April 11, 2021

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The Whispering Genius

2 min read

Monte Kiffin is known by virtually every Buccaneers fan, and even the youngest fans have heard the tales of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive guru, who was the mastermind behind one of the best defenses in Buccaneers history: The Tampa 2.

He joined the Buccaneers in 1996 and spent 13 seasons as the defensive coordinator, where he produced one of Tampa’s best defensive schemes and just maybe one of the best in NFL history. His defense produced a scheme that allowed his unit to become a top 10 team in fewest yards allowed ten times and top 10 in fewest points allowed 11 times. His journey with the Buccaneers took him the Super Bowl, where his defense produced one of the best ever performances in Super Bowl history.

Coach Kiffin was one of those guys that when he spoke, everybody sat up and paid attention; you had to. You may have seen him on tv speaking to reporters and heard the fiery genius proudly boast the results of his defense, but in person, it was quite different. The only time you were thrown aback by the whispering genius was when he was excited, but that excitement soon would turn to whispers. He would work so hard on creating a defensive scheme and be so focused on his work that when he had a “eureka moment”, he would shout, and it would throw everyone off guard. When he would figure out a way to stop an opposing offense, he would shout it out to the world around him that he had figured it out, but whispers would soon follow. It was almost like he did not want to reveal his discovery until everyone was on the football field.

The father of our legendary defense turns 80 years of age on February 29, 2020, but was honored by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during his birthday celebration on February 22, 2020, with this year’s Ring of Honor! Monte Kiffin will be the 14th player inducted into the Buccaneers Ring of Honor. The date for his induction has not been announced, but will be in April when the official schedule is released.

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