Does Sam Darnold’s apology to USC coaches reveal stress within program? – Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES — USC quarterback Sam Darnold made news Tuesday when he said he apologized to the Trojans’ coaches for some postgame remarks that sounded like a pretty reasonable critique of the offense.

“Honestly, I looked at the film,” Darnold said. “I was just honestly wrong. I let my emotions get the best of me (after the game). The only reason I talked to (the coaches) was to apologize.”

Things got bizarre a few minutes later when USC coach Clay Helton said Darnold never apologized to him.

“He’s a wonderful person,” Helton said. “He’s a young man that I know was taken a little bit out of context (with his comments).”

USC quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton added he never even talked to Darnold about his comments.

“That’s the truth,” Tyson said.

Clay Helton said perhaps Darnold apologized to offensive coordinator Tee Martin. That might cause some fans, many of whom are unhappy with Martin’s play-calling this season, to fall to the ground with laughter.

But there was no chance to ask Martin because he quickly departed the field after doing a quick interview with an athletic department employee. Martin usually sticks around but perhaps his irritation at being branded the source of USC’s offensive woes caused him to retire to the locker room faster than normal.

So what was the initial source of all this consternation? Here is what Darnold said after the 38-10 victory over Oregon State.

“I can sense defenses are focusing on some tendencies of ours,” he said. “So we just gotta run different plays, have different formations and motion some guys, get away from our tendencies a little bit, and I think we’ll be fine if we do that.”

This is hardly earth-shattering and accurately describes an offense that is performing below expectations.

“They just saw the article (with my comments),” Darnold said. “They wanted to know the context.”

When Darnold says “they” it sounds like more than one coach was unhappy with the remarks….

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