Here are a couple of more items from Media Day.
Pete Carroll on Joe McKnight:
"He's a break-away, big play tailback," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "He can run routes like a wide receiver. He runs routes like a wide receiver better than Reggie did. We're excited to use him."
McKnight has also put on 20 pounds in muscle so its going to take a little bit more to stop him this season.
On improving the turnover ratio:
"We endeavor to emphasize taking care of the football and getting after it better than anyone," Carroll said. "The last couple of years our numbers are down." "We're always looking for ball hawks. This group has a chance to be really good at that again.
That once again is going to be the key. Getting turnovers has such an impact on many aspects of the game from shifts in momentum to changing attitudes to of course scoring points. But the key will be to minimize giveaways USC had 26 last season.
Pete Carroll was typically exuberant Thursday, but there's something about the composition of the 2008 team that has him extra excited and throwing around words such as "juice" and "voltage."
"The makeup of the players," Carroll said. "The way they approach football."Carroll wants his players to be intense, competitive and spirited, and he sees those qualities in would-be 2008 leaders such as Sanchez, linebacker Brian Cushing and safety Kevin Ellison.
I have talking about chemistry for the two years that I have been writing this site. It is an important factor that takes time to nurture. The senior leadership on this years have shown stability that will bring the younger players into a tighter knit group.
On not taking the bait:
Carroll refused to engage in a war of words with new UCLA counterpart Rick Neuheisel, who said Thursday that it wasn't a matter of "if" the Bruins would catch the Trojans but "when."
The questions about Neuheisel came at Carroll in a variety of forms. But no matter the phrasing, Carroll wouldn't go there.
"I could care less," Carroll said of Neuheisel's declaration. "Guys say what they've got to say. They've got their teams to run. ... It's just words."
When a reporter suggested that Neuheisel's brash talk could create a mindset, Carroll countered: "We'll find out."
As the late Johnnie Unitas once said...Talk is cheap, lets go play!
Like I said last night this is Slick RIck's M.O. He has to throw a little red meat out there for the crazies but in the end he needs to produce results.
This is going to be a great season. Lots of excitement and buzz not just from the SC standpoint but from how the reast of conference is stacking up. The Pac-10 still brings a lot to the table.