USC's quarterback's made some news this week...
Lets look at the future first.
Max Browne wants to make some noise in competing for the starting job.
With Max Wittek less than impressive in his two starts and Cody Kessler not getting on the field it is only natural for some to say lets see what the new guy can do.
But lets be real, two Wittek starts do not make a series and we really don't know what Kessler can or cannot do. With Barkley on his way to the league, a real QB competition can now take place between Wittek and Kessler when spring ball starts.
Still, Browne wants to be in the mix.
Though coaches cannot observe players during workouts with footballs until Tuesday, Browne already has made an impression. "He seems like a natural leader," said defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, USC's recruiting coordinator.
Browne has impressed teammates on the field during players-only workouts. "His mechanics are really crisp and his huddle presence and his whole field presence is there as well," sophomore receiver Victor Blackwell said. "The way he projects his voice, the way he leads, it's all there. I'm excited to see him compete at game speed."
It's early yet so I will temper any enthusiasm. Once Spring Ball starts the scrutiny can begin.
After Barkley's regression last season I want to see how these three progress before making any proclamations.
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Speaking of Barkley, Kiffin made some interesting comments on Barkley's final year at USC earlier this week.
If Matt Barkley had the defense that Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer had, Matt Barkley would have won the Heisman Trophy just like they did. He would have had the winning records they had."
I think that is complete bunk. How does Kiffin explain Barkley season in 2011?
I can see where the QB might want to make a quick strike to get the offense back on track if the defense gave up some points, but Kiffin is trying to paint a picture of Barkley trying to be the hero in EVERY game. That is not the Matt Barkley that we have read about and seen play the past four years.
Barkely had some great games and some stinkers as well. There were games where he masterfully guided the offense and some others where we scratched our heads. Like any QB, there was always a questionable throw or missed opportunity...but to blame the defense for his poor performance???
The defense didn't force Barkley to telegraph every play to Marqise Lee instead of a more balanced approach that included Robert Woods.
Where is the Reggie Bush on this team? The O-Line on those Matt Leinart teams were a heck of a lot better than this years campaign.
In this past season, Barkley was on the run for all of the Stanford game and the defense had nothing to do with Barkley throwing an early pick in the UCLA game. That set the tone and the team never recovered.
So, with these comments I guess Lane Kiffin just threw Monte under the bus. I am sure the defensive players appreciated Lane's comments...
You can see why I am tempering any enthusiasm for this upcoming season.