Morton is the front runner to be the next OC

The worst kept secret last week was that Steve Sarkisian had accepted the offer to be the University of Washington's next head coach. The question was who would replace him? Rumors were swirling with the presence of former USC assistant Carl Smith attending the Notre Dame Game and with his hanging out at practice so of course everyone knew something was up...

With Pete Carroll confirming that Sarkisian had indeed accepted the UW job during his postgame interview on 710 ESPN he also stated and pretty much endorsed WR Coach John Morton as the next in line to take over for Sarkisian. Pete Carroll reaffirmed those exact sentiments on ESPN's BCS Bowl selection special last night. Carroll believes in continuity so this falls right in line with how he operates. Carroll also alluded that there may be something there for Carl Smith as well, speculation is that he would be the QB Coach though Smith as the OC is not out of the question either.

Carroll acknowledged that he had talked Sunday to wide receivers coach John Morton, USC's passing game coordinator, about the soon-to-be-vacant offensive coordinator's job, with Steve Sarkisian having been named head coach at Washington.

Morton, 39, and an 11-year-veteran with NFL stops at Oakland and New Orleans and a stint under Jim Harbaugh as offensive coordinator at the University of San Diego, said he's very much interested in the job.

Carroll said that the one other person he's talked with about the job was his former USC quarterbacks coach Carl Smith, who went on to be offensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars before being let go there two years ago. Smith has been in town the past week observing USC practices

Of course the mesaage boards lit up with a lot of criticism over this potential hire with Pete Carroll being the main target.

Now I found the criticism of Morton, and by extension Carroll, intriguing on many levels. First, I have no idea if Morton is qualified that's Pete Carroll's job to determine not mine and if Morton gets the job we'll find out soon enough. More important to me is that with all I read out there no one asked the most obvious question...

If not Morton then who?

Who is available that will run the type of offense that Pete wants to run? We all know that Carroll won't go to any of the gimmicky spread offenses that are out there so if there is someone out there who is available and who runs his type of offense I would be curious to know if he has explored those options. Personally I don't think there is anyone out there, who is outside of USC, that fits Carroll's blueprint.

USC coach Pete Carroll places a premium on continuity, and that’s one of the reasons he is considering promoting receivers coach John Morton to offensive coordinator.

Carroll and Morton talked Sunday afternoon about the opening created by Steve Sarkisian’s departure to become the coach at Washington. Carroll said he has no timetable to make a decision. He also has spoken with former USC assistant Carl Smith, who conceivably could return to the school as quarterbacks coach, the same capacity he served in 2004.

I haven't seen anyone, either in the press or on the message boards, throw any names out on their wish list. Who would they like Pete to go after? I don't have any names because I haven't really thought about...I figure Pete knows what he's doing so why fret over it?

Of course there are some that still pine for Norm Chow and hope that Pete would pick up the phone and ask Norm to bury the hatchet and come back...these people need to get a life and get into therapy to cure this obsession. He is gone, he isn't coming back and I wouldn't want him back...it would be too much of a distraction.

Most of us have spent the last 7+ years trusting in what Pete Carroll has done for this program and for the most part I am happy with the results so why wouldn't we trust his judgment now? I certainly don't have the answers but I, like others, have invested so much emotionally in Pete's leadership of this program that I am more than willing to let it all play out. He has got us this far so lets see what Pete does now before lighting our hair on fire over it.

If he does pick Morton is it really going to change how we feel about this program? Not me...in for a dime, in for a dollar. Consider the alternative...are we as a fan base going to turn on Carroll like we saw on two ucla blogs with their treatment of Dorrell?

Of course not...we are better than that.

Everyone says trust in Pete so lets do just that...

 

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