Ed Orgeron's Sunday conference call

November, 24, 2013
11/24/13
9:26
PM PT
Some selected quotes from USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron’s Sunday night conference call following the Trojans’ 47-29 victory over Colorado.

Orgeron on whether or not he’s concerned about the players getting caught up in any distractions surrounding the team’s rivalry matchup with UCLA this week:

“I know our guys will be fired up for the game. I know there will probably be a lot of things said about the game outside our office, so those things we can’t control. But inside our office, and in our meetings and in our game-planning, we’ll stick to the plan. It’s Game 8 of our new season. Obviously, this is a big game for us, it’s a rivalry game, it’s our last regular-season game, but there will be no difference in the planning, or the practice or the preparation.”

On the status of receiver Marqise Lee, who missed this past weekend’s contest with a shin injury:

“He will be limited during practice, but I’m sure he’s going to play.”

How he responds upon hearing that former USC players and NFL greats like Marcus Allen have voiced their support for Orgeron as the Trojans’ next head coach:

“Well, obviously we’re going to focus in on UCLA, and I’m not going to make any comments about the job situation. Our job here is to prepare our guys the best way to play well on Saturday, [and] to let the chips fall where they may. But I will say this, to the former players and all the guys that have supported our team and our efforts, that I’m very appreciative of the things that they say and do, and I respect their opinion highly.”

Orgeron on the status of cornerback Kevon Seymour, who went out with an injury against Colorado:

“He’s listed as questionable with a chest/rib contusion. I think he’s going to be fine. I think during the week he’ll get better, and he should be OK.”

On the status of tailback Silas Redd (knee), and whether or not he will return this week to face UCLA, as safety Dion Bailey indicated following the team’s victory over the Buffaloes:

[+] EnlargeSoma Vainuku
Chris Williams/Icon SMISoma Vainuku's emergence in the second half of the season has been welcome for the Trojans.
“I can’t say that for sure today.”

The factors behind the recent emergence of fullback/tailback Soma Vainuku, who had an outstanding game against Colorado on offense as well as on special teams:

“Opportunity, answering the bell, being given the chance by his coach, [and] again, I’m going to brag about [running backs coach] Tommie Robinson. Tommie has developed these running backs about as good as I’ve ever seen a running backs coach, coach. I have high respect for him as a football coach and a man. I also have high respect for Soma -- how hard he works. Coach [John] Baxter has done a tremendous job with him on special teams … giving him opportunities to play. Aaron Ausmus has done a tremendous job with Soma in the weight room. He’s become a more flexible, fluid athlete. And I give all the credit to Soma. He’s worked very hard and he’s a great team guy. With some of the backs injured our offensive staff came up with this plan to have Soma play tailback. It seemed to work, and we’re very pleased with his progress.”

On what he’s seen from UCLA:

“Obviously, their whole offense revolves around Brett Hundley. He’s a very, very good football player. He’s a big, strong quarterback who can throw the ball. He operates well within the scheme. I think he’s the biggest threat running the ball and making plays when there’s nothing there -- he’s very hard to tackle. Shaquelle Evans is an excellent wide receiver. On defense they’ve got Anthony Barr -- one of the best pass rushers in the country. Those guys are just playing good football right now.”

What he remembers from USC’s 38-28 loss to UCLA in 2012:

“Getting beat left a terrible taste in our mouth … We let down the Trojan Family. It wasn’t a very good feeling.”

Will he bring up last year’s defeat to the team this week?

“Sure, but we’re not going to dwell on it. We’re going to dwell on what we’re doing this year, and preparation. I know our guys do remember that awful feeling that we had, but give them credit, they played better than we did. There’s no excuse. We have to play our best game in all phases, and be ready to play.”

Orgeron on his connections to UCLA head coach Jim Mora:

“I’ve met him over the years. I obviously have a lot of respect for him. I knew his daddy. In fact, his daddy coached one of my best buddies in the world, Bobby Hebert. I have a lot of respect for his father as a football coach of the New Orleans Saints. So, I know he’s done very well for himself. I know he’s a very good football coach, and I have a lot of respect for who he is and what he’s done.”

On the development of USC wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Darreus Rogers, and what kind of impact the absence of Lee has had on their progression:

“I’m totally impressed with the job that Nelson Agholor has done, both as a wide receiver and as a special teams player. I think he’s been excellent for us. He’s an outstanding young man from Tampa who’s done a great job. I’m very proud of Darreus. Darreus has worked hard to learn the offense. He’s a big receiver. He’s become one of the big X receivers that we’ve had in our program for many years. And as you’ve said, with Marqise Lee out of there, they’ve had to step up and assume a larger role in our offense -- which they have done -- and they’ve done a very good job.”

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