USC football coach Steve Spurrier met with the media Thursday afternoon to put the wraps on this past season and to officially introduce Shawn Elliott as the Gamecocks new offensive line coach.
The Head Ball Coach opened the presser lamenting the team’s poor performance in the PapaJohns.com Bowl against UConn. That game is still stuck in his craw and he is still frustrated by the way the team played. Specifically he isn’t happy with how the offense performed. It wasn’t just the bowl game though, Spurrier said the offense struggled for several games during the past season. He is hoping his latest hire can help solve some of those problems.
Steve Spurrier discusses the 2009-10 season and the future of the program
Offensive line coach Shawn Elliot talks about joining USC coaching staff
Spurrier was pretty vague when he was asked what, if any, new direction the offense will take next season. The Gamecocks finished 11th in the SEC in scoring offense, last in rushing and9th in total offense. Clearly there are some problems that need to be solved. Yes, the offensive line was and has been terrible for the better part of Spurrier’s tenure at South Carolina, but there also appear to be issues with scheme and overall direction. Specifically, there are questions about who is running the offense. Is it Spurrier? Spurrier Jr? G.A. Mangus? All three? Will Elliott be involved in the play calling? I asked Spurrier who would call the plays and he told me he would tell me later. Then he said he might not tell me at all.
That’s cool. That tells me that he isn’t going to be the sole play caller next season. If he was why wouldn’t he come out and say it? He is the offensive coordinator. I don’t think its necessarily a terrible thing if Spurrier doesn’t call all the plays but they need to be on the same page as far as the system and direction of the offense. Last season he unit often looked confused and disorganized. The stats speak for themselves.
My guess is G.A. Mangus will get a shot to put his stamp on the offense. This could be a very good thing too. Mangus is a smart, young coach that has had success as a head coach and offensive coordinator. He did a great job with Garcia last year and has what it takes to run a good offense. Bringing in Elliott is a sign the Gamecocks may do more option read and runs with the quarterback next season. Again, I think this will be a smart move. The key is sticking with this plan week in and week out and not meddling and passing off play calling duties from person to person each game.
A couple of other notes of interest, Spurrier confirmed that Clifton Geathers is not with the team and they expect him to enter the NFL draft. Even though he isn’t projected as an early round pick he thinks he can catch on and make a splash much like his brother Robert (a 4th round pick) did with the Bengals.
Spurrier didn’t have much to say on the Kiffin saga although he didn’t seemed shocked that he went back to Southern Cal since Kiffin is a west coast native.
As for his staff, Spurrier doesn’t expect to lose any other staff members but with the coaching carousel in full swing he said you never know. One thing to keep an eye on would be the East Carolina job. With Skip Holtz taking the South Florida job the Pirates could take a look at Middle Tennessee (and former Clemson and USC assistant) Rick Stockstill as a potential replacement in Greenville. G.A. Mangus was the offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee and could take a look at that job should it open. Again, this is all speculation at this point, but you never know.