A random thought on Kiffin
While defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was negotiating his deal with the Bucs the past two weeks, many of you out there speculated on whether the team might at some point turn to defensive backs coach Raheem Morris to succeed Kiffin.
Well, after speaking with Kiffin today today at the Senior Bowl, a couple things came to mind. For one, Kiffin has no plans to quit coaching anytime soon. That will be detailed in Tuesday's paper. Secondly, he confirmed today that he signed a two-year contract, meaning Morris will be a free agent before the expiration of Kiffin's deal.
With Morris having also signed a two-year contract last year, his deal is set to run out after the coming season. It's plausible, perhaps even expected, that the up-and-coming assistant and former Bucs assistant Mike Tomlin's protege will be approached for a coordinator post after 2008. So, basically, the timing might prevent the Bucs from keeping Morris regardless of Kiffin's future plans.
It's a bittersweet trend for the Bucs, this pattern of having defensive assistants plucked by other teams. Just today, as new Detroit secondary coach and former Bucs assistant Jimmy Lake dropped by the hotel lobby to say hello to his old boss, Kiffin was lamenting how he hates to lose bright young assistants.
Will Morris be next? It's quite possible. In the end, it's a tribute to Kiffin's exhaustive efforts to find diamonds in the rough who can be groomed into future coaching heavyweights.