Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
Someone on a UCLA message board asked this question recently: Would Lane Kiffin have gotten the USC job if he wasn't bringing Ed Orgeron and his father Monte Kiffin with him. The post continued by sort of lamenting the package deal and then sort of disintegrated into nonsense (which is what seems to happen a lot on message boards).
But the original question intrigued me and here is how I would have answered it.Well, for one thing, the Raiders hired Kiffin without his father or Ed Orgeron.
Partisanship aside, the appeal of Lane Kiffin is not clear to me. I can't even figure out why Pete Carroll hired him -- except that Carrol is indebted to Monte Kiffin. Then the Raiders hired him as head coach. WTF?
Think about all the really qualified coaches out there -- the innovators and the respected former players and everyone else -- who have never gotten a head coaching job but in the space of about three years or so Lane Kiffin gets an NFL head coaching job, a desirable SEC head coaching job and a very desirable Pac 10 head coaching gig.
Does this make sense?
As for it being a package deal, it probably was but so what? Lots of head coaching types bring certain assistants with them -- I don't think package deals in coaching circles are all that uncommon and certainly they aren't untoward. They aren't comparable to recruiting package deals like when someone hires a high school coach to get the star player.
The whole thing makes so little sense to me all the way around. I get that Monte Kiffin is a respected d coordinator and he gets a lot of credit for the Tampa Cover 2 defense that so many teams play (including ours, I think, because Walker is on Pete Carroll's coaching tree who was on Kiffin's coaching tree and Bullough is on Walker's coaching tree). But, I dunno, you still have to be able to teach it to kids, which is different than teaching it to pros. Is it a given that Monte Kiffin will be a great college coach?
Lane Kiffin reminds me a little bit of Steve Lavin, though he's probably a better coach than that all things considered. Lavin's entre into coaching was familial: His father was a legendary high school coach and Steve Lavin cut his teeth at his father's camps. His initial forays into coaching were due to his name, not his acumen. One time, before he was even UCLA's head coach, someone I knew from the Bay Area referred to him as "the chosen one." Basically, people knew he'd go into coaching because he'd been groomed for it. That he turned out to be Fredo and and not Michael or even Sonny was just fate.
Taking the metaphor further, Lane is probably more like Sonny -- with his father as consiglieri and Ed Orgeron as Luca Brasi. But like Lavin, he got into coaching by hanging on to the shirt tails of his more accomplished father.
Speaking of Orgeron ... he went from being a line coach to being a head coach back to being a line coach. Why doesn't anyone want him as a DC himself? Why does he want to be a position coach and not a play caller if not a full on head coach? As far as I can tell, he has one talent: He's a recruiter. If you ever heard him interviewed, he's as inarticulate as they come. Somehow, though, when he starts the sales pitch he turns into the best used car salesman you ever met. If coffee is for closers, Orgeron lives at Starbucks.
My conclusion is that SC's strategy seems to be: Let's just recruit like crazy and just overwhelm teams with our talent. They aren't going to try and out coach anyone. They are going to stay basic. Remember, we played against this group. Was there anything about what Tennessee did that struck you as innovative or complex?
No, they are going to stick to fundamentals and try to overwhelm teams with sheer talent. I'm just not sure if that's a winning strategy or not.