Running Backs Coach Discusses USC Tailbacks
Running Backs Coach
Special Teams Coordinator
Todd McNair is a former NFL running back and assistant coach and is in his fourth year at USC. He joined the Trojan coaching staff in 2004. In 2005 McNair took on the additional role of Special Teams Coordinator.
SCPlaybook caught up with Running Backs Coach/Special Teams coordinator Todd McNair to discuss the progress of the tailbacks this spring. McNair discussed the development of the younger running backs and the goals for developing the players.
Which of the running backs have impressed you thus far this Spring?
"They all impress me. They're all capable, we're very fortunate. We've got a lot of guys who can carry the load for us. A lot of guys that teams would like to have, and they can all play. They've all been very impressive, the young guys have learned a lot, Marc Tyler, Broderick Green, (we're) very happy with their development."
"Allen Bradford's stepped up, he's playing with a lot of confidence right now. He's become the leader, so I'm real proud of where he's at right now."
"Joe (McKnight) and Stafon (Johnson) are still the outstanding players that they are, they're all capable."
During Sunday's Scrimmage Broderick Green and Marc Tyler each got nine carries and the other backs just got a couple, what was your thought process with that?
"We're just trying to get the young guys used to playing ball, playing in live situations, they took most of the second team reps. We're trying to get them first team reps, I'm just trying to get them comfortable playing within the system and playing at full speed. That's usually how it works, the young guys get the bulk of the reps in practice, especially early in camp or early in spring ball."
Is Bradford taking carries away from Stafon Johnson?
"No, he's another guy who's developing, we know who Stafon is and running the ball is not where he needs to develop. He's a hell of a runner already, but he's got other parts of his game that he's working on: pass protection, route running and being in the right place and things like that. I don't have to see him run the ball a lot. He's a proven commodity, Allen is still learning and still developing."
"Joe has played, C.J. has started for a season, Stafon has started games and been top two in the rotation, and Joe has played a lot. Allen hasn't played a lot of ball, so right now we don't have a depth chart, and nothing is set in stone. So no one's taking carries away from anybody else, they're just all working. We need to see different aspects of their play in game type situations. So that's what we're doing in the backfield."
What about C.J. Gable's recovery, how is that coming along?
"He looks healthy, he has to get a little stronger, he's behind maybe in his lower body strength, but it doesn't show in his running. He's cutting and slashing so he looks good. We're real happy with how his surgery went."
One last question, is Curtis McNeal coming in as a running back or how do you plan to use him?
"Yes, running back, one more to the ‘fold.' He's coming in this summer."