Friday, January 15, 2010

A time for defense, recruiting
The key to Lane Kiffin success as Pete Carroll's replacement at USC could lie in the hiring of his father, Monte Kiffin, and defensive coach Ed Orgeron. This is especially true with Monte Kiffin, who was the defensive coordinator at Tennessee, the same position he'll have with the Trojans.
Orgeron, besides being a tough-minded defensive line coach, is known for his high-level ability to recruit. Coach O, as Pete Carroll called him, was responsible for bringing many four and five-star high school players to USC, especially during Carroll's first two years at the Trojans' helm when he was trying to reestablish the team as a national power.
It wasn't a surprise that Norm Chow decided to stay at UCLA as the Bruins' offensive coordinator after several news reports had him leaving to join Lane Kiffin's staff. The truth is, Chow would not have been a good fit with Kiffin because the young coach is going to want to call his own plays. He was the offensive coordinator at USC after Chow left for the Tennessee Titans, and it was reported in the L.A. Daily News today that Chow and Kiffin had a strained relationship when both were on Carroll's staff, and that Chow really wasn't wanted back at Heritage Hall.
As for Monte Kiffin, it will be interesting to see how he retools the USC defense which played dismally at times during the second half of last season. Kiffin, with his experience as a Super Bowl winning assistant coach, should add some stability to a front seven that started out the season on fire but later was continually run over, especially by Stanford and Oregon.
The happiest person at Lane Kiffin's first meeting with the press was a beaming Matt Barkley, whose future looks much brighter now that Jeremy Bates is gone. Bates, the old offensive coordinator who went with Carroll to the Seattle Seahawks, kept Barkley tied up with short-yardage pass plays and not much imagination in the play-calling department.
If USC can recruit some wide receivers of the caliber of Mike Williams, Keary Colbert and Steve Smith, Barkley will be an All-American under Lane Kiffin's direction.

No comments:

Post a Comment