Saturday, October 22, 2005

Norm Chow

Relatively little has been written about the departure of Norm Chow since the season began. Statistically speaking, the offense has been more prolific than ever, but that was almost a forgone conclusion with the players USC had returning on offense. What concerned me most about Chow’s departure was losing his play calling. USC didn’t jump out to quick leads over good teams last year, but I always had the sense the team was in complete control. After feeling out the opposing team’s defense for 20 minutes or so, it was lights out the rest of the way. This year’s team looks to be trying to score quickly early, but hasn’t always been successful. Games have gotten out of control until the offense finds something that works, which has usually been as simple as handing the ball to Bush or White. Is anyone else worried by quotes like this, following the ND game?

Leinart and wide receiver Steve Smith have been talking about doing some things differently, as well, with Leinart making his plea to Steve Sarkisian, the assistant head coach in charge of USC's offense.

"We have to get back to basics," Smith said. "Matt and I have been talking about going back to the simple things."

Leinart told Sarkisian: "Go back to what we do the best -- quick, three-step drops, quick slants and play-action stuff. They're playing 10 yards off our receivers. Don't keep going deep."

If this is true, why have we gone away from what has worked so well in the past? And, why aren’t we taking the easy stuff the defense is giving us? It seems like our defense could benefit from more time of possession by the offense.

Today’s Washington game could be significant. Will the offense get back on track, or will they continue to struggle to find a rhythm?

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