It's a pretty safe bet to say that Lane Kiffin probably can never set foot in the state of Tennessee again without some kind of armed escort. I'm not a Vol fan, nor do I care much for USC, but what Kiffin did In January of this year was about as cowardly as it gets, save only for Nick Saban's odious departure from the Miami Dolphins to go coach at the University of Alabama back in 2007.
The slime trail left behind by Kiffin, as he slivered his way back to LA to take over Peter Carroll's program, seems to have pissed off the greatest Tennessee Volunteers player the school has ever seen: Peyton Manning.
When asked about Kiffin in a recent article for GoVolsXtra.com, Peyton was his normal, reserved self... with just a pinch of contempt:
Through various brief discussions, Manning said he believes first-year UT head coach Derek Dooley understands the significance of the Tennessee job.
That didn’t seem to be the case with Dooley’s predecessor, Southern California head coach Lane Kiffin, who faces severe NCAA sanctions for violations committed under former USC head coach Pete Carroll.
"I’m sure there weren’t many tears shed here in Knoxville and I can understand that," Manning said.
I'm sure if you caught Peyton in a private setting and asked him about Kiffin, off-the-record he'd tell you the dude isn't worth a bag of dog turds. It's probably fitting that Kiffin is now saddled with the NCAA sanctions placed on USC's football program due in large part to the corrupt program Pete Carroll ran for many years. If you want to watch a true conman at work, take a gander at Carroll's video response to the USC sanctions.
Carroll left USC in January to coach the Seattle Seahawks, who will likely continue to suck because 1) Carroll is a turd, and 2) He can't friggin coach (see New England Patriots circa mid-1990s and NY Jets circa early 1990s as examples).
Back to Manning, the best quarterback in the NFL didn't just talk Lane Kiffin in the GoVolsXtra.com article.
Peyton had some very positive things to say about rookie offensive lineman Jacques McClendon, who (like Manning) played his college ball at UT.
Manning has seen former UT offensive lineman Jacques McClendon up close. The Colts selected McClendon in the fourth round of April’s draft.
"Finally got another Tennessee Volunteer in camp," Manning said. "He’s doing a good job. He’s playing center and playing guard for us."
Interesting that the Colts are trying McClendon at center. I don't think he'll threaten Jeff Saturday, but one of the main reason the Colts would retain 2008 draftees Mike Pollak and Jamey Richard is because both can play both guard and center. If McClendon proves he can play well at center, it is possible both Pollak and Richard could get cut prior to the start of the regular season.
It is worth noting that, during OTAs, Pollak was working at guard with the first unit ahead of McClendon.