With or without Carroll, Falcons might pursue Kiffin

Monte Kiffin (left, celebrating with Ronde Barber) worked wonders with the Tampa Bay defense this year. Despite featuring five new starters, the Bucs' stop unit finished second in total defense. Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

One of the more interesting aspects of the Atlanta Falcons' pursuit of Pete Carroll this week to fill their head-coaching vacancy was that the Southern California sideline boss already had begun plans for assembling a staff, and he had identified some of the candidates to Atlanta officials.

Heading the list of potential staffers: Legendary Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, one of Carroll's closest friends.