Special Teams Talk with Brian Schneider

The Trojans' special teams should be improved in 2009, thanks to the arrival of new special teams coach Brian Schneider. Look inside for an in-depth interview with the bright, young assistant.

Q: How has your transition from the NFL to the college game gone so far?

A: It's been great. When you work with a guy like Pete Carroll and the staff they have, it makes it great. It's energetic and you run around, that's what makes it fun.

Q: What has been the biggest difference for you?

A: The energy. What the players bring every time they work. It's just full out as hard as they can go in everything they do, which is probably the biggest difference. When you get to game 15 or 16 and those guys are just trying to get by really.

Q: Do you have to make any changes to the way you coach now that you are on the college level?

A: Not really. You try to stay consistent in who you are, and what you do, and you just hope that carries through.

Q: Now that you have had some time to watch film and meet with the players, what is your impression of the kickers and punters currently on the roster?

A: That's the thing, you don't really know. None of them have kicked in a game yet and I haven't work with them on the field. That's something we'll address in spring ball.

Q: What is your basic philosophy when it comes to special teams?

A: Probably just as much as anything, just play hard. Play hard, that's the one thing you can control, that's the one thing you can do. Just play hard.

Q: How have the players responded to having a full-time special teams coach?

A: I don't think you really know until you get out on the field, until you start getting into spring ball but it's all been great. I think it's a great group of players and coaches and it makes it fun.

Q: With the departure of David Buehler and Greg Woidneck the competition is wide open at the kicker and punter spots. What do you expect from the competition this spring?

A: Just what you said, it's wide open. I would expect to see how they end up in spring and then we have another guy coming in the fall, and you start the whole process over again because you have to consistent through spring and through summer.

Q: Which coaches have had the biggest influence on your coaching philosophy?

A: It started out with Sonny Lubbick at Colorado State where I started out. That was a major one when I started. And it's been a little bit of everyone since I've been around. I think you start with a base there and you always pull good things from everyone you've been around and constantly keep growing and learning.

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