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Football News and Notes

After spending the last 2 days shoveling out and getting ready to head out of town I need to catch up a little bit.

I was a little shocked this morning to read that C.J. Gable is looking at the NFL. I know Pete Carroll encourages some of his players to get NFL evaluations but I am not seeing where Gable might be ready for the next level.

Running back C.J. Gable said he is considering leaving USC at the end of the season. Not for another school … another league.

“I don't know if I'll go (to the NFL) or not,” said Gable, who applied for an early draft evaluation. “I've been thinking. I'm going to see how it is with the evaluation.”

Per Coach Pete Carroll's request, several USC underclassmen applied for an evaluation, which is arranged by NFL personnel directors and the league's two scouting organizations.

Its obvious as to where this is coming from.

I know that Gable has been frustrated with his role and he has certainly never been afraid to voice his displeasure over playing time and such but with only two full years of playing time and a partial year that ended up in a medical redshirt I am just not seeing how that adds up to being ready for the NFL. I can understand his frustration, it's not an easy thing to be one of 5-6 TB's on the roster and be one of 3-4 in a rotation that at time seems to have no direction. There was talk that the rotation would be modified to keep the individual backs in for a whole series at a time but that never materialized.

Gable is the most complete back that we have as far as blocking, kick returning etc. The injury he had last season (or was it the year before I can't remember) really kept him from making an even bigger impact. I know some have questioned his attitude especially after his fumble in the ucla game which caused the coaches to sit him out the entire first half and then coaches really didn't get him the ball much in the 2nd half. I tink that was handled poorly. I believe that was Gable's first fumble in the back field so I was puzzled as to why he wasn't given the chance to make up for it. God knows they have done it for McKnight!

The defender made a play on Gable. Sarkisian should have had Gable stand next to him for a few plays and discuss the situation right then and there. Put it in the past and get him back on the field. I realize its ucla but was the outcome of the game ever in doubt? This is the one area where I think Sarkisian has made some mistatkes- personal relationships. We have seen it with Chow, Hazelton and now Gable. Sometimes the "in your face" approach doesn't work.

When you think about it this really is Gable's only choice. Transferring causes him to lose another year of playing time and it appears that staying with things how they are isn't his cup of tea either. I don't have the answer but I also think that with Sarkisian leaving with Morton and probably Carl Smith coming on that it could change some of the offensive philosphy. Smith likes to run the ball and that obviously could have an effect as to how the backs could be used in 2009.

As Signal to Noise noted it seems that Carl Smith is pretty much on board to be the QB coach Pete Carroll just needs to make the final call.

But as Wolf notes this morning he is waiting to make the official word for a specific reason...

USC coach Pete Carroll wants to hire Carl Smith as quarterbacks coach but said Sunday there is a reason he is waiting to complete his coaching staff or announce who will call plays.

"The NFL season ends next week. What if a team wants to hire Carl? What if a team wants to hire (new offensive coordinator) John Morton?" Carroll said. "I'm happy to wait until after the bowl game and see what happens. I'm in no hurry. I like this timetable."

I think this goes along way to settling some nerves and it will hopefully get some questions answered before things really get nutty. If we get him fine, if Smith would rather be in the NFL that's fine too. This is the flip side to having a very successful program. Other programs come a callin' looking to take your top assistants and you need to fill their slots. I am still not 100% happy that Sarkisian is praying to two gods as it were as he just offered Narbonne LB Tim Tucker. But as I have said in the past if PC is happy with how things are then its fine with me. Also it was announced that Dennis Slutak has resigned as USC's director of football operations to take the same position at UW.

USC director of football operations Dennis Slutak resigned today to become assistant athletic director/director of football operations at the University of Washington.

I guess that is good for him but with all these moves going on I hope it isn't a distraction for the team. I have no reason to think that it would be but one can never know.

In light of the Johnson and Gable to the NFL speculation it is refreshing to know that if either one goes we can load another round in the chamber next season...that round is Marc Tyler.

Tyler, the son of former NFL running back Wendell Tyler, has rushed for 198 yards and a touchdown in 36 carries. He has impressed during bowl preparation workouts and says he has been healthy for an extended time for the first time since arriving at USC.

He has been fun to watch you know he is going to be something special all he needs is regular reps and I think he will get them next season. I was really impressed with what I saw with him this season. You have to think that one or both (Gable & Johnson) will probably be gone next season so Tyler will move up the chart quickly.

Penn St. arrived in L.A. over the weekend and started paractice on Sunday. It looks they are anxious to get the party started. Trojan Empire has a nice quick read on it.

I will be back later with a few word on the basketball team and their game against Georgia Tech tonight at the Galen Center.