Still Grinding

June 14th, 2016
Monte Kiffin

Heat and age won’t stop Monte Kiffin

Bright sunshine and a heat index of 95 degrees today at Jacksonville Jaguars minicamp. Not exactly the place for a hatless 76-year-old man facing two hours of work on the practice field.

The often hunched over and limping old guy was Buccaneers icon Monte Kiffin, the greatest defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay history. He spent a lot of time mingling between coaches and swarms of players on both sides of the ball, taking different angles on the action and serving up his share of advice.

Kiffin also was continuously working the sweat off his brow, bending over and spitting, seemingly overwhelmed by the heat. But he kept rising time after time.

(Can someone please get Kiffin a hat and an ice cold towel?)

“The fire he brings out here every day. It’s exciting to be around,” Jags defensive tackle Roy Miller said of Kiffin after practice.

Yes, Kiffin still brings the juice, even if he needs a little recovery time. After flopping as Cowboys defensive coordinator, Kiffin isn’t interested in putting his feet up along with his worn down legs.

“Invaluable,” said Miller, the Bucs’ third-round pick in 2009. “Damn, encouragement, knowledge. He comes up and says, ‘Hey, why don’t you do this?’ One move he’ll show you. One little thing. ‘Why don’t you get off the ball like this?’ So much knowledge of the game. He’s a legend, just to be able to pick his brain and understand pieces what he knows. It’s important for all of us.”

Watching Kiffin, Joe could see he’s been cleared to consult freely under Jags head coach Gus Bradley, who jumped at the chance to hire Kiffin this offseason to spread wisdom among players and staff.

One Jags player told Joe that Kiffin’s watchful eye is intimidating and inspiring, given his pipeline to the head coach and the wealth of knowledge he will share.

Joe talked briefly to Kiffin after practice off the record, and yes, Kiffin appeared in no hurry to leave the steamy field.

10 Responses to “Still Grinding”

  1. Old Buc Fan Says:

    A cold beer wouldn’t hurt either

  2. Ph Fan Says:

    Monte – thank you for helping the Bucs make it to the promised land.. They would never won the SB without your energy.

  3. unbelievable Says:

    Love Monte… but I really hate the way he left this team. From 9-3 to 9-7 after he announced it mid-season. Total defensive collapse.

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    looks like the same monte…GO BUCS!!!

  5. mike n Says:

    Would it have killed you to stick around for the last 4 games of the season?

    Newsflash! He did stick around. Monte didn’t leave the Bucs, only the announcement came that he was going after the season. –Joe

  6. Buc1987 Says:

    Monte’s a warrior and we all know it.

  7. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Love that old guy! A forever icon in Tampa Bay, and the godfather of the legendary Tampa 2.

  8. Bring bucs back Says:

    Why did Monte leave Tampa, was it to coach with his idiot son at TN? One has to believe that the Glazers would have kept him even after firing Gruden, perhaps promoting him to head coach!?

  9. BoJim Says:

    Great to see him out there. At least give him a floppy hat.

  10. Malevolentmuse Says:

    I have a bittersweet love for Kiffin. He was the greatest coordinator, offense or defense, that the Bucs ever had. Yet, I remember his last season through gritted teeth. The defense stopped playing. They quit on him. We had a solid playoff team and it collapsed after he announced he was leaving. And for what, to give legitimacy to his idiot son in Tennessee? I was angry with Kiffin that season. Not to give the players a pass (quitting on a coach is unprofessional), but their heart was gone. You could see it and yes I blame Kiffin. There was no reason for him to announce that early. That was a lost opportunity. I will continue to believe the Bucs could have made a serious run that year if he had waited until he end of the season to announce.