USC special teams coordinator John Baxter isn't your traditional special team coach. Baxter recently sat down with Fox Sports to talk about his philosophy.
“First of all, football should be fun. It’s a game. That’s really the reason why I coach today because it’s most fun you can have going to work.”
“In the spring time, we had our survivor series. We divide the team into four tribes and they have a draft. They all name their tribes off of some figure in Greek mythology. Being in Troy, that should fit.”
“They compete at these drills. The lowest scoring team votes somebody out. So when they draft each other, you can see what they think of each their teammates and what their skill sets are. And when they vote them out, you can see what they think of their teammates. And at the end of the day, peer pressure is everything.”
“The bottom line is if it’s fun, it’s their idea. And if it’s their idea, it’s always the best idea.”
Team names according to Coach Baxter:
The punt team is the “Bomb Squad” because you’re dealing with explosive every single time. It’s the fastest way to lose a game.
The kick-off team is the “Strike Force.” We are the ball and they are the pins. They set ‘em up and we knock ‘em down.
The kick-off return is the “Convoy” because when we catch the ball, we’re rolling out. The kick-off returner is called the “U-Haul” because if you can haul it, you’re not back there. And C.J. and Robert Woods can haul it.
The field goal team is the “Score Team” because you can score 3, they can score 1, they can score 2, they can score 6.
The field goal block is called the “Regulators” because the ball passes between us before passing through the goal post.
The punt return is the “Sharks” because all sharks know how to do is attack.
The punt returner is called “The Bomb” because if you’re not a threat to go off, you’re not standing back there.