Day one of USC’s Spring Camp is in the books. Physicality was something this program has talked about but are they walking the talk? Will this years staff and players take on this challenge and implement the changes needed to rise to the top of college football?
Clearly allowing players to dictate pads or no pads is not acceptable by any standard. Hearing that this occured last year is shocking quite frankly. This has been a big buzz with interviews with players coming out recently. Not sure what would provoke a staff to even think about providing options on this versus a structured program that dictates the level of physicality and thus the tone of the intended practice. Might be a root cause here to our ineffective play against Top 5 programs in the past few years.
Opportunity is knocking on Heritage Hall to change the Tone of the USC Football program. It’s long overdue. We have recruited well and are now back among the living when it comes to depth. The critical piece missing is clearly the tone of this program. We hear an occasional chirp out of Coach Helton and staff that physicality is a must. But are we seeing this transitioning to the practice field of play? Are the meetings at a hightened level of concern whereby the mission is clearly understood that getting tough and winning both lines of scrimmage is a must?
Listening to the post day one practice interviews and general sideline comments it didn’t sound like anything changed. There were a few chrips here an there but in my humble opinion it was all show no real convincing messaging. This is a concern. USC as defending PAC-12 champions is going to have the target on its back. This will bring a much higher level of tension from the competition and a focus of each schools battle plans for USC. We are not prepared to address this if all we do in spring and fall camp is what we have been doing.!