Pete, when you have his full attention

By: NYTrojan



was the perfect storm coach for the time/era he came into CFB.

CFB was, by and large, ruled by 'pro style offenses'.  The rise of the spread + veer option happened on the back half of his watch.  Pete's cover 2 strategies were very well suited to the era.  By the back half of his time at USC this was starting to get a bit threadbare, but he had the athletic advantage to cover for a lot of the schematic inefficiencies which mostly revealed themselves in the middle of the field.  Easy to get a lot of yards against Pete's defenses by attacking the middle of the field, but very hard to score TDs.  

The young people had begun the strong migration away from the classic Bear Bryant authoritarian style of coaching.  Players no longer respnd to coaches they're afraid of.  You need to inspire.  You can only drive young people today if you have their respect and you aren't getting respect through yelling.  You can yell (like Saban does) but you have to back that up with a more personal touch approach (like Saban also does).  Pete made football fun and tapped into the competitive nature of the players he had.  It wasn't "Execute or you will lose your job as a punishment"  it was "Practice hard or the guy behind you will steal your job.  subtle but important difference.

You're seeing more and more of this "buddy buddy" coaching with the younger folks like McVey in the NFL and PJ Fleck in college.  

He hired the very best coordinators he could find.  For the era, Norm Chow was the best.  Ed Orgeron was the best.  DeWayne Walker was a monster.  The combination of these really opened up the offense, developed a fun and loose atmosphere, developed talent and allowed recruiting to simply explode.  

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