Romano was asked about the status of John Drake and his ankle injury "the fracture is healed and right now John is at 360 pounds. We expect him to be ready for fall camp"
A question was asked about the high number of concussions "We had a lot of concussions but it was the same guys who had multiple concussions. It's something you need to be really careful with. We go to great lengths to check a player out when you have evidence of a concussion. I work under the USC team physician and it's his call on if a guy can play or not. You can't always listen to the player but the player has a lot of say on if he can go or not. Sometimes you have a case where a player is showing some symptoms but other symptoms are fine. We're fortunate at USC to have a tremendous group of physicians. We have a team physician at every practice and usually have at least three at every game."
Someone asked about the status of Mike Ross "We can't comment too much on individual players because of privacy laws that are in effect. Mike is a player who had a problem with concussions and he was not cleared for spring ball. That's about all I can say"
Davis was introduced and he showed highlights from the Rose Bowl as well as from spring ball where he demonstrated his favorite play, Power, or as he likes to call it, God's Play. Davis often asked the crowd "how many yards does God want?" and it always got the proper response "four". Here are selected comments from his talk:
"It's good to be here in the shadow of the place we own. The Coliseum North."
"I call Russ Romano the Mechanic. He works out of a cave and when the kids come through he lubes them up, does the repairs and off they go."
"I'm an Orange County guy, I lived in Santa Ana when I was growing up. My father was a thirty year Marine veteran who served in three wars. I went to high school in Northern California and played football for the University of Utah. I met my wife Janice at Arizona when I was a graduate assistant. I ended up taking her to places like Walla Walla Community College and Idaho State. For our first anniversary I gave her a snowblower."
"I've got three of my offensive linemen here. Actually four because their leader is sitting at our table (Holmes). It's all about the offensive line, none of this defensive stuff. If we do our job they stay on the bench. That's why we're in the weight room every morning at 6:00am. We're in there together. It's all about the offensive line."
"One of the highlights this year was the White House visit. I didn't think George Bush had much of a personality before we went there but he was great with us. When we first got there we went to the Green room, the Brown room, I don't remember which room it was. It was a big room and they had us and LSU in there at the same time. The LSU guys were stiff and our guys were in there going nuts. After about twenty minutes Bush comes in and he gives a Heisman pose as he enters the room. It was great. After the President got done talking Desmond Reed walked right up to him like he knew him and asked to take a photo. Pretty soon there were guys all around taking photos."
"I spent nine years in the Big 10 listening to this crap about West Coast football being soft. We've got a lot of great kids, especially on the o-line where it counts. We had some new guys this spring and we missed some plays, I didn't sleep when that happens. Did the defense slow down on us at all? Hell no but we got better as the spring went along and we're going to be fine. Every year is different and every group has it's own personality."
"I've got horse nicknames for all the running backs. Reggie Bush is Seabiscuit. LenDale White is War Admiral. Hershel Dennis is Secreteriat."
"We put a sign up at Burger King with a photo of John Drake that says "Don't feed this guy"
"We've got a new guy coming in named Chilo Rachal. He plays on the Dominguez basketball team, one of the best teams in the country. They put him in the game and he fouls out after five minutes. I love him."
Davis then brought Holmes, Spanos, Radovich and Kalil to the front to answer questions from the crowd.
Spanos talking about the 6:00am workouts "Maybe a different time would be better but we're OK"
Holmes commenting on the difference Davis has made with line "I was here before Coach Davis and I can tell you there's no comparison. Within a month of him being here our whole program turned around."
Spanos commenting on Davis "He's out of his mind but I love him. He's what you need to get fired up for practice every day. You walk out on the practice field and he's there yelling "Let's go, let's go. It's a great day to be a Trojan". What more could you ask for than that?"
Kalil talking about the role of the center and how he identifies defenses "The center is the quarterback of the o-line. In everything we do we try to bring a level of speed that other teams can't match. When we break the huddle we get up to the line as fast as we can. I start make my id's from the strong side down, I need to ID the middle backer and call out the coverage."
Davis hears Kalil explain his role and says "that's why he's an offensive lineman, because he can think"
Someone from the crowd asked if the linemen would rather run or pass and all of them responded "run". Davis heard that and said "I love it"
Kalil talked about Davis recruiting him "He and my pops were a lot alike. My dad is an old school offensive lineman and they would spend the whole time talking. When we were on my recruiting trip it felt like it wasn't about me."
Davis hears Kalil and says "Me and Frank Kalil are the same kind of guy. We would talk about how many guys we pancacked, how many beers we drank, how late we stayed up partying…" Davis then turns to his offensive linemen "You guys don't do that. You need to be in the weight room at 6:00am"
The players were asked about the similarities between Davis and Orgeron "Both are really competitive, very intense"
Holmes talking about sitting out last season "It was the toughest part of my life. Football had become such a big part of me and I was lost. Thankfully I had a lot of support. People like Russ Romano, my mom and dad. One of the things I was able to work on was I strengthened my core (lower back and stomach) and that will help a lot next year"
Radovich was asked about wearing knee braces "Yes, we always wear the knee brace" Kalil agreed and said "you take a hit on the knee every now and then in practice where you just say I'm glad I wearing that"
Kalil talking about the difficulty of blocking Mike Patterson "I was struggling at times in spring ball to hook block him. I talked to Norm (Katnik) after a practice and asked him what he did to block Mike, he told me nobody I'm going to face is like Mike"