USC Trojans This & That — 7/18

Dennis Dodd (CBSSports.com)  published this statement back on May 1.  “(Clay) Helton says USC football has to get ‘simpler.’ He told defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast to slice his playbook in half.”

The prevailing question now seems to be, was Dodd correct and accurate when he reported this? Since May 1, there have been some published quotes from USC defensive players which have been interpreted by some as meaning that the only thing changing about USC’s 2019 defensive scheme will be the terminology (presumed simpler) used to call plays, and not any actual modification of Pendergast’s defense.

If that’s true, Dodd was either completely misinformed about Helton’s directive to Pendergast, or Pendergast decided to ignore it.

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I have been posting on USC boards since the days of Michael Lev. Back then I was trojandude207. When this blog appeared I found it through Wolf’s dead newspaper blog. I post on Wolf as myself or Rialto Trojan, but I actually like to post my silly sense of humor there . Here is where I come for information and a more positive attitude. Now I am seeing people talking about Wolf and wondering what he’s done now? I will say I have seen some interesting news on his blog but mostly stuff attributed to a anonymous source. Also I… Read more »

PN4SC
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I don’t see how anyone could defend Wolf or his tactics. Quite simply, he is the worst beat writer in America, who actively roots against the team he is paid to cover.
From a journalistic standpoint, he has as much credibility as Don Lemon or Donny Deutsch.

ATL D.D.S.
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Someone on our blog said we lost one of our signees from Narbonne? I could not find this item referred to anywhere else. Can some one clear this up? Thanks in advance, ya’ll.

TrojanRJJ
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The OL from Hawaii via Narbonne evidently failed to qualify academically. He and his dad moved to So. Cal from the big Island to give the kid a chance at getting a D1 scholarship. It worked. But, then academic issues evidently as he is back in Hawaii taking classes. Cannot recall his name.

Rock2112
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As a pure “this and that,” I was always wondering what a guy like Dan Weber (who tries to be fair in both praise and criticism of USC) thinks of a guy like Scott Wolf (who has only one ugly mode of negativity all the time). Well, without naming names, Dan Weber told us in the Peristyle Podcast this week — he said there are certain people who are “malcontents” and don’t go to practice and don’t know anything that just want to stir up trouble and create problems. The discussion was specifically about “reports” that players prefer Jack Sears… Read more »

alfa1
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Not being a proponent for Wolf, Weber posits the “Good Uncle”
image and so forth. I do find it difficult to follow his ramblings on the Instant Analysis videos.

Seeing as how through summer and the PRP’s there is no filming of practices or interviews with players till fall camp starts, what would substantiate Weber’s musings. Is it his opinion ? Is it based on prior interviews? Just Rumors ?…..Does he follow Wolf ?

I don’t particularly find Wolf as a pundit of USC Football, yet, he does seem to come forward with some interesting nuggets of information from time to time.

YMMV

UtahTrojan
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As far as Wolf is concerned: Even a bling rat finds cheese every once in a while. I used the term rat intentionally.

ATL D.D.S.
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“bling rat” Is that where Stephen A Smith gets his weed that when he smokes it, he hallucinates USC as a Top Ten team in 2019?

Rock2112
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Weber actually goes to campus, sits through every practice he is allowed to see, talks with coaches who like him, sits in the press box for games, and does his homework. PRPs have been closed off for much of the summer, and when that happened, Weber was up front about their inability to comment on what is happening there, although starting in July they were able to talk to the players about their thoughts on PRPs, which Weber relayed. If there is criticism of Weber, I think it would be that he is an optimist and sometimes gets a little… Read more »

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Why make the defense so complicated? There 11 players on each side of the ball. Five players on offense cannot touch the ball unless it’s fumbled. One player directs the other five players in which way the ball goes. On defense there are eleven players who are unrestricted when it comes to touching the ball. They can line up wherever they want they don’t have to engage the opponent until they know where the play is going. They can all line up on the line or all hold back until the ball is snapped. My point is eleven on six… Read more »

Paul_Muad_dib
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I think it is simply stubbornness. What used to work now doesn’t, but Clancy cannot accept reality.

TrojanRJJ
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Paul, I think it is worse than that. I think he is so bright that the solutions that work “theoretically” in his mind (and if executed properly probably would work) simply do not work in practice – because they are too complex for the kids to execute as Clay “drew it up.” It is a huge problem and I think it is traceable to his personality. So, you have a person whose solution makes the problem worse. As the solution makes the problem worse, Clancy’s solution (given his personality and mental ability) is to come up with a fix that… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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I just noticed my Freudian slip – I put in “Clay” instead of “Clancy.”

Paul_Muad_dib
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Yeah, I was a little thrown off by that lol

TrojanRJJ
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I have had more time to think about this issue. Obviously, in retirement, I have way too much time to waste! It could be that Clancy has eliminated some “formations” – I really do not know what Clancy’s D is. He seems to run a “mystery Gumbo D” like Clay ran a “mystery Gumbo O” last year. Maybe he is going to run a 4-3 base and eliminated the odd configurations of his “Gumbo”. What bothers me is Clancy is not clear and simple in his communications. He is clearly an introvert who, candidly, is not well suited personality wise… Read more »

Paul_Muad_dib
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I can’t figure out what it is either. Mystery Gumbo is a great name for it lol

alfa1
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Ed Orgeron is a very good D line coach, when the 49ers let Clancy go, he interviewed with Ed at LSU, Ed took Aranda instead with the big salary.

Ed was in Clancy’s system during his first job at SC. That should bring some understanding to Clancy’s ability, Ed had no belief in it, but Helton did.

We have what we have, a “One Trick Pony” who believes he has the answer to all offenses and will not change his philosophy, however I think Chip Kelly would laugh at that idea.

TrojanRJJ
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Chip made Clancy look like a bad high school coach. I have never seen an experienced DC get so thoroughly outcoached EVER! I doubt I will ever forget that game. Clancy made the UCLA back look like a combo of Barry Sanders and Jim Brown (I still see that kid breaking free for 8th or 10th time and running up the side line). There was a very funny explanation given a couple of days ago by Allen (in jest): Clancy did such a bad job against UCLA that the only explanation is that he threw the game on purpose to… Read more »

alfa1
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Oooh….I have. “DC get so thoroughly out coached”
In the 2018 Red River Rivalry, Texas put 48 points on OU and
Lincoln Riley did what Helton was remiss doing to Clancy, he promptly fired Mike Stoops !

ATL D.D.S.
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You guys make it sound like we have Monte Kiffin II on our hands….

alfa1
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If being stubborn about making meaningful changes to a system that clearly doesn’t work…then we have a parallel. Cool isn’t it ?

Steveg
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Not quite, if Monte was here we would line up in cover 2 zone EVERY play. With Clancy we line up in man coverage EVERY play.

alfa1
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You have just described the parallel.

ATL D.D.S.
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Like Bizarro World from the Superman comics?

Steveg
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I think Clancy is arrogant enough to just ignore it, and Helton is to dumb to realize it. Nothing is going to change on defense other than the speed.

TrojanRJJ
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I do not think any of us really know these folks. My guess is Clancy is a very bright and arrogant introvert. I ran into that personality a lot in my career. I found them a lot in the IT field. My experience is that there is NOTHING that you can do to change them – the problem is always a failure in execution, not design. I see Clancy that way. May be fair, may not. May be correct, may not. My guess is if I am correct, Clancy will not have a job at year’s end.

TrojanRJJ
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Forgot to agree with you on Clay (and the Blindsided One). I have no confidence in the ability of either of them to manage effectively. A person like Clancy (if I have him correct) should NEVER be put in the position he holds. That personality is impossible to manage (they will always know more than the you and always have the right design, in their mind – the problem is always the “idiots” “misusing” their “brilliant designs”). I do not think it is an accident that Clancy was fired as a DC when he team WENT to the Super Bowl.… Read more »

rleeholder1
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I would think that we learned a lesson about hiring a former NFL coach who brings in a complicated defense that college kids can’t execute, when Monte Kiffin brought in the “Tampa 2”. Chris Gallipo, from Servite HS was a good middle linebacker when it came to stopping the run. Watching him trying to run backwards into pass coverage in the Tampa 2 just made me cringe. So too with Clancy’s “Gumbo D”. I’ll never forget the Fall of 1976 when I was a Senior at USC. We switched from a 3-4 defense under Coach McKay to a 4-3 in… Read more »