USC’s Defensive Confusion Needs Recognition

I like to speak to NFL coaches about USC games.

Here is what one said to me who watched the USC-UCLA game.

“Did you know on UCLA’s long touchdown run, the defense was misaligned? They didn’t have anyone on the tight end. Not a linebacker or a defensive back. The guys don’t know what to do.

“The defensive line can’t off blocks, the linebackers are slow and the DB’s don’t know where to fit (on run plays).”

Remember when some USC pundits said this would be the best defense since 2008?
Remember all this when you are around a Clancy Pendergast defender.

7 thoughts on “USC’s Defensive Confusion Needs Recognition

  1. Hard to blame Clancy when Clay runs lazy, non-contact practices. You are how you practice, and USC is how they practice. Soft and undisciplined.

    Still, Clancy’s entire reputation consists of stopping Oregon in one game in 2010, and riding on Kurt Warner’s coattails in 2009 (and was fired one week after the Superbowl).

    Note that Clancy’s accomplishments also include being the DC during Dennis Green’s famous “They are who we thought they were!” game, being the DC for the game that got Lane Kiffin fired, and lasting one year as DC in Kansas City.

    If he ever goes back to the NFL, he will be a position coach, like he was in SF, because he isn’t an NFL caliber DC.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Any time it takes 3 or four tries to bring a man down you know fundamentals are being ignored. I don’t know if Clancy or Clay holding up the toughness at practice but they need to get it back. Even the pros practice in pads once a week. And 80% of our team will only see a pro game from seats in the stadium, statistically speaking.
    There is no reason for bump tackles or arm tackles or over perusing the runner. All of these errors are corrected in practice.
    Bottom line Clay and Clancy need to step up or step away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just as it is true that Coach Helton didn’t hire (or extend) himself, the players largely aren’t at fault – as has been shown to be true with several players during recent years, many are probably talented and capable, just not well developed, whether individually by position coaches (technique – we’ve all seen the failure of coverage backs to turn their hips correctly or to read the receiver and turn their heads to track the ball), due to scheme (which appears to have been the culprit to a large extent – defensive linemen being taught to shoot gaps to “penetrate,” which is really a polite way of saying “cheat” or “run around rather than through blocks”), or due to program philosophy (both lack of competition/physicality in practice, as well as insistence on discipline).

    The apologists for the defense have been way off base – although admittedly these problems began to emerge as far back as the failure in 2007 against Stanford and the 2008 first half in Corvallis – the performance of the defense, while it it true placed under the gun by the failure of the offense far too often (except when Sam, JuJu, RoJo & Co. were performing miracles), has been subpar on many occasions…the D has had moments (the Cotton Bowl last season, the Washington game two years ago), just not enough of them…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s not as if Clancy coached defenses haven’t been a continuing problem…. They are awful with supposedly good athletes…. Doesn’t help the resume…sigh I hope they get a great defensive coach….and stop the run…


  5. Wasn’t Prendergast an upgrade over Lane Kiffin’s father – Monte? This, as noted by James, has been a problem just before PC left at the end of 2009.

    Bigger problem is USC’s current athletic director – I fear Swann hasn’t the stones to make a smart hire based on his lackluster campaigning for governor of PA in 2006 – he was tied in the initial polls and then hadn’t any idea to show how to fundraise getting defeated by incumbent Ed Rendell with only 40% of the vote


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