Lane Kiffin, 'Orgeron' should be head coach

During a Thursday interview with ESPN LA 710, former USC head coach Lane Kiffin shared his thoughts on who should be the Trojans next head coach as well as reflected on what he could've done different...

On giving interview from airport…
I am flying out of town to go to Tampa fishing, then I am going to Louisiana hunting, and then I am meeting my family in Dallas for the Thanksgiving Dallas Cowboys game to have Thanksgiving with my whole family there.

On Ed Orgeron as head coach…
Yeah, Ed has done an unbelievable job. It has been awesome to see the players respond. It's not just that, it's a bunch of great assistant coaches on that staff who have done an unbelievable job. It's great to see, like I said last week on Colin's show, I think USC is winning the last three games. They've got one down and two more to go.

On who should be next USC head coach…
That's easy, that's already done. It should be Ed Orgeron. How can you argue what he's done and then I hear the argument of ‘wait no, wait til we see what happens with the UCLA game. This is a huge decision. These kind of decisions can set programs back for years or it sets them in the right direction, so you have someone right there that has been at SC in great times, has won national championships there, understands the Trojan way, the players love him, the assistant coaches love him, how could you possibly think about going in and bringing someone from the outside who isn't going to know USC, even if they played there 30 years ago, to come in, to learn USC, and to give to those players – and take Ed away from them – because I don't see a scenario now – where you can say ‘Okay, we're going to bring in somebody else and you have to go work for him' – and he's sitting there saying ‘look how well they were playing when I was there'. That just really, probably, wouldn't work, so I think it's already answered and shouldn't wait until that last game.

On what he would've done different as head coach…
I think you're always changing, always learning from things. I think I would delegate more and that would free up some time. I would probably let somebody run the offense so I'd have more time freed up to do other things. Spend more time individually with players, be more around the campus. I was so locked up in that office all the time, sleeping there, doing so much film work that I probably didn't get out and about and around the Trojan community enough. So, I'd probably change those things.

On why he didn't coach the ‘USC – Pete Carroll' way…
I think you have to do things your way; the way that you believe coming in that you do things. You can always learn and change them, but so this really – this is not who Ed is naturally, but when something is not going well and you replace someone, it's natural to do everything different. I've done that, I've come into head jobs and have done things different than the way they were before to put your stamp on it, so Ed has really done the Pete Carroll thing to it's fullest and opened it up and obviously there's been a great response to it.

On watching the teams newfound success…
I think it's great. I think people probably assume because everybody is saying it's because of Coach O and everything, but I don't just look at it like that. He's doing an unbelievable job, but for me, I get fulfillment in those players playing really well and hoping they'll hire Coach O so those assistant coaches don't have to move and uproot their families, so when you go sign all those players – it's not like the NFL – head coaches in the NFL you don't have as much say. You don't necessarily hire all your coaches and sign all your players because you have a GM and scouts, but in college you sign all those players, you put together that staff. We made some difficult offseason changes in our staff shakeup and to me, if you look at those groups, the defense, the offensive line, and the running backs, they are all playing much better. So I take fulfillment in seeing the players and the coaches do well and all the excitement. There is so much pain in losing, to see their faces and to get texts from them – I was talking to Nelson Agholor last night because I'm going down to Tampa, fishing with his buddy down there, and to hear his voice and how excited he is, it's just awesome.

On coaching NFL or College…
I really enjoy college, like what we were just talking about there. The development of the players, you can get them when they are 17 years old and seeing their success and helping them through things and I really enjoy recruiting. I like recruiting a lot, the competition of it, going down to Tampa (Fla.) to get Nelson Agholor and Leonard Williams and Buck Allen in Tallahasse – that's fun, that's exciting.

On Dion Bailey's comments earier in the week…
Dion Bailey:
When a coach can't get his players behind him, results aren't what you want, so that's pretty much what the problem was. He couldn't really get us behind him. He didn't include us, he was just too much – he just controlled everything a little too much in my eyes.

Kiffin's response…
Well, I've got great respect for Dion and obviously we recruited and signed him there and he was awesome. The position move we did with him wasn't necessarily in his best NFL interest when we moved him after his redshirt year, and always had a great attitude and he's playing great. Maybe even made the play of the game to win the game last week, so that's one opinion that Dion has, I think when I heard that I heard this was the first player to say anything, so when you've got 70 players and one says something you don't like to hear it, but that's the minority compared to what everyone else has said after the fact.

On why he thinks USC will win out…
It's a better team. Just like last week. I've talked to people around Manhattan Beach and stuff who want to know what I really think and you know, I said they're going to beat Stanford. When you watch the game, I talked to two Pac-12 coaches this week who said I don't know why people were surprised. USC has better players than Stanford in that game. I think as beat up as UCLA's offensive line is, it's really hard to block this front seven. This is a premier SEC front seven, led by the front-four in the defensive line and it goes back to the Oregon State game. That was the difference in the Oregon State game. These guys are hard to block and outside of Arizona State, nobody has blocked USC's front the entire year. One fluke game and the 60 points and all those yards, outside of that – Clancy and that whole defensive staff and the players have done an unbelievable job and they've been really hard to move the ball on.

On life at home with wife Layla now…
Yeah. I'm glad she's not on this interview. She's going to Hawaii, then will meet me in Dallas. It was an adjustment, we've been married for 13 years and I've never really been home, it's sad to say. I've lived at the office, slept at the office, so it's been very different but it's been good to. I've seen a lot of soccer games. My daughter turned seven – it's the first time I've ever been to one of her birthday parties. So, everything happens for a reason, and I think this happened for a reason with this timing to give me some time – if it were toward the end of the year you just go to the next job, you just race around and move to the next place, and really your family gets left behind in that, so as hard as it's been, having that taken away because I passionately love those players and those coaches, there's another side of it and it's been good too.

On his upcoming hunting trip…
By the way, I know nothing about hunting. Luckily, my neighbor who is flying with me is Mr. Hunter. He produces Duck Dynasty, so I figure he's got to know something about hunting. One of the days we are going with cross-bows, I don't even know what that is.

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