A sounding board.
No, Werner and McClendon don’t have much of an in-depth history. McClendon admitted he hadn’t sat down with Werner until a recent visit in Columbia. But McClendon saw how former Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo used Mark Richt and how USC defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson bounces things off Will Muschamp.
“He can say, ‘I see what you’re seeing,’ ” McClendon said. “ ‘You might want to try it a different way, because I tried it like this and it didn’t turn out so well.’ It can just kind of help you though some different things.”
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In Werner, USC is getting a man who ran one of the more explosive offenses the conference has seen in recent years. His 2015 unit averaged 7.1 yards per play, fourth nationally, with an emphasis on throwing it around and up-tempo play. He also worked on a couple legendary Miami staffs, including the 2001 team that was much more pro-style.
He also brings a different perspective with age. Werner graduated from college the year McClendon was born. The younger coach sounded giddy to learn from him.
“I am really, really excited about working with the guy,” McClendon said. “The guy that’s done it at such a high level. He’s led the conference in pretty much every statistical category you can as a play-caller. He’s just a good person. He’s values the right things.”
Muschamp emphasized the fit Werner had with the staff, pointing to that as part of the reason he got the job instead of Bobby Bentley, though he said Bentley was more than qualified.
McClendon wants to see that fit between him and someone who’s done the job at a high level, and that goes beyond scheme and calls.
“He values making the good man more so than making the good football player, because one kind of takes care of the next,” McClendon said. “So when you have a guy who kind of prioritizes all the right stuff and has the offensive knowledge that he has, I think it’s a win-win.”