Photo Credit: E. Corpuz
So Rick Neuheisel went back on Dan Patrick's show yesterday and shared some candid reflections on Cheatey Petey's escape to NFL :
"In my heart of hearts, I think he got tired of trying to defend these different kinds of offenses. I think the Oregon stuff - Oregon had their way with Pete's defense - and I think he just got tired of having the quarterback be a factor in the run game. He decided you know what, 'I have this great opportunity, it's a lucrative opportunity, and I can go back and the quarterback is going to be right behind the center, 5-to-7 yards, and he's not going to run the ball and all of a sudden, all my zone pressures work again."
You can listen to his comments here. Ted Miller on WWL serves up the reminder about what Oregon's spread offense did to Petey's defense and brings up Trojan LB Malcolm Smith's comment which essentially supports CRN's reflections (emphasis ours and HT Karl II)
The Ducks gained 613 yards against the Trojans in a 47-20 whipping. It was the most Oregon has ever scored against USC in 56 meetings and it was the most points Carroll's USC defense had ever surrendered.
At least until two weeks later, when Stanford bludgeoned the Trojans 55-21, rushing for 325 yards with a fairly standard power running attack.
Still, when I asked USC linebacker Malcolm Smith last week about the Oregon and Stanford meltdowns and he said that the Trojans' "run fits" weren't working, which would seem to support Neuheisel's point.
Of course if anyone wants to see an example of real, classless, petty trash talk they just need to follow Smith's twitter account. Anyway, it will not be a surprise if the Trogans - egged on by the idiots in the local traditional media - perceive some kind of slight in CRN's comments and go ballistic on this. Whatever.
Dan Patrick asked him if he was implying Petey was "scared" as he was hightailing out to Seattle. CRN offered more context on his comments:
"No, I don't think he was afraid of anything. That I would never say. But I think it frustrated him the way that he had to defend. The only game he lost, in the bowl game, was against a running quarterback in Vince Young. Those offenses are hard. It takes a great deal of patience to be able to hang in there with that type of stuff."
I would also offer up the observation that the best example of Petey's base defense having issues with spread type of offenses is none other than what we experienced under Dewayne Walker. Walker has been talked up a lot as Petey's defensive protégé. At UCLA Walker had decent success against pro-set offenses (as 13-9 was essentially his crowning achievement). Yet Walker never figured out an effective scheme to stop spread offenses. We have written plenty of posts going over that point.
So CRN's reflections on Cheatey Petey might be candid but it's not much of a surprise.If CRN really wanted to stick it to Carroll he could and should have brought up the point that how Cheatey didn't want to deal with the glare of NCAA that intensified in recent years. He could have brought up Cheatey's deteriorating relationship with a crazy athletic director who seemed to be just as self-centered, narcissistic, reckless (in terms of caring about following NCAA rules) as Petey himself.
Oh well. It's just too bad Cheatey is not around. Perhaps we will get another shot when Trogans fire Hello Kiffin within next three/four years and welcome him back just like they brought back John Robinson to pathetically revive their glory years in the 90s.
227 more days to go.