"The Buccaneers were wise to keep defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin in Tampa Bay by signing him to a lucrative contract that makes him the highest-paid coordinator in football. I think the Glazers see that sometimes you have to really pay to win. In hindsight, $8 million for Jon Gruden and four high draft picks were worth it for a Super Bowl championship. The millions they are shelling out for Kiffin will be well worth it, too."
"Had Kiffin left, it would have been interesting to see if he would have taken Joe Barry or Mike Tomlin with him to be his defensive coordinator in San Francisco. I think Rod Marinelli would have stayed -- actually the Bucs wouldn't have let him get away -- and he would have been Tampa Bay's defensive coordinator. But Marinelli might have pushed his son-in-law, Barry, to become Kiffin's defensive coordinator. I would not be surprised to see Marinelli, Barry and Tomlin all be coordinators one day. Marinelli is long overude, but personally, I'm glad to see him stay in Tampa."
"The great thing about Kiffin is how he always stays one step ahead of the curve. Leo Haggerty calls him the "mad scientist" and I think he's right. Kiffin is always tinkering with his defense and tweaking it and putting in new wrinkles to test offenses. This year the Bucs ran more Cover 3 and man coverage than they ever did, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they only ran Cover 2 less than half of the time, even though they showed a Cover 2 shell to quarterbacks in their pre-snap reads."
"With Kiffin back, this Buccaneer team has every shot in the world at repeating as Super Bowl champions."
LEO HAGGERTY – Pewter Report Managing Editor:
"Boy, did defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin get a sweet deal from the Bucs. It's being reported that the 62-year old architect of the Tampa Bay defense that was rated No. 1 in the National Football League received a three-year deal. As usual, figures were not disclosed but my sources tell me that it worth 5.1 million dollars and a touch more than a million was given in the form of a signing bonus. As usual, the hierarchy at One Buccaneer Place stepped to the plate and locked up one of the main cogs in the Pewter Pirates' machine. The bigwigs didn't even want to risk letting the native of Lexington, Nebraska interview for the vacant head coaching position in San Francisco. Kiffin is happy here and now that he will be the highest paid assistant coach in the NFL, which he truly deserves, the Bucs shouldn't miss a beat on the defensive side of the football for years to come.
JIM FLYNN – Pewter Report Assistant Editor:
"Tampa Bay's decision to keep defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin from interviewing for the head coaching vacancy in San Francisco was a no-brainer. The Bucs' front office gave Kiffin a new three-year, $5.1-million contract in order to keep the mastermind of the league's top-rated defense from walking the plank. That's a small price to pay for the defensive mastermind who's troops played a huge part in bringing Tampa Bay its first Super Bowl championship."
"Kiffin's contract will pay him more annually than a few of the NFL's head coaches, but in a way, Kiffin served as a head coach in Tampa. He operated the defense while Bucs head coach Jon Gruden called the shots on offense. Both Gruden and Kiffin challenged each other and together, they made quite a duo last season. Even though Kiffin seemed somewhat interested in the 49ers' head coaching job, I don't think he was seriously interested in leaving Tampa."
"Kiffin and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, wisely used the head coaching vacancy in San Francisco as a ploy to earn more money. But let's not kid ourselves – the new contract was well-deserved. The new contract was also a safe investment. It's not like Tampa Bay dedicated that type of money to an inexperienced and/or a unproven coach. Kiffin's defense has finished in the top 10 for six straight seasons."
"Now that the Bucs have retained Kiffin, it's time for the general manager Rich McKay and Co. to work their magic by keeping the tools that help make Kiffin's defense so good in the Bucs' shed. Tampa Bay will now try to re-sign Pro Bowl middle linebacker Shelton Quarles, free safety Dexter Jackson and strongside linebacker Al Singleton."
Want to sound off on this topic? You can talk about it now with dozens of other Buc fans on the PewterReport.com Red Message Boards and/or you can talk about it with fans and the PewterReport.com insiders in the PewterReport.com Chat Room on Wednesday nights from 9-10 PM.
Looking for the largest selection of Bucs merchandise on the internet? Check out BucGear.com.
Become an Bucs insider today with a subscription to Pewter Report. You can also become a subscriber to Pewter Report by calling 1-800-881-BUCS(2827).
All PewterReport.com photos are courtesy of Pewter Report director of photography Cliff Welch unless otherwise noted.