One Thing Has Not Changed This Spring

You know what did not change for USC’s first spring practice?

The number of players who did not participate: Dominic Davis, Olaijah Griffin, Chase McGrath, Bernard Schirmer, Caleb Tremblay, C.J. Pollard and Daniel Imatorbhebhe.

Pollard and Imatorbhebhe were not even there and it wouldn’t surprise me if one transferred.

Safeties Talanoa Hufanga and Isaiah Pola-Mao may also be limited to non-contact

About half the plays called by new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell were unscripted. There are no more poster boards on the sideline. And plays have fewer words than before to keep them simple.

30 thoughts on “One Thing Has Not Changed This Spring

      1. Did you catch Keely and Dan do their report? I think it was curiously upbeat. Seems Harrell has had an impact. But like I said before, I don’t put much stock in spring reports. I’ll be more impressed if they continue their positivity after week 2 in the fall.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Pudly —Saw Helton, Dan & Keely. Helton is smiling less and keeping answers shorter —fuck, I hope he keeps that up all season —not for our sake but for the team’s —it makes him seem more Head Coachy. He’s finally grasped the notion that —if he uses more than 25 words to answer a simple question —he’s lost the fight on points.
        I see what you mean about Dan & Keely —they were cautiously optimistic.
        You gotta admire their attitude —they don’t want to be played for saps but, at the same time, they recognize it’s their responsibility to say things look good when things do look good. I trust they’ll adjust their optimism if and when today’s focus seems to dissipate.
        Weird Observation Department: Dan was so pleased with the energy of the offense under Harrell that he looked 5 years younger than last year. Let’s see how long THAT lasts. (And it’s always great to see Keely do her thing—she always has this gleam in her eyes like she knows a secret).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dan, who as we discussed yesterday is really smart and almost always near the center of gravity so to speak, has really been…politely and professionally…buzzing around the “it’s about the coaches this year – no more excuses” – I hope he continues to emphasize that. Helton’s statement was short, which is good, but MG – would you not agree that, and this isn’t a new development in my estimation, that what little he does say still exhibits scienter? If you were interviewing a prospective…and they answered your questions in that way…???

        Liked by 1 person

      4. James —What a wonderful observation. In criminal prosecution “scienter” means “guilty knowledge.” I’d always tell my investigators to help the suspect hand the scienter element to us on a silver platter—– for instance when they went undercover in an obscenity distribution case, asking “what is the worst, most prurient stuff you have to sell?” Helton, by contrast, didn’t need to be coaxed into saying he fucked up last year. He fessed up before question and answer.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes, precisely…that, and the way he not only evades questions (which doesn’t matter since many coaches do that), leading (and this part does matter) to him making statements that sound like they’ve been fabricated out of disparate piece-parts…in short, his responses are rarely cogent, and don’t even sounds like they are heartfelt (I’m okay with a Parcells/Belichick surliness, as long as it’s sincere)…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. MG

        I meant to add that his responses remind me of interviewing narcotics defendants (the way they would respond to simple questions about how they had come to be in a position to be accused/arrested, etc)…

        Liked by 1 person

      7. James —All true —and yesterday was “off Broadway” so to speak. The REAL test will come when Helton’s being pressed about something that’s gone WRONG. Last year he looked a quarter of an inch from exploding when asked about the morale of the team —-he has the potential to be quite a bully with the polite, professional and mostly deferential crew that covers USC football. But, that said, I wish him well. I think he’s gonna turn things around —the only question is ‘how much?’

        Liked by 1 person

      8. MG

        I wish him well too (as heading up a program we all want to do well, and individually), although I am not optimistic…albeit more than happy to step up and take the rotten detritus treatment if I’m wrong (surely, that has never happened!)…

        I too think it will be interesting to see how he responds to pressure (if not adversity)…but I also believe it is highly telling when a person responds as has when not under pressure (the scienter discussion)…there simply seems to be no guiding light (soap opera or otherwise!) going on there…

        Sure hope your and P’76 are closer to the truth than I am…if I’m right, nothing gained…if you’re right, I add a t-shirt to my workout wardrobe this fall that otherwise just stares from the drawer like one of the “Toys in the Attic” from the Aerosmith cover…

        Liked by 1 person

      9. James —Last Add: Along with you, I’m sick of the self protective, self promotional stuff Clay slips in between his actual updates on this or that. I hope he knocks it off this season. It’s like watching public relations 101 on cable.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, Cloud, when you put it like that —-things look pretty fricking good. What a statement this team could make if, after all the shit they endured, they went out and kicked everybody’s ass in 2019.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cal75 —
        You’re probably right about my prediction….


      2. Mike,

        Warning, wait until the season ends. Then get your hopes up. Coach Helton does not know what it takes to make a juggernaught of a team. He can only hope. I’m gonna wait.


  1. MG,

    Remember Mike Tyson’s very cogent statement-
    ‘Everybody has a plan until they get hit the first time’

    Fresno will give SC a wake up call. Fresno has nothing to lose psychologically in this game & I can tell you from personal first hand experience-since I got broken ribs from those farm boys in a rugby game in ’75-they are underestimated.
    I’m not sure Coach Helton will have the lads prepared for the street fight.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cal75 — As you probably know, I respect your opinion —-and, yes, it will be a streetfight, and, yes, we won’t be as prepared as we should be —-but, guess what, we’ll win anyway…


      1. I’m not sure that SC plays the underdog role very well. That’s going to be a reality check in ’19. Coach Helton is going to have to get the lads prepared for this. Is he capable?



      2. MG & Big Bear (as opposed to Little Bear aka Rented Mule) you both make good points (Hee Haw does too…occasionally…but we don’t want his head going pumpkin on us)…I think MG is right on the opener (physically less capable team is what the air raid feasts on…say 45-27)…but how will this team respond when Tyson is in the other corner? Week 2 against Stanford will be the real test (and the air raid will not be feasting on lesser fare…say 13-24 against).

        And what is it with these Bears, Big and/or Little, laying in our beds and eating our porridge? It just isn’t right…like there’s a bear on the state flag or something?

        BTW-nice little add from BR given BB’s analogy:

        Liked by 1 person

      3. James —Thanks a million for the clip of Tyson throwing punches in that bar. Okay —it was without gloves —but that left hook was as fast as it was when he was 21. (He also threw a beautiful right overhand in “The Hangover” —-I’m thinking comeback)!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Cal75 —-I’ll tell ya right now—–USC will beat Fresno State. “The rest is darkness…”

        Liked by 1 person

      1. If you watch carefully (and you’re familiar with Tyson’s hand speed), you’ll see ALL the lefts are as fast as ever. He’s lost a little speed on the right —but it’s still amazing for his age. If only Cus D’mato had lived longer and kept him out of trouble, Mike could have had an even more glorious reign.
        (The only thing I REALLY wish Mike had done differently? After Evander had cut him up by head butting him in the second fight —and Mike bit his ear —and Evander turned around to cry to the crowd —I kinda wish Mike had thrown a chopping right, knocked Evander out cold and Referee Mills had to lift Evander’s unconscious arm off the canvas to announce “the winner and still champion…..”)


      2. MG
        I’m with you every step of the way on that! (I actually saw that fight on television…the first one I listened to on the radio while at my night job during undergrad) If only Cus would have been around a bit longer…ultimately the tall fighter who kept the right hand up would have been his undoing (ie the Lennox Lewis type)…but he would have chopped a heck of a lot of wood before that happened (btw – since it touches on my favorite refrain on this site, and since I am in fact originally from Harry Truman’s home state…Tyson was the author of one of my favorite sports quotes – interviewed after the fight about getting hit by Razor Ruddock he said, “He f***ing hit like a mule kick!”).


  2. James,
    I’m here for entertainment & amusement. & I have psychologically unhinged neighbors that are fanatic SC boosters. I need to have knowledge to keep them in their place.


    Liked by 2 people

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