USC Football Clarifies Co-Defensive Coordinator Roles: ‘He’ll Be The Ultimate Decision-maker’

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Football has made a concerted effort to right the ship on defense this offseason. Step one was hiring D’Anton Lynn, who turned the UCLA Bruins into a defensive powerhouse in just one season. Not long after, they added the long-time Los Angeles Rams defensive line coach, Eric Henderson to their coaching roster with the title of Co-defensive coordinator.

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The world of football never has taken kindly to shared titles and muddled responsibility. In the introductory press conference for the defensive staff, head coach Lincoln Riley made clear who the buck stops with on the defense,

“The defense is D’Anton’s vision. D’Anton [Lynn] is the defensive coordinator. There are no split duties there. He’s the defensive coordinator. He’s going to set the direction. He’ll be the ultimate decision-maker in that room now.”

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With that out of the way, that means there are two prominent figures on the USC football coaching staff, one of the most respected defensive position coaches in the NFL and a former D-I FCS head coach.

How do Eric Henderson and Matt Entz fit in, according to Riley?

“Bringing in somebody of Eric’s [Henderson] caliber. We would be crazy to not lean on him and his experience. His track record obviously speaks for itself. We certainly felt like we felt like he was very deserving of that title [co-defensive coordinator]. That’s what’s fun. I know D’Anton is really excited.”

“You got a lot of really good minds that have seen a lot. Guys, that have been responsible for lives. That’s a great feeling for a coordinator. When you feel like you have guys in the room that are gonna be able to give you impactful feedback and are not just “Yes” guys. That’s important. They walk out of the room on the same page.”

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