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Insider Article on Kiffin and Carroll - Good Read


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For those of you that don t have access to this ill posted it out here for you. Enjoy!

Espn Insider

By Len Pasquarelli

One of the more interesting aspects of the Atlanta Falcons' pursuit of Pete Carroll this week to fill their head-coaching vacancy was that the Southern California sideline boss already had begun plans for assembling a staff, and he had identified some of the candidates to Atlanta officials.

Heading the list of potential staffers: Legendary Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, one of Carroll's closest friends.

Kiffin's contract with the Bucs has expired and, while ESPN.com has confirmed that Tampa Bay officials this week presented him with an extension offer and that consummating a deal is a priority for the club, the two sides remain far apart. The 67-year-old Kiffin is one of the league's highest paid assistant coaches, and justifiably so, at roughly $1.7 million per year. There are a few aides in the league, like Washington Redskins coordinators Gregg Williams (defense) and Al Saunders (offense), with salaries of about $2 million. Once again this season, Kiffin did an outstanding job in shepherding a revamped Tampa Bay defense, one that featured five new starters. The Bucs statistically ranked second in the NFL in total defense and surrendered the third fewest points. It was an aging defense that in 2006 slipped to No. 17 in the league, the lowest ranking in Kiffin's 12-year tenure with the franchise. But the defense demonstrated that it could infuse fresh blood, tweak some of its trademark Cover 2 schemes, and dramatically improve itself, as the Bucs rebounded to claim a second NFC South title in three years.

Under the stewardship of Kiffin, a 25-year NFL veteran, the Bucs' defense has ranked among the league's top 10 units statistically 10 times. Twice the Bucs led the NFL in total defense and the unit was ranked among the top five in six other seasons. If there was a wing in the Hall of Fame for assistant coaches, Kiffin would occupy a spot in it.

Five weeks ago, the "Tip Sheet" first reported that Oakland Raiders first-year head coach Lane Kiffin might seek to bring his father to the Raiders as defensive coordinator in 2008. But as noted at the time, the Raiders already had a respected coordinator in Rob Ryan, and owner Al Davis might not be anxious to part with him, which thus far has been the case. Plus, Davis has never paid his assistant coaches the kind of money that Monte Kiffin is, and would expect to continue, making. It's believed that, as a head coach, Lane Kiffin's salary is less than that of his father.

But the potential for the elder Kiffin to join Carroll on a staff, whether with the Falcons or any other NFL team that might pursue the USC coach, was certainly legitimate.

And even if Carroll rebuffs the overtures from Atlanta owner Arthur Blank, as expected, there is still the possibility that the Falcons' brass could recommend to whomever it hires as its new head coach that the man strongly considers approaching Monte Kiffin about heading up his defensive staff. Blank might be at a point where he is willing to pay a $2 million salary for a valued assistant like Kiffin, a proven commodity who would represent a huge step in helping reverse the Falcons' fortunes. And during part of his Tampa Bay tenure, Kiffin worked for Atlanta team president Rich McKay, who has lost his general manager title but still remains a key component in Falcons' management.

Absent a contract extension, of course, Kiffin is fair game for any team to approach.

Coming off a resurgent 2007 season, the Bucs have a number of assistant coaches with expiring contracts, and it is likely that head coach Jon Gruden, who only has one year left on his deal and will probably receive a much deserved extension, will have staff alterations. General manager Bruce Allen this week signed longtime offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Muir to an extension. But running backs coach Art Valero has departed to the St. Louis Rams, where he will be the new offensive line coach for Scott Linehan, and there could be other defections looming. But losing Kiffin, who is revered by Gruden and who was termed "a fixture" by Allen, would be a huge blow. Bucs officials feel that young secondary coach Raheem Morris is a coordinator-in-the-making, and he probably would be elevated if Kiffin exited. Although retaining Kiffin has to be a priority for the Bucs, keeping him around could well depend on Carroll's decision with Atlanta.

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I am not insinuating he will come to Atlanta but this article puts Carroll's intentions into perspective. He is coming back to the NFL and he already has a core nucleus of coaches.

Carroll is not Petqueerno he was a defensive coordinator for 12 years and a head coach for 4 years in the NFL.

Carroll is narcissistic he has something to prove to the world and taking Atlanta from zero to hero would fill his godlike perceptions of himself. This is the only reason why i think he is entertaining this position.



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To be honest I wouldn't be upset with Carroll as HC.

BUT if he could get Kiffin that would be a major selling point.

Carroll has stated many times he wasn't coming back to the NFL unless he was calling the shots.

Maybe Blank will get this done. If Carroll and Kiffin were to come here Ellis would be the Pick.

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I certainly hope it doesn't happen,. But if it does. You guys are gonna LOVE Monte Kiffin. He's a real character! Funny as **** and a terrific defensive coordinator, arguably the best in the NFL. I'd hate to lose him but if we did and he went to Atlanta, it would immediately give the organization a bushel basket full of credibility!

I learned from McKay leaving that you can never get too attached to coaches or front office people. McKay's pretty much taken a continual dump since he's been in Atlanta. I seriously doubt that would happen with Monte.


My daughter MeganBuc with Monte at his regular hangout on Reddington Beach.

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