Lane Kiffin: 'We went through the plan in the interview process'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on March 13, 2013
Lane Kiffin has gotten what he's wanted so far.
USC opened spring practice last week with four new assistants, and Kiffin likes what he's seeing from them, especially defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast.
"I think they're doing really well," Kiffin said. "I think Clancy on defense is doing a great job. It's why we hired him. He has a really good plan that we went through in the interview process of how to get players to play very fast very quick. That's what he was able to do in one year, the first year, at Cal. He turned the defense completely around. Us offensive coaches in the conference definitely took notice of it.
"They led the conference in defense. I think they led the conference in sacks. They do a lot of stuff, but at the same time, they've got really sound roles and don't have a lot of adjustments, allowing players to play fast. I watch the film every night with him and go over everything. You can see he does not try to make guys do too much.
"When you say 'What about doing this with (a player) or looking at him over here?' He says, 'No, we need him to play fast.' For a guy who has an NFL background, he really understands the little amount of time you have with college guys."
As for the former coach who ran the defense, current Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin attended USC practice Monday and Tuesday. It wasn't necessarily planned, but Lane knew it would be hard to keep his father away when he came to visit.
"He was here yesterday. I knew this was going to happen," Lane Kiffin said. "He flew in Sunday night, and they have the week off. So we had dinner with him Sunday night. I'm thinking to myself, 'What is he going to do? He's not going to sit at home.' He's a prisoner of this game. Sure enough, Monday morning, I got a text at 9 a.m. saying, 'Do you think I can come up?'
"He was here all day yesterday and all day today. He was in with the coaches yesterday, he and Clancy spent some time together and saw some of the players. It was good."
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org