Reading between the lines, Monte Kiffin's long gone
Bucs general manager Bruce Allen just completed a news conference on the heels of the announcement the Bucs will play overseas next season.
Questions about Monte Kiffin and his potential departure to the University of Tennessee inevitably came up. Allen didn't exactly offer any specifics, but he did state unequivocally that he knows what the outcome of the Kiffin story will be. He just isn't telling.
We do, however, know this also isn't the first time the prospect of Monte joining his son, Lane, has been discussed with Allen.
"This really has been addressed some time ago with Monte," Allen said. "We feel very comfortable that we know what's taking place. We're going to let Monte make any comments he wants to and respect his views."
Allen added, "Monte and I have talked about this, obviously, when Lane went to coach the Raiders and, prior to that, when Lane was almost going to get the University of Minnesota job. . . Monte and I have addressed the different issues over the years, whether he would coach his son and things of that nature."
The fact that this possibility has apparently been on the table before makes it an even more realistic proposition this time around. This is a high-profile university, and the way we hear it, Monte stands to make substantial money, far more than anyone would imagine a college coordinator pulling down. So, there are fewer obstacles here than in the past -- such as working for Raiders owner Al Davis when Lane was Oakland's coach.
Lane just completed a news conference at UT and refused to divulge any of the names that will be joining his coaching staff, but at this point, Monte seems all but gone.
As far as who might replace him, the prevailing theory is that Bucs defensive backs Raheem Morris would be the ideal successor. He has been a pupil of Monte and of former Tampa Bay and current Steelers coach assistant Mike Tomlin, still a close friend of Morris. He would certainly be a popular choice with players, with whom Morris has many close relationships.