What Capers Should Learn:

Discussion in 'College Football & the NFL Draft' started by NFLforher, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. NFLforher

    NFLforher All Pro

    Jan 18, 2005
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    Capers needs to stop worrying about whose Daddy is on the practice field and concern himself with getting his team ready for the next game. All positions need to be up for grabs..competition and hard work makes champions.

    "There's a reason why the USC Trojans, who return to the practice field today to prepare for the Rose Bowl, could become the first team to win four straight BCS bowl games.

    There's a reason why the trend of Heisman Trophy winners following their coronations with clunkers in BCS bowls (Florida State's Chris Weinke in 2000, Nebraska's Eric Crouch in '01, Oklahoma's Jason White in '03) didn't extend to Carson Palmer in '02 and Matt Leinart in January.

    There's a reason why USC could become the first backfield in college football history in which one Heisman winner hands the ball off to another in a game. (Army's Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, winners in 1945 and '46, never got to play in a bowl game after Davis won it.)

    There's a reason why it's been so hard for Iowa, Michigan and Oklahoma to prepare for bowl matchups with USC the past three years, and why Texas coach Mack Brown said -- even if he didn't mean it that way -- that he didn't know if there's enough time to get ready for USC.

    There's a reason why USC practices, overflowing with friends, fans and family, high school and NFL coaches, never host a currently employed college coach (although word has it from the NFL folks that college coaches this year have started to ask them what USC practices are like).

    There's a reason why Coach Pete Carroll, when asked if he was concerned about his team's possible distractions staying at home, answered: "I'll be concerned if they're not practicing well."

    Yes, the reason is the way that USC practices.

    It's really that simple. It's about what USC does, and does differently, every day.

    Carroll believes that to focus on the other team, especially this far out, is folly. Focus on the next practice and what you're supposed to do there. The Rose Bowl, and Texas, will take care of themselves.

    "It's clear what we have to do," Carroll said. "We just have to do it well."

    He's not talking about Jan. 4, he's talking about what will happen starting today and finishing up Jan. 3. Because there's more time, Carroll can go back to the way USC gets ready for its opening game. But otherwise, the Trojans do nothing differently from every other week of the season. They don't look past today.

    Leinart doesn't. Reggie Bush doesn't. The coaches don't.

    Those who have been around this program know that. You can't get the players or coaches to talk about the Rose Bowl, or Texas, other than in the most general terms. It doesn't serve them well.

    This has worked out in ways USC bowl opponents have yet to figure out.

    USC practices at a pace and with a purpose that seems to put them in a place their competitors don't expect come kickoff time. No one puts the first-team offense against the first-team defense in full-go, all-out competition at every practice the way Carroll's USC teams do. Not in the regular season -- and certainly not in bowl preparations. Too dangerous. Too risky. What if there's an injury?

    But it's this daily competitive bubble that separates USC from its opponents.
    "We go against the best offense in college football every day on the practice field," said nose tackle Sedrick Ellis, of Chino, who has come on strong, especially in recent games, as a first-year starter.

    "We have to go hard or we'll get embarrassed by those guys," Ellis said, referring to his teammates. "That has to make us better."

    It's this willingness to compete, the characteristic that Carroll most prizes in himself, that separates USC from its opponents -- and from most distractions. Players are too focused on competing at practice today to spend much time worrying about who's going to win what award tomorrow.

    Ask Carroll what he most remembers about Bush's running this season, or ask Bush what he's most proud of accomplishing, and the answer does not take you to a play in a game. No matter how hard the media tries to get it there.

    They talk about the practice field.

    When asked Sunday where his focus was -- either the Heisman or the NFL -- Bush said: "It's about what I'm doing to get ready for the next game."

    "The secret is that this team and these coaches know how to prepare," said assistant head coach Steve Sarkisian, who was the quarterbacks coach of the NFL's Oakland Raiders last year.

    "Ultimately that takes us right back to practice," Sarkisian said. "We go 1's against 1's every day. You let us practice 30 days and you see the impact of that."
  2. Coach C.

    Coach C. Hall of Fame

    Sep 30, 2005
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    SE Houston
    decent post, but a little repetitive. I think you are saying that we dont win because we either dont practice or we dont know how to prepare.
  3. NFLforher

    NFLforher All Pro

    Jan 18, 2005
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    Guys also need to know their jobs are up for grabs. Anyone. Competition. And yes, that includes David.

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