Quoting Kiffin: Tuesday Practice

USC head coach Lane Kiffin gives his thoughts on the development of USC's defensive backs, the NFL-caliber players currently on the roster and much more.

Lane Kiffin on the development of Robey, Burnett and McDonald:

"Probably the storyline of practice is the development of our defensive players that have really distanced themselves from some guys. What's really good to see is the starting corners in Nickell and Tony Burnett really play at a really high level, not just getting turnovers but how physical they are playing, how smart they are playing. It's really good to have those guys starring this far away from playing games in the fall is really good for us. T.J. after ending the season not healthy is having a great offseason and has really taken his game to the next level. It's pretty good to see three of your secondary positions that you feel really good about this early on."

Lane Kiffin on Saturday's scrimmage:

"The common theme that is standing out everyday in practice, but especially when you went to that, is to watch our team, that we do have some star players. Legitimate NFL star players. But there is such a gap between those guys and not just the bottom of your roster, but some of the lower starters even. Obviously our challenge is to develop those guys, get the new guys when they come in here, get the injured guys back and develop a team because right now we would not be a very good team. We got some really good players but wouldn't be able to put it all together because of where the numbers are at. We have a lot of work to develop into a team instead of just having four or five NFL star players."

Lane Kiffin on NFL-caliber players on the roster:

"Robert Woods, by far, has worked really hard to improve his game, even though it's hard to imagine he is only in his second semester here. Matt Barkley. Rhett Ellison is coming along, getting close to that. When you go to the other side of the ball, Nick Perry is a really good player, runs a 4.6 for us this offseason. It's good and bad, our two defensive ends ran faster times than two of our tailbacks. It's a pretty neat thing to have on that side of the ball. And then the three DBs are playing really well."

Lane Kiffin on questions that have been answered at halfway point:

"I think we've answered the other corner spot for now with Tony Burnett. Anytime you can feel good about a starting guy that you didn't necessarily know for sure when you came in, especially when you move his position, it's kind of like you knock that spot off. You get really good when you can knock 22 of them off. The biggest question mark that hasn't been answered is offensive line. We have one legitimate college player playing there right now in Matt, and the rest of the guys, none of them have played a significant snap of college football ever. We have a lot of work to do there."

Lane Kiffin on offensive tackle Matt Kalil

"Matt's (issue) is more of being disciplined than talent. He's extremely talented, extremely long. His body set up and make up, he should play for a long time. His brother is as good as they come and he (Matt) is a better pro prospect size-wise than his brother. But he's got to be more consistent. He made a lot of mental errors last year. He's got to be able to put drives together, then quarters together and games together to be a premier player."



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