USC Morning Buzz

While the quarterback derby obviously is the primary interest, let’s talk a moment about left tackle.

Austin Jackson and Clayton Bradley have shared the position during training camp. Jackson is the heir apparent and enjoyed a strong training camp. But he has not been named the starter.

Last season, he and Bradley split time at left tackle when Toa Lobendahn was injured. But really the time has come to make Jackson the full-time starter if he is as good as Clay Helton keeps saying. Helton even mentioned Jackson on Tuesday as a fall-camp standout.

But USC sometimes dithers on starting spots. Helton might eventually be decisive with the quarterback decision but it would be nice if he does the same at left tackle, the most important offensive line position.

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9 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz

  1. It’s about competition, Scottie – you should know that after your years with “Caesar” as you do derisively dubbed him. You should carve your depth chart in sand, not stone. Let the LTs battle it out. It’s better for the team.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You gotta push some of these five-star kids. Remember the starting o-line in 2015: Lobendahn, Mama, Talamaivao, Banner, Wheeler. Other than injuries, that would the starting O-Line for the next three years, except for injuries. The only two who improved from freshman year to graduation were Wheeler and Lobendahn, who were, not coincidentally, the lowest “ranked” of the five. Banner never improved. Mama and Talamaivao regressed. Mama is the reason USC lost to Utah in 2016 and therefore the reason they didn’t go to the Conference Title game. Talamaivao is the reason Toa lost an entire year when Bama rag-dolled him into Toa’s knees. Crappy coaching and depth issues aside, maybe they would have lived up to their star rankings if they were pushed via competition.

      Cody Kessler was an afterthought to Wittek and allegedly a bridge to Browne. Kessler is not Sam Darnold, but under competition, he improved to the point that he will have a career as an NFL QB. Wittek and Browne are out of football.

      Other high school all-Americans who disappointed due to lack of competition . . . George Uko, Scott Starr, Aundrey Walker . . .

      Liked by 3 people

      1. May I add Cyrus Hobbi to your list?
        #HisMissedAssignmentsAtStanfordStoleBarkley’sWillToLive
        #WatchBarkleyPostGamePressConferenceatPaloAlto

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey Steve, makes sense everyone gets as many reps as possible this time of year. If not not now, then when? What if we lose 3 linemen the day of a game, what would Wolf say if the replacements didn’t have enough practice experience to play well? Oops, we could look back to last year and see he ripped the coaches a new one. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Scooter, just because there is no competition for your job or blog, that doesn’t mean that everyone can have the job right away. The players have to earn it. They are only in week two. I say around week three and a half, the starter will be named. They do have to settle in at the position. When the players are filling in, it is like being substituted in. That is an experience itself. The way Calloway coaches, I figure there will be a lot of substitution because of the injuries that will come in the season because the o line is soft. When the o line is as hard as stone, there are less injuries because they are dishing out the pain instead of taking the pain from the d line.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My first thought is use them all in a game situation. Keep the line fresh and they might do their jobs. It’s not easy lugging 300+pounds around so watching our refrigerator sized linemen poop out is frustrating. Helton will get around to making starters only when he needs to.

    Liked by 1 person

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