USC Spring Football Midterm Report 2016
We’re at about the halfway point in spring practice with the closing up on practice #7.The total of 14 practices culminate in the annual Spring Game on April 16.
Sadly, I’ve only been able to attend about two practices so far and I’ve mostly been watching the offense…but I’ll give you what I got. Yeah. You know that thing they say about “Don’t quit your day job“? Well, for your information, if I actually quit my day job, I’d be able to do more and write a better report. Kind of a catch-22 situation.
Since we’re on the topic, “catch-22” seems to be what Max Browne is trying out with the team. Zing! It’s one thing to try to spread the ball out amongst all your receivers, but passing to all the defenders isn’t exactly a winning formula. Okay, now that’s out of my system. But seriously, while I want Browne to win the starting quarterback job, he hasn’t done very well both Saturdays I was in attendance. The first time, he threw three interceptions, which was slightly offset by the two touchdowns. At the Coliseum this past Saturday, he only threw two near interceptions. Those were dropped by the defenders. However, he wasn’t able to complete very many passes either.
Maybe I’m the problem. Once is just life, twice makes a pattern. If I stop going to spring practices, maybe Browne will do better. Nah, forget that. I’m not the superstitious type. Let’s just cross our fingers that this isn’t a microcosm of the entire team. Wait…
Anyway, the offensive line, while improved in some areas, certainly don’t look good with the snap. A majority of them were high, wasting precious time fielding them. If that doesn’t get fixed, it’ll get real nasty in games—unless someone can pull one of these off:
The difference is we don’t have a Super Bowl winning scrambler at QB. We should sooner look for the return of Toa Lobendahn or Khaliel Rodgers. Nico Falah did decently filling in as a third-string center the past season, but his snaps haven’t impressed this spring.
There have also been quite a few drops by receivers, when either Browne or Sam Darnold have been leading the team. On the flip side, newcomer Josh Imatorbhebhe runs some of the sickest routes. His cuts are extremely crisp. I feel sorry for the DB that has to cover him—as long as he improves his focus while watching.
Lastly, Justin Davis has looked solid and consistent. He runs with authority and picked up some large gains on the ground. Ronald Jones also continues to excite. Based on the running backs’ performances during fall 2015 and this spring, I am not at all worried about this group.
I wish I had more to report on the defense since we have a “new” defensive coordinator and all. At least I know those corners are doing their jobs!