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Talking points: Monte Kiffin impressed with our obsession at this time, stay tuned edition

  • Congratulations to former Vol LB Jerod Mayo who was not only the 10th pick in the NFL draft this year but was an almost unanimous choice for the AP's 2008 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. High praise from Bill Belichick: "He's smart, makes a lot of defensive adjustments and calls for us there. He runs well. He's tough. He's a good all-around football player, very mature, very professional. For a rookie, he's probably as professional as anybody I've coached."
  • Wayne Chism will be okay, but whether he'll play against Kansas this Saturday is still unknown.
  • 'Tis the end of the year and the time for making lists. VolQuest has a list of 10 names that could help Tennessee's recruiting class. Gate 21 has a 2008 nostalgia list.
  • Lane Kiffin has reportedly hired Jim Chaney as his offensive coordinator. Chaney was most recently the tight ends coach for the St. Louis Rams. He also spent a couple of seasons as the Rams' assistant o-line coach. Prior to that, he was OC at Purdue. In his nine seasons there, the Boilermakers were in the top 10 nationally in total offense six times.
  • Kiffin still wants Da O. Tuesday night there were reports that Ed Orgeron had accepted a position at LSU as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. The Vols, though, are still willing to pay Coach O up to $600k to come to Rocky Top. Word is Orgeron's family prefers to live in Louisiana, and with Les Miles refusing to confirm multiple reports that John Chavis has been hired as LSU's DC until after the Tigers' bowl game, I'm thinking O's going to Baton Rouge.
  • The Lady Vols get a 77-58 win over Gonzaga. Angie Bjorklund had 14 points and three other players were in double figures.
  • Monte Kiffin on Tennessee:

    I talked to my boy about every day, and he says, 'Dad, you won't believe this place. From 6 o'clock in the morning till 8 or 9 o'clock at night, there's talk shows and all they talk about is Tennessee football. Everywhere you go, everybody knows you, 107,000 people [at Neyland Stadium]. I mean, I went to Nebraska, grew up there and played there and coached there. They had 65,000 people at one time and now are up to 80,000 people, and I thought that was a lot of people. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is awesome, NFL, Super Bowls, what do you want to talk about, this and that, I think we seat about 65,000 every week, and it's sold-out.

    But 107,000 people? I never been in a place with 107,000. I don't know how you have that big a stadium. It's going to be exciting. It kind of reminds me of Nebraska; it's all football. I talk about Nebraska, there's two things in Nebraska: flatlands and the football team. Here there's more than just flatlands and the football team; there are a lot of beautiful hills and many other things. It's all about Tennessee football, and I'm just proud to be a part of it.

    Welcome to Rocky Top, Monte!