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Kiffin getting exploited by former pupil

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

For a very long time, I've firmly believed Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is the best assistant coach in the NFL.

Not today, though.

Kiffin's defense has been nothing short of horrible in the first half against Kansas City. Kiffin's defenses always have been known for being smart and well prepared. But the Chiefs are exploiting a defense that's not supposed to have weaknesses.

Give credit to Kansas City offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. He's successfully used the Wildcat formation at times, been able to run the ball consistently and has quarterback Tyler Thigpen looking like Len Dawson.

But there's one other factor at work here -- Kansas City coach Herm Edwards. He's got a defensive background, but there's little doubt he's having a huge impact on the offense today. Nobody knows Tampa Bay's defense better than Edwards, who used to be the defensive backs coach under Kiffin.

Edwards knows Tampa Bay's schemes and personnel and he's told Gailey where every weak spot is. That's worked so far and there's reason to believe it might continue. Edwards knows that Tampa Bay's aging defense can be worn down.

In the first half, Tampa Bay's defense spent way too much time on the field. Unless Kiffin can come up with some miracles at halftime, Tampa Bay's defense could be facing a very long second half.