Time will tell but this one in 2019 will be fun to watch. Kliff Kingsbury is saying all the right things. Clay Helton has been very focused on recruiting the 2019 class and the challenges of repeating the magic of 2018 at the bell on national signing day. This years heroics will truly be epic as the early signing group was a good group but no 5’s and a lot of interesting looking 3’s. Now I know what you are thinking. Those ratings tend to move up more than down but the optics right now is that the law of attraction to the brand is weak right now. Kingsbury should help on the offensive side of the ledger but special teams and defense are weak as Clancy Pendergast is not at all interested in the home interview requirements of the job.
Getting back to Clay and Kliff it’s going to be interesting to see how the two coaches adapt to each other. Will Clay lay low and not “suggest” plays during the games? Will he be hands off in practice and let Kliff call out the 1’s vs. 1’s to get the hitting and skill properly prepared for game day? These sound trivial but when a coach is on the hot seat and brings in a former head coach who is one of the hottest commodities in the market well Im sorry you would have to be numb not to be a little concerned. Clay is concerned and my money would be on his meddling with the offense and not being comfortable in the role of CEO. For instance, what happens if Kliff see’s a different QB-1 in Fink or Sears? Not to say there could be a change here as J.T. Daniels suffered from the lack of development work and could benefit from spring to fall 2019 work. But will this pan out? CEO’s can be really good when they have a good leadership team that make up a high potential for advancement and stepping in to the role of CEO if needed. Leaders lead by coaching not telling. Is Clay advanced enough in his own confidence and skills to weather this type of pressure. The locker room will see it. They will sense the potential for disruption right away.
Kliff is getting all the attention right now. Handling amazingly humbled by it all. A good sign to see if you are Clay and or Lynn Swann. Many of the Trojan Nation fan base are still simmering from 2018 and a talented team that went 5-7. So many reasons why but Swann chose to stick with his guy in Clay Helton (even though Hayden made the move not Lynn). He did it in the face of many who though it was obvious to move in a new direction (love that phrase). He hammered the fans and donors to stay the course and support Helton and staff. So, where is the real problem? In my opinion its not Helton. The problem is Swann or the genius is Swann. Did he get Kliff as a visible OC who could step in during the season as interim head coach? One has to ask. So far I tip my hat to Kliff Kingsbury and look forward to 2019. I believe an offense lead by his creative mind will also help our defense who was not only hurt by several key injuries but also by and offense that left them in short fields and with little rest. If only Clancy would embrace the recruiting needs of the program. Oh well.
We Fight On!