USC Morning Buzz: You Have To Fit The Profile To Coach

I want to circle back to the departure of Chris Claiborne to Arizona State because I think it says a lot about USC.

Claiborne got hired last year at USC as an analyst. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando did not want him so Claiborne was put on offense.

No USC linebacker other than Claiborne ever won the Butkus Award and he got put on offense? That would be like Reggie Bush joining the coaching staff and being told to coach the defense.

So Orlando was scared. That says a lot about him. But let’s not forget that Clay Helton has often been reluctant to hire big-time former USC players.

When Ronnie Lott recommended Mark Carrier a few years ago, Helton had Clancy Pendergast make a courtesy call to Carrier with no real interview. I’ve heard Tim McDonald Sr., who coached in the NFL, has also been stiff-armed when the idea of coaching at USC comes up.

Kris Richard spoke to USC about its defensive coordinator’s job last year but that was initiated by Mike Bohn. Helton wouldn’t have tried to hire Richard, who would tell him if he thought something was being done the wrong way.

What’s worse is USC doesn’t have a linebackers coach and could have hired Claiborne full time. But now he coach linebackers at Arizona State.

Someone will point out that former USC wide receiver Keary Colbert in the wide receivers coach. But he’s not exactly a outspoken personality who makes waves.

Remember, Helton wouldn’t even consider former USC assistant Norv Turner after he wanted to be QBs coach in 2017. Turner would have been a threat.

The only guys who aren’t threats are from Texas.

42 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: You Have To Fit The Profile To Coach

  1. Scott, it’s Gomer who is scared.

    Any head coach worth a shit would have told Orlando that CC was the LB coach, deal with it, if he didn’t like it, there’s the door.

    But since Gomer hires NO ONE but his brother and daddy’s buddies, he does what he’s told to do.

    I’m not one for hiring guys just because they went to USC, but if they can coach and recruit, why not ?

    Gomer doesn’t not hire people because they are a threat to him, he doesn’t hire them because they WON’T WORK FOR HIM TO BEGIN WITH. Can you imagine a conversation between Gomer and Turner? Turner would probably hang up as soon as Gomer told him who he was.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think you’re 50% right on this one, karma. There are certainly many good coaches who’d tell their wives to hang up if someone named Clay Helton called. AND… there were a few good coaches willing to offer Clay a helping hand …..who were turned down cuz Clay was scared of them…..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Imagine having a defensive coaching staff with some combo of Claiborne, Carrier, Kris Richard, Tim McDonald. And Norv Turner and/or Norm Chow working with the offense.


        Liked by 4 people

    2. Losing Claiborne hurts–intolerably.
      I haven’t been this ambivalent since the Hackett days when I wouldn’t even check the box scores in the newspaper on Sundays.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think Ingram — who is a true diamond in the rough — would have picked USC unless he had some assurance he was going to be used wisely. (And) I can’t believe that Harrell —who is not stupid — hasn’t been stung by all the criticism of his offense’s lack of a run option. I seem to remember that Harrell had his own ideas about o-line coach and was never all in on Drevno. I’m hoping that the new o-line coach provides Harrell with the confidence to try some new things involving the tailbacks (and Ingram might be more of an asset than Markese in this regard).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Markese isn’t the pass catcher that Ingram is, so that may have been a hook for Ingram. And that probably limited Markese’s playing time. On the other hand, the best coaches find a way to get their best players on the field, figuring out a way to develop their skills.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the reason why Mike Garret always pushed for former NFL head coaches to be USC head coaches. All that mattered was winning. NFL dudes know what’s at stake. To win, the coach has to be surrounded by the best position coaches to develop the players. Politics get set aside if the program is winning decisively.

    Clay fits none of the past criteria. He fits the new criteria where playing the politics game wins “the game.” This started back with Garret’s successor.

    Time is running out on Clay. He just can’t deal with the HC position and he won’t develop as a head coach here. Time to go.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Smart. Every decision in Los Angeles —including naturally those made at USC — represents a case of [short term] “smart politics” rather than long term strategy.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Nice analysis.

      Are you related to another member of this site known as Harry Paratestes?
      He also brought smart contributions.


    1. I’m sure I’m in the minority on this…. but I think hiring Brennan was a stroke of genius…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It was the best of times and the worst of times with Pete – a national championship juggernaut, followed by the most ethically unprincipled sanctions by the NCAA, followed by Haden, Swann,….

        Think about USC’s record over the last 30 years, absent the Pete years…it really takes a commitment from the top to have a program that is competitive with the best.

        Liked by 5 people

  3. Liked by 5 people

      1. I’m no shrink but I bet the “help” Chad needs comes in the form of accepting the fact most girlfriends aren’t going to be keen on his insisting they “bow down” to him (victim statement to the Seattle Times). My guess is, once Chad gracefully accepts this fact, he’ll move on to improved romantic relationships.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally get where Banner is coming from. That is someone’s daughter or sister. You shouldn’t put hands on a female.
      But I also think Banner is as always being his normal self and thinking about his feelings and not considering that Chad might need some serious help and could use the tough love but also some words of encouragement to better himself.
      Banner wasn’t his real pal then from the beginning.
      A real pal wouldn’t say something such as he will never forgive.
      That could set off a whole lot off potential problems going forward for Chad’s mental state.
      But as usual Banner doesn’t always think and blurts out the first thing in his head.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds fair to me.
      #[….i.e, 21stCenturyPeople]

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope for the best Mike but these are the social media post that could push a troubled individual to ending his own life. I’m not in any way taking Wheelers side at all but he’s getting a lot of it from his old “friends” and that’s not gonna get him to a better place. It’s only making matters worse.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree.
        There’s always a way to be straight up with someone that you are upset or very upset with their actions but kicking them while they’re clearly already down is not what a friend does.
        Some of these comment’s almost say that these players never thought much of Wheeler prior to this. Which i hope is not the case. But for his teammates to jump on him so fast without any mention of his mental state or him seeking help for whatever he needs help with is disappointing to hear.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What’s your profile in Heaven?…..if you don’t know the right God, you don’t have one. That’s what we should be worrying about. The answer to this question in time is: both sides are wrong, get over it, and I don’t mean maybe….


    1. Here today, gone tomorrow, or the next, or the next, and so on. Kings and kingdoms will all pass away. When the roll is called up yonder, will you be there? Say your piece, make a march, do your thing, but don’t get it twisted. We can, and do protest, too much. If folks had stronger faith in the right God, they wouldn’t be arrested 40 times, or violating space, like it’s 1776.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. With Stephen back, how many more former regulars are missing after Scottie returned from SI? Alv? West Texas Mike? Need GT22 back as well. Not to mention Ed Garrett.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Who does this remind you of?
    Five Characteristics of Incompetent People
    1.) They’re a know it all. In their minds, every decision they make is the correct one, even though it blows up in their face more times than not.
    2.) They refuse to get outside counsel to correct mistakes. They will never hire people who are more experienced and have greater knowledge. Contrarily, they will only hire people who are “Yes Men” that will never pose a challenge.
    3.) They blame others for their failures. They will never be honest and address the real problems that are obvious.
    4.) They never take responsibility when things go wrong. It’s always someone else’s fault.
    5.) They refuse to educate themselves to make themselves more competent.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re describing that horse’s ass, Dear Pisley to a tee.

      Appreciate your candor trojnfn4.

      Chad “Wheelie” Wheeler has been evicted from the Seahawk Team. Just another bozo FB NFL bust.


  6. Helton is a politician…and should be selling used cars. By the way where is Clancy Pendergast his defensive guru. Answer: He is still unemployed because no one else wanted to hire him in the NFL, or NCAA football. This is a great example of the type of assistant coaches USC is hiring at the moment. Did Baxter find another job after he was fired-the answer is no interest from other programs.


  7. Perhaps former USC Genius Defensive Coordinator- Clancy Pendergast is back doing what he does best: FARMING, MILKING COWS, AND DRAWING X’S AND 0’s in the dirt. Please note his coaching career began as head coach of his fraternity team. Clancy, where are you.
    Personal life-SOUNDS THIS IS A GREAT FIT FOR GOMER-CLAY HELTON ALSO. The son of a farmer, Pendergast attended Tolleson High School, where his sister, Bonnie Pendergast, now teaches calculus. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1990, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. Pendergast did not play football in college, but did coach his fraternity team (Phi Gamma Delta).


  8. Sorry I haven’t posted today I really had to work at work today. (Go figure) and by the I had read my way down here I forgot what the topic was.
    Is Helton still coach?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Why should we hire and promote a coach with no experience to linebackers coach? TO is right to not put Claiborne in that position.

    At USC, they should be getting the best position coaches, not just great former players. Vic So’oto had to prove his skills as a coach before we picked him up. That should be the way it is done.


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