Like I always say, first practices are not a great barometer of much.
One thing that was a little surprising Tuesday, though, was the tempo of USC’s first practice was pretty much the same as any other Clay Helton-led practice.
One might assume practices will be faster than in the past to change USC’s soft culture.
The pro-Helton crowd will counter that the head coach and his staff are focused on teaching and correcting mistakes so maybe tempo is not paramount. The funny part Tuesday was Helton looked envious of Graham Harrell leading the offense.
Helton could only watch because the offensive scheme and coordination is Harrell’s duty now. Still, it looked like it jarred Helton to not be able to run the offense or at least supervise the quarterbacks. Helton’s job duties require him to be the head coach now. Not the guy who secretly called plays.
“I want us to focus more on the fundamentals and techniques of the game because I think we’re as talented as anybody we’ll play next year, at least equivalent, if not better,” Helton said.
That is pretty much true every year for USC. And recently, they have needed to be much better because Helton doesn’t come close to getting the most out of his players.