Lane Kiffin shares how Ole Miss have fallen behind amid pandemic
College football activity hadn’t started when the coronavirus pandemic really began to impact the United States, but now that we’re in our fourth month of it, offseason activities have been significantly derailed. That is causing major issues for a lot of programs.
Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss Rebels are dealing with those issues and then some. As a first year coach, Kiffin has a lot of work to do getting to know his players and what makes them tick. The fact that players have not been permitted to be on campus or practice has left players and coaches unfamiliar with each other, and Kiffin cited that as a huge issue.
“This situation is not ideal for a first-year staff, probably creating more issues than I thought,” Kiffin said, via Jake Thompson of the Oxford Eagle. “Spring ball, you really get to know your players. You’re on the field with them. You’re interacting with them and putting faces with names. They get to know you and how you can help them on the field. We missed all of that.
“Unfortunately, when we were in our meetings last Monday talking about all of the stuff going on nationally and just listening to the kids, I just realized how little I know our kids, especially as a head coach. Position coaches have had some meetings and gotten to know them, and we’re behind obviously football-wise, but we’re really behind relationship-wise.”
Kiffin said he has used Zoom calls to try to compensate, but his interaction has been limited outside of voluntary workouts. He has finally started to build those vital relationships in recent weeks, particularly with Ole Miss players and coaches participating in a Unity walk last weekend. Kiffin discussed that experience and how he’s started to get on with his players at length, as well as how the recent protests throughout the country have impacted his players. His quotes in the entire article are worth a read.
Kiffin has already endeared himself to the fans. He’s getting a late start, but he should win over the players, too. It sounds like that process is finally starting, and it’s good look into just how major programs have had to operate in these uncertain times.