Tag:Kennedy Pola
Posted on: July 27, 2010 11:46 pm

Pola defends his new boss from his old boss

Kennedy Pola, the former Titans assistant coach in the middle of the Jeff Fisher-Lane Kiffin dispute that eventually could end up in a court of law, spoke to the Tennessean today, and in the story, he said Kiffin didn’t recruit him to be the offensive coordinator at Southern California.

Said Pola, who accepted the job Saturday: “I am going to leave that to Jeff and Lane. But he didn’t try and recruit me. I hope I did a good job with (USC) last time and that’s why they wanted me back. But my discussions with Lane, the job offer, money, coordinator, all of that started Friday afternoon and went from there.

“It wasn’t an easy decision on my part. … I tried to do the right thing, and I called Jeff (to keep him informed).”

Fisher, upset that Kiffin courted Pola without so much as a courtesy phone call, and the Titans have filed suit against the former Raiders coach, claiming he induced Pola to breach his contract with Tennessee.

From Jim Wyatt’s story:

Pola said he called all the Titans backs to explain why he’s leaving, reasons which include the opportunity to be a coordinator and step on a faster path to becoming a head coach. He also expressed concern about a potential NFL lockout next year that could reduce the salaries of assistant coaches by as much as 50 percent.

Pola also said he would be able to provide more for his family — he had a one-year contract with the Titans; USC gave him a three-year guaranteed deal, he said. His son, K.C., is expected to walk-on with the Trojans.

“I understand you can’t please everybody,’’ Pola said. “I would have loved to work with the Titans, in Tennessee. I told Chris (Johnson) it would have been fun to watch you chase history and be a part of it. But like I’ve said before … if you can tell me who coached Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton, who their running backs coaches were, then you’d be pretty good. People don't know, but people know who their offensive coordinators were.

“It is a risk for me, I know that. And I loved it here in Tennessee, the people have been great, Jeff has been great. I loved the NFL. But having offensive coordinator attached to my name, that’s a great opportunity for me.’’

--Josh Katzowitz

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 26, 2010 6:49 pm

Titans sue Lane Kiffin, Volunteer State rejoices

Jeff Fisher wasn’t kidding when he said he was disappointed with the way Lane Kiffin went about hiring Titans running back coach Kennedy Pola to the position of USC offensive coordinator. Fisher was upset that Kiffin hired Pola then called the Titans only after the fact to tell them what he had done. L. Kiffin

Now, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, the Titans have filed a lawsuit in Davidson County Chancery Court against USC and Kiffin for “maliciously interfering with the contract of running backs coach Kennedy Pola”. The lawsuit claims Pola breached his contract with the Titans after being induced by Kiffin. Pola was hired by the Titans in January.

You have to imagine the state of Tennessee loves seeing the Titans play hardball against the reviled Kiffin. There are probably more than a few people within the NFL who don’t mind seeing Kiffin get sued. Fisher is one of the more respected figures in the NFL (he’s a leader on the Competition Committee).

Pro Football Talk offers this great analysis on the legal matter:

The lawsuit does not specify an amount of financial damages, and the Titans apparently do not attempt to force Pola to remain employed by the Titans.  In cases of this nature, damages would be determined by tabulating the actual losses incurred by the Titans in having to scramble to replace Pola.  Punitive damages also could be available, but they would be limited by the actual damages, which could be minimal, frankly.

-- Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 24, 2010 8:10 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2010 8:49 pm

Beiniemy, Pola timelines expose Kiffin's behavior

Lane Kiffin hired Kennedy Pola away from the Tennessee Titans earlier Saturday, angering USC alum and Titans' head coach Jeff Fisher. Turns out, Pola wasn't Kiffin's first choice.

Eric Bieniemy, Minnesota Vikings running backs coach, was ... except Bieniemy turned Kiffin down, according to the Star-Tribune . "First off I felt I would have let my players down," he said. "On top of that, I would have let my fellow coaches down and I would have let the organization down. There was a lot pulling at me. After having conversations with our head coach, with people in management and ownership this is the right place for me and the right decision. Of course, it probably doesn't hurt that he also got a pay raise and received the title of "assistant head coach" while remaining with a team that IS eligible for the postseason over the next two years.

What's really interesting though, is how the timeline of Kiffin's offer to Bieniemy jives with the Pola-Fisher incident. You see, according to Brad Childress, Bieniemy told the Vikings head coach that he was staying on Thursday morning (after getting his raise and promotion, natch).

Kiffin then, according to a statement he made Saturday in response to Fisher's anger, "reached out to Kennedy Pola [on Friday] to gauge whether he had any possible interest in returning to USC ..."

So, assuming Kiffin's timeline is accurate, he tried for his top choice and got rejected because an NFL team had more to offer. So, he went after his second choice. Except that he most likely knew that if he alerted Fisher that he was attempting to hire Pola, Fisher would immediately offer up some sort of incentive to stay in Tennessee.

Just like Childress did.

Which is a much more reasonable explanation than whatever junk Kiffin tried to offer up instead.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: July 24, 2010 3:49 pm

Fisher upset with Kiffin

Looks like we’ve found another person who’s pissed at Southern California coach Lane Kiffin. This time, it’s Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher.

The Tennessean reported today that Titans running backs coach Kennedy Pola is leaving Tennessee to become the Trojans offensive coordinator.

Pola – hired by Tennessee in January – informed Fisher he was leaving, but that’s not what really upset Fisher. What upset Fisher was that he didn’t get a heads-up call from Kiffin.

“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,’’ Fisher said on Saturday. “Typically speaking when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs, there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.

“So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voice mail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.”

--Josh Katzowitz

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Category: NFL
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