On Monday he seemed philosophical and almost mystical. He spoke in generalities and hazy sentences. He wasn't quite sure how to express himself. Carroll said sleep did not come easy Saturday evening.
Tuesday wasn't much better but he had come up, with some certainty, what needs to happen next. Take care of the ball. He had mentioned it for the last two days. Turnovers and takeaways has been a problem for this team. Five turnovers against one takeaway on Saturday, "That won't get it done," said Carroll, referring to the Trojans lopsided turnover to takeaway ratio.
Looking at this team and how the season has transpired thus far, things do not look good for USC. A less than impressive win over Idaho was followed by convincing wins over Nebraska and Washington State. Then a big stumble: squeezing out a win against Washington and falling to Stanford.
The Trojans are less than dominating at the midway point of the season. There are more questions than answers. Is this team over-rated or just finding themselves? After a devastating loss, Penn State coach Joe Paterno once said, "You're never as bad as you think you are when you lose or as good as you think you are when you win." So true for the 2007 Trojan football team.
Pete Carroll has made winning such commonplace that coaches, players and fans are dumbfounded when the team suffers a loss. Three days after defeat and no clear answer appears to be in sight.
One thing is certain. After six years at the helm of the football team, Carroll has proven over and again, the team will be back. The team and coaches will find the winning combination, the ability to challenge for championships.
Unfortunately, for those who wonder, it may not come this weekend. It may not even be next weekend. But rest assured, Carroll will find a way to lead this team to victory. The only question is when.
Reflecting upon the last six years, six glorious years, something becomes apparent. While it is exciting to go week to week expecting a win, and usually getting one – it's times like these, times of uncertainty and struggle which make the victories most meaningful.
Pete Carroll on the Quarterback Situation:
"We are preparing Mark to start because we just won't really know on John for a while. So we have to get him ready to go. He had a good day today and worked through all of the reps that we could get him and he's competing hard to get ready." Pete Carroll on the Option of Keeping Booty Out:
"I'm thinking long term about it. John might be able to play by Saturday but what happens the next week and the next week. How long do we prolong this? If we give him a break maybe he can come back strong and be ready to finish the season."
Pete Carroll on Tuesday's Practice:
"We had real good energy today, really good competition today. Guys worked real hard on the practice field. We were real light on the offensive line. We finished with six guys because guys had to jump to class on this Tuesday and fortunately guys made it through."
Pete Carroll on the Status of Stafon Johnson:
"He's going to get better everyday. It's not a serious injury it just happens to be in a bad spot for a running back. He's having trouble getting up on his toes and pushing off which is what you do when you run. So we'll give him another day or so and see how he is doing."
Pete Carroll on Who Will Play Outside Linebacker:
"I think Thomas (Williams) is going to make it back. But we are going with Clay (Mathews) right now kind of like we are doing with John David (Booty). We are getting Clay ready to start and Michael Morgan is backing him up."
Pete Carroll on Shareece Wright:
"He's going to try it tomorrow. He can still feel it. When you have a hammy it's hard to beat two weeks on those deals. He's trying."