Day-after wrap-up


News, notes and observations from Lane Kiffin’s season-ending press conference Monday:

— One of the most telling comments from Kiffin Monday was that he may have underestimated the effect that four years of double-figure losing had on the organization.

“It’s a difficult mentality to have when people are so used to losing that it’s just what they know,” Kiffin said. “It’s what happens. You lose gmes. You find a way to lose them. It is difficult. It’s more difficult than if you had a team that just had one year of it. With a team that’s pretty oyoung, that’s kind of all that some of them know.”

You’d never hear anything like that from Bill Callahan, Norv Turner or Art Shell. You’d either get blinders (Callahan), confused rambling (Turner) or press-release nonsense about all the talent on the roster and the tradition of the Raiders (Shell).

Kiffin, while respecting the past, has never bought into any of it with how it impacts the present. He understands where the Raiders reside in the NFL food chain. He understands that besides the woe-is-us mindset, there is a dearth of talent that must be addressed.

— Same goes for the poor, abused Raiders when it comes to the officials.

“You mean am I finally gooing to buy in that everyone’s against the Raiders in this league?,” Kiffin said, flashing a smile. “No, I’m not. There’s calls that go both ways and I’m never going to buy into that theory. You always see the ones that go the other way. Trust me, we had a facemask (by Tony Stewart) yesterday that wasn’t called and they go the other way too and their fans think they got the bad end of the deal.”

Kiffin vowed to get his team to play smarter, make better decisions and not put themselves in position for penalties.

I’ve always thought the fixation on officials, while merited when the team was strong and losing a playoff game in the snow, is impossible to justify when your team is poor and constantly committing pre-snap fouls which have nothing to do with judgement.

— Sorry, Robert Gallery bashers. He stays. And he stays at guard. He may never live up to the hype of a No. 2 overall pick and he’ll be forever trashed by a segment of the population that considers themselves budding O-line coaches, but it appears he has won over Kiffin.

Gallery’s penalties concern him, however.

— Kiffin negotiated a quarterback minefield pretty well considering everything that went into it. His caretaker quarterback (Josh McCown) struggled and got injured, Daunte Culpepper arrived late, and Russell really late.

Andrew Walter remained on the roster and didin’t complain. When it was all over Russell ended the season feeling good about his performance, Culpepper put some good work on film for free agency and McCown was hoping to land a job in Oakland as the backup quarterback.

— Typical scene in the back parking lot of the Raider facility as a handful of fans attempted to get autographs. With player after player pulling out of the gated area and past the fans with little more than a wave, McCown pulled over, rolled down his window and signed _ for a fan wearing a Culpepper jersey.

— As much as I’ve admired everything Ronald Curry went through to become an NFL starter, he had the worst of his three mostly-healthy seasons. He was prone to drops and penalties and looked as if he lost some speed as the year went on.

Curry caught 11 passes in his last give games. Kiffin said he met with Curry Monday “and we have a good plan on how he is going to improve and what he needs to do to get beter because we expect him to have a big year next year.”

— No official word regarding the fate of Rob Ryan, but when Kiffin talked about his expectations going into the season, he noted 11 returning starters on defense, nine players who were either new or in new positions on offense, and that the plan was “to run the ball and stop the run. And to build off the defense with 11 returning starters.”

— “I have talked to Warren. I am not going to comment on that until Warren talks to you guys. Warren has already made it known what he’s doing but I’m not going to take that from him. He’ll tell you guys whenever he’s ready _ ” Kiffin on the status of Warren Sapp.

Sure doesn’t sound like the way he would answer the question if Sapp were returning, does it?

— It’s hard not to like Ryan, and it’s fair to criticize the players for Oakland’s defense. Kirk Morrison said as much Sunday, that it was their fault there was speculation over Ryan.

Using that logic, you hold on to Jackie Slater and Irv Eatman and blame the offensive line, rather than bring in Tom Cable.

— Kiffin said Tommy Kelly’s rehab from knee surgery is going likely and that he is very interested in bringing back special teams player Jarrod Cooper.

— There was no promise to franchise cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, mostly because the hope is the two sides can work out a long-term deal. If that doesn’t happen, expect Asomugha to be franchised.

— The Raiders will probably be more than willing to let Jerry Porter test the free agent market, figuring 44 catches and 705 yards isn’t going to bring him anything out of the ballpark and they’ll be able compete for a reasonable price.

— After detailing to the team Monday morning what he expected this offseason, Kiffin said “a couple” of players tell him afteward, “I guess that means you’re staying.”

Wonder if they were the same guys who asked me over past few weeks if Kiffin was staying.

I always told them there was no reason to think Kiffin was leaving. If Kiffin would have been as emphatic a few weeks ago as he was Monday, there never would have been any questions.

— Have the Raiders finally come to the realization that the slender Michael Huff may not be suited to be the heavy-hitter at strong safety?

“We’re going to look at some different things with Michael,” Kiffin said.

— Rich Gannon’s NFL record of 418 completions, set in 2002, was broken by New Orleans Drew Brees, who finished with 440.

— The Raiders will flip a coin with the Falcons to see which team will get the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft. The coin flip will take place at the NFL scouting combine.

— The Raiders 2008 home opponents will be Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, New England, the New York Jets, Houston, Atlanta and Carolina.

The road opponents will be Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Buffalo, Miami, Baltimore, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • armond

    a co worker of mine suggest going to a 3-4 and have huff move to corner. get 2 hitters at safety and have a rotating DL. he said that our d is more suited for this because our strength is in our LB’S. he talked about catering to the talent we know will be here and build around them instead trying to get a brand new line, secondary and so on. i thought about it for a while and figured it may be the most logical thing to do. howard, morrison , huff, namdi and burgess would be our core for now. if you could get some b level safeties at worse who can hit then you would have a more physical secondary and put clemons as a rush str olb with thomas on the wks morrison ilb and williams/ thomas or pick/ fa the other ilb. haynesworth may be too expensive so if that doesnt work u pick up the next tier of d-lineman who fit for now. you can always rotate between 3-4 4-3 and a 4 2 5 with huff playing roving cb fs while routt plays as a third cb. washington gets pushed around too easily by big wrs. with the right DC it may work because we have faster athletic lbs than when ryan came here. it also may be a cost effective way to shore up the d and allow the few stars we have on defense to become more potent if we build around them by catering to them. i say attack the damn qb!!!

  • Copenhagen_Fan

    GOOD GOD! The last couple of weeks in the season, we have the most interesting, serious and in-depth discussion of our team and suddenly the season ends, Charger shows up (for whatever unfathomable reason)and you guys turn into a bunch of braindead idiots??!

    I never understood the mentality of Rob Ryan. The things he said never really made sense. His perception of reality was never really on the mark.


    1) The comment regarding that even his wife could see that we tackle poorly.
    2) His comment at the end of the season that we have great players on D and that they really worked hard, yet failed, basically sealing his own fate, as who else is there to blame?
    3)His comment that he’d have a new job in 2 minutes….true statement…but kind of arrogant for a guy who basically failed to stop the run in 4 years.

  • Copenhagen_Fan

    I’d try to get Haynesworth and then draft the best D lineman available. Keep G. Warren, and Sands as backups. Kelly, Clemons, Burgess and JRich at DE.

    Try to package some guys who don’t fit in next year and get some extra picks to pick up a SS, MLB and WR in the draft.

    Move Huff to free safety (credit is given to all of the guys on the board that called for this all season). Get Fabian his confidence back. Routt is a good 3rd corner.

  • Copenhagen_Fan

    One more thing!

    Let’s recap all of the good decisions Kiff made this year with personel:

    1) Drafting Zach Miller
    2) Late round pick of Mr. Pain
    3) Keeping Clemons over Moses
    4) Picking up Justin Griffin (and having the guts to cut Zack Crockett who was a great Raider.)
    5) Cooper Carlyle
    6) Taking a shot a Newbury who was an upgrade over Grove.
    7) Moving Gallery to guard and getting some value out of him when he was otherwise a bust.
    8) Picking up JRich in the 5th round.
    9) Getting Jerry Porter back in the game. Getting value out of a zero value situation from last year.
    10)Getting GREAT VALUE out of Fargas!

    I have to say that the majority of his moves have paid off……..that’s 10 moves that have added value to our team’s roster in ONE year. Not bad for a rookie.

  • Jack Johnson

    Look at all the dumb moves that he made to lose games.

    Too tired to list. You people will never understand how the Head Coach for our Raiders got us beat several times this year becuase you just dont understand football.

    The reason why I know this. Is because if you knew, you wouldnt be buying all this Lane is great BS.

  • Copenhagen_Fan

    Jack Johnson..if you don’t list ’em then you can just save it…….no agumentation, no validity.

    In any case, I can say that Kiff is a major improvement over the last 3 coaches we’ve had….so I’ll take Kiff and I’m in.

  • Chris Sproule

    I was just looking at available Safety Free agents and Gibril Wilson form the Giants is a free agent. I think he should be high on the Raiders Wish list. Something we have going for us is that he is from San Jose, CA. I think Ron Rivera from the Chargers would be a great option for DC, although San Diego probably never grant us permission to talk to him.

  • RaiderTW

    Charger Says:

    The Raiders will suck in 2008. Your 300 lb rookie QB is a mega flop. That was a practice squad player who owned him on Sunday.
    —-Then why was Phillip Leaf out played by JR, a rookie? You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!!!

    You all remind me of that Jim Jones cult that committed mass suicide.
    —Look it up, most of the Jones cult were shot in the back running away or injected against their will. You however must have been shot in the head just before you started posting here.

    You’re a bunch of lemmings being led over the edge by Al Davis.
    —-What has your owner done>? He fired Schittenheimer, that’s his leagacy.
    lol Myopians.

    armond Says:

    why does everyone respond to the same ol raider hatin bs?
    —- Because it’s fun and way too easy to b*tch slap these fuctards.

    i wish they would cut out all these ignorant posts so that the discussion about our raiders could continue. just ignore their asses and theyll go away.
    ——They will never go away, until their team loses. For Charger fans that will be:
    at 6:30 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time)
    This is still fun to do 9 hrs later.

  • raiderwill1980

    kiff really has a good handle on the needs of this team, like what i heard and read of his season ending press conference. also glad to see kiff also saw a problem with our personnel team, streeter has already been shown the door. this will be an interesting offseason, if his f/a and draft moves are successful yet again. we are looking very good for the future. if kiff can find someone to fix the dline the way cable fixed the oline…oooooobaby 😀

  • RaiderTW

    A real test of who’s in control of the draft for the Raiders is if Chris Long gets drafted. Al will draft him in a second (just look at the loyalty to exRaiders & Raider coaches meaning Marinovich). The only reason I think he could pass on Long is Howie doesn’t want him going to the Raiders. Howie has expressed he thinks Al is bat Sh*t crazy, so he could actually pass him up. Ideally we could get him in the 2nd rd. ANYONE thinking the Raiders should(or could) get McFadden is batsh*t crazy IMO. You draft for need when you are 4-12 NO MATTER WHAT. Draft for talent when you are 9-6. A lot of people are demanding we trade down & get more. I think it’s only insane to do that when you are this close to the top of the draft. How often does that happen?(not after next year)! Starry eyed fans think they can 12 picks out of a 1st rd trade are delusional. The league only lets Jerry Jones trade 1 player for 12 & only when you have a Mike Lynn who’s willing to commit carreer suicide by doing so. The Raiders? We can’t get compensation for trading a coach in his last yr of his contract without the NFL changing the rules. I think it will be a tell tale sign of who is pulling the strings during the draft if we pass on C Long.

  • MaddenRaider

    There are lots of Republicans who will vote for the candidate they think can beat ‘clinton’ or ‘obama’ in November. “JUST WIN BABY” is Al Davis memorable phrase and the need to keep the White House in center right hands during the war and for the security of our country.

  • RaiderTW

    “Just Rig The Election, Baby” was the mantra of the reprobat…I’m mean repulicans the last 8yrs.

  • first off, happy new year raider nation….

    i know the defense needs are pressing, but if mccfadden is available at 3 or 4, we can’t pass him up. running back is the easiest position to transition to from the college game, i.e. adrian petterson. i would love to see a fargas/mccfadden backfield with bush spelling both. with the massive strides our o-line made this year, having a homerun threat such as DM would only make our ground game more formidable. plus, an elite ground game will only help with the developement of jruss. ALSO, a strong ground game helps your defense. ball control equals time of possession. TOP means your drfense is on the sideline, and usually playing with a lead.

    i know we need a DT or a safty, but wouldn’t it make more sense to go get both in free agency?? huff needs some big time help. he is not ready to be a senior member of the secondary. he could use a veteran not named stu to help him with his game. moving to FS wouldn’t hurt either. with tommy kelly comming back(hopefully) it would be nice to see another veteran FA DT to help out or young LBs.

  • R8R_ERN

    I’m with Copenhagen_Fan.

    My upgrade wish:

    1. Go after Haynesworth on DL (right away!)

    2. Go after A.Feneca, M.Starks or even F. Adams on OL

    3. Go after Bernard Berrian at WR ( right away!!)

    4. Look at R. Gay or M. Trufant maybe at DB

    5. pay Burgess to keep him QB hungry!

    Draft Picks:

    1. DMC #1.

    2. Grab Kentwan Balmer #2.

    3. Grab Sweed or Doucet if available at WR

    4.Grab Tom Zbikowski for ST if available

  • bs

    why faneca, we need a lt, not a guard.

    we do not need a db, unless we don’t sign asomugha.

    balmer will be gone in rd 1 if he comes out, no way sweed or doucet last until rd 3 (we don’t have a 3rd rd pick anyway).

  • Raider Glory

    McFadden, Dorsey or Long…..#1 pick!!

  • Raider Glory

    Bush is a fricken MORON……And so are you Madden…..dumb ass!!!

  • Not a very impressive FA crop for next year, I really want to see us use the cap money wisely, there aren´t many big names out there that can come at a reasonable price and match the salary with production on the field.

    I´d like to go after Corey Williams to replace Sapp, that´s the kind of mid-level player we need and the Pack already have Justin Harrell on the bench so my guess is they won´t go all out to keep him.

    There is a growing number of undrafted players making a name for themselves out there, we need to try to develop some of our own.

  • 16 to 88



    If nothing else you have my e-mail.

    I’m not holding my breath however as you KNOW you would lose.

  • Raider Glory

    Hey Marley,

    What do you think about McFadden??, We could sure use a good back like him. I believe Rhoads and L.Jordan have played their last game as Raiders!!!

    I like Dorsey, McFadden and Long…….in that order!!!

  • Raider Glory

    16 to 88,

    It’s no secret that the refs have it in for the Raiders, but hey represent the NFL……..Who royaly hate the Raiders. At one time I thought it was just stupid complaining, but NOW I realize that the NFL will go out of their way to keep the Raiders down. One good example is how the officials let Randy Moss get away with offensive pass interference,now that he’s a Patsie, but always called it against him when he played with the silver and black………It’s complete B.S.!!!!!

  • Sapp retiring really puts us in a bind. We are left with only Sands at DT under contract.

    Dorsey will be gone likely and Ellis don´t seem like the 3rd or 4th pick but we may have to take him.

    Haynesworth is a pipe dream, why would Tennesse let him go?. Re-signing Gerard Wareen and Tommy Kelly seem like must do as of now. And getting Corey Williams can give us some options for the 1st pick.

  • jeremy

    Any news besides Ryan getting canned?

  • jeremy

    As far as Raiders Homer. Thanks though.

  • Hey Glory..

    As for McFadden:

    Raider2 made the point that even with Fargas and Rhodes back, they will be 28 and 29 respectively this month. If Bush pans out, we have to take it as a major break but his presence alone should not deter us from getting a top talent like McFadden. We may not see it as an area of need at the moment but we gotta look down the road 2 or 3 years.

    Now, if we keep improving under Kiffin we won´t be getting any top 10 picks in a while, let alone top 5 so we might be wise to grab a blue chipper now while we can.

    Thing is, for me at least, I´m just not sold on McFadden being that kind of player, if the staff sees him that way I´d be glad to have him but history tells us, you have to be a true difference maker to merit a top 4 pick as a RB. Throw in we have a RB friendly system now and it gets harder to validate McFadden´s case.

    I made a list the other day and LDT is the only top 5 RB pick currently in the playoffs. There are undrafted FA´s..late first rounders, 2nd and 4th rounders…you know where I´m getting at.

    So, for me at least and as of now, I´d pass on him, I don´t wanna tie up 20 million on a RB with skinny legs and a WR body who while a home run threat, hasn´t shown the power to consistently run between the tackles and keep the chains moving.

  • You know…I do recall several runs that Jordan, Fargas and Rhodes broke that if it had been McFadden carrying the ball on that open field they would have ended as 6 points.

  • I thought G.Warren was still under contract. If so I would expect him to fill Sapps void next year.

    McFadden is a damn good player but really how much can he improve our running game? The Raiders are ranked 6th in the NFL, have 3 rbs with consecutive 100 yard games. Maybe we go from 6th to 3rd ranked but thats only a difference of 5 yards. So maybe we get 10-15 yards better average with McFadden. Not much improvement for the pick (+15 is good though but speculative of course).

    Kiffin has already said he wants to re-sign Fargas & Fargas wants to be RAIDER. Rhodes is still under contract for another year. Super Wild Card MBush is coming off Pup/IR. The only way I can see McFadden in S&B is if Fargas is not re-signed. And Rhodes will likely be traded as the signing of McFadden means he’s the feature back.

  • Charger

    Hey, Lame Kitten’s lovable losers. What you gonna do when Norv hoists the Lombardi next month in Phoenix? What excuse you gonna have?

  • I just don’t see a lot of improvement value for picking McFadden. He’s not going to make the run game much better than what it currently is.

    Meanwhile we have a run D thats giving up big yardage and ranks at the bottom of the league. They need huge improvement and a high pick on the Dline will go a long way to making this team more competitive.

  • Terrapin

    Yeah, getting McFadden would not be a huge numbers improvement over this year´s production. But his impact would be felt on terms of gameplanning from opposing coaches, the threat of having a guy who can take it all the way on any given down would make it much harder to defend our offense and if you couple that with Russell´s improving aerial capabilities we would be in for a much more explosive attack than last year´s.

    That being said, I´d still pass unless we are sure he´s the real deal.

  • jeremy

    2006 Vikings rushing stats: 1,820, long of 95 by Taylor
    total rushing TD’s: 12
    2007 Vikings rushing stats: 2,634, long of 84 (by Taylor & 73 by Peterson)
    total rushing TD’s: 22

    Now keep in mind the offensive line was basically the same both years. Especially with Hutchinson & McKinley on the left side.

    Also have to remember Brad Johnson was the QB in ’06 meanwhile ’07 Tavaris Jackson was the new guy this year.

    There’s a huge increase in the rushing attack due to adding Peterson. Taylor already had 12 td’s, a long of 95, and basically 300 yards receiving.

    If DMac can add more TD’s to our offense and production, I’m all for it.

    Fargas & Rhodes will never be breakaway backs. If they hit the home run, it’s from within 40 yards. DMac will have several home runs longer than 40.

  • jeremy

    DMac can take it to the house!! I think he would be fully capable of putting up 1,200 yards, 12 TD’s, 400 yards receiving with 2 td’s, plus a passing TD.

  • 1980Raider

    Check out this mock draft I found…I will try to find more from different sites…

    by Ricky Dimon, Updated Tuesday, January 01, 2008
    This is our fifth NFL mock draft for 2008.

    MIA Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
    STL Jake Long, OT, Michigan

    ATL Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College

    OAK Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

    KC Chris Long, DE, Virginia

    NYJ Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State

    NE James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    BAL Andre Woodson, QB, Kentucky

    CIN Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC

    NO Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State

    BUF Dan Connor, LB, Penn State

    DEN Keith Rivers, LB, USC

    CAR Calais Campbell, DE, Miami (FL)

    CHI Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville

    DET Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida

    ARI Kenny Phillips, S, Miami (FL)

  • Marley – I too wouldn’t be opposed to the pick as Kiffin talks of surronding JRussell with players that match his talent level. And McFadden may very well fill that void. But so may MBush! I’m not crowin’ McFadden till we know more about MBush. They both are HIGH talent players on JRussell’s level.

    At the same time passing up on Chris Long would be hard to do. Long is a playmaker in every sense of the word and having a “playmaker” on Defense is huge. I do expect Long to be very successful at the pro level. His numbers are great and have improved by the year! And that says a lot given that he has been game planned on all season – constantly facing double teams. Yet he STILL produced big numbers. STILL! Plus this guy has the drive, motor, talent and commitment that Kiffin loves.

    Other prospects include Dorsey (if Warren doesn’t fill Sapps void), trade down and get Ellis (I have never witnessed a Raider trade-down in 1st round).

  • Charger Revealed

    found a video of Charger:


    good stuff

  • 1980Raider

    Watching Chris Long play at the bowl game yesterday I was like, man, what a beast. Some people were saying he was small, but I didn’t see anything small about him. There was a series of 3 plays in a row where the first play he hurried the QB, the next play he got a sack, and the following play he was double teamed and still was able to get around one guy and go in between two guys to still get to the QB which forced him to throw an incomplete and then punt. This is guy is good.

  • Jeremy – It should be noted that the Vikings were statiscally ranked 16th in rushing O in 2006. Now with that middle of the road ranking, picking Peterson wasn’t such a bad idea.

    Again, the RAIDERS are above the 80th percentile – ranked 6th in the league. A far cry from 16th.

  • Terrapin..

    Yeah, in fact, I AM opposed to DMF…mostly because I am not sure he´s capable of carrying the load instead of just providing the home run threat.

    I´m all for Long too.

  • lefty 12

    if you’ve been away a couple days like i have,it’s kind of nice that choker fan is posting.less posts to read to catch up.DM didn’t impress my that much yesterday,but Stewart from oregon did.the announcers were gushhing over C.Long-talking about Parcells&Miami loving him.so there’s a good chance Dorsey is there for us-no brainer.

  • R8R_ERN

    Im ok with playing it safe and building our offensive and defensive line. Taking Dorsey, J.Long, or C.Long is a safer bet.
    Im with Bob with DMC. Besides Jerry Jones with give up his 2 first rounders for #1 to take DMC.

  • lefty 12

    as far as a DC is concerned-look for a bright young guy instead of an older retread.

  • 1980Raider

    that chocolate rain singer totally has the look of a chargers fan…lol

  • Thats what I saw too 1980 …as Chris made turtle soup out of my Terrapins during homecoming. The guy is a playmaker. He persistenly makes game winning, momentum changing plays for his team. It takes a while to think of any other DEFENSIVE player for which I can think the same.

  • 1980Raider

    I know…I would say he is as much a playmaker on Defense as McF is on offense…man, it would be a tough choice if both are available…and if we pick 3rd then maybe even Dorsey will be available… unlikely, but could happen…

  • I say we need to pick up linebacker Terrell Suggs from baltimore. Put him in the middle and have Morrison and Howard on the outsides. Now that would be a great linebacker corps.

  • Come On Bro

    Suggs is not a mlb, ain’t gonna happen. If anything he would be a de/olb if the Raiders changed to a 3-4.

  • jeremy


    I could care less about overall rankings. Look at our Defense and the overall ranking.

    TD’s are what matters in the rushing game. In ’06 with a far more reliable QB they had 12 rushing TD’s, but in ’07 their TD’s were 22.

    If DMac can add 10 more TD’s to our rushing attack, then why not?

    This year we’ve had a total of 2,086 rushing yards and 11 TD’s. If we could have 21 rushing TD’s next season, I would be very happy.

    Adrian Peterson had 3 runs greater than 50 yards and 8 games with more runs 15 yards or longer.

    Fargas: 6 runs of 15 yards or longer. longest-48
    Jordan: 3 runs of 15 yards or longer. longest-33
    Rhodes: 2 runs of 15 yards or longer. longest-25

    My point is we don’t have a back who can bust a 60 yard for a TD.

    We need to add a playmaker who strikes fear in the defense. DMac could do this. Especially once Russell can perfect the play-action pass.

  • jeremy

    oops, our overall defensive ranking last season was statistically high, but wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.

  • Effed in the A

    oh eff me in the a

  • Where´s the guy who was claiming a couple of days ago that Brenann was hands down the best QB in the draft and it wasn´t even debatable?.