Chat with Garry Paskwietz
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, WeAreSC reporter Garry Paskwietz stops by to chat some USC football.
Paskwietz is the Publisher of WeAreSC and has been covering the Trojans since 1997. Paskwietz is also a co-host of the USC Football radio pre-game show
Send your questions now and join Paskwietz every Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET!
Garry Paskwietz (5:01 PM)
Good afternoon everyone, welcome to the chat. Let's get started.
Robert P. (Diamond Bar, CA)
Marqise returned punts as a true freshman in 2011. Can we expect Adoree to return this year, or does he need to wait to get more meat on him? I think he can be a special punt returner along with this position duties.
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
When the team did punt return drills on the opening day it was Nelson Agholor, Darreus Rogers and Steven Mitchell alternating at the return spot. There had been a larger group earlier in practice working on return drills and Adoree' was part of that group. I wouldn't rule out Mitchell getting a long look if he can show that he's healthy enough for the role.
Oscar Batista (Irwindale CA)
Do you like the idea of getting Stanford so early in the season?
Garry Paskwietz (5:04 PM)
I do. I think this Trojan team is ready to show themselves and that will be an early opportunity in a big game. So many players from last years team are back and they had a taste to end of the season of playing good football and the energy from the new staff has momentum headed in a good direction. I also think the team should be fairly healthy that early in the season.
How would you describe the energy and enthusiasm of this year's fall camp so far as opposed to the previous few years? I know some of the fun is back with the fans and the music, but what about the serious side of things? Are the players "all in" - to quote a favorite former coach.
Garry Paskwietz (5:07 PM)
I think the players like the hard work aspect because they can see the results. The up tempo style has really helped to energize things and I don't think there's any question the players have bought in. And there really isn't any comparison to recent years when you compare enthusiasm during camp. One element that has brought a lot of energy so far has been having the fans back on the sidelines, the players from back in the Carroll days used to love having the fans there because it brought an atmosphere. These players aren't used to it because they've never had that at SC before but it brings another energy factor to the day.
Garry. I'm a big George Farmer fan. I wish he stays healthy and make a big impact this year. How is he doing on the field during the first 2 practices?
Garry Paskwietz (5:09 PM)
George is off to a pretty good start and Sark has mentioned how pleased he is so far. He also talked about how George hasn't had to wear the knee brace and yet still has the confidence to play like he has been so far. George has really matured as a player and I don't think there's any question he will have a big role if he can stay healthy.
Hi Garry, you have been covering the Trojans since 1997. Which USC head coach do you enjoy the "most" to have interview with, and why?
Garry Paskwietz (5:13 PM)
I've always had a good relationship with Sark so I'm looking forward to covering his tenure as coach but I would have to say Carroll just because of how unique it was to be a part of that. Carroll gave some pretty unique access to his program at times and he was also a big part of allowing the internet team sites to be around the team at a time when not everybody was doing it so I will always appreciate that.
Gatlin St James (Carson)
Hey Gary, first off you do an amazing job both here on the chats as well as on the WeAreSC forum boards. Thanks and Kudos! My question revolves around substitutions specifically around the uptempo offense and the divide between our scholarship pass catching tight ends and the blocking walk-ons. Will the defense be tipped off to whats going to be run based on personnel or will the coaches have both on the field at the same time? Also has there been any indications as to whether there will be a jumbo goal line set in certain short yardage situations where the offense might have to take their foot off the gas?
Garry Paskwietz (5:17 PM)
Thanks for the nice words. in regards to the tight end sub patterns, one of the challenges for a coach is to make sure you aren't tipping anything off, to not allow for too many tendencies with certain personnel groups. I think that is one of Sarkisian's strengths as a coach, to keep things mixed up and to study what you are doing to make sure you aren't falling into patterns. His assistants also say he is very good about taking input during games and that could be a good thing with 3 other former college quarterbacks on the offensive staff to help in that area. And I do think there will be goal line times when the Trojans can just line up and show power.
Greg I'm Inglewood [via mobile]
Afternoon Garry, I understand everyone questions the Trojans depth but with Sark making positions interchangeable what position can we not afford to lose. The most
Garry Paskwietz (5:19 PM)
I would say both sides of the line. You already saw the impact with Bigelow going down and he was a reserve player, if there are injuries to a starter or two on either side it could be a real blow.
Greg(OC) [via mobile]
Hey Garry, What's your impression on the team after the first two days? Should the fans expect something great this season or will depth hurt us in the end? Thanks and fight on!
Garry Paskwietz (5:23 PM)
The depth issue is there, no question, but I think the top level talent is the bigger impression so far. You can take the top 22 players on the two-deep depth chart and they will match up well with pretty much anybody. And the mindset of the team is in a really good place, they had a taste of good football last year and they are are ready for more. Lots of good energy around the practices so far.
Do you think Matt Barkley is a career fringe NFL player?
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
No, I do think Matt is capable of being a starting quarterback and I also think he is in a great situation right now. He's learning in a system that has shown a lot of success in developing quarterbacks, there aren't too many QB's in the Chip Kelly system who haven't played well. Matt is getting the opportunity to sit back and watch and learn, something he's never really had a chance to do since he's always been a starting quarterback. He may not like being a reserve but I'm guessing it's something that could really pay off for him in the long run. Chip Kelly's offense depends on a quarterback who makes quick decisions and Matt does that well, and a lot of teams are looking to incorporate the up-tempo offense more and more.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Where does pass rush come from this year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:28 PM)
It should come from all over, at least that is one of the premises of what Justin Wilcox likes to do. I think it's going to start in the middle with Leonard Williams, along with Antwaun Woods who could benefit from all the attention Williams will get. Tavai and Scott Felix (formerly Starr) will apply a lot of pressure from the rush end spot and I also see Powell/Ruffin coming a lot from their outside linebacker spot.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
Will Keisean Lucier-South be a Trojan?
Garry Paskwietz (5:30 PM)
I wouldn't call that likely right now as Keisean recently released his top school list and USC wasn't on it.
Robert P. (Diamond Bar, CA)
Can you estimate the number of fans that have shown up the previous two days of fall camp? Are the players enjoying the fan presence?
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
It's been several hundred fans on the sideline and probably another 80-100 or so on Dedeaux Plaza. For those who were around for the open practices of the Carroll era it's been a brief reminder of the energy of those sessions. The players that I've talked to so far have all been positive about it, they would definitely rather have the energy of a crowd while they are doing their work.
Jeff (Tampa, FL)
Will USC take Norman, Marshall, and Holiday to join Langley? How many corners does Sarkisian accept in this class?
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
I can definitely see three corners but it could be four. I don't see that as a spot that Sarkisian wants to ever get caught short at and he already addressed it heavy in his first class. Right now you have Langley and Mason plus the spot that is surely being held for Marshall. The Trojans are talking to Holiday mainly about safety right now but I don't think you rule out him coming in as a corner since that is his preference, plus he gives you a really tall corner if he sticks at the position. As much as I like Scrappy Norman, it might depend on how the numbers play out.
lorenzo (fresno ca )
how do you think fresno state will be without derek carr at starting quarterback this season?
Garry Paskwietz (5:36 PM)
I think it will be a struggle for the Bulldogs in their opener to break in a new quarterback, and a new top receiver. My guess is they will be fine by the end of the year because I think they have a good coach and system, it's just that first game that will be rough.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How would you rate the Trojans chances of landing Ricky Deberry or Trenton Thompson?
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
i would say longshots on both. The best chance to get some of those guys to take a longer look is to play well on the field this fall, nothing attracts players better than that.
Charlie (Denton, TX)
Did Max Wittek find a new college home?
Garry Paskwietz (5:41 PM)
The latest we've heard is that Max is looking to enroll this fall at Hawaii as a walk-on. As far as I know he has not graduated yet so he would not be eligible to play in 2014.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Does USC Or Other College Football Teams Trim their Rosters to a Limit for the Regular Season Like the NFL?
Garry Paskwietz (5:41 PM)
No, each team is limited to 85 total scholarship players (right now the Trojans are limited to 75 due to sanctions) but they do not have player cuts to get down to that number.
You answered the question about Matt Barkley benefitting from playing for Chip Kelly, Will this help Mark Sanchez as well?
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
I would have to imagine so. Kelly took a guy like Darron Thomas to a lot of success, then he took a lightly recruited Marcus Mariota and laid the foundation for a Heisman candidacy, and then he turned Nick Foles into one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL last year. That's a pretty solid track record in recent years.
Kevin (Palm Desert, CA)
Thoughts on the addition of new kicker?
Garry Paskwietz (5:46 PM)
So far i'm pretty impressed, the kid has a leg. i also liked how Heidari responded to a little competition by going 5-5 yesterday on field goals including a 52-yarder.
Hi Garry,I always enjoy your chats. It seems like Sark is stock piling QB's for the future. Do you think this is wise?
Garry Paskwietz (5:49 PM)
Sure, that's one position that you don't want to get caught short. I think most every coach would want 4 quarterbacks on the roster at any one time and sometimes you can end up with 5. It's just such an important spot that I think you can justify the extra spot because with injuries, transfers, etc it's just too easy to see a depth chart dwindle quickly.
Not sure if you are aware but CJ Gable has become a very solid player in the CFL. Do you think he can crack an NFL roster as a Darren Sproles type?
Garry Paskwietz (5:51 PM)
Yes, I have seen some articles, happy for C.J., i always thought he was a real versatile player.
Is Coach O working this year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
No, Coach O is taking the year off with his family in Louisiana and enjoying being able to watch his sons play sports.
Ben (Los Angeles)
Imagine if USC mimicked Stanford's "Jumbo Package" with 9 linemen, a QB, and a back -- Wheeler, Tuerk, Walker, Simmons, Mama, Talamaivao, Banner, Rogers and Lobendahn: 2,800 lbs of linemen!
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
thanks, that brought a smile to my face
Harold (San Diego)
Jay from Toronto mentioned CJ Gables in the CFL. Are there any other Trojans playing in Canada?
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
i saw a video clip recently of a big hit by Shane Horton. Not aware of any others.
Can you explain how Clay Matthews was a walk-on? How is that possible?? Was he offered rides at other colleges but was just focused on playing for the Trojans?
Garry Paskwietz (5:55 PM)
Clay was 199 pounds in high school and then he trained as hard as anybody at SC and hit a growth spurt. It didn't hurt that he grew up in the Matthews family where football was a part of everyday life. He had been offered a few smaller school scholarships but he believed in himself as an SC player and he made it happen.
Joe (San Clemente)
Does Simmons get the starting nod over Pelon, given his Texas Tech starting experience?
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
Not necessarily, Pelon has a couple years JC experience so both are veteran guys, even if Simmons was at the D1 level.
Lambo (O.C., CA)
With Walker's injury, and the possibility that we might not see him at his full potential (hope he can get strength back in that ankle), it got me thinking of great o-line talent that the general public never got to see. Who would you say was the greatest o-lineman we never got to really see for one reason or another. Mine would be Big Joe McGuire from Servite.
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
That's a real interesting question. I can't think of anybody ahead of McGuire right now, I'm coming up with recent names like Matt Myer, who had foot issues that forced a retirement, but McGuire was a top-5 in the nation kind of guy coming out of high school.
Garry Paskwietz (6:00 PM)
That's all the time we have for today, thanks for coming everyone, we will see you next week.