Thursday, October 10, 2013

Will the Coaching Change Make a Difference for USC?

It's been a tough season for the USC Trojans so far. The question marks began to pop up after a tougher than expected win over Hawaii. They continued after a loss to Washington State and a hard win over Utah State. Everything of course culminated on the ride home from Arizona State when embattled head coach Lane Kiffin was fired following a 62-41 loss.

So with a new coach at the helm will it be any different or has the mighty Trojan Program really fallen on hard times?
It's hard to believe that it is a lack of talent that has caused the Trojans to get out to a 3-2 start. As one of the most high profile programs in the country USC has had little trouble attracting top recruits over the years. It is not unusual to find their recruiting class ranked pretty high year in and year out.

Which is likely one of the reasons the school decided to go ahead and cut Kiffin loose and give Ed Orgeron a try-- but can he make much of a difference after being in charge for just a couple of weeks.

The answer to that is a resounding yes.

It often gets overlooked, but it really helps if the team wants to play for a guy. Does that mean the players need to like their head coach? Should he be all sweet and kind and make sure everyone loves him?

Absolutely not. What a good coach does need to do is create an environment that players want to be a part of or better yet--one they can't see themselves being excluded from.

It sounds silly, but things like good desserts help. Yes, ice cream can make a guy want to play better football. Why? Because after a hard day of practice it is nice to be able to enjoy some sweet, delicious ice cream for dessert.

Okay--that could be the fat guy/former lineman in me talking, but I thought it was brilliant when Orgeron let the team start having ice cream at meals again.

Football is supposed to be fun, and since the team had a week off Orgeron gave the guys an opportunity to have a little with what will hopefully be an annual even, the Trojan Bowl--a game starring the walk-ons and red shirts with the starters coaching.

I played college football (four-year scout team hero) and I can say that I loved any chance to actually play a little. It didn't matter to me if it was against my guys or the freaking band. I loved to play and appreciated any and every opportunity--just like these guys.

It never hurts to bring in some of the programs past greats--especially ones that have gone on to become NFL legends-- to remind the guys what they are a part of and how great they can be.

Good programs make everyone feel wanted from the superstars down to the scout team. It doesn't take coddling or special favors. You just have to create the right environment and it looks like Orgeron has done a lot in a short amount of time in order to do that.

Now hopefully it will pay off with a few wins on the field.

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