USC QB Quandary

Spring practice did not produce a starting quarterback, as expected.

But in a way it has put the coaches in a bind: Whether it was Saturday’s final scrimmage or other times, when there the practice went “live,” Jack Sears was the better quarterback.

This is not unusual. Remember, everyone thought JT Daniels was the better QB at last fall’s training camp but then the real hitting took place during the season and Daniels struggled. Conversely, Sears played well in the Arizona State game when it wasn’t just 7-on-7 or an 11-on-11 period where the quarterback feels no threat of getting hit.

Football is not a contact sport. It is a violent sport.

So here the dilemma for the coaches: Clay Helton prefers Daniels. But if they see in the film that Sears was best during actual game simulations, what do they do?

Graham Harrell is high on Sears, according to other coaches. But how high? Enough to stand up to Helton?

Would Helton risk his job just to start Daniels even if Daniels wasn’t the best choice? I think he might.


19 thoughts on “USC QB Quandary

  1. If you’re listening closely to Harrell, it seems like he wants Daniels to speed it up. That whole line about “it’s going to become clearer and clearer who’s the best QB” seemed premised on the idea that all Daniels needs to do is get all of Helton’s previous coaching outta his head and he’s good to go. But I agree with some on this site that there’s more to it than that. What do I mean? (1) There’s nothing wrong with having 2 quarterbacks, and (2) Sears is good in many situations where J. T. seems to struggle (check out what happens to him against physical teams like Stanford, Texas and Utah). It might be smart to plan on using Sears unsparingly when we are getting out-muscled at the line of scrimmage (& let’s face it —we all already know which games those will be).
    The biggest problem for 2019, however, is NOT who is the better quarterback. The biggest problem is that Harrell will not be on the sidelines and Helton will. The players on offense respond to Harrell in a very positive way. They feed off of his exuberance. They’ve said as much in every single interview this spring. When Harrell goes up in the booth in fall, all they’ll be looking at on the sidelines is…..Helton.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Whoa Pusley, there’s your premise “I think?” Not on this blog or dimension.




    1. I agree, I said it somewhere a couple of weeks ago we should run situational quarterbacks and even better, not care if the other teams know what’s coming. It is more demoralizing to know what’s headed your way but being unable to stop it.
      We have been using one back with the “hot hand” without making a competition for playing time. This approach doesn’t seem to work. If we make the players work for their auditions (to the NFL) we are getting the best the players have to give.
      Many times USC played in panic mode last season. I could see it from the stands, and even better watching the replay of the game. The other team can also see it. The panic comes from a lack of confidence. Confidence is instilled by the coach, and I don’t think the players felt that with Tee and Clay. I hope the H&H coaching club will bring back some of the swagger of the old days. We need to say, “no brag, just fact.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Agree with every word, Steve. I maintain that the thing that “slows” the offense down is NOT J. T. “overthinking.” I believe it’s Helton’s presence on the sideline. It won’t happen —but we’d be SO much better off with Helton in the booth come fall.


  2. Scott,
    No matter how many times you say it, Sears is not better. If he were, the choice would be easy. He is a better playmaker when on the run, but in every other aspect JT is better. Better arm strength, better decision making, better touch, he is just better. JT will especially thrive in this new system, this offense was built for him.

    I’ve yet to hear coach Harrell say anything at all that hints he prefers Sears, or anyone for that matter. But carry on with you campaign

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The whole premise scottie uses is misbegotten from the get go. I challenge the blogger to tell me which practice that Sears looked better in which the QBs were actually being tackled? None. They wear those funny colored jerseys for a reason. Stupid. NO school, not one, allows th QB to be hit. scottie is totally off the rails with this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott is smart and he knows the funnest thing in the world to have is —a quarterback controversy. It can’t lose. As far as 2019 goes, J. T. is more what Harrell is looking for than Sears. If you judge Daniels at his best (Washington State) against Sears (his one and only appearance, Arizona State), J. T. is superior. But Sears is undeniably damn good —-and McKay did very well with 2 quarterbacks on a couple of different occasions back in the day. So did Washington. I think we should all keep an open mind about using Sears when J. T. is struggling. It won’t hurt the team one iota if they know in advance that this is a possibility…. and that bringing Sears into the game is not a death sentence for J. T….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Look at’em all scrambling to save face, Scotty….we’ve got’em on the run 😇…….fallout is prophet payoff 😆!


  5. Is Helton’s hands still tied? If not, then start Sears. Simple. If Daniels wants to leave, then cede ya and don’t let the door hit u on the way out. Also, have him sit a year if he transfers


      1. MG – just between you and me, I could never be a player, Don Juan, Casanova etc.. In the end, all anyone ever wants is to be loved. The Bible has taught me about human nature and people ain’t changin’ no matter what they may profess. BTW it is a beautiful day out here in Granada Hills. Have a great one, amigo.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.