USC Morning Buzz: Just How Is The Secondary Co-Existing?

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.

34 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Just How Is The Secondary Co-Existing?

    1. A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD SMELL AS SWEET

      TO ERR IS HUMAN
      TO FORGIVE DIVINE

      ALL IS FORGIVEN MR WOLF
      THANKYOU FOR THE BLOG

      DOG ON GOOD BEHAVIOR THIS MORNING
      NO MORE POSTS

      WE LOVE EVERYBODY !!

      WELL
      bRUINS MAYBE NOT SO MUCH
      SORRY

      Liked by 1 person

      1. MG NEVER NEVER SLEEPS!!!!
        MG HOW DO YOU DO IT ??
        WHATS YOUR SECRET ???
        EVEN NAPOLEON WAS SAID TO REQUIRE FOUR HOURS A NIGHT BRO

        I TIP MY HAT TO YOU MAN
        YOU ARE TRULY AWESOME !!!!!!
        AND I AM PRIVILEGED TO CALL YOU MY GOOD FRIEND !!!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Can’t you just see it– After some of the inevitable SC
    squeaker-victories of 42-38-types, and the 2-headed monster of Grinch-Williams is asked “What happened with the defense, guys?” and the monster replies,
    “What’s your problem anyway, Pilgrim, we won, didn’t we?”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you asked– our strategy, our plan is to hold ’em under 40
        and leave the rest up to the offense. It works most of the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems odd to me that the backfield is not all coached by one person. It would surely create less confusion. Grinch must certainly have to assert himself during coaches meetings, but I think Donte knows he is close to being on his way out and is as amenable as he can be toward Grinch. I am looking for results on Saturdays.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Give Monte Kiffin some leeway. He started coaching right after the forward pass was allowed by rule. Teaching unpracticed techniques on game day was just his way of keeping the players on their toes.
    In reality he probably noticed something watching the other team warm up and decided to give his guys a heads up. Not really a surprise when you think about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Monte had his day in the NFL.
      #AndHeWouldHaveBeenJustFineInPac12….
      #ButFor…
      #DualThreatQuarterbacks….AndChipKelly

      Like

      1. Monday Morning Observation: Cover 2 sure wasn’t the best way to stop running QB’s……
        #”Well,NobodyGotBehindUsOnPassPlays…
        #…TheyJustRanItIn…”

        Like

  4. The way USC fans have flipped on Donte really disgusts me. Last season he was thrust into a no-win situation. He is a really great recruiter and I dont think he is a bad coach. But how do you coach players when the offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator were skipped over to promote a cornerbacks coach to interim head coach. Donte had zero real authority.

    Bunch of sideline hacks complaining about Donte. Why does Scott and others on this board hate Trojans so much? Donte isnt Carol Folt or Clay Helton or Lynn Swann. Those people are incompetent and abusing their power. Donte was a guy stuck in a thankless task.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was a thankless job. But he accepted it. Donte gets props for leading the team back against a tough Washington State team (in a big way) and having the team ready to battle with a very good BYU team. But the rest of the game results [and his confused—to put it mildly–post game comments] indicate there is a very definite ceiling to his abilities as a coach. Let’s not pretend otherwise…
      #There’sBeenEnoughPretendingAtUSCAlready

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps he wasn’t ready to be interim HC, but for some reason he was selected and took the job (perhaps unwillingly) because nobody else would do it. I have always given him props for having the courage and grace to step up and take the heat he took. I see it like nobody that stepped in could change that attitude and culture. I personally am glad so many players got cut by LR. It set the example and instantly changed the culture, letting everyone know there was a new sheriff in town. Problem was Donte couldn’t do that with the roster he had.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am reminded of sucla’s new coach Tommy Prothro getting the best of SC’s John McKay the first 2-years on the job, and when McKay finally got his first victory riding shot-gun on Simpson’s 64-yarder, McKay exclaimed, “Maybe now fans will stop calling me stupid!”

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Gametv,

      I think people are looking at the results of his coaching the db’s exculsivley last year. I think they take into consideration that he was forced to take over with no experience and most people gave him a pass on that. However, he is supposed to be a great db coach and the db’s got burned last year.

      This year is an open book for him. His coaching will show what he has. If he can listen to the dc and do as he says and it shows on the field, then yes, he is a good coach. However, if the dbs’ get burned or out of position, that is on him. Time will tell and the jury is still out on him. Thank you.

      Like

  5. It’s got to be really hard, since Grinch is trying to communicate with a coach who isn’t there at practice. Seriously, why do they allow this Smith guy to be the Cornerbacks coach?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You guys are too much. When the corners are out there on the field, every play they are must know where the help is coming from-either a safety or linebacker. On run support the secondary have rules of engagement and on pass defense it’s either man-to-man with no support or man with pass on principles whether it’s Cover 3 or Cover 2. Coach Williams will coach on which technique the corners will use for pass plays for the nickel back and outside corners. McCutchin was moved to safety for a reason. The OSU transfer came to SC for a reason. A better pass rush will make this defense obtain more turnovers. Run support on the perimeter will determine how good the defense is. It doesn’t look stout from what I can tell.

    Like

  7. Please give me a break MG LJ you guys are pathetic did you ever play or coach football hell no. If it wasn’t for a black man would we have the 4 n 5 stars they have now or signed. Domain Jackson Ceyair Wright Zion Branch. First of all and foremost you have to establish a culture, then develop the chemistry among coaches and players and stick with it. Ditto Pete Carroll did both of those things. 2 Natty’s and major recruitments who where not all hype but actually was all that the man. I’m tired of reading political post that don’t have nothing to do with what Scottie is trying to convey. Everyone has a right to their opinion but that doesn’t make you right or wrong. MG N LJ If you guys where President you would have a unfavorable approval rating with just the way you guys speak with your narrow minded opinions are you a problem solver or a complaining narcissist. Most likely your Trump Boys I don’t dislike either one of you because
    I don’t know you, but my mom and dad did teach me from right and wrong how about YOU. #Newsome for 2024 President # Biden go to a rest home

    Like

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