Spurrier's problems begin with O-line
Ron Morris missed the boat in his column about Steve Spurrier (Spurrier ... Washed up? That's crazy talk; Nov. 10).
The biggest of Spurrier's mistakes in the past five years has been his failure to recruit offensive linemen. Morris also said "the hope rests in the foundation he as built." What foundation? A left guard walk-on, Garrett Chisolm, who will be outstanding next year, no thanks to Spurrier recruiting him?
It will take new line coach Eric Wolford two years to develop a decent line.
Hire Skip Holtz ASAP! Did you see East Carolina's offensive line on TV last week?
Ron, the foundation of any football team begins with the offensive and defensive lines!
Signs indicate Spurrier is washed up
How can Ron Morris try to tell me and his readers that Steve Spurrier is not washed up? Please! Just because he finishes 6-6? You sure he's got that bowl game locked up?
What did his team do this year to show me it is any better? There might be a reason all those Gamecock fans are starting to talk.
Numbers don't add up for Gamecocks
Let's see, Darrin Horn is here for two years and has 13 players and five seniors.
Steve Spurrier has been here five years, has an average of 90 players a year and has five seniors, one being his son Scottie.
Something's wrong with the system.
No wonder we always have a young team. There are never any upperclassmen.
Does anyone on the football team graduate? "Hymanomics" are fast at work.
JEFF SEIDEL | Columbia
Morris helps clarify Spurrier situation
As someone who found himself getting caught up in the "Spurrier is washed up" talk, I even began to speculate on who would replace him. But, thanks in large part to the points Ron Morris made, I realized that I was not seeing the situation clearly.
BRIAN ELLISON | Durham, N.C.
Spurrier fails in recruiting, quality of staff hires
As a former high school football coach at LaGrange (Ga.) High, I can tell you that Steve Spurrier isn't going to be "The Guy" to take the Gamecocks football program to an SEC title game. Here are a couple of reasons:
Recruiting. Spurrier has done a poor job of balanced recruiting each year. Instead of worrying about skill-position players, he should have realized you build a football program and team around the players up front. Having a solid offensive and defensive line is the key (at any level) to having a championship program.
Coaching. Building and hiring a top-notch coaching staff is the second thing you do to become a title contender. Realizing after four years that you haven't hired that type of coaching staff is the Old Ball Coach's fault. That last thing the USC football program needed was to hire another veteran football coach with a son. It's Lou Holtz all over again. We have two great assistant coaches right now (Ellis Johnson and Eric Wolford). That's it.
There are a lot of other great young coaches in college football, such as Gary Patterson at TCU, Cincinnati's Brian Kelly and Chip Kelly at Boise State.
I hope it doesn't take another three years of Steve Spurrier to realize he's not the guy.
CHARLES A. WEBB | Bloomingdale, Ga.
Let's give the Head Ball Coach more time
I agree that it's too early to give up on Steve Spurrier. Carolina has been a mediocre program since its inception. We have never given coaches the necessary time to build a decent program. We will not join the ranks of great programs by firing coaches every five years. The coaches cannot possibly be the problem considering some of the names we've had at USC.
However, I do take exception with Ron Morris' constant criticism of Lou Holtz. It is over the top. It even appears personal. Holtz did not leave the program is such disarray to warrant such criticism.
I am not a big Spurrier fan, but I think he is leading the program in a positive direction, just as I believe Holtz had some positive guidance for the program.
Change USC's nickname, hire pastors as recruiters
Who ever have imagined that South Carolina could land such big-name, successful coaches as Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier.
However, if Holtz and Spurrier can't get us to the "dance," then no one can. So I would like to ask Spurrier to use his clout to make some lasting changes at USC. In my opinion, there are two major issues that need to be addressed immediately:
1. Change the name to something that does not represent an illegal activity.
No one would go for the Tennessee Thiefs, Alabama Arsonists or Connecticut Crackheads. It is embarrassing and morally wrong to see on the headlines "Group arrested for Cockfighting" and "Gamecocks drop another one."
2. Make the fans feel good even when the team loses.
A man cannot teach his grandson about football while watching a Carolina game. Before the game, you explain that linemen are big guys, linebackers are medium guys, and safeties are small, fast guys. Then Carolina walks onto the field and everyone is built like a Clemson wide receiver. Come on coach, find some strong, fat, farm boys who want their education paid for and put them on the line.
Years ago I heard one TV analyst describe a lineman this way: "It doesn't matter if he can block or not; he is so big it takes a pass rusher three seconds to run around him. So tell your quarterback he's got four seconds to chunk the ball.
When Sparky Woods and Brad Scot were coach, the linemen looked like linemen and after the game they were dirty. As a fan, you didn't mind dropping a few bucks cause you knew those farm boys did their best. Today's team can wear white uniforms and are still clean after the game.
Coach, another idea would be to hire about five pastors in the state as your recruiters. They probably could find you some strong, young men who would love to have college paid for, could find somewhere to go on Sunday morning besides Five Points, and who would work the whole game.
Gamecocks problems are fundamental
Ron Morris is excellent at calling out the shortcomings of USC as a program, but when the time comes to hold the coach accountable for the failures we're witnessing on the field, he missed the mark entirely with his recent column.
The point he seemed to miss was that USC's problem has less to do with talent in Columbia than it does with USC's inability to play sound, fundamental football. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.
From Spurrier's own mouth, a football team lacking discipline and unable to play fundamental football is usually one that's poorly coached. I could write a book on why I feel Spurrier's time here is up.
I do agree with Ron that Spurrier isn't going anywhere until he's ready to go; Hyman will never pull the plug on the ol' ball coach.
Spurrier has said several times that if things aren't getting done, he will step aside and give someone else a shot. If history is any indication, Spurrier will walk away from USC sooner than later. Just ask Florida and Washington.
The Gamecocks are a team on the rise
I live in Clemson, and Clemson fans are licking their chops for a chance at watching C.J. Spiller run back kickoffs ... and punts ... and catch passes against USC. The Gamecocks need the win, but Spiller is gone, along with Jacoby Ford after this season.
Georgia, Florida and Tennessee have senior quarterbacks. USC's next two years should be good ones, so we need to stick with the team and they need to stick together.
Spurrier Sr. needs to call plays full-time
Thanks for the article "Spurrier Washed Up? That's Nuts." For the past two years I, like most of Gamecock Nation, have gotten so frustrated with the late-season collapses and inept offenses. We knew for years that Spurrier was an offensive guy, yet our offenses consistently have sputtered while the team seems to lack heart or focus.
Like many others, I also have called into question Spurrier's ability to get the job done. True, he has done things at USC that have not been done in almost a century, and we are consistently going bowling. But each year it always seems to be the same: start strong, struggle against soft teams and expect losses to the teams at the end of our schedule.
Perhaps Spurrier does deserve another chance. It's not like he wants to lose. If anything, he is clearly determined to get things right.
The team has four people on the sideline who can call offensive plays, which is why we consistently burn through timeouts early and/or get hit with delay-of-game penalties. In the booth, you have an unqualified play-caller in Steve Spurrier Jr. calling some of the offensive plays. (It is unlikely he would be able to get that job anywhere else.)
Miscommunication leads to a lack of focus from players, which leads to breakdown in plays and, ultimately, turnovers. And so, naturally, Gamecock Nation is screaming for Spurrier's head for not fixing the problem.
After reading Ron Morris' article, perhaps showing Spurrier the door is the wrong idea. Perhaps the answer rests with having him call the majority, if not all, of the offensive plays.
I think Spurrier still has it in him, that the game has not passed him by. But he needs to show it instead of letting the plays be called by committee. That alone would be a wonderful first step, and hopefully lead to bigger things.
NATHAN STALVEY | Columbia
USC fans deserve a winner
After four years, Steve Spurrier can't figure out a game plan? He wants time to teach his son how to coach? And Ron Morris says give him another chance. This isn't religion. I don't think you should give any coach more than three years to turn a program around.
I'm no longer a season-ticket holder because of "Louz" Holtz. I guess being from Ohio State, I just don't like losing football.
I think the USC fans deserve winning football; what a great bunch of people who support losing football.
Here's why USC is 'not a good team'
"We're just not a good team right now," Gamecock coach Steve Spurrier conceded last week. "I don't know how else to say it."
USC is not a good team because:
- It has had at least five touchdowns negated by penalties - potentially 35 points or more, some of them game-winners.
- The primary infraction is maddening false starts - especially in the red zone - with delays of game as runner-up. Surely, USC leads the SEC in these categories.
- These penalties appear to be the result of the team gawking at the sidelines on virtually every play, seemingly as a committee constantly decides, signals or changes plays. Then the team rushes to squeeze in the directive. Even when the offense beats the clock, it often looks confused and out of sync.
- The team has potential All-SEC receivers in freshmen Alshon Jeffery and Tori Gurley, but each plays about half a game being double-teamed because they share the same position. Coachspeak has been voiced about teaching one of them a different receiving role so both could be simultaneous threats, but there's little evidence of this happening.
- After Jeffery spent most of the early season gathering bench splinters before his breakout game against Kentucky, Spurrier admitted he "didn't know he could do things he's doing." Isn't player evaluation a critical part of a coach's job?
- An obvious need is greater backfield speed. Former track star Bryce Sherman has demonstrated this asset with several kickoff and punt returns, a few snaps and an outstanding run after a reception against Arkansas, yet his playing time has been minimal.
USC has looked undisciplined, either under- or over-coached, and at times they seem demoralized and unmotivated. The team is laden with talent; granted, it is young, but with tremendous, unfulfilled potential.
This is a problem of coaching, and the time is overdue for it to be solved by whatever means necessary.
BOB BENTLEY | Greenwood