Lane Kiffin cuts the coach-speak, explains not naming a starting QB publicly

Posted by: Pete Roussel on Wednesday September 04, 2013

Though it took until the final 25 seconds of his post-practice media session on Tuesday of week No. 2, Lane Kiffin cut the coach-speak and brought the Los Angeles media inside his decision on not naming a starting quarterback publicly. 

While many in the media try to make Kiffin look like a moron, whether it’s right or wrong, he always has a calculated, thoroughly devised plan. 

Kiffin explained, “I just think for guys that have been here for a while and seeing what I do at that position, I just think it’s very important to protect that position because as soon as you start tearing apart that position, much like what I think would have happened had we named a starter publicly, not necessarily you guys (media) but just in general, people in school, their families, they’re so scrutinized at that position that you need to stay really positive with them because your whole team, it’s not just what they read but what they hear all the time from outside sources.  Obviously, the head coach dictates opinions a lot by how he talks about a position.  That’s just my philosophy on that position.”

Without separation by either Cody Kessler or Max Wittek, evident by the way each performed against Hawaii, Kiffin avoided being wrong and a quarterback ‘controversy’ on the cusp of a critical conference game this week against Washington State.

No coach in the country wants to go in a different direction at the quarterback position in week No. 2.  That’s the type of distraction that can sets the stage for a season of quarterback flip-flopping and we all know what usually happens to teams and coaches when the season storyline is ‘Which quarterback will start this week?’.

As it turns out, Bill O’Brien, Mike Gundy, and Kiffin – none of which named a starter publicly to start game week – all won.

That’s what matters most – winning.  At the same time, none of them have opinions flying from every angle on which quarterback should start this week. Thus, there distractions have been limited.

Pete Roussel is a valuable resource for coaches, athletic directors, NFL front-office personnel, and college football enthusiasts. A former college football coach, Roussel shares insight on coaches 365 days a year and is recognized as the most trusted expert on coaching transactions. Follow @CoachingSearch on twitter and send your feedback to pete@coachingsearch.comtest