark is like an annuity for UCLA

      • Fred Sampson

        When it’s all over and done with, Steve Sarkisian will regret his decision to leave Washington. He was making close to 3 million dollars annually, to produce mediocrity .So wherever he ends up with after USC, he won’t see those types of dollars, because they don’t pay that in the Mountain West conference.

        • YOLO 4 SC

          Dream on, Fred! At the rate this team is building with top-flight recruits, you can be rest assured Sark will be around for a very long time. Did you watch this team when Larry Smith or Paul Hackett coached? if you did, then you would know what mediocrity is all about.

          • Ray

            I was at SC when Smith was the coach. Boy, we had some great teams with great talent, but they never could put it all together. I hope Sark isn’t a repeat of that.

          • YOLO 4 SC

            Hackett or Smith never had a top ten recruiting class – if they did, it sure didnt seem like it – they are not even close, Sark is way better – look me in the eyes, I am telling you that this is going to be an unbelievable ride – Sark gets it, he may be young like most players are on this team, but good things are already happening – they just need to focus to the end of the season before Sark parties too hard

          • Pasadena Trojan

            Those were Tolner recruits. Smith did not and could not recruit at all.

      • YOLO 4 SC

        Players and recruits will figure what out, exactly? Mora hasn’t done anything except lie and face cup people against their will while staring into their eyes with horrible beady hamster glares… and what happens if Josh Rosen goes down? You guys are about as flimsy as silly putty

        • j metaphor

          Probably a bad time to enroll at SoCal with a head coach AND A.D. that might not survive another season and a “B” team assistant coaching staff. Enroll next year and you probably have either a new head coach or one that has serious issues and has his head on the chopping block.
          Your goal this year should be to keep your annual beat down loss by UCLA to under 10 points. Then you’ll know you are making progress as a program.

          • Pasadena Trojan

            Hey dipped, we have not lost to you this year. That was last year. But of course you ruins look to the past to make yourselves feel real good all over.

          • j metaphor

            Huh?
            I wonder what the clinical name is for the condition that creates that sort of twisted denial ridden logic. You beat us the last three years in a row but not yet this year? Wow.
            Dominationphobia?

      • Trojan in Michigan

        Pot, kettle, black ring a tune here?

      • cupcake

        Yes, you are a Troll and your football knowledge and information are quite limited.

      • Alvarado

        J – my point was so accurate that note Wolf or his flunkies dropped it.

    • Ted

      Cayate Albarado! Don’t you dare talk to Wolf like that! Best have some respect!

      • Alvarado

        Ted he keeps deleting the fact stated he’d never treat Mora that way – my 1st post that began the discussion was deleted

  • UCLA owns LA Football

    CC Sark uses his finger to stop a dike leak.

    • Billy Jean

      Guess he stopped YOU

  • David Keeling

    OK Coach, ask Colin Cowherd what he thinks of Justin Wilcox as the DC. Cowherd is honest enough to tell anyone what he really believes.

  • Go Tama

    Wilcox should have been fired in January

  • sas

    Sark has Wilcox’ back. Plain and simple. There won’t be any coaches leaving this team. At least not during the season. Sark is obviously gonna stick with JWilcox. And we (the fan base) just have to ride with it.

    • Clay Russell

      Exactly. If anyone does leave it will be Tee Martin taking an OC job. That would not be addition by subtraction.

      • sas

        Tee is a coach that we have to try and hang on to as long as possible, but I could see him leaving for a OC position. And I’ve been saying that this is probably the season where he starts getting interest or offers.

        • Clay Russell

          Agreed. One positive is that there are only a handful programs that could lure him away. I’d bet he has already had some folks feeling him out. I think I’d be more comfortable if his son was already on campus.

          • sas

            Someone correct me if I’m wrong. But I read that Tee’s wife accepted a really good job through the school, something like that. If that’s true then it could be a good sign they would stick around at least for his son to get here and go to school.

          • Clay Russell

            I haven’t seen anything about his wife, but coaching talent will be served and he’s going to want to climb the career ladder at some point.

        • Fred Sampson

          USC over pays it coaches, so it would take alot to pry Martin away. He showed interest in the UNLV job, until he found out he makes $250,000 more then they were offering for tge head coaching position.

          • sas

            Tee should always be a priority to Sark and USC. I think he will.

          • David Keeling

            Fred, USC has never been known to hire a big name coach paying a big salary in the beginning. Never! Only when that coach succeeds does the administration start forking over some big bucks. Man you should know better.

          • Fred Sampson

            I know they did that with Pete Carroll, but after that. ..No. Because Mike Garrett started Lane Kiffin off at $3.5 million, then gave his Father $1.5 million as a defensive coordinator. Pat Haden had to at least match the $3 Million Steve Sarkisian was receiving at Washington, and he had to start Justin Wilcox off at $1 million . So things ain’t what they use to be around Trojan land .

  • Jack B

    Sark’s problem is he hasn’t earned much respect, plain and simple.

    Now he’s got a big uphill mountain to climb because he was straight-on mediocre, in the best light, in his first year as USC’s coach.

    Then came Tribute to Troy and F F On.

    Then came the Trojan version of Pop Warner defense against Stanford.

    Hovering in the background are the big divorce, rumors of womanizing and a potential substance abuse problem he’s trying to figure out with professional help.

    Plus ucla’s the best it’s been since the best of Cade.

    Well, Sark begged for the job and now he’s got it, plus all the downside. He could win big, get to and win the Rose Bowl and look to be in fantastic shape.

    Or he could lose to ND, Utah, ucla and maybe Cal and face an off-season that will have him wishing he never heard of USC.

    Good luck Sark.

    • Alvarado

      Amen amen and sadly too many want Sark gone. If he wins it will still be deemed as suspect and as for the counter well it’s expected. I so wish he would understand how rare an opportunity comes to anyone – rare still are those who grasp it and suceed

      • Jack B

        I think if Sark succeeded, us Trojans would get behind him all the way. I know I would. The problem is, his success isn’t expected anymore because of how his team looks at crucial times in big games. Frankly, were he coaching at ucla, I’d figure we’d have him for lunch.

        Some men just don’t have the coaching talent to succeed at the highest level. The vast majority don’t in fact. I think he’s trying to grasp the ring as hard as he can. He just hasn’t been able to make a mark yet and is apparently still learning on the job. Personally, I don’t think Sark was ready to be HC at USC. Not mature, knowledgable, connected or insightful enough yet. So now if he doesn’t improve fast, he’ll be off. Timing’s everything. With every new big game loss that Sark takes on, he slides further down the mountain.

        • David Keeling

          So Jack B., why did Pat Haden hire him over other more qualified prospects the marketing service USC hired had listed? Pat Haden wanted someone he could control & keep under his thumb. Sarkisian wasn’t that hot coach everyone wanted, his last 2/3 teams that he recruited & nurtured were stuck at 8&5. He showed he could develop a program only so far. So when you go after Sark, remember the person who hired him.

          • Jack B

            Not sure why you think Haden has to have anyone under his thumb. He’s not like that. Doesn’t stroll around with a big ego and never has. Is not a control freak.

            He picked Sark over other coaches who looked better on paper because his “gut” told him Sark was a better fit – USC background, grew up in area, Carroll connection, et al. Pure and simple. I don’t think he cast a very wide net and I don’t believe Korn Ferry influenced his decision a lot.

            Pat’s not afraid to make his own calls and he’d be the first to admit the Sark experiment hasn’t worked so far and Pat takes the blame for the call. That’s his job. Who ever said he shouldn’t be blamed. He should and he’d admit it.

            Sark could turn it around if he starts winning big but that’s in somebodies crystal ball I don’t have.

            Hiring head football coaches is one of the most difficult things any AD will do. Sounds easy, but not so. Very complicated unless you’re OHIO ST and clear choice Urban Meyer is just sitting there free and wants to sign on today.

      • Ray

        I want us to win, rather than Sark to leave. It would mean breaking in a new coach and system. Rarely do first year coaches do great, correct me if I’m wrong.

  • I think Cutty goofed by not beginning with…’To tell the truth, honestly…..’ Call me naive…but without those key words…I just don’t believe him when he talks….
    f/o

  • Golden Trojan

    The futures so bright we gotta wear shades!

  • youtubedotcom/watch?v=rxnWZ10ml5o
    one of my fave’s
    f/o

    • Ray

      So you TROLLS get upset when SC fans talk about the injuries to UGLY players, yet you celebrate USC injuries? I know this video was up alot on some UCLA forums. Celebrating injuries, eh? You guys are so hypocritical.

      • WhySoSerious54

        Injuries are part of the game Ray. Don’t be so defensive. Cheer Up champ. Rub a little dirt on it and get up. You can’t judge a book by its cover. When in rome right.

  • Fred Sampson

    Steve Sarkisian is delusional, and he probably believes Justin Wilcox is a top Defensive coordinator, because his assistant coaches evaluation is extremely shallow and limited. Take a look at Bob Connelly’s trumpet up bio in the media guide, it should actually say he was fired at every job he’s ever had at the division l level, and on the verge of being fired at Oklahoma state. Those are the type of coaches Sarkisian thinks highly of , so his evaluation of Wilcox doesn’t surprise me at all. And those are the coaches that Sarkisian considers the best coaching staff in college football, because he did say that during his press conference after he was hired, didn’t he ?

    • Clay Russell

      Fred, who do you think will win the Pac 12 this year?

      • Fred Sampson

        It’s hard to say at this point, because a few teams are playing well, and Oregon showed some vulnerabilitie over the weekend against Utah. And both Arizona teams played poorly, Cal looks good, but hasn’t played anybody that would make me raise a brow, so at this point UCLA, and Utah are the only Schools that look impressive. But ill finally get a chance to see what type of team Washington has .

        • Clay Russell

          You’re not ready to pick a horse yet…ok.

          • Fred Sampson

            No, because It’s too early in the season, and lots of teams can improve over the next few weeks .USC can even jump up there if they develop a running game.

  • gillyking

    Those astoundingly asinine quotes by 7ark are a big part of the many reasons that that clueless so called HC, needs to be pink slipped!

  • Helen

    Meanwhile… Nathan Tilford, the 2017 prospect is committed to USC.

    • UCLA owns LA Football

      Wait for it folks: Mr. Tilford is a receiver.

      • Helen

        Owen, actually he’s listed as an athlete. You know, the guys that can play multiple positions?

        Bum Bum

        • UCLA owns LA Football

          The site I checked out had Mr Tilford labeled as a 6’2″ 198lb receiver and Tilford’s highlights were strictly receiver action.

          But if you say athlete, ok by me.

    • sas

      RB from Upland?

  • Trojan in Michigan

    quick FMK question… Keith Burns, Monte Kiffin and Jason Wilcox?

  • cupcake

    If Colin Cowherd is a USC fan, certainly Scott Wolf is not.a USC fan. Colin Cowherd is an exceptionally bright, articulate, knowledgeable person with a huge audience. Little people always seem to believe they will benefit from taking cheap shots at those that have earned and achieved success. You Trolls out there listening?.Good luck getting a gig with Colin on his show anytime soon. Maybe Jim Hill, a really good man, will offer you a gig again this year (out of pity).

  • Goatboy Kiffin

    Always the bright future to chubby sark … that trick worked at Udub somewhat .. he was about to be fired , doesn’t work at USC
    Snarks future is at ND Utah at Cal at Oregon ucla. Lose 2 of those and their is still trouble lose 3 and Sark is gone

  • Hammer

    Great article in the Breeze today about SC’s toughness/defensive prowess. Look, we can be homers and say all is well in the program and put our blinders on- or, point out the ways to improve. Most of the critiquing I see, is surrounding the defense – and it’s valid. Sure they have Freshman in some key spots. The problem is they have a clueless D Coord leading them. Until he stops looking like a deer with headlights in his eyes and forms a new culture that the defense needs to play within- this year will be more of the same. Look at the yards per game on the ground the D has given up the 1st 3 games- against outmanned opponents. Wilcox is proving Einstein’s theory of insanity week in and week out…

  • Yale O. Leftwich

    This is pretty interesting ,all the various comments…is there a way to see who gets to eat crow at the end of the season? Great expectations,based on promises by Sark,the defense will change,and I thought,what a great win it all year,it is done fairly frequently;the ‘O’ line was my concern,where are the road graders of a few years ago? Maybe this year,no more unable to gain a yard on 3rd or 4th down…the athletes are there,so what is wrong? Washington,ND,UTAH,CAL,ARIZONA,OREGON,UCLA hope we win ’em all…that’s a lot of good football teams,it is going to take great defense and offense…coaching.

  • UCLA owns LA Football

    Bottom line Mr. Toejam: Coach Mora 3 – 0 vs KU. Clown on.