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2016 USC Trojans Spring Football: notes from Tuesday's practice, USC intends to run the ball when they want and take the will of their opponent

Tuesday was the last shoulder pad practice before the Spring Game. The tight ends and offensive line continue to improve and the quarterback competition remains the same.

Satellite camps:

Helton was asked about the recent NCAA ruling banning satellite camps. The ruling did not seem to impact him either way:

"for us it is what it is, they come up with the rules and we follow them"

Helton was also asked what he has learned about quarterback Max Browne this spring:

"He's a quarterback with great poise and game management. He never seems to get flustered. He's just got an even temperament about him. He's one of those guys that does a great job of going to the next play. He doesn't let one failure on a play affect him for the next three or four and that's what you want to see from a great quarterback."

The return of the tight ends?

Helton explicitly called out the tight ends and their development. The tight ends were an integral part of Tyson Helton's offense at Western Kentucky and will play a key role in USC's run heavy offense. USC has not had the best of luck or production from tight ends in recent years due to injuries, transfers, scheme, and off the field issues. We could see a bit of a tight end resurgence for USC in 2016. Helton even said this group of tight ends reminds him of guys like Jordan Cameron.

"I really commend Tee (Martin) and Tyson (Helton)for what they're doing with the tight ends and how much they're getting them into the game plan and then the development of the three tight ends. Just to see how Taylor (McNamara), Tyler (Petite), and Daniel (Imatorbhebe) are doing. When you look at the run period with play action, getting those kids down the middle of the field I was really impressed with what they can do pushing the ball deep down the middle. Each one bring speed to game and brings good vertical speed.[. . .] I think that was probably the best practice we had for pushing the ball down field to the tight end."

"We will run the ball when we want to":

Helton had plenty of positive things to say about his offensive line and his offensive line coach Neil Callaway.

"He's really developing a unit between those guys. It is the best I've heard them communicate with one another since I've been here. The toughness and physicallity that he is bringing, when you go back and look at the film they have more individual reps than any other group. They are going constantly, and he is riding them like a good o-line coach should do. [. . .] do we got some more to go? Yes, but he's made huge strides. Huge strides. [. . .] If he continues to do that we'll be ready for the season with that group. It is an experienced group and you can tell, especially the ones."

This obviously bodes well for the running game and the offense as a whole as they intend to rely heavily on the running game.

"He (Callaway) truely believes that when you run the ball you take the will of the opponent. Those are some of the things that we are trying to do at the end of our team runs with full pads. We're putting the ball down and saying we're running the ball power to the right side and see if you can stop it. That is the type of mentality you have to have as an offensive line, especially a USC offensive line that 'hey we will run the ball when we want to' that is the attitude that he is bringing."

The quarterback competition:

Helton did not add much new information on the quarterback competition. It sounds as though he still wants to make a decision by the end of spring, but it does not sound as though he is completely certain that a decision can be made that soon.

"I'm going to let it go through spring, I'm going to let it go through the spring game and make a decision. If I had to call it right now, I'll just be honest, I don't think there is a huge gap between the quarterbacks right now. Max definitely shows the game management and the poise that we want, he made some great decisions today. If I had to choose right now it will probably go on through camp. I promise you I'm going to have a decision before that first game. We're not playing two quarterbacks. I want to take it through the spring game in that atmosphere and see how the guys react to that presence of being on tv and having fans around. That will be really our first time to have that for those kids and see how they react and then make a decision from there. My ultimate goal is to be ready for that first game. Just realistically really right now I'm not quite ready to make that decision. [. . .]

It (the decision) will be shortly after the spring game. I'll be able to watch tape, I'll have a gut feeling from there [. . .] If I feel like there is a huge gap then I'll make a decision I'll give Sam credit and the other quarterbacks credit they've really progressed through this camp and have played well and deserve the right to compete just like every other position."

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