USC Morning Buzz: Coaches Deliver Few Straight Answers On Staff

How is USC going to replace Tyson Helton?

Clay Helton would not say much about it Tuesday. Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Tee Martin did a complete flip-flop. In late October, he complained that he wasn’t the quarterbacks coach and doesn’t get to talk to Sam Darnold enough.

“One of the tougher things is that I’m not the quarterbacks coach, so I don’t get to meet with him right before the game or on the practice field because I have receivers to coach … so there is a little communication gap there.”

But here was Martin on Tuesday: “I’ve coached quarterbacks in my career and got bored by doing it. When you get a taste of coaching wide receivers, it’s so much fun.

“I feel it’s best for me to be in the (wide receivers’ meeting) room. It gives me an opportunity to be around everyone.”

And what about talking to Darnold: ““I talk to him when I need to talk to him.”

Does Martin even think that his quotes contradict each other?

Wolf: USC coaches deliver few straight answers on coaching situations

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  • Jack B

    Tee Martin can say what he wants. He’s a very powerful USC asst and he’s under no obligation to tell SW anything. I doubt he thinks much about it, except for getting it over. These coaches despise SW.

    Any fool can understand by looking at his coaching career that he doesn’t like coaching QBs, so he doesn’t do it. He can obviously speak with Darnold whenever he wants. I don’t think he asks CH for a hall pass. Tyson Helton is gone, so that problem between the two no longer exists. Tee won the battle.

    • Pudly76

      Somehow only Scott seems to come up with this type of stuff…fomenting dissent at every opportunity. It’s why no one takes him seriously as a journalist!
      His second sentence speaks volumes for his skill as a writer.

      • Chris

        Pudly, there’s no need to comment but it. Most of the time the writer is but the ball. Sometimes, yes, his negativity can go but and but and but.

      • steveg

        What would he expect from Helton at this particular point in time. Wolf writes like he is from cnn or msnbc. He thinks his opinions overshadow the facts at hand.

        • Gabby

          Wolf has a limited skill set and struggles to generate objective content, So, he turns to what he does best, posting fake controversies

        • Pudly76

          He did thinks his opinions and ruminations are the facts, why he’s held in such esteem

          • steveg

            Is that the same as being a legend in his own mind?

  • Stuart Leventer

    There’s no question there was a big tug-of-war going on between Martin and Helton for a while, and CH’s little bro has decided to take an exit from the team. I wouldn’t be surprised a bit even if Swann had a hand in this all along. Actually, interviews from yesterday said it all. Martin seemed to have gotten rid of the monkey off his back, and CH looked to be quite downcast and subdued. This is probably also a wake-up call for CH that he’ll be shown the door, too, if he messes up from now on.

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      Swann played a part in this, and he’ll be the guy getting Gomer better assistants since he can’t seem to be able to do that on his own

      • David Keeling

        Amen brother. There are only so many Western Kentucky coaches available.

        • Gabby

          Finding them is one thing, but getting them to come is another….easier said than done

        • Michael Guarino

          We’ve got one of those Western Kentucky guys COACHING SAM RIGHT NOW! Come on! Let’s get our damn act together before it’s too late to be ready for the Cotton Bowl…
          #…IfIt’sNotAlreadyTooLate

        • CORTEZ THE KILLER

          Gomer knows he’s not calling the shots on the assistant coaches anymore, Swann is. Gomer isn’t happy that his brother was run off, that’s to be expected, but if he’s dim enough to think that he’s got a top coaching staff, then he needs all the help he can get in acquiring top assistants because he sure doesn’t seem to be able to do that

          • Cloud Shaman

            He landed himself a promotion to offensive coordinator for a turnaround situation at a decent SEC school. It was time to cash in on SC experience and get out from under his brothers thumb.

    • Michael Guarino

      Interviews “from yesterday said it all.” Good call. Helton looked “quite downcast and subdued.” Another good call. Most tellingly, there was no “happy Monday!” I’ve never heard Helton launch into a post practice presser without the “happy whatever-day- of- the week-it- is!” salutation. I’ll say it right now —[even though I absolutely hate to say it]: these are NOT good signs for the Cotton Bowl outcome. Helton, whatever, his skill set, is a lousy poker player —and his unhappiness and dissatisfaction can easily be read by the team.
      Suck it up, Coach Helton. The team needs you right now. And they need you to do more than show up to work. They need you excited and exuberant and ready to take on the world—-or we’re in for another of those Alabama/Notre Dame outcomes.

      • Stuart Leventer

        Couldn’t have said it better myself! Right on, and fight on!

  • CORTEZ THE KILLER

    Do any of Gomer’s assistants know how to talk to the press ? SC might want to give these idiots a few classes in communications

    • Gabby

      Do any of wolf’s assistants know how to play football ? The DN might want to give these idiots a few classes in Football 101

    • Tebow_Obama

      None of them speak until Max Nikias tells them to.

  • steveg

    Clay Helton says he has a great coaching staff. What the heck you think he is going to say to Wolf as the team starts prep for the Cotton Bowl. Another platitude and Wolfy thinks it is something profound.

    Like I said before, if Martin wants to be the man, then he dang well better be able to stand the fire or get out of the kitchen.

    If Helton and Swann have plans I am sure nothing will happen until after the bowl game, which will be kind of late but it will be before the second recruiting period. We shall see just what Swann and Helton are made of and if they both deserve to remain. Others think Helton should just be fired but that reflects badly upon Swann and USC itself. Baxter is a good coach, he needs a boot in his butt. O line coach? DB coach? Gotta go. Pendy? Only if they have someone noticeably better willing to come.

    • David Keeling

      Good response and right on the button Steveg. We are not going to see any changes until after the bowl game. I just hope Helton doesn’t make the same mistake he made 2-seasons back. He waited too long to hire and only got the leftovers no one else wanted. He can’t do that this time.

      • CORTEZ THE KILLER

        He’s not going to make the call, Swann is, did you miss him getting Gomer a better RB coach last year ?

        • steveg

          We didn’t get the same memo you did obviously.

      • Brent4c

        Exactly, how’d the staff changes work out for Alabama last year.

  • Brent4c

    Does what he said in October and wkat he says now have to be mutually exclusive? Is it possible Tee figures how to communicate w Sam on game day and coach WR since October? Would that be evidence of the coaching staff getting better. It’s funnny how Tyson gets a promotion and leaves and somehow you turn it only dissent as though Tyson is. Ow the water boy at Tenn or something.

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      He was a play caller at USC, now he’ll be THE play caller at the dumpster fire called Tennessee football, hardly a promotion

      • Brent4c

        OC>QB coach

        • CORTEZ THE KILLER

          He called play at USC, you know this. He was told to leave by Swann

          • steveg

            Again, you talk like you are real tight with Swann, but most of us are pretty doubtful.

      • Gabby

        The guy is out the door and you’re still stabbing him in the back. Relax!

  • Tebow_Obama

    How is USC going to replace Tyson Helton?

    By hiring another unqualified second or third rate coach.

    Maybe Gomer has a cousin coaching at Southern Tennessee Little Sisters of the Poor that could use some of that USC money the Trojans love throwing around for trash coaches.

    • Jack B

      Hilarious post. We all need to know the difference between a 2nd rate, 3rd rate and a trash coach to figure this one out.

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      Swann won’t let Gomer hire another relative, Swann will be picking his coaches for him

      • steveg

        Just how do you know this. You keep saying it like Swann told you himself.

    • Gabby

      Speaking of a 3rd rate coach, get your resume ready. Pop Warner has numerous openings. Perhap we can make a package deal with your partner, killer.

      • Tebow_Obama

        So they’re about to fire you for being a third rate Pop Warner coach?

        All those football classes you took at Cerritos and El Camino college didn’t help you any at all, huh?

        Next time pay attention in class instead of daydreaming about giving Helton his rub downs.

        • Gabby

          Lame!….and you wonder why we mock you

          • Michael Guarino

            I don’t think he really wonders, Gabby
            #HeKnows

        • Pudly76

          Hillbilly troll

    • Fred Sampson

      Whoever Clay Helton hires to replace his brother, he won’t be too knowledgeable, or have a strong personality

      • Michael Guarino

        I would have thought that the results produced by Deland McCullough would have shown Helton that it’s okay to hire smart, strong people.
        #DoesHeltonRegretHiringMcCullough?

  • Pasadena Trojan

    Who then will coach the qb’s? Also, will Sc hire another db coach?

  • Linkster

    A typical National Enquirer post by the blogger. Always trying to stir the pot and create controversy. Frankly, it is tiring all the time IMO.
    The blogger never supplies answers, only inane questions. What a blog this could be if we had a blogger that asked questions and went out and got answers…

    • Gabby

      Exactly!….I always thought his true calling was with National Enquirer. He tries to turn this into a soap opera when nothing is there

  • David Keeling

    If Tee is battling Helton to improve the coaching staff and who does what, I am for it 100%. But this sounds like Martin is backtracking.

    • Gabby

      “But this sounds like Martin is backtracking.:

      If protocol within the coaching staff recently changed why would you call it “backtracking”?

      You need to read between the lines. Wolf cherry

      • Michael Guarino

        Gabby —I really hope you’re right. We don’t want turf wars or personality conflicts or confusion over duties spilling over into Cotton Bowl prep —–or we will, again, be embarrassed in a big game on national television. So far, in front of his three biggest television audiences, Helton is one for three —–a narrow win over Penn State and huge losses to Alabama and Notre Dame. To win this game against Ohio State (and Coach Meyer), Helton needs every piece to fall into place —and, judging from his demeanor at last night’s practice, it didn’t look like we’re off to a good start.
        #ISureHopeI’mWrong,Gabby

        • Brent4c

          Why would you take anything SW says as being inside info? Nobody talks to him about anything. He takes quotes out of context, separated by months of time and then reads in body language to come up w a narrative. CNN is a better place for SW.

          • Michael Guarino

            I hear you, Brent4c —-but re-watch Helton’s comments and demeanor from yesterday. If he had a media adviser, I’m sure they’d tell him “don’t do that again.” Helton actually looked more upbeat AFTER the Notre Dame loss than he did after practice. Okay, maybe some stuff is going on he doesn’t like, maybe there’s a little bit of uncertainty in his life. This is where he gets to show he’s a big boy. Put on your poker face, Coach Helton, and play it as it lays.

          • Pudly76

            Maybe he didn’t sleep the night before because he was flying around doing inhome visits

          • Michael Guarino

            Maybe. [I just want to see a more upbeat coach after the next practice —for the team’s sake].

          • Linkster

            the best place for the blogger is the E channel right along side the Kardashians.

  • Fred Sampson

    When Steve Sarkisian was hired, he said he was going to hire the best assistants in college football, but the best he ever came up with, was Bozo, Bob Connelly… lmao So of course Clay Helton thinks he has some of the best, because he’s delusional as Sarkisian was .

    • Gabby

      When expectations are off the charts it puts a lot of pressure on the coaching staff. Is that the type of job you want?

  • Tebow_Obama

    Who would have ever thought the University of Southern California would allow a foreigner to de-emphasize their storied football program?

    If this guy Nikias doesn’t care for the Trojans football program then maybe he should leave it alone, hire a real Athletic Director who knows what he’s doing, who isn’t just a figurehead who stands in the background twiddling his thumbs waiting for Nikias to tell him when to speak and what to say.

    Then Max Nikias can go and beg, pander, grovel to whoever and wherever he wants about raising money for more of his statues and campus expansion.

    Nikias didn’t like the negative publicity that the NCAA sanctions cast over the university even while knowing that the USC Trojans football program did nothing wrong. Instead of challenging the NCAA and calling them out on their ‘Malicious Intent’ to pin something on USC, Nikias and Pat Haden never said a word in USC’s defense.

    Max Nikias legacy at USC won’t be about any campus expansion or fund raising, it’s going to be all about Max Nikias Scandals and “Lack of Institutional Control” how he and his “Yes Man” Lynn Swann sat idly by and watched as the Trojans football program sunk deeper into mediocrity, struggling to win games against inferior opponents, getting blown out against elite opponents.

    From the Los Angeles Times:

    Throughout this storm of dark clouds, there’s been a constant at USC. Dating back to the NCAA investigation, all the way up through Puliafito, C.L. Max Nikias was a central figure in the institutional control of USC. I don’tnow the extent of his involvement in each controversy, and my requests
    for interviews have not been granted. But Nikias was USC provost from 2005 until 2010, and he’s been president ever since.

    Nikias, by some measures, has been a huge
    success at USC, raising the profile of an already-elite school and
    achieving his goal of raising a staggering $6 billion in donations. The money is being used to pad the school’s endowment fund, erect new buildings and research centers, and pump up the financial aid pool.

    But you have to wonder if the price of success is too steep.

    Puliafito was a prolific fundraiser and talent recruiter himself,
    which is enough to raise suspicion about how the renowned eye surgeon
    stayed on the job — as teacher and doctor — more than a year after he
    stepped down as dean in the wake of an incident in a Pasadena hotel
    where a female companion overdosed in Puliafito’s presence and had to be
    hospitalized.

    A Times investigation
    — by Paul Pringle, Harriet Ryan, Adam Elmahrek, Matt Hamilton and Sarah
    Parvini — turned up solid evidence of Puliafito partying on several
    occasions with a circle of criminals and drug addicts in hotels,
    apartments and even the dean’s USC office.

    Like I said in my column last week, as disturbing as that is, I’m more disturbed by the non-actions of Nikias and Provost Michael Quick, who were asked by Times reporters numerous times over the last 15
    months to discuss Puliafito. At one point, reporters were turned away
    from Nikias’ office and told the president would not be discussing this
    matter.

    Given his mummy act, we don’t know what Nikias knew.

    We
    don’t know if he read the emails from The Times, one of which included a
    link to a 911 call about the woman who overdosed in the hotel room. We
    don’t know if he got word of an anonymous complaint to his staff about
    Puliafito.

    If Nikias was in the dark, despite repeated requests
    for an interview about a troubling matter involving a high-profile
    doctor who was still seeing patients, that doesn’t speak well for his
    judgment or leadership.

    In any case, USC employees, students and alums are owed answers, not a series of carefully massaged statements.

    Four days after the story broke last week, Provost Quick said the university had seen “extremely troubling” information
    about Puliafito and it was “the first time we saw such information
    firsthand.” Nikias released a statement saying he was “outraged and
    disgusted.”

    Not since Capt. Renault in “Casablanca” has anyone been so shocked, shocked, shocked by what’s going on right under their noses.

    Nikias
    said last week that the university has to examine “ways in which we
    could have recognized the severity of the situation sooner.”

    I’ve got two tips on that:

    First, open your eyes.

    Second, think about something other than money.

    Now,
    of course, Nikias and company are dead serious about getting to the
    bottom of the Puliafito matter. So serious that they have hired a former
    prosecutor to investigate.

    Lovely, except that the lawyer is a former USC teacher
    who later represented the university in a wrongful death suit. Her law
    firm’s managing partner is a USC grad and former chair of its board of
    councilors, and the firm was cited by USC for its fundraising efforts by
    former Trojans.

    More than one reader sent me a fox-in-the-henhouse email.

    USC
    faculty members I’ve been in touch with are incensed that a doctor was
    allowed to take patients for more than a year after his drug-fueled
    behavior was reported to the university, and they’re not buying the
    administration’s claims of ignorance. They tell me the trust of faculty
    and students has been eroded.

    One parent of a USC student said he
    was “appalled … by the lack of honesty and character and integrity
    within USC’s leadership team.” Another parent told me she wanted USC
    trustees to take a hard look at “the true values of the university.”

    I asked one USC physician if he thought Nikias would keep his job.

    “I hope not,” he said. “But money wins out.”

    That’s Max Nikias legacy

    • Gabby

      Short and sweet is all we ask of you. How can you screw that up?

      • Michael Guarino

        nice.

        • Gabby

          Not you!….Ha Ha!

          • Michael Guarino

            When Gabby gives a directive —I take it seriously.

    • Jack B

      You need serious help. Hope you have good insurance.

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      AMEN, A F’ING MEN

  • Ignore_the_trolls

    Hey, I got news for you. EVERY COACHING STAFF IN THE COUNTRY SHARES PLAY-CALLING DUTIES. One man is in control, but in the heat of battle, discussions go on and the head coach always has veto capability.

    Just a lame attempt to continue to drive derision at the team and coach.

    • steveg

      Play gets sent in, someone has to make sure the right players go in for the play.

  • LamontRaymond

    I saw the full interview – way to cherry-pick the responses. Classic Scottie! Not honest.

    • Michael Guarino

      Lamont —I respect the hell outta of you & your opinions —so let me ask you this: didn’t Helton look nervous and confused last night? He even tripped over the pronunciation of “Ohio State.” I saw him this way once before—the presser before the Alabama game.

      • LamontRaymond

        Not particularly. He’s not a slick talker, but that’s not where his value lies. I’m sure he wasn’t 100% clear on how to address his brother’s departure, but hey, I’m sure he was well aware of the fact.

        • CORTEZ THE KILLER

          There is more to this than any of us know, but my guess is that many on this staff will not be around after the bowl game

          • USCDAN1986

            Im not sure who responded that Tee would leave for Tennessee..

            My response, it is not Tee Martin that is leaving. Expect Tyson to be one that will not be back next year..

            My intel shares the same as you, Jack B and of course I know Swann has been more hands on .. He knows football. Ken Norton Jr was on campus last week, who was he visiting ? Swann would be the obvious .. I have been told the staff will be different from this season.. Changes are coming.. Helton will not be on the sidelines in 2019.. Gotta think Swann has a plan, Tomlin or Cowher would be interesting hires..

        • Michael Guarino

          I hope he looks more upbeat at the next presser. It’s important when you’re saying the words, “I’m really excited about this opportunity” not to look like Jimmy Cagney being dragged off to the electric chair in “Angels With Dirty Faces.”

  • jim

    If I was SC, I would definitely get rid of Ronnie Bradford. He’s not a good recruiter and not really a very good coach. Our D-Backs didn’t do the job this year. We need another Deland Maccullah. SC should seriously think about Demetrious Martin from UCLA. He’s a great recruiter. He’s the best recruiter the Bruins had. The only reason Darnay Holmes went to UCLA was because of him. I’m surprised that Chip Kelly didn’t maintain him on his staff. I’m not sure what kind of a coach he is but he can’t be all that bad. UCLA was 40th in the nation in pass defense and that’s good considering we’re in the pass happy Pac-12. USC finished 117th in pass defense.

  • timmay

    A man tells the media that he is frustrated which is about as clear as you can be. If the didn’t try to put the best face on it he would just be moaning about something that is obviously out of his control and isn’t going to change. I appreciate that he put it out there and now he’s trying to be positive about it. But there’s a problem going on obviously. And Martin is smart enough to know that career wise he is at USC, a big name with the best talent by far in the P12 and there’s nowhere to go but up if he doesn’t burn bridges. At some point he’s going to get a HC position, for good or bad. But the program is not going to be a national championship caliber program because the coaching, until something changes.