Welcome to the no-leering zone. You've been rolled. Thank you for coming. Have a great day. We're going to talk about our coach.
Yes, the lawyers were busy during the day yesterday. And hey, it's December. Time for school concerts (yes, even homeschoolers have concerts) and Christmas parties and stuff. So I'm behind. Way.
The press conference has pretty much already been unpacked by everyone, so let me just throw a couple more pennies on the pile.
- I thought Lane Kiffin looked really nervous. Shoot, they were probably already thinking Deliverance, and the thought of his wife on the stage and John Adams in the front row had to be unnerving. He did get into the swing of things eventually, though, and I liked him. No reading a typed statement, just talking points. I think that equates to confidence and hints at a less conservative approach to things generally. Not concerned about making a mistake or saying the wrong thing. I like it.
- Poking fun at Mike Hamilton. Also good. Not just the "Mike told me to say that about Florida" part, but also the "He's really down on me right now" part after mentioning for the second time, I think, that Tennessee didn't need to build anything else from a recruiting standpoint. Having a sense of humor is good, especially on the fly. Note this, though, too. That first statement shows that Hamilton had a part in the creation of the talking points. It's just good sense to get as many brains together as you can on that type of thing, especially because Hamilton knows better than Kiffin what the fans want to hear. But still, how much was Kiffin and how much was Hamilton? No way to know.
- Not needing to build anything else. Good, too. It shows legitimate excitement over the product he's about to sell to recruits all over the nation. Go into a kids' living room and tell him that you know both the facilities at Southern Cal and the ones at Tennessee and tell them that Tennessee beats all? Very good.
- Go interview everybody else first. Yes. Initially, I thought this was just chest-thumping, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized was underneath it all. Hamilton was likely going to do that anyway, but by saying it then, he can say now that he said it then. It not only shows confidence, but more importantly it deflates to some degree an argument now that Hamilton bought an impulse item on his way to the dairy section.
- Al Davis. Pretty gracious here, I think, thanking him for giving him an opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL.
- Releasing current staff members. Tough work. Got it out of the way quickly. Said nice things about them at the press conference. It wasn't them, they were just meeting at the crossroads.
- Honoring Fulmer. It's a requirement for the incoming coach, but he seemed genuine enough.
- First item of new business: recruiting. I can only talk to y'all for 45 minutes, then I'm on a plane to Memphis. Great. Go!
- Working guys into the system. I really like the idea of devoting spring to auditioning the current guys and reserving much of the fall for auditioning the incoming players. The recruiting pitch it gives you is great, and I'd never thought about it that way. At some point in the fall, though, you need to assemble the team and get it ready to play, so I hope the audition doesn't drag on too long in the fall. Also, I hope it doesn't disincentivize the current players over the summer.
- Patience, my new friends. Patience. This is very good. Of course, it won't be honored, or it won't seem like it's being honored, but saying it buys him some time to get the staff assembled. I agree with hooper, who says this likely means that Monte is in fact on board, and they just can't make it official until his season is over.
- No promises. More expectations management. It doesn't always work, but it almost always helps. It reminded me of Bruce Pearl's continual harping on the "process." Don't worry about setting a goal to win a game next fall. That's foolishness. Focus instead on being better tomorrow than you were today and that win will take care of itself.
- "Thanking" the former players. Shrewd way of mentioning his endorsements. If Peyton No Last Name is for him, who can be against him?
All in all, I ranked it as a Triple on the post-press conference poll. We haven't scored, but it's setting up nicely.