Chat with Garry Paskwietz
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, WeAreSC reporter 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 (1:33 AM)
Hello everyone, welcome to the chat. Let's get started.
Adam (New York)
With so Much Speculation about either Del Rio or Sarkisian Being the Top Candidates for Pat Haden. What about some one outside the box like a Norv Turner or who has ties to USC dating back to the 70s or a Dennis Thurman
Garry Paskwietz (1:36 AM)
I wouldn't rule out anybody at this point, no matter the speculation. Just because the media is talking certain names it doesn't mean Pat Haden is thinking along the same lines. With that being said, it would surprise me to see either Turner or Thurman in the mix. I think head coaching experience is something that will be on Haden's checklist, which rules out Thurman if true. As far as Turner, with all due respect, I just don't see his resume right now as one that would result in being the next USC head coach.
It looks like are very thin at WR. Can you give an assessment of who is healthy and ready to go by next game? Darius Rodgers?
Garry Paskwietz (1:38 AM)
Yes, thin is a good word to use. Flournoy, Rogers and Lee all missed practice today. Orgeron said all three could play against Arizona but he just didn't know at this point. Definitely a situation to watch.
Amir (Sherman Oaks)
Garry, I am a fan of A. Woods, but it seems like he now rarely plays. What is up with that?
Garry Paskwietz (1:39 AM)
The biggest reason is that the Trojans have faced a lot of spread teams, which means a lot of nickel packages. In that formation, Woods comes out and an extra DB comes in. When the Trojans face teams that run a traditional offense, such as Boston College a few games ago, look for Woods to play more.
Hi Garry! It was strongly rumored that the boosters had a large part in persuading Haden to fire Lane Kiffin. If that's true, wouldn't it follow that the boosters and BOT would would now be more inclined to go after the ncaa in some fashion? And what is your take on whether it is reasonable to think that we could get to McNair first and convince him ($$$) to cooperate with SC? Thanks!
Garry Paskwietz (1:42 AM)
Boosters had been complaining to Haden for a long time, I don't think it had as much of a direct impact on the final decision as you would think. Haden talked about that on Sunday at the press conference, he said you listen to what people have to say but the decision is one you have to make on your own for what you think is the best interest of the university. The McNair case is completely separate from USC and I don't see that changing.
Rob (Santa Clara, CA)
Hi Garry, Do you think the defense's performance against ASU was an anomaly? Certainly, if this trend continues and if the offense isn't jump-started by Helton, we are looking at a long season short on wins.
Garry Paskwietz (1:44 AM)
I don't know but it sure was surprising to see the defense play that way. It all started up front with the losing the line of scrimmage, it will be interesting to see what kind of changes, if any, will come into play with Orgeron in charge now. I really didn't expect to see that against ASU.
MJ (Davis, CA)
Hi Gary, do you think the ASU game exposed our DBs or was the QB that good?
Garry Paskwietz (1:45 AM)
I kind of referenced this in the previous question. I think the ASU QB is good but not that good. There were problems for SC on the d-line and is pass coverage, that's for sure. I think the one guy who was just better on that night was the receiver Jaelen Strong. The Trojans didn't have an answer for him.
Gregory (From the OC)
Garry, With Coach as head coach, USC has 6 offensive assistants, and only 3 defensive assistants ... Including Coach O as DL coach and head coach. Do you see any coaching realignment or an additional defensive coach added to the staff?
Garry Paskwietz (1:47 AM)
Orgeron has the ability to add a coach to the staff but he hasn't given any indication which way he might be leaning. I definitely think he could warrant bringing in someone on the defensive side of the ball.
a lot of people seem to be ok with the way Lane Kiffin was fired. If this were any other coach not named Kiffin do you think the reaction would be the same?
Garry Paskwietz (1:50 AM)
I think it depends on which version of the story you heard. There was one version that had Kiffin stranded on the tarmac with no ride home. That one simply wasn't true. Lane was asked to get off the team bus, that part is true, but then he was taken into a private room at the airport terminal for the talk with Haden. It wasn't a way you hear about a person getting fired every day but the stranded version that was put out there early made it sound a lot worse than it was.
Jay (Los Angeles)
Hi Garry, if you will become athletic director at USC tomorrow, President Max Nikias asks you to call coach candidates to interview the head coach position. The first candidate you will call is....
Garry Paskwietz (1:50 AM)
Jack Del Rio.
Jay (Los Angeles)
What do you think of Chris Petersen as head coach if he is "looking for change"? I really admire him cuz he may use those 2- or 3-star athletes to beat the big boy schools (ask Sooners and Bull Dogs).
Garry Paskwietz (1:52 AM)
I have a lot of respect for Peterson and what he has done at Boise State. He has signed several players who I watched in high school and liked as simply "football players". With that being said, I would have others on a wish list ahead of him.
Are you still confident with the 5-2 defense since last Saturday? What happened to the DL on that game? I am shocked to see the team has "0" sack against ASU QB.
Garry Paskwietz (1:57 AM)
Not as confident as I was going into the game, to be honest. I simply didn't expect to see that happen to the SC defense by the Sun Devils offense. They gave the blueprint to other schools with attacking the middle of the field but the huge surprise was the way they physically handled the SC d-line. That was unexpected.
Gregory (From the OC)
What is the status of the LA & NY Times appeal to have access to the Todd McNair evidence? Can USC still sue the NCAA, or has too much time lapsed?
Garry Paskwietz (1:59 AM)
I haven't heard any update on the newspaper appeals. As far as an SC lawsuit, there is no time frame to file a lawsuit but you have to think with only a year left in the sanctions that there isn't an appetite from the SC administration to do anything at this point. They have tried 3 appeals and got no relief, at this point they just want to get it over with and move on,
Carl (San Jose)
Why not Hue Jackson as the next coach? He is offensive minded and has the personality that would relate to the young players. Didn't he also coach for USC?
Garry Paskwietz (2:02 AM)
Yes, Hue spent time on the SC staff in the late 90's. He has carved out a nice coaching career in the NFL but I haven't heard his name mentioned before now in connection with the SC job. I'm just not sure if he has the overall credentials to be a prime candidate.
Are there going to be any recruits that get re-evaluated (offers/recruited) now that Kiffin is gone a la Dwight Williams? Or will we go after those that we once on Joe Mixon that eliminated us in the future? I believe that O is going to bring in some recruits that Kiffin wouldn't have been able to simply because of his likability and respect in the recruiting world. Thank you very much for the time, energy and effort you put into these chats as well sir. I look forward to reading these every week.
Garry Paskwietz (2:06 AM)
It does sound like Williams will be getting a fresh look as the coaches have apparently been impressed with his senior film. It wouldn't surprise me if Naijel Hale from Bosco gets another look too. I agree that SC could be in the mix for guys who had already started looking in other directions because of the Orgeron factor. Thanks for the kind words about the chats.
RC (Los Angeles)
There are big names out there to replace Kiffen long-term. But, if Coach O clicks with his players and works well with Clay on Offense and Clancy on Defense during these last 8 games and win at least 6 - with wins against UCLA and Notre Dame, do you think he is worth keeping around as the official head coach for next year (remove "interim" tag)? Thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (2:06 AM)
Brian (Culver City)
Who is the best high school player you have ever seen?
Garry Paskwietz (2:08 AM)
MJ (Davis, CA)
Are you happy about the practices reopening?
Garry Paskwietz (2:11 AM)
It was very nice to be back at practice today.
Henry (Los Angeles)
Hey Garry, Can you speak to how well Robert Wood's transition to the NFL has been now that we are a 1/4 into his rookie season?
Garry Paskwietz (2:13 AM)
Robert is doing well. The Bills have four receivers with double digit catches and he is one of them. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, he's going to have a nice career in the league.
Any update on Marqis Lee?
Garry Paskwietz (2:13 AM)
Knee sprain, Orgeron called him day-to-day. He did not practice today.
HLH (Menlo Park)
Your candid thoughts on where USC stands with existing commitments?
Garry Paskwietz (2:15 AM)
I think D.J. Calhoun will be one to watch. He committed recently and it was thought his good friend and teammate Adarius Pickett would follow. Then Pickett ended up committing to UCLA after SC wouldn't trip him during the season. Calhoun is now saying he will take visits although he is not calling himself a decommit. Toa Lobendahn is also saying he might look around but I see him sticking with the Trojans, especially if Kennedy Polamalu finds his way back onto the staff.
Alex J (Bismarck ND)
Hi Gary, How would you gauge the feeling of potential recruits regarding the coaching situation.? Are most of the recruits (Jackson, JuJu, Quick) willing to wait to see who the next coach is going to be? Also, does the firing of Kiffen affect Joe Mixon's mind on the Trojans?
Garry Paskwietz (2:18 AM)
Blair Angulo and Erik McKinney talked to a lot of recruits in the days after Kiffin was let go and it was overwhelming in terms of the recruits phrasing this in a positive way about how they view SC. I think the vast majority will want to see how this plays out, either with Orgeron or another coach. Mixon made a comment about how he hadn't heard from SC, it's unclear where he would stand after earlier comments from him over the summer that he had eliminated the Trojans.
Kevin (Thousand Oaks, CA)
I know we'll be conducting our coaching search privately, but what is the date that we can be public about our choices? Recruits will be looking else where until we have a short list of candidates. Also, is Orgeron going to be recruiting over the bye week? If so, any idea where he'll be spending his time? One last thing. In and effort to make things "fun again", is there a chance that Orgeron will open practices to the public? Thanks Garry.
Garry Paskwietz (2:21 AM)
I doubt there will be much public info until a coach is named. There is no deadline although I think Haden would like to balance the thought of giving Orgeron a legit shot with the benefit of naming a new coach as soon as possible to give a firm name to recruits. The Trojans will be out recruiting this week, the only confirmed destination we've heard so far is Tee Martin at the St John Bosco game vs Crenshaw. We've been told that SC is going through compliance in an effort to allow the public at practice in the baseball area.
RC (Los Angeles)
How is Coach Clay H as a playcaller? Should he open the field even more for the other receivers and tight ends or should he continue to pound the ball with Davis and Madden? What suits best for USC at this point? Thank you and Fight On!
Garry Paskwietz (2:27 AM)
Helton called a lot of plays during spring ball scrimmages and the offense looked good. He talked today about the mandate from Orgeron being to run the ball and utilize play action passing. He also stressed that Orgeron wants to spread the ball around using all the SC weapons.
Hank (Los Angeles)
Garry, if JDR is named the new head coach, what is philosophy on offense? Because we could definitely use some of whatever Peyton is having.
Garry Paskwietz (2:29 AM)
If Del Rio were to come there would be a good chance that Kennedy Polamalu would be his offensive coordinator. If that were to happen, Polamalu would definitely want to run the football in a physical style as a major part of the offense.
Aloha Garry,Do you think USC has the funds to get a coach like Mike Holmgren.He went to USC, Has ties to the NFL, which all recruits look for in a college coach, know how to run an offense, and is currently unemployed. Please give me your thoughtsMahaloDanny
Garry Paskwietz (2:30 AM)
Aloha. I don't think money is going to be an issue for the right coach. To be honest, I doubt that it's Holmgren, even though his credentials are to be respected. Mahalo.
Why is USC so dead set on starting a statue at QB? I'm not saying we need a dual threat qb but with football this day and age a qb has to be able to move: Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Russel Wilson, and Manzel (2013 version). Thoughts?
Garry Paskwietz (2:31 AM)
Kessler is very good at throwing on the run, don't be surprised if you see him do that more under Helton.
You know that no matter who you pick it may or may not work! How do you increase your chances of it working?
Garry Paskwietz (2:33 AM)
Great question and I'm sure Pat Haden would love to know the answer. I think you increase your chances by knowing what you're looking for, to find somebody who fits your school and who can bring in the kind of players you want as student-athletes.
In your opinion, do you believe that our current coaching change will change our product on the field and recruiting allowing Coach O to land some major recruits that were once not likely or do you think recruits are just going to wait and see who Haden hires before they decide and do you think it will be too late by that time? Sorry for so many questions.
Garry Paskwietz (2:35 AM)
I do think the team is going to play a more inspired brand of football with the energy coming from Coach O. Teams tend to take on the personality of their head coach and I think that was part of the inconsistency under Kiffin. Today was only one practice but you could just feel the increased energy from the players, I definitely think that translates into games in a positive way.
With LK gone, does this mean David Sills scholarship is still on the table?
Garry Paskwietz (2:36 AM)
Haven't heard anything on that yet. Will be interesting to see.
Henry (Los Angeles)
What were local highschool coaches opinions about LK?
Garry Paskwietz (2:38 AM)
We noticed a difference this past off-season where the momentum among area coaches was starting to shift across town, in large part because the connection just wasn't as strong with Kiffin and the HS coaches. You can expect that to change in quick fashion with Coach O.
I recently heard on several radio interviews that big money donors are looking to move past the "student body left/right" of yesteryear. Any truth to that and what are your thoughts?
Garry Paskwietz (2:40 AM)
I don't doubt that there are people out there who want to move to a spread-type offense but I've never really heard that as a major issue with any of the people that I would consider big time donors.
huntingtonharvey (Orange County)
Now that injuries will be reported. Can you update us on the status of some of the key players on "IR" esp. D. Rogers, Marquis Lee, and S. Redd?
Garry Paskwietz (2:43 AM)
Redd said today that he is healthy and that he will play against Arizona. Again, this is Redd talking, not the coaches or trainers. He went through limited drills today. Orgeron said Rogers and Lee are both day-to-day type situations and he is hopeful they will play against Arizona. Breslin sat out practice with a hip issue. Graf also didn't practice, he said he was banged up but will be back.
ed low (placentia calif)
Hi Gary, just wondering if Ed Orgeron would be strongly considered for the HC job?? If the teams does well in the next 8 games..how can you look elsewhere?? Also, how would the alumni feel about him getting the job?? Thanks
Garry Paskwietz (2:45 AM)
I do think he will get strong consideration, especially if the team does good things with him in charge. If that happens, I think the alumni will grow more and more comfortable with the thought of him as the full time guy.
Garry Paskwietz (2:46 AM)
Thanks everyone, that's all the time we have for today. Sorry for the tech issues earlier. See you all next week.