Graham Harrell On Who Picks Starting QB

USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell spoke at the San Diego Trojan Club last night.

And a fan asked an interesting question: If Harrell picked Jack Sears as the starter, would Clay Helton “sign off” on it?

HARRELL: “As an offensive staff we will get decide that . . . Coach Helton will weigh in on that . . . Coach Helton, just like everyone else, will want to football games. Whoever gives him the best chance to win football games, he will want out there. i think whoever we decide he would agree with.

“He has veto power over anybody. Except I’m sure he has a boss too somewhere. He has final say. He hired us for a reason. I imagine whoever the staff as a whole thinks gives us best chance to win he will be fine with.”
REACTION: Harrell admits Helton will have final say. However, he was clear that if the staff agrees on a quarterback, he expects Helton to go along with it.
But the fan hit the nail on the head: Will Helton go along with it if the staff picks Sears?
P.S. — I liked when Harrell said, “I’m sure he has a boss too somewhere.”
Does anyone find it extraordinary that Harrell has been at USC since early February and he still doesn’t automatically say Lynn Swann is Helton’s boss? Harrell probably rarely sees Swann too.

16 thoughts on “Graham Harrell On Who Picks Starting QB

    1. Graham Harrell just issued a clarification of his earlier statements: “Apparently some cynics are trying to suggest I wasn’t fully aware of the critically important role Lynn Swann plays in the USC hierarchy. This is untrue. I DID hear from someone —whose title is best left unknown at this time —that a man named Lynn Swann was associated with USC—- I just didn’t know he was Athletic Director. I thought that was Max Nikias’ job. The fact I’ve never met or talked to Lynn doesn’t mean he’s not doing the kind of job we can all be proud of. In fact, I’ve been asked to assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. This is my last word on the subject. I ask that you respect my privacy in this matter in the future”

      Liked by 2 people

    2. According to sources, JT Daniels was at Pizza Studio on Figueroa texting Helton that “if you don’t let me start at QB, my daddy will stop the pizza parties for the team!” He said he would also hold his breath until he gets his way. Helton texted back “You will be my QB for sure, please don’t tell your daddy to stop the pizza parties” Sources confirm that Helton’s favorite pizza is “Hawaiian” Then again we all knew Helton was a fudgepacker.


  1. One way to look at the starting QB selection, is that if Sears is tabbed that will send a huge message about how competitive the football team culture is expected to be. So if one QB is not considered significantly better than the other, it would seem that a culture changing decision would be the most propitious (having the greatest chance of success). Otherwise, the message sent is status quo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Couldn’t the message simply be “he gives us the best chance to win”? Why read more into it than there is? If everything else is even then Harrell has said leadership will be a major factor too. There are a myriad of reasons that don’t fit scottie’s agenda of subversion and driving whatever wedge he can into this team.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. But what if it is impossible to guess who gives the best chance of winning (until actual game experience reveals such)? The coaches have to make a decision based on uncertainty. Sure, if it was that easy to say who is the clear cut better QB with the best chance of winning then there would be no ambiguity. But that isn’t the current definition of the situation by the coaches and the media.

        The way I see it is that you don’t want to repeat failed history. Starting an immobile Max Brown (a very good leader) over the mobile Sam Darnold (a quiet leader) was the wrong decision by Helton. Helton doesn’t like to take risks.

        But perhaps Harrell is a risk taker when he said the choice of QB will be determined by who can win games not who can practice the best under artificial flag football rules where the QB remains untouched.

        There is no clear cut QB “who gives the best chance to win” until proven in games. It’s combat in games.


      2. I wouldn’t find it surprising that a coach from Texas might be willing to take risks where a coach from LA under the current administrative regime wouldn’t. That might also mean starting someone like JTD but holding the option to bring in Sears if needed. Or it may mean starting Sears with the option of bringing in JTD. Risk taking is what “changing the culture” means. You try different things until you find what works — it isn’t that we are all so smart or knowledgeable that we will know what will work ahead of time. Life isn’t like that.


  2. Okay this begs the obvious question….”which head coach doesn’t have veto power over any position on the team, let alone the one who handles the ball on almost every play?”

    I’ll wait silently for scottie’s reply. But I won’t be holding my breath.


    1. Pusley pontificates incorrectly as usual.

      “Begging the Question”
      petitio principii

      (also known as assuming the initial point, assuming the answer, chicken and the egg argument, circulus in probando, circular reasoning [form of], vicious circle)

      Description: Any form of argument where the conclusion is assumed in one of the premises. Many people use the phrase “begging the question” incorrectly when they use it to mean, “prompts one to ask the question”. That is NOT the correct usage. Begging the question is a form of circular

      To Pusley, circular reasoning means rotating on his thumb.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s reassuring that the guy with the final say is a total buffoon when it comes to coaching football. Isn’t it an exciting time to be a USC fan?

    Liked by 1 person

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