Talking with Steve Sarkisian

Lane Kiffin is now with the Oakland Raiders and the responsibility for offensive coordination lays on Steve Sarkisian's shoulders this year.

Last year's experiment with offensive coordination duties has ended. Steve Sarkisian shared play calling duties with Lane Kiffin. Coach Kiffin is now with the Oakland Raiders and the responsibility for offensive coordination lays on Sarkisian's shoulders this year.

"That's why you have a staff, that's the beauty of our staff," said Sarkisian. "Coach Carroll's hired great coaches. It's not up to always one guy making a decision it's a collective agreement. And guys talking through things and making sure you're all on the same page. Because inevitably when we come out of that coaches' locker room, you know, we gotta get our 50 guys offensively on the same page going in the same direction."

On being the play caller this year:

"Ultimately I'm going to come in with some ideas, but you're still looking for the support of the rest of the staff. I want Pat Ruel and Todd McNair and Brennan Carroll and John Morton and those guys all going with what we're doing. And they're going to have ideas as well and that's my job to facilitate the ideas I'm getting from them along with mine, so that we're all on the same page going in the same direction.

I think a lot of times the word coordinator gets misconstrued. To coordinate means to coordinate great people together and head them in the same direction, not to be a dictator."

"Ultimately I'm calling the plays, so that responsibility does fall on my shoulders, but I'm not going in at halftime saying this is how it has to be. We're going to work things out just like we've always done. That stuff has to happen, it's up to the play caller."

Sarkisian's thoughts on John David Booty:

"I think he's been exceptional. I think he got a little fatigued there at the end of training camp. That's a lot of throws. Obviously with Mark (Sanchez) getting injured he took a few more throws, maybe than we would have liked. But I think he's playing really, really good football. I'm hesitant to go any further because we haven't played a game yet. But I'm anxious to watch him play. I think he's playing really well."

"I think it's a culmination of a lot of stuff, one, he's got his body right and he's physically stronger and in turn he's a lot more confident in himself. I think he feels like he can make plays, he can move in the pocket, he can do things, he's got a year under his belt of playing thirteen tough football games in (against good defenses) in adverse conditions where you lose your two starting receivers and you're playing true freshmen tailbacks and all the stuff that goes on."

"You throw a pick versus Arizona State and you're struggling and you fight through a lot of things but you learn a lot about yourself and then you get to assess the season. And one, man I feel good physically and two, mentally, I know how I'm going to handle the stuff a lot better. And he's a senior, you know, I think he feels a lot more comfortable being a vocal leader with these guys. I think that all, collectively he's a better football player."

On watching NFL film with John David Booty:

"We watched a lot of NFL film this off-season. We didn't do it as extensive as, you know Matt had a lot more time on his hands, one he didn't partake in (intelligible) ball and two he was taking dance. He had a little more time on his hands. He's (Booty) still a student. Although he's graduating this fall, but he's still a student."

On this year's Fall Camp:

"I'm having a blast. I love it, I love it, we got great kids. And these kids give us everything they got every day and they come to work. They're fun to be around. They're a little more innocent of a group than we've had around here. They are a little green around the ears and a little naive about some things, so they're fun, they come to work with a smile on their face every day, and they go to battle."

"Training camp, you got the whole playbook going. And when you get into situations now and we're game planning for a team, there's obviously the play selection's scaled way down. It's very player position specific oriented stuff where guys can really focus in and exactly know what they're doing by situations."

"I think a little bit more of one voice guys are understanding exactly what's wanted out of them in what situations. Guys are understanding their roles and that's it. I think we got really good kids. We're working hard. They understand there's a lot of competition out here and they need to do things right if they want to play." Top Stories