Well, when we look back at 2023, we were going to be very happy with the offense. I am somewhat satisfied with the special teams, too. Even though we no longer seem to focus coaching on the special teams. A shared approach. Lincoln Riley has a beautiful offensive mind. He can create new wrinkles with the best of them in the business. But he is blind to his real weakness on the Trojans. The Trojans haven't had that all-in Defensive mind for quite some time. Last year's defense was looking to improve, with several key additions from the TP and others from high school stepping into the limelight. The talk was very positive, and the future heading out of spring camp with all the new arrivals not all checked in seemed like we would see the overall improvement in 2023 on the battlefield.
A funny thing happened on the way to the Coliseum. We collapsed. We had some brief moments of success, but if we genuinely assess where we are at on defense, it's a step backward. It's a huge fall from the hyped-up expectations of the 2023 preseason. It could have been avoided. When head coaches join new schools, they tend to bring their staff with them. Happens all the time. The hard part is the mirror. Are you doing the program an injustice by pulling someone with you who has not shown the ability to scale their career as a coach? Will you be willing to put your reputation in jeopardy? Lincoln Riley, like so many before him, has done just that. He brought a marginal coach to a program that was already suffering on the defensive side of the ball. He made the same mistake others have made by surrounding himself with comfort.
Can Lincoln Riley surface in 2024 with a new and strengthened staff? Of course, he can. But he will have to first look at that mirror and have a deep discussion with himself before he does what he knows he has to do. It's time for change. It's time to do what everyone in Oklahoma was saying from the beginning: Lincoln Riley will be marginalized by the addition by subtraction of adding Grinch to his staff at USC. It's time to do some math and subtract and borrow.