Kiffin: It’s just speculation

Published: November 30th, 2008
By Bucs Beat

Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin downplayed reports that he is leaning toward joining his son, Lane, on the University of Tennessee coaching staff, saying "it's all just speculation."

Monte Kiffin has one year remaining on a two-year contract extension he signed in January. But with his son reportedly to be named head coach at Tennessee on Monday, Kiffin is reported to be seriously considering becoming his defensive coordinator.

If so, the elder Kiffin wouldn't go there Sunday.

"I'm just telling you, I can honestly tell you it's just speculation, just like it came up with the Raiders," he said. "It came up two years ago. It came up last year. I'm still here. All I'll talk about and focus on is Monday Night Football, Carolina Panthers, and how about the game we just played?"

It's believed that Lane Kiffin was rebuffed by Raiders owner Al Davis in an effort to hire his father after last season, when Lane was Oakland's coach. Kiffin also has been linked to job opportunities in recent years with the 49ers and Rams, who were considering him for head-coach vacancies.

Asked about the story, coach Jon Gruden said, "It's an outstanding opportunity for Lane and I'm happy for him. He's a good coach and a great guy. . . I know this: We don't want to lose (Monte). He's my friend and, obviously, I want for Monte to answer those questions."