Carroll comments on camp opening

"The way we prepare, the way we practice, the style, the attitude, the intensity that we demand of these kids will really set the stage for our football season. They need to know it's going to be physical and it's going to be tough because it has to be that way."

"Well, we're right at the edge here, it's finally time to get started. There's so much that's happened to get us to this point, it's such a big deal to step on campus for fall camp that we want to get this thing rolling. Gosh, we're excited about it. We go into this camp with high expectations, we go into this camp setting really high standards for our football team. The way we prepare, the way we practice, the style, the attitude, the intensity that we demand of these kids will really set the stage for our football season. They need to know it's going to be physical and it's going to be tough because it has to be that way. We have so much to do in such a short time that we just have to take advantage of every opportunity and we need everybody tuned in. The coaching staff is just ready to go and we have had such a successful summer program, our kids are in such good shape that it sets the stage for us to have a great camp. We have very few concerns conditioning wise and injury wise, we're in good shape coming into camp. Really it's all ahead of us, we're excited.

A couple of the areas that I think are worth talking about starts with some of the things we have been working on during the offseason offensively. Coach Chow and I have spent a lot of time together, we have come together philosophically on how we want to approach the season and how we want to utilize the talents of our player. Now it's time to put it into practice, we got a lot of information but now we've adjusted and tweaked it and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it comes together. Defensively we've made some changes as we move some kids around. I want this to be a very competitive camp, I want it to bring out the best we have to offer and to do that you have to make it competitive. Matt Grootegoed has been moved to an outside linebacker spot as has Frank Strong on the other side. They will make it more competitive for the guys who were there in the springtime, Chris Prosser and John Cousins and Michael Pollard and Aaron Graham. I told you the linebacker spot was an area of concern earlier and so we're going to do something about it and see if we can upgrade or at least bring out the very best in these kids to give us a good, wholesome spot. It also gives us a chance with those moves, if they work out, to increase our team speed on defense which is really important to me. I want us to fly and to do that you have to get the guys on the field who can run.

In the kicking game we've got some concerns. We go into the season knowing that and by bringing in a JC guy like David Davis from El Camino College we look to make that spot more competitive. We'll have a big competition through camp, possibly wont decide it until right before the first game but the competition is on. Obviously every chance we can get to see them in competitive situations will give us the information we need to make our decision. We brought in a long snapper from junior college, again we are looking to make that spot more competitive. We're really trying to create a different air about what we are doing with the kicking game. Kennedy Pola has really been instrumental there in finding the talent that we need to bring about the right environment for our kids.

One issue I would like to address with the recent tragedies is the question of how we are going to take care of our kids. I have been asked this so many times and, honestly, the incident with Korey Stringer in Minnesota has increased everybody's awareness. We are discussing it with our guys as they arrive in camp, the problems that can arise with heat, we've already addressed it and will continue to address it. Our coaches, trainers, everybody is becoming as educated as we can and I hope Korey's family understands that this is going to help somebody else down the line and maybe avoid another tragedy.

Another area I wanted to address is we had a couple kids that we were counting on coming in but right now have not been cleared eligibility wise. I really can't give any more information on it but right now they are not part of the program and they can't be until they clear their issues. We just have to move on, we're supportive and all but there's nothing really that we can do about it.

One of the things that is going to be interesting is to see how Antuan Simmons responds in this camp. Our players in the team meeting last night really responded in a moment for Antuan and his comeback attempt. We're really looking forward to seeing how that goes, he's already won the battle but now he wants to see if he can take it over the top. It's a great story, for Antuan first, and then for all of us to follow along.

There have been some questions about the schedule and the difficulty of the schedule but I expect at USC we are always going to have a difficult schedule. As far as how concerned we are with it, there's nothing we can do about it. What were concerned about is taking care of our team, really it's about us right now. It's about how far we can develop, how far we can take our level of execution and we'll see how we do."


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