PC "I thought that we ran the ball well for the first time this spring, Lendale White was really out there hitting it and that was great to see. He's a terrific football player and he brings a real style to us when he's running because he's such a big horse at 237 pounds. I thought that gave us rhythm so we were able to get a little feel for the offensive linemen and the young guys came through with the run blocking."
GP "Let's talk about the o-line, give us your thoughts on how they are coming along."
PC "I think they are making great progress, faster than we thought. They look sharper and better with their assignments than I thought they would be at this time so I'm real pleased about that. It's really encouraging in terms of helping us put something together here so by the end of camp and the beginning of the season we'll be ready to roll."
MM "You've lost three coaches (Pola, Holt, Sarkisian) and you brought in some new faces. How are the players responding to the new coaches?"
PC "They've responded exceedingly well. I think they're really excited about Kenny Norton's addition on defense, Todd McNair on offense. A guy like Carl Smith brings us so much experience with his great background and we're just really fortunate to have guys with such charisma and energy that the players like to learn from. We're not gonna even hitch at all when it comes to the new coaches, we're just gonna keep on rolling."
DS "Alex Holmes is back from injury and I thought he looked terrific today."
PC "Yeah, he's had a great spring and has just looked the best he's looked since we got here. He's looking quicker and more agile, he's always been a terrific blocker and he's always caught the ball well but now he just looks better moving and running with the football. He's had big days every time we've gotten him the football and I think he's gonna be a great weapon. We know we'll block better just by having him out there."
DS "Whitney Lewis had a good day as well."
PC "I think they had Whitney at something like 7 catches for 124 yards and that's just what we hope to get in terms of production from the split end spot. It was a good day's work for Whitney. It was a good debut and right now he's playing with a dislocated finger and stitches in his hand so it was good to see him tough it out. He did a real nice job today."
GP "Coach, let's flip over to defense and talk about what you liked today."
PC "I thought we made the stops we needed to make. The first group played pretty consistently throughout the day and there were a couple times where the offense would make a play and then we'd stop em and get out. We played pretty straight defense today and the guys did a good job in the base calls. Our first group is real solid and experienced so if we just add a little bit here and a little bit there with the new kids who are coming we're gonna have a chance to be a pretty good D again."
GP "Talk about the corners and how those guys are coming along."
PC "Everybody wants to talk about the corners but when Kevin Arbet comes back out to practice in the fall he and Ronnie Nunn will give us some real experience. Both of them have started, Kevin was the starter at the beginning of the year last year and some people forget that, and so that gives us two experienced guys with some young competition coming up. We're pretty fired up about the guys who are taking swings at some playing time, the redshirt freshman Terrell Thomas had a good day today and Eric Wright is coming on as well, both those guys are great athletes with some real good size. We got good depth there with the young guys backing up the 5th and 6th year seniors so I like our mix at corner, I think we're gonna have a real strong position."
MM "Speaking of depth, I noticed you have the redshirt freshman from Temple City, Desmond Reed, on offense right now. Is that where you plan to keep him?"
PC "We've clearly decided that he's gonna be on offense, he and Reggie will share that same role from the running back spot. Instead of having one guy who can catch the ball out of the backfield and run all the routes we've got two guys so we can keep that part of the offense going at all times. I'm real pleased with how he's played so far this spring, he's got a lot to learn but I think he's gonna be a real fun player to watch. He's gonna keep us in the style we like to see when Reggie handles the ball."
DS "Talk about some of the kids who have really developed this off-season by taking advantage of that time to improve their game."
PC "I think there's a lot of guys. I mean, the offensive line guys have all made a big jump and they need to because they've never been called on before like they will be now. Whitney Lewis at receiver has become a real threat for us and that's a real plus. Dallas Sartz has become a real solid starter for us. Lawrence Jackson had eight tackles today, that's a big move for him to make and we needed that."
DS "You've got a young guy named Jeff Byers who could've gone anywhere in the country but he chose USC in part because of the work ethic he saw."
PC "Yeah, Jeff is a great worker and he's been here already through the whole spring break watching practice and being around the team. It's something for the real serious competitors, the guys who are championship kids, when they get around the team they do fall in love with it. Jeff Schweiger was here today and he's another one of those hard working kids who just loves being around the program. When you get guys like that it gives us a chance to sustain what we've got going."