Chat with Garry Paskwietz
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, WeAreSC blogger Garry Paskwietz stops by to chat some USC football.
Paskwietz is the Publisher of WeAreSC and has been covering the Trojans since 1997. Paskwietz is also a co-host of the USC Football radio pre-game show
Send your questions now and join Paskwietz every Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET!
Garry Paskwietz (4:59 PM)
Welcome everyone, let's get started
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When Does Training Camp Open for USC?
Garry Paskwietz (4:59 PM)
Saturday, August 3rd
Did McNeal get picked up by any NFL teams? Did any of the undrafted FA make it on any NFL teams?
Garry Paskwietz (5:00 PM)
Curtis signed as an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Teams have just started training camp so nobody has officially made a team yet, nor has anybody been cut.
Gary,What are your thoughts on Zack Banner.. His size and athleticism really is intriguing to me. I thought coming out of high school he was a plug in left tackle and 1st round pick. Where is he now in terms of readiness to play??
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
The big key for Zach will be to continue to work on his bend, the ability to get low in his stance. Zach is on the tall side for an offensive lineman in part because it's harder for them to get low. He has good athleticism and a lot of skills but he's not there yet. My guess is he sees limited action this year and is ideally ready to compete for an open spot next year.
We keep hearing about establishing a dominant running game, and a return to the more physical style... we all know this is dependent on the O-Line. How confident are you in their cohesiveness and talent to make some room for these guys to run through?
Garry Paskwietz (5:04 PM)
I'm optimistic. I think the big key is Walker and how consistent he can become. I like the other four spots on the line and I think it can be a very good group. I like the addition of coach Summers a lot.
Hi Garry. Do you know the general feedback from players after Lane Kiffin "declared" he will call plays for 2013 season? I saw Marqise Lee kinda stared at Lane Kiffin with an "Uh-oh" expression when Lane made that statement in the Pac-12 Media Day... :(
Garry Paskwietz (5:07 PM)
Marqise also made the statement at media day that he would "play for coach Kiffin until I die". The Kiffin system has been pretty good for Marqise. I haven't heard of any real issues from any players so far.
MJ (Davis, CA)
What is going on with Adore Jackson's recruitment? Is he serious about leaving sunny CA?
Garry Paskwietz (5:09 PM)
I think Adoree' is very serious about the possibility of leaving the state. Remember, he didn't grow up in Southern California so he doesn't have as many ties here. I still think the Trojans and Bruins will be in it for him but it's not a case where those two schools have a built-in advantage.
Which position Leon McQuay will play in 2013? CB or S? We may fill 1 CB position as of this moment, but we will need 1 more player to fill another CB position as well...
Garry Paskwietz (5:10 PM)
Leon has been at safety. He tried a few days at corner at the start of spring ball but then was quickly moved back to safety and he's been there ever since.
Katy Perry (Newport Beach)
Hellooooooo Gary! I'm really excited about the QB competition and it seems like a lot of people have been impressed with Kessler's performance. I just want the best QB to get the starting nod, whoever that may be. But I've been watching some videos of the off-season practices and am concerned with Kessler's release point, which seems a little low and reminds me a lot of Booty. Have you noticed any problems with Kessler's passes being tipped? Booty's tendencies of getting his passes tipped use to frustrate me a lot. Fight On!!!
Garry Paskwietz (5:12 PM)
Hello Ms. Perry. I have not noticed any problems with Kessler getting passes tipped. I think a lot of people share your optimism about his performance and it will be so interesting to see this competition play out in camp. I also think Cody would be happy to model his career after Booty with a pair of Rose Bowl victories.
Pietro (San Francisco)
Is Andre Heidari healthy and ready to go? With his knee injury he had a bad 2012. Can we expect his production to return to 2011 levels?
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
Andre took a limited number of kicks in spring but he looked good. It's just hard to judge how completely healthy he is when it's based on just a few kicks. We also saw him out doing some kicking a couple times this summer and there didn't seem to be any problems. I think he has every chance to return to the kind of kicker he was in 2011.
Garry Paskwietz (5:16 PM)
There is only one person who can control the talk of being more physical and to translate that into reality on the field - Lane Kiffin. He talks as the head coach about having that mindset and by keeping himself as the play caller it naturally falls on his shoulders. We shall see what happens this fall.
LK made a number of changes to his staff. There is talk of being more physical. The biggest change that needs to be made since LK is still HC- is a change in play calling. LK's play calling doesn't bode well for a physical style of play - LK should step aside as the play caller.
Garry Paskwietz (5:16 PM)
sorry, previous response was to this question.
MJ (Davis, CA)
What are your feelings on E Vanderdoes being cleared to play this upcoming season? Do you see him having a similar impact as L. Williams did for us last year or not?
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
I was a bit surprised but, then again, I did not have access to any of the reasoning for his request to be let out of his letter of intent. I did think it was very telling that ND coach Brian Kelly disagreed with the decision. As for Eddie's talent, I think he has every bit of the ability to make the kind of impact that Williams made.
RC (Los Angeles)
I am hoping for a great football season this year. Who do you see as 'SC's 1st big test into the season?
Garry Paskwietz (5:20 PM)
No disrespect to the first four teams on the schedule but I think the first real big test comes in game 5 on the road against Arizona State. That is traditionally a tough place to play and the Sun Devils look to have a pretty good team this year.
What is JD Booty doing these days?
Garry Paskwietz (5:21 PM)
The last I heard he was in Louisiana working in some capacity with football equipment that involved concussion/injury prevention. That was about two years ago though so not sure if he is still involved with that. I'll see if we can catch up with him for an update.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
Are you surprised Connor Brewer decided to transfer to Arizona? I know he's a local kid, but Rich Rod's spread option does not appear on the surface to be a good for him. Unless he's more mobile than I thought.
Garry Paskwietz (5:23 PM)
I'm a little surprised but the one thing we're seeing is that Rich Rod can attract some quality quarterbacks. It doesn't seem to be a case where he is only attracting guys who "fit" his system, he's attracting guys who can play. I'm interested to see how Scroggins fits there, along with the recent commit from Dawkins too.
Shane (Ravello, Italia)
Your thoughts at this point on Red Shirts? I know that Fall Camp will definitely give us some more insight, but based on what you've seen, who will RS?
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
As you say, there is a lot that can happen in fall camp but here is my guess now. I think Browne redshirts, I just don't see him moving ahead of two quality veterans. I still think Isaac redshirts, not because of any lack of talent but because I just don't know how many reps he gets in fall camp to show himself. There are a lot of other guys ahead of him, including guys coming off injuries, who are going to need reps too. I think Davis showed enough in spring that he will play. I think Rogers plays, no doubt. Both o-linemen will likely redshirt. Bigelow plays, I would be very surprised if he redshirts. Powell likely redshirts, Hutchings plays. Cravens plays, I think Hawkins and McQuay could go either way, they could redshirt or they could play.
MJ (Davis, CA)
Malik Dorton's announcement time and who is he favoring at this point? Thanks.
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
Blair Angulo talked with Malik yesterday and there is no time set for an announcement. He had talked at one point about committing around this time but it doesn't look likely now. Most people think it will be a USC/UCLA battle with the Trojans having the slight edge.
Do you think that Pete Carroll will ever return to College coaching?
Garry Paskwietz (5:30 PM)
I would not rule that out with Pete but I think he is a long way from that right now. He is on a mission to prove his methods work at the NFL level and if he ever gets to the point where he feels satisfied with that, I could easily see him returning to the college level to finish out his career. By that time college football will have a playoff system and that was certainly one of the things he always wanted to take part in.
When are the sanctions over for the Trojans and when do they go back to a full recruiting class?
Garry Paskwietz (5:31 PM)
This upcoming class, the class of 2014, will be the last class limited by the sanctions. The Trojans will be able to take a full class in 2015. The 75 man roster limit will be in place for this upcoming season and in 2014.
James (Sherman oaks)
How do you believe the coaches will use Ty Isaac, kiffin added he was feeling good about isaac pass catching out of the backfield, what are the possibilities?
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
Isaac can catch the ball surprisingly well for a 225-230 back. I just wonder how much of a role is there for him this year with so many other backs in the rotation. Ty also offers the "big back" option so that could be a way to utilize his skills as well.
Eric (South Bay)
Garry, what do you think about the appeals decision on Eddie Vanderdoes? This can't be a positive precedent as it relates to LOI's.
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
As mentioned earlier, I was a little surprised by this but we also don't know all of the information. One precedent this could start to impact is the thought that players don't have to sign LOI's. They can sign scholarship papers which would still give them flexibility to possibly change their minds. These off-season decisions by Vanderdoes and Matthew Thomas have raised the profile of this option that not many players knew they have.
Overall team spirit coming into the upcoming football season?
Garry Paskwietz (5:36 PM)
There was a noticeable bump in energy last week at the throwing sessions as the players sensed the season getting closer. They really want to wipe the slate clean from 2012 and the only way to go that is to get started with 2013.
Do you think Matt Leinart will catch on somewhere yet? If not, do you see him getting into coaching or television? Thanks.
Garry Paskwietz (5:38 PM)
I certainly hope he gets a chance but, if not, I think he would be happy in the near future serving as a little league coach for his son Cole. And i don't think you can rule out any kind of post-career television role either.
How has Breslin and Kennard looked in pass coverage situations?
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
I wouldn't say it's a strength for either player - they are both known more as pass rushers - but they are both good athletes who should be fine for what they are asked to do.
Ketan (San Jose)
Hi GaryHow will the new defensive scheme of 5-2 match up against stanford offense? USC's focus defensively seems to be all on how to stop spread offense and there is no real word by any coaches on its working against pound and ground offense.Fight On!!!
Garry Paskwietz (5:41 PM)
The key against teams like Stanford will be the inside linebackers, they will need to produce big numbers because the defense is designed to free them up to make plays. I like the group SC has at the spot so they do fairly well.
Are the Trojans going to sign any studs for the 2014 class or is everyone gonna wait around to wait and see what happens to our beloved coach?!
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
There is still plenty of talent, particularly locally, left on the board for the Trojans. I do think a lot of the top players are taking some kind of "wait and see" approach in regards to SC. If the season starts out strong there could be some verbals but I get the sense this is one of those years where the majority of action will come after the season.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
How do you think that Matt Barkley will do with the Philadelphia Eagles?
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
In the long run I think he will be fine. I actually think one of the best things that could happen to him this year would be to sit on the bench and watch. He's played 8 straight years as a starting QB but this transition to the NFL level requires a lot of learning. There are two veterans ahead of him which gives him an opportunity to watch and learn before being thrown into the fire.
MARK NYC [via mobile]
Lets say you can trade studennt schlorships and you had the opportunity to trade Marqise Lee and any qb for A.Johnny Football or Terry Bridgewater your choice of the two/B. Kadeem Carey or T.J. Yeldon/C. Jadeveon Clowney which do you do
Garry Paskwietz (5:47 PM)
Haha, I like the thought. First of all, it goes without saying that I wouldn't trade Marqise but for purposes of this chat, I will trade Marqise and a QB for Bridgewater and Clowney. i would also take Yeldon over Carey, I think Yeldon is terrific.
James (Sherman oaks)
With only 3 TE's, do you see coach kiffin moving anyone to that position, maybe chad wheeler? Any walk-ons at the TE position? With a new QB the tight end position becomes more important providing a larger target, what is our prospectus at this positions well being deep within the season without injuries?
Garry Paskwietz (5:49 PM)
Things are a bit thin there but the good news is that the available three are all pretty good, in fact I would call this one of the most talented position groups on the team. I think most Trojan fans would be happy to see their role increase this season too. If depth becomes more of an issue and someone has to be moved, what about someone like Jabari Ruffin? He played there is high school and could be a temp solution, even though he is also No. 2 at OLB.
Keith (Seattle, WA)
Will the Trojans reverse the curse and stop the bleeding aganst the Cardinal this year? Wow, how many teams has that been asked during the course of this rivalry? Not many I'd guess.
Garry Paskwietz (5:51 PM)
Your point is well taken. i can't imagine John McKay's reaction to this current streak, Stanford was one team he did not like to lose to. There's no secret of the streak and this year has a chance to be a real exciting game in the Coliseum. Do the Trojans have a chance to break it? Of course, but right now the Cardinal look to be a formidable foe again.
So I am hearing Miami may not get any addiitonal penalties beyond their self-sanctioned two year bowl ban. If this is true, how is that fair compared to what happened to USC? Did USC fail to cooperate or something?
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
Let's be clear, it's not fair. None of the NCAA penalties has been "fair" in recent years as compared to the USC penalties. As to why SC got penalized so hard there are many places to look but in the end it doesn't change anything. SC tried to appeal and lost, and then the decision was made not to appeal or fight any more. At this point, the university will look to simply ride out the penalties and move on.
If USC beats UCLA and ND but otherwise has a mediocre season, does LK keep his job?
Garry Paskwietz (5:55 PM)
Interesting. I would say yes, I think victories over those two rivals would mean enough in the eyes of Pat Haden, even if the rest of the year was mediocre.
david (manhattan beach)
Who will be the starting corners, and how good will they be?
Garry Paskwietz (5:57 PM)
I'll project Kevon Seymour and Anthony Brown as the two starting corners right now. Seymour seems to have solidified a role this off-season, Brown could still face a challenge but I would guess that he holds on to the spot. Seymour is a real good man cover corner. I think they have a chance to be good but there's no doubt the position group had their share of struggles in spring.
What is Lee's true height? Is he less than 6 foot?
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
If he's not 6-foot, he's not missing it by much. it's not like he's 5-foot-9 trying to pass himself off at 6-foot.
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
Thanks everyone for coming, that's all the time we have for today. We will be back next week to talk about the opening days of fall camp.