Monday, November 28, 2005

A Nod to Pete Carroll

Not much has been said about the job Pete Carroll has done coaching the Trojans this year. Matthew Zemek includes Carroll on his list of underappreciated coaches:

* Pete Carroll, USC. A weird choice as an “underappreciated” coach, but an appropriate one nevertheless. It’s easy to think winning coaches are just presiding over juggernauts, much the same way Bobby Cox has had it easy in managing the Atlanta Braves to 14 consecutive division championships. But when you consider how much of a bullseye USC wears each game, and how banged-up the Trojans’ defense has been this year, Carroll’s ability to mask weaknesses and get very green players to play big minutes and produce--or at least hang in there well enough to avoid losing games--is nothing short of phenomenal. While Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush will cover up a lot of defensive deficiencies, it still stands that without an ability to get clutch turnovers, USC and its defense would have lost a few games in 2005 that it managed to ultimately win. Carroll has had more than a bit part in shaping that reality. He has scrambled and strategize with all his might to keep SC in line for a third straight title.

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