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Coach Kiffin Struggling As Vols Prepare For Auburn

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Lane Kiffin of the Tennessee Volunteers watches the action prior to the game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Jay HolgateContributor IIIOctober 1, 2009

ATLANTA, Ga- The train is moving off the track in Knoxville and I can hear the whistle blowing all the way in Atlanta. 

Coach Kiffin finished the Wednesday night practice with a fiery speech saying stragglers on the team needed to get with the program. 

After his speech he said, "It was really just to five percent of the guys," Kiffin said of his animated post-practice comments. "Our team is only going to go as far as everybody (goes). We've got 95-percent of the guys who are doing well, practicing hard. I think we have a 100-percent of guys giving great effort."

Where’s the Coach's focus

This Volunteer team should be preparing for a tough Auburn game, not pointing fingers.  If Coach Kiffin is talking to only five percent of the team, then he should pull the stragglers aside and tell them individually to step up. 

Don’t give the entire team a lecture and waste valuable time when it’s only a few guys that are not working hard. Tennessee should be preparing for a battle.

By giving a speech that does not identify anybody specifically, Kiffin is creating division on this team. Nobody knows who Kiffin is talking about directly, but most everyone can identify someone on the team that isn't carrying his load. 

General complaining and finger pointing create division because the problem is not being handled. The Head Coach and players will start accusing each other. This causes a break down for the organization.

Kiffin continued, "It gets a little old, those same few guys on your team, you have that feeling and you can see your players have that feeling, that when they go into the huddle they can't count on them. Because they don't know all the plays and they don't prepare the same way the rest of those guys do.”

This statement introduces a whole new set of problems. 

Lack of trust

Trust is the foundation for any team. Problems tend to multiply when team members do not trust each other. 

Kiffin can see that players can't count on each other and needs to fix that immediately. This explains why they are not playing well together. 

Coach Lane Kiffin reads the newspapers and feels the stress. His team is not off to a good start. Kiffin wanted to be singing Rocky Top all night long, after beating Florida. No songs that night. 

Based on this analysis, Auburn will upset Tennessee on Saturday. Yet, Tennessee is still favored by two points. 

Until next time, I will see you on the ball field.

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