Kiffin thought he had Houston job, and then he didn’t
It was widely reported last week – including on this website – that Lane Kiffin had been hired as head coach of the Houston Cougars. Oops. UH never offered him the job, though the school negotiated with Kiffin at length and he was already talking with candidates for positions on his staff. But UH instead chose one of its own, Major Applewhite, the offensive coordinator for the past two seasons, during which the Cougars were 22-4. Applewhite, 38, signed a five-year contract for the relatively modest total of $7.5 million. A former assistant to Nick Saban at Alabama, Applewhite told the Houston Chronicle: “I’ve been at jobs that paid more, but we’ve won more at Houston than those jobs that paid more.” Kiffin was offensive coordinator for Saban the past three years and, like Applewhite, did not get along well with a boss who could not embrace wide-open offense. Kiffin ended up taking the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic, where he will be paid less than $1 million a year. Houston rejected him out of concern that he would not be there long. The former coach at Southern Cal has his eyes on a big market. One of the primary boosters of the UH program said, “We didn’t want another coach looking at us as a stepping stone.” He was referring to Art Briles, Kevin Sumlin and, most recently, Tom Herman, who left for the University of Texas. The feeling at UH is that Applewhite, who was a star quarterback for the Longhorns, is not likely to leave the state.
Fisher fired after Gurley cites his ‘middle-school offense’
After losing 42-14 to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley said his team was running what “looked like a middle-school offense.” That comment was believed to be a factor in head coach Jeff Fisher being fired the next day. But perhaps more damaging was this comment by Gurley: “We’re just going through the motions. It looks like everybody’s just playing to get through.” The Rams are 4-9 for the season.
Aqib Talib on Harry Douglas: ‘dirty play by a sorry player’
Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib was furious when Tennessee receiver Harry Douglas delivered a diving block at the knees of another Denver corner, Chris Harris Jr., during Sunday’s game. Talib confronted Douglas on the sideline, and a brawl ensued. Talib was penalized for starting the altercation. Douglas was not flagged, since he did not hit Harris from behind. It was a legal block. “Chris Harris had been loafing on the play,” Douglas said. Talib insisted, “He tried to do something dirty, so that’s why I’m going to beat his ass.” Talib called it “a dirty play by a sorry player. . . . He didn’t catch no passes.”
T.Y. Hilton: ‘We laid down’ against Texans
After his Indianapolis Colts were upset in their home stadium by the Houston Texans, 22-17, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton explained the loss this way: “We laid down.” It was the second time this season that the Colts lost to their chief rival in the AFC South.
Adam Jones on Terrelle Pryor: ‘He’s garbage’
Like many NFL receivers and cornerbacks, Cleveland receiver Terrelle Pryor and Cincinnati corner Adam Jones talk trash during the game. But after their game Sunday, Jones was fuming. He told reporters that Prior “is garbage.” When those comments were relayed to Pryor, he said on Wednesday, “He was right. I was garbage that day. I had one catch for three yards.”