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Pete Carroll's Press Conference

For those who didn't see this, these are some excerpts from Coach Carroll's Press Conference Yesterday. You can read it all here.

Opening Statement:

"I know everybody is kind of pumped up about getting back and going again. You guys love the season too, and it's an exciting time for everybody around the country. So we're certainly ready to go and looking forward to this. It seems that every year is a long haul and then everything comes to a screeching halt. Now, it's game week and the build up is kind of over. We are very fortunate with the health. There are a lot of issues we have to solve as we go through. We just don't know until we get there. Arkansas has a great tradition there and for those of you who haven't been there, it's going to be an extraordinary event. They are going to be as charged up as a team can get and we expect that. Hopefully, our game preparation will give us a chance to win. They have a bunch of players coming back. They are well-equipped and talented. They will be pumped since it's one of the biggest openers they have had in a long time."

I think we're all ready for the season to get going. It has been one of the longest off-seasons that I can remember.  Coach Carroll's right Arkansas will be pumped up. SC needs to set the tone early and take control. The defense needs to pressure Johnson and hopes he makes mistakes.

On the Tailback Situation:

"To muddy the waters a little bit, Chauncey (Washington) practiced yesterday. He looked fast and ready to go the first day of the week. Along with that, we have had this intense competition with the young guys. It's been a race to get ready with this gameplan. It's been fun to watch every day. C.J. Gable is probably the most consistent guy from start to finish. Emmanuel Moody has been the most improved, he has really made a charge here in the last week or so. Allan Bradford is the kid we like because he is the bigger of the group. He is a 230-pound running back who can hit the ball inside or on the edge. Stafon Johnson is a talented and effective kid, but it's been C.J. and Emmanuel who have been in the lead. Chauncey will have a factor in that if he is ready to go."

This is a good problem to have. Yes, there are some questions but with all that talent it won't be long before those questions will be answered. This is Washington's time now and he needs to step up and take it if he is to be a leader for this team. If not these new freshman will dig in and not let go.

On starting quarterback John David Booty:

"I was asked earlier on the radio today about if I was surprised that he stayed and stuck it out, but John David has always been committed to USC and he was captured by the thought of it way back when and he has stood strong. He has been through more challenges than we know. People have talked to him and asked why don't you do this and go do that, take off and start over again but he has never wavered on that. He has positioned himself beautifully and is well-prepared, ready to start and played in games. He's confident, he has led this football team and his teammates chose him to be a team captain. He has had to be patient and in this day and age, for a young star quarterback who has been around for a while to do that, you know they don't always do that. We have seen across the country, especially this year, that there has been some shuffling, but John David has been beautiful about it and his family has backed him up. We have loved the preparation and he has done everything he has needed to do to take care of this situation and go for it. He has even overcome the back issue, which has not been an issue at all during camp. All of those things add up and have been a challenge for him, but he has never wavered. I'm thrilled for his opportunity and looking forward to his play."

This is JDB's chance and he needs to make the most of it. He's got the moxxy to do it, he needs to just settle in and focus on the task at hand.

On units of this year's team he is most curious about:

I'm concerned about the running backs just because they are new and they are young and have never been in this situation before. This will be the biggest crowd that they will have ever played in front of before. We really don't know until we get there, but we have enough choices where we will find the guy who feels comfortable and is the most productive. We have some things that we need to see on special teams. We are going against a tremendous kickoff return unit in Arkansas. This is a unit that features a player like Felix Jones. It is always this time of the year where you try and figure it our. We have a lot of experienced guys on that team. We need to make sure we have guys who have been there before. I will be anxious to see what happens with our young secondary. These guys have not played together before at all even though they have been up for it. They can grow and come together. It's a physical, fast and dedicated group that hasn't played before."

No surprises here. The secondary will be the primary focus on the defense and they need to step up. Teams with a good passing attack are sure to try and take advantage of their perceived weakness.

On players that have looked good so far:

"There are a number of guys that have looked very impressive in this camp...guys that you wouldn't hear much about. (Offensive tackle) Kyle Williams has had a great camp. He has been a backup tackle for a number of years and has played in a number of games, but now he is finally a starter in his senior year and he has had a great camp, a great spring. He has really made that position that we thought would be a big change over very solid. Chilo Rachal at the right guard spot might be the best product we have come up with as our years here as an offensive lineman. He is big, strong, fast and tough. He does all the stuff that we like, but he is just inexperienced. He is going to be a great player for us. (Tight end) Fred Davis has probably made the greatest improvement of any player. He is a front line player for us and he has come out his first few years where he has always been a very good blocker for us and sometimes the go-to-guy for us. Now, we would like to get him the ball a lot and run the ball at him. He has a chance to be a great football player. A guy that you are going to see is Ryan Powdrell. We have moved him from linebacker to fullback and he has really just taken to this position. He might be a special player for this offense. He is 260 pounds, a big-load guy that will hit you blocking you, carrying the ball and he can catch the ball extremely well. All of those things, because he is a natural athlete, have come very easy to him and he has made the transition quickly. He is a frontline player for us right now. The young guy I think that has been very impressive is (tight end) Anthony McCoy. He has caught touchdown passes in all of our spring and fall scrimmages and been an effective kid. He came in as a wide receiver at 260 pounds and we got his at tight end. He has been effective as a catching tight end and as a blocker. There are a lot of guys that I have been excited about. On the other side of the ball, the guy I have been excited about is (safety) Kevin Ellison. He is a guy that played sparingly last year, but came in early and learned his stuff. He got hurt early in the season last year, but he has been the kind of guy that has been the glue to put things together in the secondary. He is a very smart player, always in the right place, very heady guy taking charge back there. He is a big guy and tough, so there are just a lot of guys that I'm excited about. We just have to unveil these guys and see how they perform. There could be a lot of really fun stories for us as we go down the road."

Please click on the link above to read the rest of the news conference.