Quoting Kiffin: Spring Day Two

USC head coach Lane Kiffin talks about the Trojans' second day of spring ball, including an injury report, the Day Two MVP and more.

(Injuries: George Farmer came out with hamstring, Greg Townsend with a back, all other injuries the same as Tuesday)

  --"I thought today was kind of sloppy, which is usual. All the energy around Day 1, then having to be a little sore and coming back for Day 2. I thought the defense kind of dominated the day for the most part. It's always hard to evaluate the offensive line and your run game when there are no pads on. We'll have pads on next time."

  (On D.J. Morgan's progression)
--"He seems to feel a little more comfortable, which is normal after an offseason. He seems to be a little more healthy. He's making cuts a little bit better. Even though he had been almost two years removed last season from his knee, it still seemed to have effects on him. He looks better, and our track people have said that too, over the last month that he's been out there with them, that he looks a lot better than the year before."   (On Lee's leaping catch Thursday)

--"The good thing is, I don't know which one you're referring to. He makes a couple of those a day. He was the MVP of today. He's just unique. Obviously he's a unique player. He's a great player – potential to be the best receiver to ever play here; you've heard me say that before. What makes him even more special is his mindset. After all the stuff he did today, he could have pulled himself out of that last conditioning. He not only stayed in there [but] won it. That's just who he is. He was having cramps, thought about coming out, stayed in there and won the last race. He's just real special. You saw that in Robert's freshman year out of him. The Stanford game, long touchdown, then he goes back out on kickoff coverage. Marqise is the same way."

  (On being glad there are no one-and-dones in football)
--"Yeah, really. We'd have a problem with that with how well we've had our freshmen play over the last two years, especially this last year with Marqise."

  (On having only one healthy tight end)
--"Unfortunately, that happens a lot of times in the spring because you have guys rehabbing, guys who get hurt. In the fall you tend to be better because you're further removed from the surgeries at the end of the season. Some of our spots are lower. Last spring were really low, if you remember, especially on the offensive line. Now we're short skill guys, but at least we can do team stuff where last year we were having to do a lot more 7-on-7. It will be exciting to get those guys back, because when you look at them, not only are they really good players at tight end, but you have three sophomores and a freshman and another freshman coming in."

  (On whether McNeal will be better able to handle full load now)
--"I just think Curtis with no distractions around him really, now having been eligible for a year, having 1,000 yards, having confidence in himself, being the starter right now compared to where he was a year ago. [There were] so many questions around him. Was he even going to get eligible for last season? I just think he's a lot more comfortable. You can see it in the parts of his game that have been his weakness – the passing game, catching the ball and route running. He's really getting better to be an all-around back."

  (On Antwaun Woods' progression)
--"A lot has been made about Aundrey Walker losing 60 pounds in 14 months. But Antwaun's lost a lot of weight too. I don't know the number off hand, but he's come a long ways. … Mike Patterson was like that when he first got here and lost all the weight. Hopefully Antwaun will continue to develop."

  (On how he plans to divide reps among quarterbacks)
--"We really flopped it. Tuesday would have been more like what you normally do; Matt was with the ones most of the time. We moved today and we'll move the rest of this camp to really limit Matt's team stuff, just with people around him. He'll take a lot more 7-on-7 and one-on-ones and let these other guys play in the team situations a lot more like we did today."

  (Why Kiffin is doing that)
--"Two reasons. No. 1 is injuries. The injuries happen to your quarterback in the team stuff because there are people around him, someone falling around him or hitting his thumb. It was a reminder Tuesday about how close stuff can be. We're going to limit him in that stuff. Even though we tell people to stay away from him, you can't control that completely. No. 2, it helps those guys. They're getting a lot of reps in team situations (and) in pockets with stuff moving around them."

  (On whether Scroggins will be back soon)
--"I think Jesse will be like a few of our guys, where spring break, why we did this, you get those guys back, the guys who are real close. With an extra week off, I think you'll see those guys, like Xavier, like Junior Pomee, I think you'll see a number of guys come back.

  (On how bad Farmer is setback)
--"I don't know how bad it is. Hopefully he'll be right back. It's unfortunate because he was having two really good days.

  (How costly is it for Scroggins to miss so much time)
--"It doesn't help him. Obviously we don't hold it against him because it's out of his control. But it doesn't help him. If you miss reps, you miss reps. That's a lot of pocket reps he's missing over that time."

  (On when he'll hear from the NCAA regarding Josh Shaw's waiver)
--"No idea."

  (On Robert Woods' status)
--"I think that probably after spring break he'll be back doing a lot of stuff for us. We're going to have another evaluation of him next week just to make sure we get as much information as we can, that we're doing everything right with him."

  (On what McNeal needed to change to be where he is now)
--"Curtis was almost out of here. He was close to walking off the field one day, which would have been his last chance, and he didn't do it. He's come a long ways. He was so far gone from what our expectations were as far as competing, doing things right, the Trojan way. Fortunately he turned it around, and it's one of our better stories the entire time we've ever been here. … Now he's one of the leaders."

  (On Matt Kalil bringing Kiffin to New York City for the Draft)
--"When you said he was going ‘bring me,' I thought you meant bring me on a private plane with him or something. ‘Bring me' [means] hey, you can sit at our table. I have to buy my own ticket. I guess he hasn't gotten his signing bonus yet. He actually invited me a long time ago, I think the day he decided; he said, hey, I'd really love for you to be there. So we moved some things around on the schedule and we'll be able to make it out there."

  (On whether they'll throw the ball more because of the lack of running back depth)
--"I don't know. It's too early to know that. The development of Buck, how healthy is D.J., and can D.J. continue to develop as well. We could be in a much different situation if they're all fully healthy and understand our full system. But we're obviously prepared to rely on our tight ends and receivers if that's the case. We'll be able to do that with all the good tight ends and the receivers, and the emerge of George at receiver could have to move us into more of a spread system. So we'll see."

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