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You would think that a high-profile college profile college football program like the University of
Successful Cheaters Southern California would have an offensive coordinator at this point in time. Unfortunately, when your program is led by Lane Kiffin, who is on his way to becoming the biggest jerk in the ranks of football coaching at any level (if he isn't already there),and your season begins with a trip to Hawai'i on 2 September, this is apparently the appropriate time to hire someone to be your right-hand man on offense.
Obviously, you need someone that's a pretty good coach to fill that sort of role, so it isn't entirely surprising that Kiffin set his sights on Vikings' running back coach Eric Bieniemy. After all, Bieniemy is regarded as one of the better running back coaches in the NFL. . .save that whole "we need to get Adrian Peterson to stop putting the damn ball on the ground" thing. . .and is said to have a pretty bright future in the coaching ranks. However, Kiffin followed procedure in this case, and asked the Vikings for permission to speak to Bieniemy about the position. In response to this, the Vikings thought it in their best interests to give Bieniemy a raise in pay and a promotion to assistant head coach in order to keep him around. Solid move by Minnesota to keep the man around, in my opinion.
So, Kiffin said to himself, "Hmmmmmm, let's see here. . .I asked the team for permission to speak to a coach, and they did something to keep that coach from leaving. I think next time I might skip that step." And so it came to pass that the job was offered to Tennessee Titans' running backs coach Kennedy Pola. The folks at Music City Miracles really don't seem to be too broken up about it, largely because their old running backs coach (Earnest "The Fumble" Byner) was let go by the Titans this off-season for no real reason so that they could hire Pola. So now, Pola is out of there before even coaching a game with the Titans.
However, this didn't stop Jeff Fisher (a Southern Cal alum) from being tremendously angry with Kiffin anyway.
"I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,’’ Fisher said. "Typically speaking, when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs, there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.
"So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voicemail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.’’
So, it's sort of a bad situation in Tennessee right now, but it could be much, much worse.
I mean, after all. . .it could have been us.
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