Something To Keep In Mind When Hiring A Line Coach

Who will replace Tim Drevno?

You will likely hear someone at USC say it wants the best offensive line coach in the nation.

But here’s the problem: The best offensive line coaches are unlikely going to want to coach the Air Raid offense.

“How can you coach the offensive line in that offense?” a Pac-12 offensive line coach told me.

Rightly or wrongly, a lot coaches consider the Air Raid a gimmick that is not going to win a national championship.

So it will be interesting to see who USC hires. Will it need to hire a Graham Harrell crony or can a multi-year contract and big salary convince an offensive line coach to forget he is coaching for the Air Raid.

26 thoughts on “Something To Keep In Mind When Hiring A Line Coach

  1. Bama runs a lot of one back sets, a bit of the spread offense, but their play selection was 54% run, 46% pass.

    USC was 40% run, 60% pass this season. Big difference.

    Harrell could dial back the air raid stuff, but the problem with that now is that there is no Stepp to run between the tackles.

    Run game will be a lot worse next year without Markese and without AVT. Hope VM can stay healthy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. the only tackles I saw were being applied by the oppositions defense; SC line has only wiffing tackles ,guards unguarding , while constantly false starting,holding on for dear life,etc…2-3 times as much as other teams.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. True, Tim. [But all our holds are called. Refs ignored Oregon’s and UCLA’s holding]. As for the wiffing, it looks like Drevno told his guys “be sure that you lightly brush against the other team’s d-line as they run by you —it’ll give Kedon a half second to throw the ball down field.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kayvon Thibodaux used Alijah Vera-Tucker. They have him as the 2nd Offensive Lineman going overall in the draft but he got schooled vs the Ducks.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sam and Michael, regarding AVT and Thibodeaux, I am looking at some of the highlights (lowlights) from the oregon-USC game.

        I might be missing a bunch of stuff, but on all the USC scores AVT either held his blocks on pass protection, or opened a hole for (the now departed) Markese to run through. Take a look and let me know what you think.

        In terms of Thibodeaux, they were moving him around a lot, which creates a whole different issue for the O linemen.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’ll grant you AVT looked real good on the highlights, 67. [But if I remember correctly , he missed his block like 10 times ….and every time Slovis had to eat it or let go early].

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really had high hopes for the air raid offense, but it is the old live by the sword, die by the sword problem. The offense lacks balance, whether that’s because the line can’t run block or the coordinator hates running plays I don’t know. We just need a line that doesn’t allow the quarterback to get flattened every third down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not quite EVERY third, Rialto. All is fine for the Trojans if it’s a 3rd and six PASS play (not 3rd and 2— cuz—-run). Our QB “flattening” problems arise when poor Kedon has to toss the long ball. There is no way on earth he’s gonna get enough time for the play to set up. On the last play against Oregon I told my wife, “I don’t wanna watch this –he’s gonna get creamed.”


      1. If you put out five wide it’s a gamble, feast or famine. You put up gaudy pass numbers but you also can’t sustain drives, and your QBs take hits. Under this system the QB is taught to scramble by running backwards instead of stepping up, meaning he can get caught for a big loss. And you can’t run consistently from this offense. Worse, defenses have realized if you drop your secondary and most LBs into coverage, then bring a delayed blitz SC and the Air Raid (at other schools too) can be entirely squashed. It also becomes easy to bait the QB into interceptions, because the QB is so committed to finding one of so many receivers open, he’s not really seeing disguised coverage.

        SC under the Chow/West Coast-BYU system could still get the big plays without the sacks and interceptions. That’s because the first thing a RBs and TEs had to learn to do was block, but they could also run and catch, and the roll outs and throwing to the backside of the play, and the tunnel screens meant opposing defenses could never just tee-off and blitz and get to the QB. .

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Global — sincere question: how many of the problems associated with the air raid would be solved by simply introducing a first rate dual threat QB into the line up?


  3. I here they will find one of Mike Leach’s old line coaches or someone familiar with coaching air raid offenses. What good is that going to do SC when they fire Helton next year and we get rid of this offense. If so, it better be a short contract, but then again who would come here when the inevitable should happen after next season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Who will come?” I’m sure Helton will find ‘somebody.’ He’s found ‘somebody’ before.
      He found Callaway, right?


  4. Why would the best O-Line coach want to come to SC when you have a HC that is year after year on the hot seat. He’s going to get fired sooner or later and that line coach will lose his job with the HC.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. the more important question…who thinks little enough of ones self to coach under a moron like helton even if it is a million dollar multi year contract.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Best option for an O-line coach is to look at other schools with recently fired HCs (I’m looking at you, Texas), and offer theirs. Otherwise, spot-on: nobody looks at Helton as a long term hold at USC (except for maybe Bohn and Folt). And air-raid is all gimmick: a serious NC O-line coaching candidate would immediately pass (no pun) on that position. Only real hope is for Harrell to take the Boise State gig, then C&H would be completely exposed on offense. What I wouldn’t do to see us snap to a QB under center…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hate running the ball in this offense. It looks like a high school’s game strategy these days. Pass, Pass and a run sprinkled hear or there.


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.