We’re another week into the Kiffin regime on the Hill, and things are continuing to materialize with recruiting decisions, fan reactions, a budding rivalry between the Vols and Raiders (heh, yeah) and a grandfather generally accepted as a defensive genius donning PMS 151 in 2009.
First, on the recruiting front, the Vols “planted the first stake” in the fence around Tennessee getting a commitment from DB Eric Gordon out of Nashville.
“His visit to my house was big,” said Gordon, who was the offensive MVP of the BlueCross Bowl. “We talked about school, plays and what I would learn at UT. He said I’m definitely a cornerback there, but he would love to get the ball in my hands at slot receiver or running reverses. And I could definitely return kicks.”
#2 overall Running Back Jarvis Giles chose a school, South Carolina. Says Giles, “Tennessee just didn’t feel like the place for me any longer.” I’m betting #1 overall RB and Vol commit David Oku didn’t mind much.
As I mentioned before, a chief instrument in the development of the Tampa 2 defense (which is widely used across the NFL these days), and good ole dad to Coach, Monte Kiffin informed Jon Gruden that he’ll be leaving the Bucs to join the Vols staff at the end of the season. Gruden isn’t thrilled to be losing his D-Coordinator, but is handling the loss of a coach immensely better than interim head coach of the Raders, Tom Cable.
Kiffin hired away O-Line coach James Cregg, who notified Cable and Al Davis that he’s heading to Knoxville this week, and not after the season. Like most things in the Raider organization, this news created another (standard) EVERYBODY PANIC!!
“I’m pissed,” Cable said. “That’s the best way to put it. Quite frankly, that’s the only way I can put it.
“You got to understand offensive linemen. This is our world. If I can speak freely here, it’s about pride, it’s about commitment, it’s about trusting everybody next to you. So, to walk your (expletive) out of here is about as bad a deal as you could possibly do to that group of guys.”
No comment yet from Al Davis, but then again, he may not be awake yet. Or have taken his pills.
Will this end with the once-proud Raiders refusing to take NFL-eligible Volunteers in future drafts? We can only hope.
More on Kiffin Commentary next week.