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Chow Fun in Tennessee
Reports today are that Norm Chow is as good as gone from USC, accepting a $1 million offer to be the Offensive Coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. LAist will miss Norm Chow, and his offensive wizardry, but this is not quite the end of the world. While Chow is probably the best offensive coordinator in all of college football, Pete Carroll has been planning for his departure for a while. Great teams lose their assistant coaches all the time, and USC is more than ready to carry on. We're stunned that Chow was able to stick around for 4 years after he turned down the Kentucky Head Coaching job, an assistant position with the Arizona Cardinals, and he was amazingly passed over for the Stanford Head Coaching job.
Some reports claim that Chow jumped at the offer because his relationship with Pete Carroll was strained. But LAist thinks this is making mountains out of molehills. Chow is leaving for an NFL job, with a good NFL team that has a good head coach, and a great quarterback in Steve McNair. He's doubling his salary. And this only pads his resume for the college head coaching job he so desperately seeks.
It's understandable that a bright mind like Chow, who's ready to be a head coach, would potentially have a disagreement with another great head coach like Pete Carroll. But there is no evidence that this harmed the team, or was even a major issue. When you have a national championship team, coaches are going to leave for better opportunities all the time. Why should Chow stay when the Titans probably offer him a better opportunity? He's proven everything he can as a college offensive coordinator.
In the meantime, LAist feels for Matt Leinart, who thought Chow would be staying with him. But as my colleague Mark Teitelman noted, Leinart's decision to stay will probably benefit him and his elbow in the long run. Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisan are both extremely qualified to handle the offensive coordinator job together on a USC team that really won its national championship by playing great defense.
We're really curious to see how Chow's offense works in the NFL. We all saw Spurrierball fail with the Redskins, but we're confident Chow will adapt to his new team just fine, and work the same wonders with McNair that he did with Leinart, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Ty Detmer, Steve Young, Jim McMahon, and many others.