USC Morning Buzz: Never A Dull Moment With Tee Martin

I’ve heard LSU contacted Tee Martin about its offensive coordinator position but he will be remaining with USC. There’s nothing wrong with turning down LSU but does this mean Martin will solely call plays for USC next season?

Sources have told me Martin shared playcalling at the Cotton Bowl, which would make one think he might be open to going to a school like LSU. For some reason, Martin would never admit to the public last season he shared playcalling duties. Neither would Clay Helton.

With Tyson Helton off to Tennessee, it would seem natural for Martin to assume all the playcalling next season. But offensive assistant Bryan Ellis also called plays at the Cotton Bowl. So who knows what will happen?

You might think none of this matters. But it never made Sam Darnold’s job any easier last season having multiple playcallers.

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  • RegalTrojan

    So, just what is the reason Martin can’t call his own plays? Does it stem from the lack of trust on his abilities from Helton or Swann? Then why does he keep getting contacts from other schools? Is it only SC that doesn’t give him enough credit? What am I missing here?

    • Robert McLeod

      The answer to all your questions must be yes, so I don’t think you’re missing anything.

    • GOMER HELTON

      Gomer is the head coach, not Swann

      • Stuart Leventer

        And who does Helton report to?

        • GOMER HELTON

          Gomer reports to Swann but Gomer is in charge of his coaches not Swann.

          Gomer is in charge of the duties of his coaches, not Swann

          Gomer is in charge of the game plan, not Swann

          Gomer is in charge of getting his coaches to get the plays into the QB in less than 35 seconds, not Swann

          • Stuart Leventer

            So is SC the Team Gomer?

    • Stuart Leventer

      Your questions seem to connect all the dots.

    • Pete Smith

      And you wander why Sam left

      • RegalTrojan

        No, I don’t. It’s quite self-explanatory, isn’t it?

      • Trojans 6942

        I think 60 million with probably 25 million guaranteed might have something to do with it.

        • Gabby

          30 mil. Total, was the highest contract for 2017…..Just saying

          The CBA eliminated the fat rookie contracts.

          • gotroy22

            $30 million is still fat.

          • Gabby

            If you perform well, the second contact is were the really big money kicks in.

      • Brent4c

        Many schools call plays collbaboratively. This is only highlighted here because of the authors agenda.

        • Gabby

          Exactly! Some people have no idea how the system works

    • GOMER HELTON

      Tee can recruit and not much else.

      Tennessee contacted him because he was their QB when they won and they couldn’t find anyone to take the job at that dumpster fire.
      The Raiders contacted him to satisfy a stupid NFL rule
      LSU wants him to recruit, nothing more.

      THEY DON’T WANT HIM FOR HIS PLAY CALLING ABILITY

    • steveg

      He is a recruiting machine. He has a lot of contacts in CA. Other coaches believe that will do two things, get them recruits and keep USC from getting them.

  • Old Trojans never die

    Are we supposed to assume that Clay Helton and Tee Martin are not telling the truth? But anonymous sources are totally creditable right?
    Granted if I had called 3 up the gut plays knowing my line was not much better than a rubber band gun at a knife fight, I would not hesitate to say “wasn’t me.” However such is not the case. Maybe Helton overruled Martin on occasion or brother Helton suggested plays, but if all three say they were not sharing duties they have to be believed.
    That being said, we have ample proof that Tee Martin took a potent weapon and turned it into a bubble wand. He should be sacked.

    • Carra Strand

      Your last sentence is the most important. it’s why Sammy D left. Why stay when you are regressing because of poor coaching, play calling, game planning etc.

      • steveg

        One other thing was Sam could not call an audible of his own.

  • Trojans 6942

    Imagine it’s 3 and 5 and a play comes in from the sidelines. Do you think Sam is wondering who decided on that call. Like I’ve said SW should go work for CNN. Makes news to protect, push his agenda.

    • GOMER HELTON

      Not the point, it’s how long it takes the plays to come in.

      Too many cooks spoil the stew

      • Trojans 6942

        Maybe but I don’t recall having a problem with delay penalties. Execution, consistency on 3 and5 was the culprit. Now that doesn’t mean it never happened (if) but it wasn’t a long range problem. SW is just bloviating.

        • Carra Strand

          The problem with delaying play calling is the pressure it places on the QB & team…and the time it gives opposing defenses. Chip Kelly was successful because of SPEED both in play calling and players. We’re told it’s to keep the SC defense off field “to rest”. Question how is their fitness anyway? Has anyone considered strength and endurance training may not be up to par.

          • steveg

            They seemed up to par strengthwise in the OSU game.

          • Trojans 6942

            I do believe strength and mostly conditioning is a big problem. Look at the injuries we go through year after year. Granted they get somewhat of a mulligan this year. ( no bye) but something has to change going forward.

        • GOMER HELTON

          It’s not delay of game penalties, it’s the inability to call an audible when you have like 5 seconds to run the play, you’re locked into what is called from the coaches.

    • steveg

      He really does remind me of the cnn talking heads that only have one theme behind everything they say and cannot be objective. Wolf is not an objective reporter, and his agenda is generally anything against Helton. Notice he treads very lightly about Swann.

      • Michael Guarino

        Scott’s philosophy: “I’ll be dealing with Swann a lot longer than Helton.”

        • gotroy22

          Could Swann be his secret source?

          #headsexploding

          • Michael Guarino

            This whole fusion gps thing is starting to come together….
            #GoodWork,gt!

  • Peaceful Warrior

    I think most NBA teams have 2-3 play callers.

    • GOMER HELTON

      The NBA ?

      • Peaceful Warrior

        Right over your head. You must of spent yesterday reading Helton’s biography.

        • GOMER HELTON

          The NBA and college football have nothing in common. Basketball and football have nothing in common

          • Peaceful Warrior

            Thanks for the clarification. Can you pass that along to Wolf?

          • USCDAN1986

            Lol

    • steveg

      When a play is called over the headphones, as always everywhere the HC can say no, but rarely do, and another coach on the sideline makes sure the play is manned correctly. Signs get wig-waged in.

  • SucKiffin

    When will all these hacks just go away … T bag is just hanging around for Gomer to get canned so he can become interim HC, kiss the players arses, beat a Wazzu and get named HC ! the USC way of hiring

    • Trojans 6942

      That’s pretty good insight on why he would stay. But I don’t believe he’s has a shot. Swann will go after a big name. Remember Mora isn’t at UCLA anymore.

      • GOMER HELTON

        ucla is a pimple, always will be, SC has to be more concerned with keeping up with the SEC not that dump in westwood

        • Trojans 6942

          Merely stating that you need a fence around your backyard before taking on teams like OSU, Clemson.

      • steveg

        History has a way of repeating itself, lets hope USC remembers the mistakes in its history and if they let Helton go, they get rid of everyone and start fresh.

        • gotroy22

          No more Pete Carroll Coaching Weed?

    • Carra Strand

      OMG……i hope I can forget your words. That is just too scary! Scary because there is truth in them.

    • Michael Guarino

      Come to think of it, that’s probably exactly —-and I mean exactly—the way it will go down.
      #AssuringThatSwannWillNotBeRememberedAsGreatA.D.

  • Ed Garrett

    lotsa of celbrities acters and entertaner poeple get moar poplar after they is dead, i think they do die so they can maik moar moneys when they dead but they cant do it alot cuz the poeple dont like beeing mannipulated like that but its a good stradegey,

    • Michael Guarino

      So true. After the third or fourth time James Dean fatally crashed his car, I said to myself “that’s the last time I fall for that!”

  • Isaiahdolan

    Notice how Alabama looks to sidelines and gets a play, lines up and snaps it. Not the energy-killing look of USC which lines up, backs off, stares blankly at the sidelines for 10 seconds, lines up and hands off the ball for a run up the middle for no gain. USC needs to be able to play at a much quicker tempo and stop trying to continually change plays.

    • GOMER HELTON

      Bama has a head coach with a clue, SC has a head coach with no clue

      • Michael Guarino

        Saban knows what he wants to do on each play. Helton is trying to figure out what he wants to do on each play. That takes time. Sometimes it almost takes up the whole clock. Sometimes it takes up a little more than that. This kills the drive.
        #It’sAllGood

        • 88 Straight

          I have no dog in this fight. However, compare ANY coach in the US against Saban and that coach will come up short. He has 5 NCs in the last 9 years. That pretty much sums it up.

          • gotroy22

            And Saban led the LSU Tigers to the BCS National Championship in 2003.

    • Ignore_the_trolls

      Actually I noticed very little difference between SC and Alabama getting calls from the sideline. And didn’t ‘bama have to burn a timeout to avoid a delay of game and also had another later where they took the penalty? People see what they want to see to justify their bias.

      • GOMER HELTON

        LOL, I see Bama with a lot of NC trophies

      • Isaiahdolan

        Alabama is not the fastest but they are quicker than USC. They normally get the play from the huddle and then go to the line and execute. My bias is simply an observation based on what is seen repeatedly.

    • steveg

      Perhpas their QB has the ok to change it at the line, not the case at USC. I think had Sam come back he would have been more able to call audibles with the experience he would have gained.

      • Brent4c

        Does anyone on here realize Saban doesn’t call plays

        • Trojans 6942

          Than you

        • gotroy22

          Neither did John Robinson. What’s your point?

          • RegalTrojan

            The Hat Boy’s point is that Helton is the Messiah, and understandably so. LOL!

    • Cloud Shaman

      Tell me about it

    • Paul Muad’dib

      USC’s “up-tempo” offense became a joke when my family watched this year. We just could not understand whats the point of standing there for 15 seconds looking at the sideline. They almost never got the right play call when they took more than 3 seconds. Especially when they just run it up the middle with no fullback against an 8 man box.

  • Fred Sampson

    Matt Canada was LSU’s $1.5 million dollar a year offensive coordinator, he wanted out of his contract, because Ed Orgeron wouldn’t allow him to do his job, so the athletic administration bought him out of his contract a few days ago. So don’t think for a minute, that Orgeron wanted Tee Martin for anything other then his recruiting skills.

    • Brent4c

      Isn’t this an indictment on Orgeron? He got 2 high priced coordinators and one is already pushing the eject button.

      • Trojans 6942

        And the other was bribed to stay.

        • Brent4c

          Wasn’t what LSU did in hiring 2 hot shot coordinators held up as an example of success at LSU earlier on this board? Guess the outcome hasn’t been what many predicted.

          • schammer47

            Brent4c, another Coach O hater. i’s surprised. I didn’t think you went that rout. Coach O has proven two years in a row that he belongs at LSU. Shame on you..

          • Brent4c

            Not a coach O hater at all. I don’t think he was the right fit here at SC, but loved wkat he did for us as a position coach. My point is many on here touted LSU’s model of getting coach o and hiring 2 high priced coordinators. They are a cautionary tale for those who think we can simply switch coaches out every year for the perceived better option and think that guarantees success.

    • SUCLA

      Canada has been hired eight different times in nineteen years as a OC. Many times for one year only. Very strange pattern. Who hired him this year, he’s only 45?

  • marvienna

    In the last month, Tee Martin had a long conversation with Philip Fulmer about the Tennessee HC job (while being a popular choice for that job), an interview with the Raiders job and now an OC job with LSU. And yet he is still around USC?

    Something tells me that there might be more going on than the “drama” of sharing play-calling duties. Maybe he really is trying to angle himself for the USC HC job.

    That would be a nightmare scenario for USC. Holding on to a coach not because he is good at the X’s and O’s but solely for his recruiting skills. USC and Heritage Hall should be ashamed of itself if that ever happened.

    Fire Tee Martin today!

    • GOMER HELTON

      He got the Raiders interview because they have to abide by some stupid NFL rule that you have to talk with a black coach before you hire a white one. And Fred’s right below, Special Ed doesn’t think Tee11 can call a great game, but he can sling the BS to recruits.

      Tee Martin will never be the head coach at USC, never.

      • marvienna

        I am absolutely anti – Tee Martin in any way shape or form, so I hope he never gets the USC HC job, too.

        But, Heritage Hall has been known for dumb decisions before, especially with it’s football HC hires recently – Kiffin, Sark, Helton…

        • GOMER HELTON

          No arguing with that last paragraph

        • gotroy22

          Plus the Affirmative Action angle would be irresistable for Nikias to resist…think how he could brag about how progressive USC is at all those academic cocktail parties.

          • marvienna

            Some of those “progressive” discussions did occur when USC hired Sark. They were led by Elizabeth Garrett before she took the job as President of Cornell University. They did not make much headway.

            USC might have tried to go “progressive” after Sark but word is that having a coach who wouldn’t bring negative attention and bring stability to USC was more preferable, hence Clay Helton as the choice.

      • Trojans 6942

        I finally can agree with ya.

    • Chapelhilltrojan

      I think we all may be overthinking this. My friends in Knoxville believe his wife’s working interests are Hollywood based so that is why he has turned down overtures in the south to stay in LA.

      • marvienna

        I heard that too and I believe there may be some truth to that. Maybe a pop star/singer? I also heard that he has a number of his young kids in L.A. and doesn’t want to uproot them which I can understand.

        But, you know, when a school wants to fire you, they will. But there seems to be no urgency on USC’s part.

  • Independent_George

    It is possible that Tee Martin would actually be a decent HC. I mean, who thought Justin Wilcox would ever be an HC. Cal is a basket case, but that is more because the administration saddled it with debt, and the powerful faculty are agnostic at best toward football, if not hostile. Wilcox did not seem to to a terrible job.

    Perhaps once folks get out from beneath the “Pat Haden Presents the Clay Sarkiffian Experience” coaching shrub, coaches can thrive.

    • marvienna

      The only difference I would see between Wilcox and Tee is that Wilcox has more experience working at other schools and under different coaches. Wilcox was DC at Boise State, Tennessee, USC and Wisconsin. That’s not necessarily a bad resume. It shows a diverse set of environments where he learned and maybe or maybe not thrived.

      Martin, on the other hand, has been at USC mostly. I believe there was one year at Kentucky. Other than that, nothing of note. Between the two, Wilcox’s resume looks better than Tee’s.

      I suspect people are going to start making excuses for Tee because of some perceived recruiting skill. The way I see it, if he can’t be a good coach (X’s and O’s, coaching up players, calling a good game, etc.) than any skill at recruiting shouldn’t portray him as a good candidate for a coaching job.

      Fire Tee Martin and get this soft, struggle in short line situations, wannabe tempo offense out of and away from USC forever!

      • Paul Muad’dib

        I tried to support the coaching staff, but now I agree with you. This offense is too soft.

  • Jack B

    Just a misleading and giant false talking point. Good for clicks, that’s all.

    For all we know, Ellis called, or “suggested” – might be the better word, two plays, and maybe they both worked great.

    SW is just chasing Helton’s and Martin’s tails around here. Neither has literally ever been asked by SW or any other reporter anything about play-calling duties, how its split or why. I’ve never heard nor read one statement from any USC coach about it and the team is covered 24 hours a day. Maybe others have.

    And USC didn’t lose 3 games this year because of play-calling. Both ND and OHIO ST just totally crushed our OL and WSU passed us silly.

    Notre Dame outrushed USC 377 (8.0 ypc) to 76 (2.6 ypc). USC had 3 turnovers, ND O.

    OHIO ST outrushed USC 163 (4.3) to 67 (1.6 ypc). USC had 4 turnovers, OHIO ST 1.

    WSU outgained USC 462 (340 through the air) to 327. USC’s DBs just got hammered, and USC had a whopping 9 penalties for 80 yds, the same as our total penalties against ND and OHIO ST combined.

    Those are the numbers that matter. Against both ND and OHIO ST, who both had vastly superior DLs compared to USC’s OL, USC gained a combined paltry 143 yds and averaged a 2.1 ypc.

    .

    • Brent4c

      UW called plays collaboratively for 2 years and their O coord is now HC at Oregon St so maybe that plan is preferred?

    • Trojans 6942

      Nice

    • Trojan5

      MIC DROP!

  • Ignore_the_trolls

    This is just fake news because there are very few, if any, teams where one guy calls all the plays. Yes, one guy has the controls, but there is always input from others. Honestly, how does Wolf thinks it works? The head coach says “hey it’s Joe Schmoe’s turn to call the play this time.” The ignorance of some people to how things really work during game time is amazing, and Wolf just feeds it.

    • GOMER HELTON

      Then why does it take so long to get a play into the game ?

      Name another school that has 2-3 people calling the plays

      • Michael Guarino

        Exactly. I don’t know how other schools do it —I just know that USC is the only school that has the quarterback nod that he has the play, look back a moment later to nod that he has the adjustment on the play— and, finally, a time out is called because the play has been changed again 2 seconds before the clock runs.
        #And,Then,WeGetProcedureCallWhenTimeResumes

        • steveg

          Think I saw that a few time coming from the OSU bench. Even burnt some timeouts.

          • Michael Guarino

            Every school does it on occasion. But, honestly, I’ve never seen any school run the clock down to just this side of zero as many times as USC does per game. I wish they kept stats on this sort of thing —-they would prove that USC is over-thinking play calls. This demoralizes any offense.

          • Paul Muad’dib

            It makes it so obvious that the coaching staff is constantly second guessing themselves when the play call takes so long to come through. It’s embarrassing.

          • Michael Guarino

            Yep. Embarrassing to the fans. And frustrating as hell to the poor quarterback who gets ready to run the first call and, then, has a few seconds to adjust to the second (or third) call.

          • Trojans 6942

            Most teams that run a form of spread do this, Alabama did it under Kiffin. They want drama not argumentative discussions.

        • gotroy22

          Maybe Clay should follow Bill Walsh’s example and script plays to speed things up instead of doing that Hamlet impersonation..

          • Michael Guarino

            Ha! Hamlet! And not ANY Hamlet —-but the especially indecisive Nicol Williamson version.
            Yes, indeed. Script the first two drives. Get some scores on the board with a free flowing offense. And, after that, trust your first instinct. It’s better to get stopped on a play or two than to suck the life out of your offense for an entire game with ever-changing calls from the sideline.

          • gotroy22

            To pass or not to pass,,, that is the question!

          • Michael Guarino

            To decide or not to decide….etc.
            #NoWonderOpheliaKilledHerself

    • steveg

      They are actually called from the menu, with plays listed for the particular downs and yardage. The simplicity keeps the coaches on the same page. Adjustments at halftime are added into the menu. We called them the daily specials.

      • gotroy22

        The Denny’s Menu?

    • gotroy22

      The late Bill Walsh, Hall of Fame coach of the San Francisco 49ers, is widely credited with coming up with the practice of scripting the first 15 offensive plays of the game. In fact, the 49ers coined the term “First 15” in reference to that play list. Apparently there was no input for these first 15 plays.

      • Michael Guarino

        If you have the right people in the skill positions (which we do), the Walsh formula is the way to start a game. Just blitz the hell outta the defense and get some scores on the board. Balance between run and pass, sizing up the defense —-none of that is as critical on those first drives as trusting your playmakers to beat their guys [executing plays that are designed to give them an advantage].

  • Ignore_the_trolls

    This is just fake news because there are very few, if any, teams where one guy calls all the plays. Yes, one guy has the controls, but there is always input from others. Honestly, how does Wolf thinks it works? The head coach says “hey it’s Joe Schmoe’s turn to call the play this time.” The ignorance of some people to how things really work during game time is amazing, and Wolf just feeds it.

    • GOMER HELTON

      Name the schools with multiple play callers

  • Jack B

    Tee Martin is not being groomed to be USC’s next head coach. Nothing suggests that.

    If Tee had a strong OL, he’d be a much better OC. Until that happens, USC will continue to get stuffed by big-time schools who have true DL and LB talent.

  • Jack B

    Slick Rick, who grew up in Tempe, is being considered for the ARIZ job.

  • Fred Sampson

    No credible head football coach, is going to cherry pick any of Clay Helton’s assistants, I guarantee. Florida State, Texas A&M, and a few other top programs recently hired defensive coordinators, and are paying them over $2 million dollars a year. Clancy Pendergast didn’t get a sniff from any of the big time programs, because he’s not considered a top coordinator

    • Trojans 6942

      True, but in fairness SC is not paying 2 million for assistants.

    • USCDAN1986

      He’s lazy!

    • schammer47

      Guess again, Fred. This time you guessed wrong. No surprise.

  • rusoviet

    Today’s Daily News reported that ucla OC Jedd Fisch totally locks into calling offensive plays but so does incoming coach Chip Kelley and it’s obvious where Mr. Fisch will be shortly – elsewhere.

    • 88 Straight

      Old news, Comrade. Fisch is rumored to be heading to Mizzou.

    • Gabby

      Thanks for the info, Ruskie

    • Michael Guarino

      As they used to say in the B westerns, Alv —“This town isn’t big enough for the two us!”

  • Jeff Morse

    Wtf is wolfie stirring up now ? Qb’s run the play called, by
    whom , doesn’t matter. If the other team’s guys are better (ND, OSU, WSU) then there is a chance they will stop the play. Sam turnovers killed us against WSU & OSU. Only ND was true blow out. The issue is was Sam ever able to audible out to a better play ? What I never see is audible that switched the formation(s) as well . I see alot of teams doing this. How many times did we run play right into a stacked defense that stuffed the play. Too many to remember.

  • LamontRaymond

    You’re assuming facts not in evidence, so to speak. You have to prove that “it never made Sam’s job an easier having multiple playcallers.” What’s the difference between a play originating from Tee, the QB coach or the HC? Sam gets a play call and runs the play.

  • David Keeling

    Can anyone get a bearing on what is really happening behind the scenes here? Is this coaching staff really this messed up?

  • j metaphor

    100 hits, Wolfman!
    You are the master!
    It’s like when they throw fish food on the pond and the Koi Carp beat each other up to get at it.
    You are the puppet master.

    • Michael Guarino

      …..And you are his puppet.

      • j metaphor

        Not that amazing for a SoCal site, it’s basketball season so naturally time for fans to talk SoCal football. It’s less depressing.

        • Michael Guarino

          …and then we have signing day, and then spring practice, and then fall practice and then the 2018 season, the 2019 season….
          #LifeIsGood

  • Michael Guarino

    I liked the one in Westwood the best.
    #ButThereWereBruinsInsideEating

  • Rock2112

    On to real news: SC has jumped Georgia for the highest star-rating of any class in the country — and this STILL doesn’t take into account Daniels’ commitment. If we can keep Isaac Taylor-Stuart home and get a couple more solid (and desperately needed) O-line recruits in tow, this could finish as an extremely special class.

  • B.Miller

    Who was the shared play calling with in the bowl Game?