Is Monte Kiffin’s head already in Tennessee?

Monte KiffinHere’s something to think about – since Lane Kiffin was hired as the head coach at Tennessee, the Buccaneers are 0-3.

Coincidence? Absolutely. We have no reason to believe that just because Lane was hired at Tennessee that his father Monte (who told the Bucs last week he would join his son at UT as their defensive coordinator next year) has quit on his team. But it is ironic how Tampa’s defense has been in a tailspin ever since Lane was hired as the next head coach of the Vols.

Three weeks ago the Bucs gave up 299 rushing yards in a loss to Carolina. Two weeks ago they were shredded by Michael Turner and the Atlanta Falcons in a 13-10 overtime loss. And then on Sunday, the San Diego Chargers marched into Raymond James Stadium and treated Tampa’s defense like their personal chew toy, marching up and down the field at will in route to an impressive 41-24 victory.

So what happened?

Well injuries along the defensive line happened first, but that’s no excuse for the Bucs to miss countless tackles and forget their general assignments. I mean, this is a unit that has flat out forgotten how to make plays and now Tampa might not even make the postseason.

And even if they do make the playoffs, can their fan base feel good about what they’ve seen over the past three weeks? Defense has been a staple for this team for years and now in the final games of Monte Kiffin’s career in Tampa, it has been the source of their demise. That’s pretty ironic considering the major knock on the Bucs has been the lack of offensive playmakers. Now Antonio Bryant is dominating opponents and the Tampa defense is giving up 30-plus points at home to a mediocre Chargers squad.

After such a fantastic career, Monte Kiffin owes nothing to the Buccaneer organization. But he has just one game left in Tampa and it’s against the Oakland Raiders next week at the James. Think he can draw up a defensive game plan to shut down Da Raiders and get the Bucs into the playoffs? Or are his thoughts already on Georgia, Florida and the rest of the SEC?

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