Football: Steve Sarkisian Sets The Stage For 2014

Stephen Dunn

The entire coaching staff sat down with the media to discuss USC's future in 2014, but we start our coverage with head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian spoke with members of the media at the John McKay Center on Tuesday afternoon to discuss some of the big topics from USC practice, to the new coaching staff and even the direction of his offense.

Times have certainly changed since Sarkisian last coached five years ago and the Trojans newest head coach said this team will run much faster than they have in the past, but the signals will be somewhat similar. "We're a run first football team," Sarkisian said, adding that "we just do it with a little more tempo now."

Prominent members of the coaching staff joined Sarkisian on Tuesday to answer individual questions about position groups, but since new offensive line coach Tim Drevno was not in attendance, Sarkisian took the opportunity to address the Trojans' plans in the running game once their OL coach arrives from the 49ers.

"This program will be built upon running the football, and doing it with a physical passion," Sarkisian said about their philosophy on offense. "Tim understand the power of USC, especially from the offensive line."

HONORING SCHOLARSHIPS

National Signing Day is right around the corner, and head coach Steve Sarkisian promised to honor each of the scholarships that were handed out under Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron.

Orgeron recruits Shay Fields and Malik Dorton (St. John Bosco) are starting to fall off the radar and could possibly decommit within the coming days. USC will continue to keep its eyes on Long Beach Poly safety JuJu Smith and St. John Bosco OL Damien Mama, however, as both players are set to make their official visits to campus on January 24th.

COACH ORGERON UPDATE

When asked about the status of Ed Orgeron, Steve Sarkisian mentioned that Orgeron was "a terrific coach" but would not specifically go into whether he was offered the job a second time. This comes after news broke that Bo Davis, who signed with USC last week, accepted a similar position at Alabama on Monday.

UPDATED DEPTH

The injury bug decimated depth at some of the key positions last season, which were already hampered by scholarship limitations, and could play a huge role in how balanced USC will be come the start of Fall Camp.

"The goal is when we come to work for Fall Camp, we have every guy in this building as healthy, fresh and ready to contribute for this football team," Sarkisian said.

Players like Steven Mitchell, George Farmer, Lamar Dawson and Anthony Brown were among the many injured from last season, and Sarkisian plans on keeping healthy numbers up for next season.

"We are already limited some from our own doing, let's not beat ourselves up," Sarkisian said, discussing his roster which should have 72 scholarship players following National Signing Day (if the Trojans fill out their sanction-limited 15 scholarships). "Let's make sure we are a fresh, healthy and really well conditioned team when training camp comes around."

SPRING FOOTBALL DATES

Spring Ball practices will be open to the fans and the media. For the large portion of practices held at Howard Jones Field, fans can watch Sarkisian's club from Dedeaux Field while the Coliseum practices will be open to the public.

March 11-13-15-25-27-29...April 1-3-5-8-10-12-15-17-19

USC Spring Game: April 19, 1 p.m., Coliseum

USC Pro Day (not open to the public): March 12

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