Analyzing the new Lane Kiffin decision 

August, 16, 2010

In the aftermath of hefty NCAA scholarship sanctions, USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin made an interesting decision a few days ago. After seeing starting defensive end Nick Perry go down with a high-ankle sprain Wednesday, Kiffin said the Trojans will not engage in live tackling the remainder of fall camp with the exception of two weekend scrimmages, the first of which took place on Saturday.

"We do one drill live and this happens," Kiffin said. "We can't afford to do it. We won't do any live tackling in live drills [aside from] the second and third preseason game. We won't do it in practice ever again until about four years from now."

This certainly wasn't an easy concession for the USC staff. Former Trojan coach Pete Carroll loved to talk about competition and one of his themed days was "Competition Tuesdays," where he put his first-team offense against his first-team defense. Trojan assistant head coach Ed Orgeron, also the defensive line coach, ramped up the intensity even higher in his time as Ole Miss' head coach.

"You worry about it," Orgeron admitted of the scaled-back approach, adding that players can get tangled up when they go down, but "guys can get hurt running through bags too."

Teams being physical and employing proper technique is vital to game preparation. After all, how many times have you heard some team say their motto is "Finish!" Well, now, USC is scaling back to, at best, "Thud Tempo." Will this translate to more missed tackles come game time?