Kiffin Moves Quickly, Perhaps Too Quickly

January 1st, 2009
Monte Kiffin hired his new D-Line coach at the University of Tennessee, only three days after the Bucs walked off the field in disgrace. Joe is sickened by evidence that reveals Monte likely was recruiting this guy while working for the Bucs.

Monte Kiffin hired his new D-Line coach at the University of Tennessee only three days after the Bucs walked off the field in disgrace. Joe is sickened by the likelihood of Monte recruiting the guy while the Bucs' defense was imploding in December.

How did Monte Kiffin hire a hotly recruited defensive coach less than three days after the Bucs season-ending collapse without actively recruiting the guy during the Bucs season?

Circumstantial evidence is mounting that could reveal the ex-Bucs defensive coordinator was distracted during his final weeks with the Bucs, after announcing in early December he was leaving the team to coach at the University of Tennessee.

Local sports radio talking heads and print scribes have buzzed over the past week with speculation that the Bucs defense may have quit on Kiffin. For the record, Joe thinks that’s ridiculous. And Joe is far more troubled that the Bucs’ defense likely played its absolute best against the Raiders to send Kiffin off with a performance worthy of his stellar tenure in Tampa.

But Kiffin’s swift actions this week, along with his son Lane’s, the UT head coach, could lead one to believe that Monte Kiffin devoted time to Tennessee business while working for the Bucs.

On Wednesday, Lane Kiffin hired two NFL assistant coaches to join the UT staff: Ed Orgeron, the Saints’ defensive line coach, and Jim Chaney, the Rams’ tight end coach. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that father and son Kiffin interviewed Orgeron on Wednesday and he committed that day. Many thought Orgeron was headed to Louisiana State University.

“I’m so excited,” Orgeron, 47, told ESPN. “I get to coach with Monte (Kiffin) and I’m getting to recruit again. It’s pedal to the metal, and I can’t wait to get up there.”

What is disturbing to Joe in this article is the description of how close Orgeron was to leaving for LSU, and how quickly he committed to Tennessee.

It’s difficult to believe Monte Kiffin wasn’t actively involved in recruiting Orgeron, his new D-line coach and UT’s recruiting coordinator. It’s also hard to imagine didn’t devote time to planning a staff with Lane Kiffin before the Bucs final game in Tampa, given how quickly Orgeron was hired. He was hired Wednesday morning, less than three days after the final whistle blew in Tampa.

“Lane and Monte took a jet to Destin,” Bobby Hebert, a former Saints quarterback and lifelong friend of Orgeron, told Gannett Louisiana. “They were all freaking out at Tennessee after they thought he was going to LSU, and they just stepped it up. I’m not sure what Ed will be making at Tennessee, but it will be more than he would’ve made at LSU.”

Orgeron, who coached with Lane Kiffin at Southern California from 2001-04, is expected to make $650,000 annually, making him one of the highest paid assistants in the country, according to ESPN. Orgeron was making approximately $500,000 with the Saints and LSU was offering around $600,000.

“Ed also favored working with Monte Kiffin over John Chavis,” Hebert told Gannett Louisiana.

Count Joe among the many fans sickened that the Bucs’ players’ performance in December slightly tarnished Monte Kiffin’s reputation. Joe is even more sickened by the thought that Kiffin may have been distracted by his new job and not given the Bucs 100 percent of his attention.

6 Responses to “Kiffin Moves Quickly, Perhaps Too Quickly”

  1. Dave Says:

    I’m sickened by the absolute garbage you continue to write. Leave the guy alone, for God’s sake. This defense was overrated all year, from the day the great Jamal Charles ran all over them. Instead of making blind accusations, give us some reasons what Kiffin could have done better.
    You’re no better than the print writers you blast at every opportunity, even the one with the same story header year after year.

  2. Fastah5 Says:

    I very much enjoy all of this supposed garbage. Keep it coming. Who cares about Jamal Charles. The Bucs beat the Chiefs and the Chiefs couldn’t run out the clock when they had the chance. The Bucs are 9-7 and don’t have much to apologize for, just a few things to improve.

  3. admin Says:

    Dave – Thanks, as always for your loyalty to We enjoy your feedback.

  4. Dave Says:

    Hey guys, I’m die-hard Bucs fan, who reads and listens to any and all Buc material, no matter if I agree or not. I honestly believe this defense was overrated all year and just wore down towards the end. To blame Kiffin for the collapse is taking the easy way out, there’s more to it than that. The other point I disagreed vehemently with you guys, is what Garica brings to this team. IMO, had we started McCown from game 1, we’d have been no worse off than we ended, and go into the off-season feeling very good about our QB situation in ’09. It’s a New Year and I will lighten up with my criticism but I have to speak what I feel. Look forward to reading more throughout the off-season.

  5. crackerick Says:

    Crap, we started Griese for all those games and we still won. I would have gone for McCown all year but Gruden is NEVER going to play a young QB unless he’s a first round pick selected by chuccy himself. Garcia’s not that bad. All the radio guy think he should never miss seeing a receiver downfield. WHat quarterback doesn’t? The Bucs were NOT overated. They were putrid after the Carolina game and everybody knew it.

  6. John Says:

    Joe’s Kiffin theory would hold more weight if (a) the Bucs defense didn’t appear to be physically dominated in the final games — Monte couldn’t cure Derrick Brooks’ bum hamstring — and (b) if Monte were the only defensive coach.

    And you don’t think Lane could recruit defensive coaches himself by selling the opportunity to work with Monte? Plus the D-line coach in question seems as excited to be a recruiter as he is to be a coach.

    I am sure that Monte spent some time doing some work for UT but I don’t think the coaching was the defense’s problem. If anything, the coaching disguised the defense’s physical shortcomings for longer than I expected.