Clay Helton offered another glimpse of his “yes man” side this week when he wouldn’t take a position on whether USC should have been declared Pac-12 champs when Washington was unable to play.
Helton said he was “a chain of command guy” and would defer to whatever Larry Scott decided. Just like he deferred to Coach Haden and Coach Bohn.
It reminded me of how USC coaches used to laugh when Helton was offensive coordinator under Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian, and offer nothing more than “great call, coach” after each play.
- Pete Carroll would have just played the Pac-12 title game this week too without complaining but here’s the difference: Carroll knew it was important to look like the best team in the nation and would get style points/national respect from his team’s performances.
Helton never does.
I remember being bored one year when USC was a heavy favorite against Arizona and asking Carroll what there was to play for?
“I want us to play a mistake-free game and when we get (Arizona) down, to keep our foot on the pedal and keep going,” Carroll said. “It doesn’t matter who we play, we need to show we can play at a high level for all four quarters.”
For several years, Helton-coached teams have opened up big leads on teams and then held on for dear life to win the game. He can’t get four clean quarters of football.
“I’m biased but do I believe we are a top-10 team? Yes,” Helton said Wednesday.
The problem is Helton’s teams don’t deliver top 10-looking performances. So when he says it, people just shrug.