Changes

Last year when I went on vacation the Trojans lost offensive coordinator Norm Chow to the NFL when Norm took a job with the Tennessee Titans. This year I have come back to find change once again among the coaching staff with the departures of Jethro Franklin and Greg Burns as well as the return of an old Trojan friend in Nick Holt. How will this affect the team? Click below for more.

The move of Franklin and Burns to the Tampa Bay Buccanneers is an interesting one because they will now be on the defensive staff of Monte Kiffin, the coaching mentor for Pete Carroll and the father of Lane Kiffin, so you know that both Jethro and Greg had to get good feedback when Monte asked Carroll what he thought of hiring them.

Franklin came to USC with the intention of following in the footsteps of Ed Orgeron by going from Trojan d-line coach to a head coaching position and he had one opportunity after the end of last season when the San Diego State position opened up and he was considered with the job eventually going to Chuck Long. It's hard to judge the impact Jethro had while he was here for only one season and, unfortunately for him, most people will remember him for the infamous time-out call prior to the two point conversion at the end of the Rose Bowl.

Burns was here for four years as the secondary coach yet most everyone assumes that Pete Carroll does most of the coaching for that unit when all is said and done anyways. The secondary is Carroll's pride and joy so you know he is going to make sure that unit is taken care of. Burns had a solid reputation and he helped bring in some good recruits but you don't get the sense that this is a coaching loss which will severely hurt the Trojans. Burns simply didn't have the dynamic personality or impact that would make him an irreplaceable part. There has been word that Carroll will look to move Rocky Seto back to coaching the secondary, a position he held earlier in his career before moving to linebacker coach, and many within the program feel that we would not miss a beat with such a switch. Seto is a hands-on coach who is always prepared and energetic, there's a reason Carroll hired him on his staff in the first place and has kept him on ever since. However, there are now reports that an NFL team, the Buffalo Bills, have made a job offer to Seto so his situation could be unclear at this point.

One thing we know for certain is the return of Holt. If we had lost Franklin and had yet to replace him with a solid, veteran candidate then perhaps there could be some cause for concern but with the return of Holt there is no reason to worry. In the first place, there is a lot of trust between Carroll and Holt. After all, they know each other going back to the days when Carroll recruited Holt to the University of the Pacific. Holt also brings the intensity that many Trojan fans thought might have been missing last year after the loss of Ed Orgeron, anybody who watched Nick work during his original stint coaching the linebackers at USC knows how intense he can be and how well his aggressive style of coaching fits in with Carroll. One can argue that he's the closest we've seen to Carroll in intensity on the defensive side of the ball other than Orgeron. With his recent experience as a head coach, Holt also will bring more of a "big picture" thought process as defensive coordinator and that will help take the load off Carroll as well since PC has stated that the presence of Holt in defensive meetings will allow him to work more with the offense. The final benefit to bringing in a guy like Holt is the relationships that he has with many of the current players on the team who were here while he was still an assistant, guys like Dallas Sartz, Lawrence Jackson and Oscar Lua who may have been in different roles when he last saw them but who are now critical elements to the prospects for the USC defense next season.

To assist Holt in his transition to working with the defensive line, as opposed to the linebacking spot he used to man, Carroll will switch graduate assistant coach Dave Watson to full time assistant d-line coach. You can be sure there will be a lot of emotion and loud yelling from Watson and that kind of coaching style will fit just fine with Holt.


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