A Little More NFL Flavor
Coach Kiffin doesn’t seem to be able to get away from the NFL.
Yes, the distaster that was Oakland is over (at least for Kiffin).
No, Lane isn’t pulling a Bobby Petrino and uprooting himself from a program he’s committed himself to before the end of the season (or start of it for that matter).
What he is doing, though, is centering this Tennessee football program around the NFL. He’s doing it with recruiting, where much of the focus is centered on whether or not the prospect will be first-round potential for the NFL draft. With his “pro style” offense, which resembles the system used in the NFL, where a balance offense is preferred. And lastly with his assistants, which have begun to take on an NFL flavor.
There have been only 3 publicly confirmed hires by Kiffin. Two of these three have come from the NFL. One, which I’m sure everyone who stumbles upon this blog knows about, is Monte Kiffin. Monte is arguably one of the greatest defensive minds to ever work in the NFL, and in the last 10 years he has proven that he can achieve success at the professional level. The other hire was James Cregg, who was the offensive line coach for Oakland before coming to Tennessee. Noticing a small trend here?
Well, it seems the trend isn’t going to end there. Coach Kiffin is going hard after NFL assistants, and according to some who have already interviewed with Kiffin, he has stated that the staff at Tennessee likely won’t grow until after the NFL season ends this weekend, meaning he’s after personnel working in the pros.
If this really is what the new head football coach at UT is working towards, I say, let him take his time. Surrounding himself with NFL-level talent will enable Kiffin, who doesn’t have too much head coaching experience of his own, to rely heavily on the wisdom of his peers. And what better peers to have than those who have worked at the professional level.
Coach Kiffin had a strategy when he came here: recruit talent that will be drafted in the first round. And to help bring that talent in, he is surrounding himself with men who can mold these players into NFL-caliber players who will perform at this level and the next. With that type of talent on the field wearing orange, the sky is the limit in my eyes.
So coach, keep doing what you’re doing. Bring the NFL to you. As long as it means you’ll be staying put in Knoxville.