Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Miss Norm

Do any other Trojan football fans miss Norm Chow?

I wrote multiple times during the 2005 season that, even though the USC offense continued to put up monster numbers after the departure of Chow as offensive coordinator, it was too early to reach a verdict on whether the Trojan offense would ultimately suffer without Chow.

First, I wrote that with the players returning in 2005 (Bush, Byrd, Jarrett, Leinart, Smith, White, and four past starters on the offensive line), the offense would be extremely prolific no matter who was running the show. My concern was the loss of Chow’s play-calling genius.

Then, I questioned Michael Ventre’s assertion on MSNBC that USC lost nothing offensively when they lost Chow. Finally, I reiterated my feeling that USC was worse off for losing Chow’s play-calling ability and we would have to wait until at least 2006 before passing judgment on the performance of his replacements, Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian. To repeat a quote from a December 2005 Pat Forde article on ESPN.com (insider):

"Norm had an uncanny ability to call plays," Sarkisian said. "We may not have always known what was coming, but it worked. Especially in big games, he was willing to make calls nobody else would make.

"I think we're a little bit more on the structured side. We know what calls are coming. We know by the play sheet what to call, depending on the situation. The quarterback knows what's being called by the specific situation."

That sounds great from the perspective of an opposing defensive coordinator.

Personally, I think with Norm Chow calling the plays, Lendale White does not get stopped on 4th & 2 to turn the ball over to Texas with just over two minutes remaining in the Rose Bowl, and we are defending national champs; the Trojans do not go four games in a row without scoring 30 points or more in 2006; and USC does not settle for four field goals against Washington.

Yes, I miss Norm.

2 comments:

DC Trojan said...

Last season I don't know about, but Chow would definitely have made a difference in the offense this season, and I think that would have freed up Carroll to work more closely with Holt and the Defense - which plainly needs some help.

Bryan said...

On 4th and 2 in the Rose Bowl, everybody, including the defense, knew exactly what was coming. That's why the Texas safety, Michael Huff, was free to stuff a gap at the line to stop Lendale White.

Our offense has become very predictable under Sarkiffian. Most of the time last year the offense executed so well it didn't really matter. This year . . . not so much. When Chow was coaching, the Trojans made opposing defenses look silly. By the time Chow made his adjustments, defenses had no idea what was coming.