How Much Will No Spring Ball Hurt USC…More Than Other Programs?

While some wonder if there will even be a 2020 college football season, USC fans are probably also considering just how much farther back USC football has been relegated by the absence of spring football to get the troops acclimated to the important new defensive staff members and any system/scheme changes.

Clearly, programs with the most recent success and continuity, as well as higher-profile preps, stand to kick off the 2020 season with an even greater advantage than usual. But at the same time, USC has a veteran squad, so Clay Helton’s positive drumbeat about USC’s 2020 chances may indeed better prognosticate USC’s upcoming improvement, despite the lack of March drills to get Todd Orlando’s plan of action integrated into the current USC football culture.

Does the lack of practices now simply reinforce USC’s troublesome football culture and lack of physicality under Helton lately?

The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel addressed this subject just recently:

“(The lack of spring ball)  will most adversely affect schools with coaching changes, where those 15 practices can be essential both for the new staff to evaluate the personnel they inherited and install their playbooks.

“But I have another theory: This is yet another instance where the haves are going to be better equipped to withstand it than the have nots.

“For one thing, they have bigger support staffs full of people who can help their players navigate these challenges, whether helping keep them on track academically, making sure they’re keeping up their conditioning back home or just being a sounding board. But also: If everyone’s going to enter this season with less practice, I’d rather have a bunch of five-stars whose talent may help mask unrefined technique than a bunch of two- and three-stars for whom development is essential and who may now be getting less coaching.

“Most coaches would tell you time spent in the weight room and in summer workouts is ultimately more important for that than 15 practices. But guess what? Gyms are closing. (And even if they’re open, you’d be nuts to still be going.) There’s going to be a lot of strength coaches out there who have to get creative over the next several months.”

theathletic.com

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Jamaica
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Jamaica
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Why did Bohn only hire new coaches on the defensive side when it is obvious to anyone, the OL has been “the” big weakness on the team for the last 3-years. Does Bohn really believe a passing game with little or no rushing is good enough? After 3-years of working with the OL and supposedly helping recruit linemen (which has been very disappointing), is it time to find a better fit for this program?

TrojanRJJ
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Great picture. To address the question set out above, it depends. We saw last year that hiring an outstanding S&C staff (and AA and staff are outstanding by any standard – look at how much better our kids at the NFL strength tests) and an innovative young OC whose system is a huge upgrade over the prior system does not matter much if Clay culture and leadership are still in place (team should have been 6-6, with a blow out home loss and claims of victory by losing to ND by less than 7 points). IF Clay culture and leadership… Read more »

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg
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It could be used by USC to keep Helton another season if this one is a disaster. Perhaps the great minds at the ncaa can restructure the summer where there can be an real practices before the fall camp starts.

Paul_Muad_dib
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You mean USC is going to miss out on the benefits of the spring showcase!? Nooooooooooo

Terrific Tommy
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It couldn’t be more poorly timed — we really needed to practice hard with major physical contact. Of course, for some, it will provide more built-in excuses if we don’t do well — but I ain’t one of them. cry