Whether you care for Lane Kiffin or not, he’s a fascinating head coach. Some very interesting coaching takeaways in this article.
No matter what you believe about whether Kiffin has changed mentally since he was fired at USC, he absolutely has evolved schematically. Watching the Owls scrimmage earlier this month, they appear to be playing an entirely different sport on offense than Kiffin’s Trojans. Those USC teams huddled. Their quarterbacks played under center. They shifted tight ends from one side of the field to the other. Kiffin held a play sheet approximately the size of a Cheesecake Factory menu. Now? The Owls don’t huddle. They don’t have fullbacks. They run plays as quickly as possible. Kiffin’s play sheet is the size of a notebook page. “I’m proud of that,” Kiffin says of his offensive evolution. “That goes back to ego. It’s almost as if you can see it now when you see people where the ego is hurting them. They’re not going to change—whether it’s picking the starting quarterback or whether it’s an offensive system. They’re going to do it ’til they die—or until they get fired. That’s probably the thing I like the most. We do not look anything like we did before. And that’s because we’ve changed.”
“If I’m cussing at you, swearing at you, calling you demeaning names, are you really thinking about that last play?” Kiffin asks. “Am I really helping you get better? Or am I just making myself feel good by demeaning you? I’ve really never understood it.”