Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Not quite trash talk, but ...
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin went out of his way during his press conference Tuesday to praise Florida's team, the Gators' talent and the job Urban Meyer has done in Gainesville.
It was a far cry from Kiffin's scorched earth approach soon after taking the Tennessee job back in December. This time, there was no mention of "singing Rocky Top all night long" after beating Florida, nor did Kiffin did accuse Meyer of cheating.
In fact, Kiffin was almost gushing in talking about how good the Gators were and even said they were more talented than the 2004 and 2005 Southern California teams he coached on as an assistant.
"We’re going to play the most talented team in the country, maybe the most talented team ever to play," said Kiffin, adding that all 11 of the Gators' starters on defense were NFL players.
There was one comment by Kiffin, though, that will no doubt get Meyer's attention. In discussing how the Vols were able to pry receiver Nu'Keese Richardson away from the Gators, Kiffin suggested that Florida's spread offense hurt them with some players.
"The only time I really see them lose kids is because kids want to play in a pro-style offense,” Kiffin said. “It’s such a great place to play, and they do such a good job of coaching. But you see some kids that don’t want to play in that system because a lot of times it hurts them going to the next level for their draft status."
A little recruiting gamesmanship, maybe?
Meyer bristled at that notion back in May during the SEC spring meetings when told that one prospect had said he wouldn't be as well prepared for the NFL by playing in the Gators' spread offense.
"We’ve had more receivers drafted in the NFL than any school in America the last four years, and all of them are doing well," Meyer said. "It's just poor advice is what it is."