When the Trojans take to the practice field on Wednesday, a brand new culture will begin to overwhelm the field as interim coach Ed Orgeron gets his first taste of the head coaching reigns. This for the long-time defensive line coach and head recruiter, who has become an integral part of USC Football throughout his tenure on campus.
"We don't know what's going to happen, but...we're going to play with excitement and energy and get after it," Orgeron said Tuesday during the weekly Pac-12 media presser. This comes from the new-look head haunch on campus, just days after suffering their first 0-2 start in conference since the 2001 season.
Orgeron left for Mississippi after the Trojans defeated Oklahoma in the 2005 Bowl Championship Series title game. He was fired in 2007 after the Rebels finished 3-9 overall and 0-8 in theSoutheastern Conference. Orgeron joined the New Orleans Saints staff for a season before Kiffin hired him at Tennessee.
That being said, Orgeron's former head coach Pete Carroll told reporters Monday that Orgeron would "do great" in the new-look role on the USC campus. This from a leader who seriously crafted the technique and legacy Coach O was attempting to formulate through his short tenure in a historic SEC-power Ole Miss.
"Ed has been through enough as a head coach and he's got a real way about him that resonates," said Carroll (via the LA Times USC Beat Writer Gary Klein), who left USC to work in a similar capacity with the Seattle Seahawks back in 2010. "And he can take control of a very difficult situation and make something happen that's positive."
Players have not even engaged in a full practice on the field under Orgeron, yet leaders on the roster have already felt the sense of relief working towards solving a frustrating and equally surprising start to the season.
Kennard on Orgeron coaching: I'm really excited for this opportunity, bringing the morale of the team back. It's a renewed energy right now— ESPNLA 710 Radio (@ESPNLA710) October 1, 2013
This fresh breath comes following the departure of Lane Kiffin, who drew his fair share of negative attention for off the field antics and rather-questionable play calling during his career. Departing USC with a 28-15 record through three-plus seasons, championship expectations will certainly not be leaving Southern California for Orgeron's eight game audition.
That being said, if we have learned anything from Orgeron over the course of his career, the Trojans will look to spice things up on and off the field. "I want to thank Pat Haden for trusting me. We had a team meeting and came out of it with a positive vibe. We made a commitment to give it all we've got," said Orgeron Sunday, during his opening press conference.
Entering a crucial bye week before diving back into the season with Pac-12 frenzy, Coach Orgeron and company will need to make some key adjustments including read-options offenses. On that note, if early praise from peers, players and Trojan Nation bears credence, this team will come out firing on Howard Jones Field.