USC Morning Buzz: There Is One Good Development For 2019

If you want something that will be better about 2019 than 2018, I will give you this: Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell will also coach the quarterbacks, which means he will be in the quarterbacks meeting room every day during the season.

At other schools, this is a no-brainer.

But this is USC, where Clay Helton was so ridiculous the past three seasons that he had Tee Martin spending all his time coaching and meeting with the wide receivers.

If you think this is not a real issue, Martin and even Sam Darnold mentioned a couple years ago how they had limited interaction during the season. Why you would do this is beyond me but Helton had to cater to his brother and then promoted graduate assistant Bryan Ellis last year to quarterbacks coach.

Meanwhile, Martin, who was a quarterback, coached the wide receivers, which never made sense.

So Harrell working every day with the quarterbacks is a good thing. Especially if he decides who starts at quarterback, which none of us really knows will happen for sure at the moment.

  • Cornerback Iman Marshall, who is participating in the NFL combine, is apparently now known as Iman Lewis-Marshall.
  • USC and UCLA play tonight at 6 at Pauley Pavilion on ESPN. USC is 2-6 in road games this season. Both teams are 8-7 and a game out of fourth place, which is important because the top 4 teams in the Pac-12 get a first-round bye at the conference tournament. Yes, Bill Walton will be at the game.

26 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: There Is One Good Development For 2019

  1. Bill Walton is a trip…glad he’s going to be part of the broadcast. Petros Papadakis is also going to be at Pauley for his half of the PMS Show, (3 – 5:30 pm) followed this evening with the game.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s not a “no brainer” at Clemson, where their OC’s also coach the running backs and wide receivers. It’s their recruiting coordinator who coaches the quarterbacks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clueless Clay doesn’t understand coaching assignments, because he was a figurehead under Lane Kiffin, and Steve Sarkisian. I think Sarkisian gave him an offensive coordinator’s title, but during the games he was nothing but a hype man with a headset, and a coloring book to keep him busy .

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The Trojans are still running their practices the way they did when the roster was depleted because of sanctions.

    Sarkisian and his Errand Boy got into the habit of taking it easy in practice and never snapped out of it.

    Sanctions ended in 2014…get over it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clay has definitely been the George McClellan (whose psyche would invent enemy forces if no real ones were in the right place to justify inaction) of USC generals (as opposed to Coach O, who was our Grant, never complaining, always moving forward, making the best of what he had to work with, and disrespected by elitist overlings who weren’t fit to be on his staff, let alone making decisions about who should be in charge).

      The transfer portal and injuries are now the bogey man used instead of sanctions to justify his inept approach to practices…

      You can almost predict what we’ll be hearing shortly…uh, tap dance, uh, shortage of corners to go against the air raid so don’t want to risk injury…uh, tap dance, uh, putting in new offense, so need to walk through and do film study…the enemy has overwhelming numbers and I must protect my Army…sorry, that was McClellan…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. James — Don’t worry, my friend —we share your disgust at Clay’s approach to practice. I know a lot more about boxing than football so forgive me for relying once again on a boxing story. Ali couldn’t shake an ominous feeling he was carrying with him before the first Quarry fight. He finally figured out that the knot in his stomach was a result of taking sparring lightly. He knew deep down he wasn’t ready if the fight went into deep waters. I sense that about USC since Darnold left —-except for the Washington State game, the team begins to fall apart when they get behind or something bad happens. ALL the excuses you listed are on the tip of Clay’s tongue —and he can’t wait to use them. He’s teaching the players the philosophy of all losers: the price of guaranteed victory is too high —let’s see if we can luck out with a 75% effort.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Great analogy…I know a little boxing (as spectator and reader!)…that Golden Era of the heavyweights really is instructional in so many ways (Ali fighting himself more than the opponent to put the work in to prepare for fights…I’m thinking of the Spinks fights; Holmes having that insecurity/inferiority complex that drove him, as well as his ability to win fights even after getting knocked down; Foreman going into the Ali fight as the all-time prohibitive favorite but being exposed for lack of polish and experience necessary to adapt to unforeseen tactics)…or to pick up on your theme, how Duran was driven in the first fight with Sugar Ray, but the second time around just didn’t have the will to continue…

        As you’ve pointed out – and superseding my objections to the contrary as to how it is unprecedented and illogical to be overly optimistic about the prospects for improvement when 2 of the 3 legs, at least, of the stool are still broken – perhaps the change at OC will be a “catching lightning in the bottle” moment and the talent (and we all agree that is not and has not been at issue) will be unleashed early and get on a roll that takes on a life of its own…

        Liked by 1 person

    2. James —You seem to know your boxing as well as you know your football! Norman Mailer once said that fighters have to understand “the logic of the spirit”: “You win when you deserve to win.” It’s only after you’ve pushed yourself beyond what can be reasonably asked of you that you’re ready to take on what’s in front of you. Clay —although he pushes himself plenty hard —doesn’t comprehend HOW hard he has to push the troops to put them in position to win. As a result, his teams —even his Rose Bowl winner —- exhibit a stunning inattention to detail and a staggering lack of discipline. I watched in pain while Toa LAUGHED in an interview with Keely Eure about not knowing how to snap a football (“Sorry, J. T. ! Ha HA HA”) and I cringed when Iman Marshall went about doing everything humanly possible to blow the Cal game. A Head Coach who routinely cuts practice short (and allows his players to run around in shorts) is gonna field teams who do crap like this —and that is the difference between winning and losing.


      1. MG

        Couldn’t be better said, and as far as I’m concerned, that is the central issue.

        My college baseball coach (I didn’t play a lot – but I watched a lot of good baseball – the coach was a JC HOFer and smart on and off the diamond, and he coached multiple MLBers, including one who was a teammate, and another who was an MLBer who finished the year before but came back to practice during the winter…we also had the likes of Joe Carter show up for a practice or two during the winter – this would be when he was still in Cleveland) used to stress – and I later had the same experience in the Army – that the hardest thing you do, where you are under the most stress, is practice…game days should seem like a relief from practice, and the level of competition should seem relaxing in comparison…

        Many years later, as I started to listen to Dan Weber’s – almost always excellent in my opinion – analysis, I was immediately drawn to how he constantly emphasized that aspect of what Pete had done to create the environment of success at USC…and now we have witnessed the same thing at Bama (and with the Patriots)…or in the past with the Steelers (given the central role of Lynn Swann in the program, I would encourage those interested to find and watch the NFL/Super Bowl/America’s Game films for the ’70s Steelers…listen in particular to Andy Russell – HOF LB – describe what Chuck Noll did in his first year to turn around the then worst franchise in the history of the NFL, into what is still the gold standard of NFL franchises, personnel/coaching issues of the past two years notwithstanding)…

        MG you bullseyed what has plagued the program for the past several years…and it isn’t recovery from sanctions…it’s players not being pushed to feel as if the only way they are going to play is by competing all the time to the point where their performance exceeds their potential…to include disciplined play…

        Liked by 1 person

    3. James —It appears your very interesting posts grow out of a very interesting life. Fascinating background, my friend.


      1. MG-I imagine my background is no more interesting, just a little more varied, than that possessed by you and a lot of the other smart folks on this site…

        MG & RuSo-I’m guessing you all remember Tex’s crowning (as in getting crowned) achievement in pushing Larry Holme’s fists to the breaking points over 15 rounds…that dude was unreal…as I recall that was the fight that caused Cosell to stop covering boxing for ABC…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. James —Cobb’s true crowing achievement was the expression on his face 1 second before he blew himself up with his own hand grenade in “Raising Arizona” (an otherwise warm and clever comedy with Nick Cage and Holly Hunter).


    1. Any head coach who would bring back this obviously burned out assistant should have been fired. You would have to have a DEATH WISH for your offense if you kept this guy on board…… Hey! Wait a darn minute! I think I just stumbled on the explanation for Helton’s otherwise inexplicable conduct….

      Liked by 2 people

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