Just Sayin' . . . Weekend Edition

We say 'Hi' and goodbye and talk a little hoops in our Weekend Edition . . . "Just Sayin' ".

It's a TV time weekend . . . plus. The plus is there's time to think. And lots to think about.

Time to say goodbye -- to Hayes Pullard and Josh Shaw at the Senior Bowl.

You know it's coming for these guys but then it's here. And as you're watching Hayes make the plays that Hayes makes, and has made for four years as USC's second all-time leading tackler, and then tweeting to the world how lucky he was -- and is -- to be a Trojan now for life, you realize there's probably no real way to say thanks.

*** But we'll try for a young man who came here for the extent of the sanctions and didn't back off a bit. A young man who always got it. Got USC football. Got the idea of team. And Trojan. And was never afraid to say it and show it and yet to do so in the most considerate of ways for everyone around him. What a class act, as many here have noted. Thanks Hayes. Catch you on Sunday . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And as Hayes showed Saturday running to the football, finding the ball-carrier, stopping one red-zone drive with a TD denying tackle for loss inside the 5, the kid from Crenshaw has what it takes to make a place for himself where more USC players have than from anywhere else . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Despite an interference penalty on a deep ball, Josh probably didn't hurt himself as a 200-pound corner getting matched up with Auburn speedster Sammie Coates, he showed the essential Josh. He picks things up quickly, even if he can't quite go step-for-step deep, he can do something -- and it will be physical. And he'll get closer the more the game goes on. At his size, maybe he comes in as a safety who can play corner and gives himself a couple of chances to make a team . . . Just Sayin'.

*** One nice thing about a quiet weekend is the chance to catch up on video of USC commits, although we have to admit, watching Osa Masina highlights gave us plenty to enjoy all by themselves. Not sure we've seen a 6-foot-4, 240-pound high school player use his hands and feet the way Osa does. Especially the hands. If you're a great player, the feet should be a gimme although his stop-start, tap-tap-tap change of directions on offense was spectacular for someone his size. Goal-line guy anyone? But then there's smooth acceleration on either side of the ball, quick and instinctive decision-making as to where the play -- on offense or defense -- was to be made. But what you almost never see from a player this young is the easy way he used his hands to shed blockers and get to the ball-carrier. No wasted motion. Has that baseball hand-eye coordination where he does it with effective finesse and no need for pure power. Not sure where he goes or how much he grows but it's hard not to imagine him anywhere else but on the field in the first game next fall even if he's not here for spring. He has one other quality we're not sure you can always coach but Justin Wilcox kept trying -- his eyes. "Keep your eyes right," Wilcox would say week after week to his defenders. Osa does. . . Just Sayin'.

*** So now Bill Belichick has put forward his proof -- and it sounds like there's scientific backing for his "it happened naturally" explanation of Deflategate and that he "didn't know nothing about deflatiing no footballs." Too bad Lane Kiffin didn't give Bill a call a couple of years back before USC got fined $25,000 and had that poor ball boy walk the plank, although he did get caught redhanded -- if you will -- on the sidelines with the needle in the footballs in that Oregon game so maybe that wouldn't have helped . . . Just Sayin'.

*** How about Adoree Jackson, "with no practice" as he tweeted, heading off with the Trojan track team to Lexington for a big college indoor meet this weekend and long jumping better than 24 feet right out of the box. One-of-a-kind special talent. Now if only the Pac-12 officials don't whistle away any 100-yard fumble return TDs this year, the legend of Adoree will continue to grow . . . Just Sayin'.

*** For those who keep writing and saying they just don't see Cody Kessler as a Heisman candidate until he does it against USC's top opponents, we're saying there's a problem with that sort of thinking. Cody doesn't call the plays or do the gameplans. After leading USC to offensive efforts good enough to get the job done against an Arizona State or Utah the first three quarters, you can't blame Cody for the playcalling in the final quarter -- or for the whole game against UCLA. Cody isn't necessarily a different player in those games, he's just following the plan and the playcalls . . . Just Sayin'.

*** So the more basketball you watch on the weekends, the more chance to see Kevin O'Neill and Ben Howland opining on Pac-12 and CBS. Yikes. Good times . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Keeping to the TV theme and realizing how this goes against the grain on the day Coach K won his 1000th college game, I still can't get past 1994-95 when he bailed with a bad back on a really bad Duke team after the start of the season, leaving most of the losses (13-18 regular season, 2-14 in the ACC) to veteran assistant Pete Gaudet who didn't come back the next year but left with all those L's next to his name -- not Coach K's . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Hard to look at the Pac-12 basketball standings right now as the 1-6 (9-10 overall) Trojans are tied for dead last with Cal, the lone league team they've beaten this season. Not a bad effort Saturday -- until the end -- against Pac-12 power Oregon State at sold-out Gill Coliseum where first-year coach Wayne Tinkle, a tough 6-foot-10 veteran of smaller college success at Montana has worked insanely instant magic in Corvallis, where they felt going into this season after the May firing of Craig Robinson they'd be lucky to win a single game in the league. And here they are an unbeaten 12-0 at home -- with a win over Arizona. Bringing back a basketball program apparently does not take three years -- or shouldn't . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And no, we're not overstating what Tinkle is doing. He wasn't hired until last May 19 and USA TODAY had this to say about the challenge of an OSU program that is now 14-5 and 5-2 in the Pac-12. "This will be, undoubtedly, a difficult rebuilding project for Tinkle. The Beavers haven't made an NCAA tournament since 1990, and the team that Tinkle takes over will be without its top five scorers from last season." And they weren't any good last season, getting their coach fired. Amazing job by Tinkle here . . . Just Sayin'.

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.


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