One thing I’m looking for this season is how the cornerbacks and safeties work together.
And what I really mean is how are Alex Grinch and Donte Smith working together. A lot of schools have one person in charge of the secondary. But Grinch is the safeties coach and defensive coordinator.
Clancy Pendergast tried that with results best ignored. The corners especially didn’t like it because they felt neglected at times by Pendergast.
The potential problems are when you have the position group meetings. Does Grinch speak to the corners and safeties? Or just the safeties? Are he and Williams on the same page with the same message? They haven’t coached together before.
From what I hear, so far Grinch has made it clear he is in charge. That’s reassuring based on last season (at USC).
- Yesterday, Jacob Lichtenstein talked about how the previous USC coaches were not on the same page.
- Another example: Monte Kiffin would sometimes decide during pre-game warmups to start teaching new techniques that were not practiced during the week.
It’s Grinch’s show so the question is just how coordinated he and Williams are or how much he muzzles Williams. We’ll see.
Grinch talked Wednesday about the demands of playing safety.
“One of the things safeties have to do is kind of run the show on the back end. It’s not enough just to know your job,” he said. “Someone’s got to communicate and it often falls in the safeties’ lap.
“You just have to have a command out there and a commanding presence to put the other guys’ mind at ease. And oh, by the way, do your job at the same time.”
It’s a lot responsibility for Grinch, coaching the safeties and trying to put a defensive together while Lincoln Riley plays with all his shiny gadgets on offense.