Lane Kiffin responds to Peyton Manning comments

In an entirely overblown story earlier in the week, Peyton Manning gave his opinion on Lane Kiffin.  On Thursday, Lane responded in an intelligent, classy, and professional manner.

Manning said, “It'd probably be a short conversation. I certainly got to know him when he was the head coach at Tennessee. I don't have anything personal against him. But I think the one thing where Tennessee, as a whole group was kind of hurt, our pride was hurt, was that we didn't think that Tennessee was a transition job. … I've always thought and the big orange nation thought that Tennessee was a destination job. Unless you were fired or retired, that was the place to be. … I wish Lane the best of luck there at Southern Cal and I'm sure he'll do a good job."

On Thursday, when asked how a conversation would go with Peyton, Kiffin responded, “It would be fine.  I have great respect for Peyton.  I would not expect him to say anything different that what he said.  If you have been to Tennessee, if you followed the football program there, there is no other college job but Tennessee for Tennessee people.  I totally respect that.  Peyton is Mr. Tennessee.  I don’t think Peyton could have said anything different. That’s no different than all the Tennessee fans feel, there’s no better job than the University of Tennessee and there never will be, no matter what.”

We’re not really sure why we brought you this story.  We guess just to point out Kiffin’s intelligence, class, and professionalism in response to Peyton’s pride.




Friday morning Coaches Quick Hits

Some interesting quotes from around the country:


Quoting UCONN head coach Randy Edsall: "I don't want to negative recruit against myself. You've been to Storrs, Conn. There ain't a whole lot there. When you don't have the history and tradition that a lot of the other schools have, when you come in to recruit, you better have something to offset that. That's where the facilities come into play. There's nobody in the country that has anything better."


Georgia player Bacarri Rambo describes defensive coordinator Todd Grantham: “He’s like a father figure. I feel like I can go to him and talk to him about stuff that’s not related to football. Like if I’m having a family problem or school problem, I can go to his office and he always talks to me and [tells] me to come to his office and talk to him about my personal problems and stuff.”


Quoting Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham: “[Players] have to trust that you believe in them and that you’re looking out for their best interest. I think it’s just about treating each person with the respect that you would want as a player and just trying to get to know your players and always communicate with them.”


Houston DC Brian Stewart says his outlook has changed: "My outlook has changed tremendously. You have to understand there are naysayers and people who don't like you; don't try to please the naysayers and don't kiss the other people's butts. Be yourself, and let it go. I want to be a great football coach and work in an environment where I can be treated with respect and be liked. But I want people to know I can do this and that I know what I'm doing."

Jimbo Fisher describes when Nick Saban hired him at LSU: “He called me out of the blue. I was coaching at Cincinnati, he got the job at LSU. And he had heard my name from some people and he called me up. Matter of fact, I was home at Thanksgiving, after our season at Cincinnati was over … we had a meeting at his house. After we interviewed about 20 minutes, he stopped and walked upstairs and offered me the job … first time I'd ever talked to him.”


Les Miles talks about Jordan Jefferson: "Jordan has started to realize that quarterback is more than a position. He's not just calling a play. Jordan has to have a wider, more encompassing vision of the position."


San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre talks about assistant Bryant Young: "The thing that you're sometimes concerned about with guys who come out of the NFL is that they really don't understand the grind of coaching. But B.Y. completely understands. He's a very hard worker and does a great job of relating to young men."


Quoting Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe: "What we've got more than anything is an enthusiastic group that's excited about playing defense. I think that's the most important thing. It's a pretty physical unit. They like to mix it up. They like to get 11 guys around the football. ... This is a defensive football team that can be a pretty good one."


Skip Holtz shows off future practice facility at South Florida:


Saban confused by "stockpiling" comment, says Bama has room for lots more

A week away from the season-opener against San Jose State, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is unsure how many true freshman will play this season for the Crimson Tide. 

Saban doesn’t necessarily like the perception that Alabama is totally loaded with talent. 

Saban explained, "The proof is in the pudding. Just because everyone says you're going to be a great player because you're a four-star or five-star or whatever, what are the qualifications of the people who made those judgments. And when you come here, do you really have the right stuff to do it? I'm talking about physically, emotionally, mentally, the right intangibles, the right maturity and how important it is to you.” 

"I don't know where we're stockpiling all this stuff at, but we've got room for lots more." 

Alabama will host San Jose State before Penn State comes to town on September 11th.  The new expansion at Bryant-Denny Stadium brings capacity to over 101,000. 




Chris Petersen praises coaching staff, talks VA Tech special teams

At Thursday’s press conference, Boise State head coach Chris Petersen praised his coaching staff and talked about the challenge of playing against Frank Beamer’s special teams. 

“I probably can’t say enough about the coaches we have here.  I don’t say it enough.  I truly believe that we have unbelievable coaches.  I think these guys could coach anywhere in the country…some of them could go there for a lot more money. It has a tremendous amount to do with our success.  I think it always start with the players, but equally as much as how these guys are coached, how they are treated, how they are developed and it goes to the assistant coaches.   Without question, (it's) one of the number one things to our success around here.”  

(on going against the VA Tech special teams) “It’s going to be a tremendous challenge without a doubt.  When this game first came on the schedule, we didn’t have to say anything about their special teams.  Our kids were saying that to us.  With that being said, it doesn’t make the challenge any easier.  You put their tape on and you’re like ‘Ok, yeah, this is a problem.’  Coach Beamer made the comment about this year in terms of blocking kicks that they they have as much skill as they’ve ever had, which didn’t make us feel any better around here.” 

“When you just look at their team, offense and defense, they have top caliber athletes and they are coached well.  It’s the exact same thing on special teams.  He’s the point man on them, so they are coached well.  If the head coach is in charge of it, he’s going to make sure he stacks the deck.  I guarantee you that.  Once you get the track record of all these blocked kicks and all these big plays and how it translates in to wins, it makes it a lot easier.  With so much history of it, he probably doesn’t have to say much about it.” 

The Boise State / Virginia Tech game is set for Monday night, September 6th.  The game will air on ESPN at 8 pm EST.  See the entire Week 1 TV schedule right here

Sarkisian pumped up about the Huskies

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian has proven to be as open and honest with the media as any coach in the country.  Just over a week away from the season-opener at BYU, Sarkisian is pumped up about his team.

Sark said, "I love where we're at. I love our kicking game. We are so much further along than we were last year at this time.

"Defensively, to watch our guys fly around and play, we are playing faster football and I think part of it is that we are almost appearing faster than we really are because our knowledge of the defense is so much better in year two than in year one, and that's a credit to nick and his staff to get that done, so I love where they are at.”

"I wanted to make sure our screen game improved offensively. I thought we were very poor to average last year on offense (in the screen game) and I think we got that done. I wanted to see us defensively play more man-to-man coverage and challenge more routes, and I think we have proved we can do that in this training camp. And I wanted to make sure we are a physical football team. We've got a nice array of skilled athletes on our team, but at the end of the day this game is about blocking and tackling and to do that you've got to be physical and I think we got all of those things accomplished.''

"You have to put them in situations to allow them to be physical. You can talk about it all you want, but you have to do short-yardage and goal line live scrimmages. Have to scrimmage and tackle and block, and have to talk pad level and stress it and do board drills and things of that nature that let the players know that one, it's okay to do that, and two, they are capable of doing that.''

UW will travel to Provo, Utah to take on Sarkisian's alma mater on September 2nd. 

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