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Kiffin, 32, goes way back, honest

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    By Jay Posner

    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER


    Lane Kiffin might be the youngest coach in modern NFL history, but the 32-year-old Oakland Raiders boss is not an unknown to at least one Chargers player. Eleven years ago, backup quarterback Billy Volek and Kiffin were roommates at Fresno State. Neither played that season, and the next year Volek beat out Kiffin (among others) for the starting job. Kiffin, who had yet to graduate, then began serving as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs. The two remained friends through the years, and Kiffin said Volek probably has more secrets about him than the other way around. But if Volek has any dirt, he wasn't dishing it yesterday. “He's a great guy,'' said Volek, a year younger than Kiffin. “He was always a guy asking questions, always trying to know why we're doing this, doing that. He was always talking to the coaches.” Still, Volek said he “never thought (Kiffin) was going to be a head football coach. But I'm really happy for him. I think he's doing a good job up there. I'm really happy to see that he's had a lot of success so far.” Kiffin also had positive words about Volek, saying, “Billy was a guy that came in, wasn't very big and didn't have a big arm. He just kept competing and finding a way to make plays. I'm really proud of him.” Asked which roommate was “Oscar” and which was “Felix,” a reference to “The Odd Couple,” Kiffin was stumped. “You must be talking about an old TV show,” he said. “I'm showing my age here because I don't know what you're talking about.” Volek did, but he laughed and said, “We got along really well.”
    Whatever works

    Defensive end Luis Castillo swears he's not superstitious, and yet . .
    With the Chargers on a three-game losing streak, Castillo last week shaved his beard. Three days later the Chargers walloped Denver.
    “I put nine weeks into that thing,” Castillo said. “But you've got to do what you've got to do. You get on a streak like that, you start looking at all kinds of things.”
    Something else Castillo noticed: His neighbor, a big Chargers fan who is retired, was out of town during the losing streak. A year ago, Castillo said the man left town three times during the season. The Chargers lost twice and during the third week, Castillo was injured.
    “I told him he's not allowed to leave anymore during football season,” Castillo said.
    Injury report

    Not counting Eric Parker and Andrew Pinnock, who won't play until at least Oct. 28, three Chargers missed practice – receiver Vincent Jackson (shoulder), linebacker Brandon Siler (back) and nose tackle Jamal Williams (rest). As of now, it's expected all three will be available Sunday. For the Raiders, quarterback Josh McCown (who won't play) and defensive tackle Gerard Warren (quadriceps) did not practice. Three players were listed as being limited in practices&8211; defensive end Derrick Burgess (calf), linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba (foot) and running back LaMont Jordan (back). Kiffin said he expected Jordan, Justin Fargas and Dominic Rhodes to run the ball Sunday, but did not say which one would start.
     

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