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Clay Helton quotebook from Pac-12 media day

Here are some quotes from USC head coach Clay Helton during his first stint at Pac-12 media day.

“The expectations are high at USC but if you don’t want that then don’t take the job. The expectations are of championships and to be able to do that I really felt we had to get back to a very fundamental, technique based, assignment brand of football. So we took away the music, we took away the hype, and made it all about ball. Hopefully that transfers over to the season”

“When you face adversity you get to see who you are, and your players see who you are too. I’ve learned that this job is about relationships, it’s about your players trusting you and you trusting them. I may be a new head coach but I already have that trust. I know these kids, I’ve recruited them, I’ve watched them grow, and I already have relationships with them”

“I’m so thankful for Max Browne and the way he’s approached it. He understands that when you’re at this level of football it’s real life competition, just like in the business world, where you are competing for your job every day. The poise he’s shown has been staggering to me. And then you have the young kid in Sam Darnold. What’s it going to take for him to win the job? To be productive. The both have the intangibles of it so it will come down to decision making, timing, accuracy, the ability to move the team and put the ball in the end zone. Those are the things that will win the job.”

“We’ve got kind of a chip on our shoulder this year and it’s kind of kick started us. I see it with the way our kids are working this summer, how they run their own practices, the amount of work they put into it. It just feels different, you can feel how important this season is to them”

“I’ve learned that you can’t do it all as a head coach. You can’t be a game planner, a play caller and a head coach all at the same time. A great leader surrounds himself with great people and that’s why it was so important to bring back coaches like Clancy Pendergast and John Baxter, to retain someone like Tee Martin. I real thought this year with a little bit of thinness on our defensive line that it was imperative to get Clancy back because of what he does with his secondary, with pressures, loading the box, playing a lot of man coverages, a lot of one-man high coverages, I think he will really help our defensive line.”

“I know both Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin and have so much respect for both of them. Coach Saban worked with my father at the Houston Oilers and has been a family friend for a long time. To see what he’s done, he might be the best coach of our generation and one of the best of all-time. And I’ll always respect coach Kiffin. He’s one of the most offensively brilliant minded people you will ever meet, and he brought me to USC. He gave me the opportunity to come to what I feel is the greatest place in the world. So to compete against two men who you have so much respect for in our profession, it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck”

“Connor Murphy could be an early impact freshman for us on the defensive line”

Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.

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