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 (5:00 PM)
Greetings everyone, let's get started.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When will USC play their Spring College Football Game for 2014?
Garry Paskwietz (5:00 PM)
Saturday, April 19th at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Mike [via mobile]
Everything looks good on paper with the new players and new coaches, but there is going to be a transition. Are we a better team this year? FIGHT ON!!!
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
That's the great part of a transition, you never know how things are going to be until the team actually gets back onto the field. Thankfully, that means next Tuesday for the Trojans. The excitement is certainly there with Sark and company so far.
Robert Taylor (greatfalls,mt)
do you see Tre Madden moving back to LB if Buck Allen is the starter?
Garry Paskwietz (5:03 PM)
Right now I would say no. Tre is simply too good of a running back to consider moving but if things should ever get really bad with linebacker depth, it's nice to know that option is there if you need it.
Denver C. Snuffer, Jr. (Sandy, Utah)
Do you like that Sark is calling his own plays? Also, do you expect George Farmer to finally do something this year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:05 PM)
Yes, I like the fact that Sark is calling his own plays because I think he's good at it. I do expect George to do something because I saw how good he was looking last spring before he got hurt. It comes down to injuries at this point for George, if he can stay healthy I think he can contribute.
nokise tanielu (Samoa) [via mobile]
Talofa Garry....just curious who will be calling the plays? If it's Sark wouldn't you think we will have the same when kiffin was here?
Garry Paskwietz (5:07 PM)
Talofa! As mentioned in the previous post, I'm OK with the idea of Sark calling plays because he has proven that he can do it while in the role of head coach (UW offense ranked #8 in nation last year). I never really felt that same comfort level with Kiffin, there were certainly moments here and there when he was very good but it just wasn't consistent enough.
Hey Garry, why are most writers afraid to question Nick Satan on how disingenuous he is? Some of the national guys bring it up, but most seem to dance around the issue thinking that he might cast them down to a lifetime of his servitude in hell. When PC was top dog, everyone wanted to take him down, and all you read about was how dirty he was. Am I being realistic in my assessment or should I just take off my cardinal and gold goggles?Oh and by the way, wouldn't you think that smash-mouth football would cause more concussions? Especially when you have a huge SEC team playing smaller players on a 1 AA team?
Garry Paskwietz (5:10 PM)
I didn't really hear a whole heck of a lot of support for Saban, the media may not have crucified him but there were plenty of raised eyebrows. The proposal got pulled today, which I was glad to see. If the NCAA wants to take a look at data about the injury impact of playing too many snaps, USC has some data put together for how the Trojan players had to perform during the recent sanction period. I would be willing to bet a severely reduced roster has more impact on potential injuries than a hurry-up offense.
How does Ricky Town compare to Josh Rosen? Are both pocket passers? Is one more mobile than the other?
Garry Paskwietz (5:12 PM)
It's really a beauty in the eye of the beholder with these two in terms of which one you might think is better. They are ranked 1-2 in pretty much every national recruiting ranking for pocket passers and there are plenty of similarities. Neither is what you would consider a great runner but both are good enough athletes to move around when needed, Rosen probably has a slight edge. I like Town's mechanics in the pocket, particularly with play action. There will be a lot of attention paid this weekend at the Nike Camp when these two are going side by side in the QB drills.
Ron Poulton (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Where would you use Su'a Cravens? As a safety or as a linebacker? I think Cravens could be a Myles Jack type as a linebacker.
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
I can understand the temptation to look at Cravens as a linebacker. I think back to a Matt Grootegoed and how much he was able to impact the game closer to the line of scrimmage. Also with Polamalu, and the freedom he had to use his instincts. I have no problem taking a long look this spring to see if Cravens can handle a role similar to the one the staff used last year with Shaq Thompson at UW. If it doesn't work, you can always put him back at safety.
I have 3 words for CS.....Tackle during practice. I keep hearing about limited number and all this other junk, but I say let the boys hit each other. Injuries are going to happen regardless. I say we start relying on some of those walk-ons that could be scholarship players anywhere else. During the good ol Pete Carroll days his teams were able to gang tackle at perfection and play makers were able to break tackles because he let them go full steam ahead. It even brought the best out of walk-ons like Clay Matthews. Let them step up.
Garry Paskwietz (5:16 PM)
Your argument makes perfect sense. And so does the argument to reduce hitting to help save the roster. Every football sense tells you to hit in practice because that's the way to get ready to play the game but when the roster is reduced like it is now, when you are down 1-2 players at each position, it can cause you to reconsider. I know it's not ideal to do it that way but there are times when it is a reality.
Tarik LaCour (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Two questions: 1) Is Quinton Powell big enough to be an outside linebacker? 2) Do you think Michael Hutchings has a chance to win one of the two inside linebacker spots if we run a 3-4?
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
Sure he is. Quinton Powell is one of the players I can't wait to see this spring, I thought he had some real nice plays in limited action last fall. If I had to project, I would put him at one of the OLB spots. As for Hutchings, i would have a hard time putting him ahead of Sarao or Dawson yet but i also wouldn't rule it out. I think Hutchings is as solid as they come with a bright future as the leader of the defense.
Gregory (From the OC)
What are your predictions for Spring bal on offense and defense?MVPsBiggest SurpriseThank you, Garry!
Garry Paskwietz (5:22 PM)
On offense I think there are going to be great position competitions all around. The incumbent Kessler facing a charge from the talented Max Browne, a rotation of backs showing their skills, Darreus Rogers trying to step in for Marqise and a lot of movement on the o-line. On defense, it's more about the overall scheme than any one position battle, how does Wilcox fit all of his pieces around in multiple schemes? I'll go with Ty Isaac and Kenny Bigelow as biggest surprises. How about Nelson Agholor and Leonard Williams for MVP's (, haha, the obvious choices!)
Blake Ostler (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Do you think USC has the chops to be a no-huddle team? if not what needs to change?
Garry Paskwietz (5:25 PM)
Sure. The two main adjustments are the signals and the conditioning. The QB needs to get the play called in from the sideline while the other players also read their calls. It's something the Trojans worked on in practice over the last several years and used at times in games so it's not a completely new thing. Of course, the conditioning element is key and the players say they are working at a much faster pace in the conditioning sessions with Ivan Lewis.
Garry. If the season was to start today who's starting on the offensive line.
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
That's such a hard question to answer, primarily because of a key injury and the unknown status at center. At LT I will go with Wheeler as the incumbent but I'm not going to rule out Tuerk getting a look here at some point. Right now I have Tuerk at RT but a swap with him and Wheeler is not out of the question. Aundrey Walker, if healthy and available, will be at RG. If Jordan Simmons is healthy, I will roll the dice and put him as the LG. At center,. I think it comes down to Khaliel Rodgers or Toa Lobendahn but neither has played a snap for the Trojans so the battle starts next week.
I know DJ Morgan is a RB, but how much playing time do you actually see him getting? Is it to late to try him at CB? Also, how much of a contribution do you see from Pelon and Simmons on the DL?
Garry Paskwietz (5:30 PM)
D.J. definitely faces a crowded backfield upon his return and it will be tough to earn time. He's got that speed, however, and that can always be a factor. I don't see a move to defense in his future but you never know. I see both Pelon and Simmons as part of the interior rotation and one of them could easily end up starting.
Keary (Brooklyn, NY)
You like Cordell Broadus at USC? I remember his dad went to a few games at Galen.
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
Cordell can play so I do think he would fit at SC. There is so much attention paid to his dad that I hope people don't sleep on how good he is in his own right. It could come down to USC vs UCLA on this one.
If you had the choice, would you go with Pendergast or Wilcox? Why?
Garry Paskwietz (5:34 PM)
If it had been my call, I would have stuck with Pendergast after seeing the way he delivered last season with a top-ranked defense. I was very impressed with the job he did. With that being said, I'm not sitting here saying I'm disappointed in Wilcox at all. This is a guy with a bright future and a lot of people think highly of him as a coach. I'm actually very anxious to see what he is going to bring the table.
Can you give an update on the Cyrus Hobbi situation?
Garry Paskwietz (5:36 PM)
There haven't been any details released by the school about why Cyrus is no longer on the team. There were rumors going back several weeks about potential academic issues but I haven't heard those confirmed.
How do you will Start Week 1 at QB?
Garry Paskwietz (5:37 PM)
I still think Kessler will hold off Browne, that's my guess right now.
Oscar Batista (Irwindale CA)
Hey Garry! I know USC is almost out of the woods with the NCAA sanctions but how do you think the university and the football program did as a whole since the day they were penalized?
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
i think a pair of 10-win seasons under sanctions is remarkable. it wasn't easy but, as a whole, I think the program did remarkably well and I do think Kiffin deserves some credit for his plan in managing the roster.
I feel like George Farmer has been completely forgotten in the receiver shuffle. This is a guy who came in with enormous potential and was looked at as a potential Biletnikoff-level receiver in college. Do you see a comeback for him this season, or is that second WR spot Rogers' to lose? Thanks!
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
I don't think George has been forgotten but it's hard to keep him top of mind with all the injuries. Last spring he was really start to show that he was ready for a bigger role, and then the injury hit. if he can be healthy, I think there is a place for him but i don't think it will be the No. 2 spot, my guess is Rogers lays claim to that pretty quick.
Do you see Zach Banner and Jordan Simmons finally fulfilling their promise this season?
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
Assuming both are healthy, I would put the odds better with Simmons to do something this year.
jeff torres (whitter)
does tre maddden see time on defense(lb)....Do you think sc can stretch the field more this year with a healthy george farmer and adoree jackson....can darreus rogers be the next mike williams ?
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
i'll say no on Madden, i think he stays on offense. i do think the ability to stretch the field will be one of the things to watch with this offense but I don't think it will be Farmer and Adoree', I think it would be more with guys like Agholor, Mitchell, Harris and Johnson, or maybe Blackwell. I think there are a lot of similarities between Rogers and Mike Williams from a physical standpoint (the main difference being that Darreus is shorter).
Jay from Atlanta [via mobile]
What are the chances of us landing the "big 3" defensive tackles in Rasheen Green, Jacob Daniel, and Khaliel Mckensie? And.....I'd like some insight into the similarities that Wilcox defense will have to Penderghats' s 5-2 which seemed to fit us like a glove. Fight On!!!!
Garry Paskwietz (5:48 PM)
I think there's a legit chance to get those three, which would be an incredible boon to the d-line. There's a long way to go in the recruiting process but right now they all seem to like the Trojans and they are aware of what it would mean for all of them to come together. As for Wilcox, I don't think we really know what the differences are because he says he won't really know how they will be lining up until he sees the players on the field in spring. He knows there will be multiple schemes, both a 3-4 and 4-3 look, and how the Trojans line up in those schemes will be determined by the how the players look in action.
any news on the McNair lawsuit? When will the doc's be released by the Court? Any change for any personal judgments against those sweater vests in Kansas?
Garry Paskwietz (5:50 PM)
There is no news yet but the LA Times and NY Times are involved with trying to get the NCAA e-mails from the case released to the public. The NCAA put a response out last month saying why the e-mails shouldn't be released and they said even if the results were wrong, they had no malice toward McNair. There is a lot of speculation and hope among SC fans that the e-mails will eventually be released but I still think the NCAA settles before they let that happen. We shall see.
Avante (Los Angeles)
If you had to put a defense on the field right now, who would be in the starting rotation. This includes incoming freshman who we have never seen play.
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
Tavai, Williams, Simmons, Ruffin, Cravens, Pullard, Powell, Seymour, Jackson, Shaw, McQuay
Garry Paskwietz (5:54 PM)
Thanks everyone, that's all we have time for today. There will be no chat next week due to the USC Pro Day. We will see you all on the 19th.