John Lynch is a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He credits a big part of his success to the eight years he spent in Monte Kiffin's defense in Tampa.
"Monte was one of the finest coaches in any sport, at any level I have ever been around," said Lynch, who had 541 tackles, seven forced fumbles and 23 interceptions in 11 years with the Bucs. "I think what he did was revolutionary on defense in terms of what we did. I think the beauty of it was the simplicity. We didn't try to trick people. He believed in doing a few things and doing them, and learning the intricacies so well that it was kind of a deal where, 'Hereit is. Go ahead and stop it.' You have to great players to do that. I know that. At times that seemed to denigrate the role of the coordinator, but I thought to the contrary. I thought that was brilliance of him."
Like Derrick Brooks, Lynch believes his former defensive coordinator will be highly motivated if he gets a job with the Cowboys. Kiffin burned some bridges with the way he left Tampa in 2008. The Bucs fell apart once Lane Kiffin became the coach at the University of Tennessee, and it became obvious Monte Kiffin would join his son in Knoxville. The Bucs lost their final four games -- allowing 31 points per game -- to fall to 9-7, the first team in NFL history to miss the playoffs after starting 9-3. Jon Gruden was fired three weeks later.
Monte Kiffin's four-year stint in college football wasn't much rosier. USC finished 60th in total defense this past season, allowing 394 yards per game. They also gave up 24.31 points per game.
In four seasons coaching for his son -- one season at Tennessee and three at USC -- Kiffin's teams were 32-19, allowing 24.2 points and 371.8 yards per game. It was atypical Monte Kiffin defenses.
"He's got something to prove," Lynch said. "The way it ended in the NFL. The way he went out at SC. We were just around him at the reunion [at Tampa], and he seemed like the same ol' Monte. If it does happen, I'm excited. I know this: He'll get the guys more passionate and caring more about what he's doing than anybody."
-- Charean Williams