An animated Lane Kiffin blasted his team following Wednesday’s practice. A select few were his primary targets.
“It really was to five percent of the guys,” Tennessee’s coach said shortly after the tirade. “Our team is only going to go as far as everybody. We’ve got 95 percent of the guys that are doing well.”
Kiffin said he believed all of his players were giving great effort on the practice field. Off the field is another issue.
“It gets a little old to see the same few guys on your team that you have that feeling and you can see your players have that feeling because they don’t know all their plays and they don’t prepare the same way the rest of the guys do,” Kiffin said.
“It’s time to come up. It’s time to come up with the rest of the guys that are doing things right.”
Kiffin said throughout his career, especially in the NFL, peer pressure is often the best remedy for players that aren’t meeting expectations.
“I told the other guys to bring them up, help bring them along,” he said. “If they need to study extra, they can study extra with some of the older guys.”
Kiffin seemed to be referring to backups when he said the players in question will be needed later this season, especially if injuries continue to mount.
The problem is evidently widespread. Kiffin said there seems to be one slacking player in every position group.
“It’s the same couple of guys,” he said. “Obviously, I’m not going to mention them but you have that feeling that they’re not going to play fast because they don’t know what they’re doing because it’s not as important to them as it is to the rest of the guys.”
Kiffin’s message was summed up in one short phrase he shared with the media following practice, “Quit being that guy.”