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April 28, 2004If offensive line coach Tim Davis gets tired of coaching, he may want to look into a career doing motivational speaking. Coach Davis had the audience's undivided attention Tuesday night as he addressed over 320 Trojans at the Brookside Country Club in Pasadena. Thanks to Sean Kennally and the Trojan Club of San Gabriel Valley for putting this on.
It was a scorcher outside as the droves of Trojans entered the banquet hall for dinner and a show. For those of you who have not been to Brookside, it is literally in the shadow of the Rose Bowl, a place declared by Coach Davis as the second home of the USC Trojans.
The first speaker was Russ Romano, director of sports medicine and head athletic trainer. He gave a nice background on how the Trojan medical staff treats the players and took a lot of questions from the audience on several medical subjects.
One question had to deal with was high ankle sprains and why there were so many of them. He explained the injury, not like a twist you get in basketball, but usually when the ankle gets pinned from someone rolling up on it from behind. Specifically they asked about John Drake. His ankle is healed and ok, but he is 360 pounds and they had to treat his other ankle. But he felt that Drake would be ready by the fall.
Russ also talked about concussions. They are doing baseline testing now so that if a player gets a concussion, they can tell how much different some of their functions are post concussion. Also concussions are usually restricted to a few players. Those same few players are the ones who get most of the concussions. They do try to study concussions and of course treat them as they occur.
After Russ finished Sean introduced Tim Davis. Sean said the competition between Coach Orgeron and Davis was so fierce that Orgeron called Sean to ask how many people signed up for the event. Last year Orgeron had 303 people attend and this year it was even bigger which didn't sit very well with Coach O.
Coach Davis is such a great speaker and was screaming and yelling and really getting the crowd into it. Davis delivered plenty of great one liners and just a very entertaining evening.
He introduced his lovely wife Janice and then Alex Holmes, Matt Spanos, Ryan Kalil and Drew Radovich. Davis was very excited about these young guys and really let people know that there was nothing to worry about. Much like Coach Orgeron hates quarterbacks, Davis says it is all about the offense, screw the defense.
They have created a real team bond on the offensive line and they all get up every day at 6 AM and work out together.
Next they showed some video highlights of the Rose Bowl with "Welcome to the Jungle" playing in the background. A great job by Joe Schrimpl on the video work! They also showed video of some of the running plays from spring practice, some were good and others were not so good and Davis was commenting all the way through.
Just to show how much he likes to run the football, Davis makes the players recite the same mantra every day, and he had the crowd do it as well. He would start with "How many yards does God want?"
It was hilarious as he asked the crowd over and over getting them to scream louder and louder. No one was louder than Matt Spanos who was screaming "Four!" at the top of his lungs. He also let everyone know that the play God wants to run is "Power!"
One of the most animated Coach Davis got was in his White House story. Telling how the players were going crazy with cameras, going up to George W. and asking for photos and just having a blast. He also took a crack at the LSU guys who apparently were not looking like they were enjoying themselves all that much. Davis emphasized that the kids were having fun and that is what college football is all about.
Talking about his time in Big 10 country, he said people would always talk about the West Coast not having good football. He took a few shots at Michigan and said no one could run over 5 flat and even the USC trainers run under that.
His secret he said is that practice is harder than the games. He felt great about the spring except for the last practice. He went over each guy and even mentioned Jeff Byers coming in and commented that for Byers to start, he would have to beat out his man Ryan Kalil. Another new guy he mentioned was "Deuce" Lutui who Davis said they call him "Deuce" because he is as big as two people.
He emphasized that everything is going to be fine, and that there is no way to compare this year to last year, it is apples and oranges.
Coach then gave the floor to Alex, Matt, Ryan and Drew for them to field questions from the audience.
Alex Holmes fielded the question regarding how the players liked Coach Davis. Alex took it and said that Coach Davis was the biggest reason for the turn around, getting that offensive line back into a force.
Matt Spanos then added that Coach Davis is crazy but you have to love him. If you ever need motivation you get it when you walk on the practice field and hear Davis yell, "Let's Go! Let's Go Trojans! It's a great day to be a Trojan!"
Matt and all the guys were very impressive on stage. They handled the public speaking part extremely well and came off as intelligent and personable people.
The talk got a little more technical and Ryan Kalil broke things down for the audience, talking about reads, who to block, and the different calls he has to make. Coach Davis even tested them during the films and Drew Radovich purposely answered something incorrect just to see the look on Davis' face.
The simplest question from the audience was run or pass? Instantly all the guys responded with "run."
Ryan also informed people about their conditioning. The program that they are on including their 6 AM weight room visits and the protein supplements. They also stressed they keep everything clean and feel no need for any banned substances, they can achieve the desired results by working hard and getting bigger and stronger naturally.
Things got a little more somber when Alex Holmes talked about last year being the toughest time of his life. He talked about the support he got from his parents, the staff and his teammates. His core is very strong now and he is looking forward to this year.
When asked about which running back they prefer to block for Drew Radovich said LenDale White because he is a straight ahead runner and easier to block for. They also have nicknames for each of the backs. Reggie Bush is Seabiscuit, LenDale White is War Admiral and Hershel Dennis is Secretariat.
The toughest player to block they felt was Mike Patterson. Ryan especially has to handle Mike and he asked Norm Katnik about it. Norm said that he had a hard time blocking him as well, but stressed that when you get to the game, the guy across from you will not be as good as Mike Patterson.
Overall it was an awesome night. Thanks to Sean Kennally, Russ, Tim and the players for making this a fun evening for Trojan fans.
Don't forget, Coach Pete Carroll will also be speaking at Brookside Country Club in Pasadena on Wednesday June 16th. If you want information, please contact Sean Kennally at email@example.com. Fight On!
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