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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.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • jeremy

    I think that guy was Bo Jackson

  • lefty 12

    poor Brenann-the beating he took last night reminded me of what A Walter took last year.but it showed he’s not the best QB in the draft.

  • lefty 12

    Jeremy-all your arguements for DM are good arguements,but you forget 1 main point-M.Bush.bigger,breakaway speed and a TD machine in college.

  • Breaking News

    This just in per pft.com:

    POSTED 4:51 p.m. EST, January 2, 2008

    SAPP TO REPLACE MILLARD IN OAKLAND

    Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp told some of his teammates on Friday that he plans to retire. Reports are now surfacing that also mentioned in that very same speech was that Sapp wasn’t planning on going anywhere any time soon.

    It appears that Sapp will be staying within the organization, but as a coach. He will replace incumbent Keith Millard as the Defensive Line Coach.

    This just fuels the speculation that head coach Lane Kiffin’s father Monte is being brought in to replace Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator. Sapp and Monte have a solid relationship from the years that Sapp was in Tampa. Also Sapp has definitley “been there, done that” which today’s player in the NFL tends to respect more than your average run of the mill coach.

    Stay tuned.

  • Trevor

    I’m not sure I’d be excited about Sapp as an assistant coach. Yeah he knows the game as a player, but first-time head coaches have a lot to learn, look at Jackie Slater. I’m glad Ryan is gone, though, and would welcome Monte Kiffin’s arrival if we go that route. Seems like it would be pretty strange to have a guy working for his son, though.

  • Ted Hendricks

    BS. From what Ive read Sapp respects but DOES NOT like Monte Kiffin at all. He blames Kiffin for the Bucs not resigning Sapp or Lynch when they lift via FA a few years back.

  • Acey40Deuce

    The Sapp thing is a lie. FU Breaking News aka Charger!

  • M.I.A. Raider

    I LOVE IT!! Do you guys remember when Johnnie Lee Higgins muffed a punt return against SD last game? he went to the sidelines and NO ONE approached him as a disgrace…the only one in his face with encouraging advice was Coach Sapp! Johnnie looked like he encountered an angel as he was about to lose it in tears…we could use that emotion to keep the attitude that Kiffen is trying to install alive.

    As for the draft…I want McFaddend desperately just cause of the impact that Adrian had on Minnesota last year. I would not be upset with either Dorsey or Long. I know a lot of us think differently for need vs talent but look what other non-raider fans think we will take….

    http://hailredskins.com/MockDraft.htm

  • M.I.A. Raider

    ooops…i believed it once i read that crap…damn charger go suck on some chocolate bars…that we all know you fantasize about!

  • R8R_ERN

    WTF! BS!

  • Breaking News

    This just in per pft.com:

    POSTED 3:53 p.m. EST, January 2, 2008

    Turner Staff Caught….taping?

    Some respectful unknown sources confirm that Turner and his staff was spotted video taping Vince Young at his home while he was taking a shower. It is not known why they wanted to video tape Vince Young nude.

    “I was just shocked when I first saw the video of Vince nude,” a source said with anonymity. “I really don’t understand what Turner was thinking, but maybe he has something under his sleeves.”

    Shawne Merriman was seen walking out of the office with a big smile on his face, when asked about the video tape accusations, he politely responded “I am sorry, I don’t undersand what you’re talking about.” Then he walked off with a smirk on his face. This should be very interesting.

    Stay tuned.

  • Huff24

    Jerry – We need an effin clue. lol. Did you take that deserved vacation? Are you well rested? Hurry back! 539 Comments & Counting.

  • R8R_ERN

    NICE!

  • R8R_ERN

    Jerry, we are chomping at the bit, give us some news! You got Adam schefter’s lil friend posting false reports.

  • RaiderTW

    Adam schefter’s lil friend?

    Damn he would fit in your pocket if he’s small than Schefter!!!

  • #87 Dave Casper

    Sapp, Coach Sapp What?? Monte the new DC, I don’t think so… Monte maybe a consultant but I doubt he will be the New DC in OAKLAND.

  • raiderwill1980

    really hope we go with a cover 2 defense. our defense is built on speed, quickness and the dline is built for rushing the passer, perfect components for a cover 2,especially with morrison and howard being very fast and smaller lbs. thate would leave the def with the need for a dt and safety, i believe sam williams would serve us better in a cover 2 def also, his speed would be on display, our lbs wouldn’t have to fight offensive lineman, just drop back, read the play,and fly to the ball..[driftin off into a dream now] i can see it so clear :D

  • Huff24

    Wasn’t Sapp upset with Monte Kiffin after Sapp got released by the Buccaneers? I thought Sapp felt betrayed. Maybe thats why Sapp is retiring because he knows Monte Kiffin is heading to Oakland and he doesn’t want to work with him?

  • http://none GRIM

    I wonder what some of you are smokin? We will NOT draft Mcfadden, unless he can tackle VERY WELL!! And also decided to switch to play as a defensive lineman.

  • Rayden

    Come on Jerry, write some thing.

    I like Matt Maiocco, from 49er’s Press Democrat. He constantly updates and writes on his blogs and keeps his fans updated.

    Jerry, you should be like Matt, even if there is no news, he finds something to write about. Come on Jerry, you can do this for the Raiders and their fans.

  • Huff24

    Sam Williams = 5 Years and NOTHING to show for it. He is Alvis Whitted on Defense and I cannot wait for him to be gone. Its about time we get rid of the crap that has been left behind by all the poor coaching staffs.

  • B’s ain’t S but H’s & T’s

    Hey Grim -

    stick to your fairy tales!

  • Rayden

    Here is my take on the draft:

    If Lane Kiffin addresses LT, DT, DE, WR during the offseason, then we may end up drafting McFadden. However, if we don’t address any of those during the offseason, then expect the Raiders to go after a strong DT or DE with their first pick (even if McFadden is still on the board)

  • Huff24

    Rayden – Don’t be disrespectful to Jerry. Jerry has the best Raiders blog out there and kicks the crap out of most team blogs as well. Fuk Matt Maiocco and his 40 Whiner fan base. Jerry is very good about ALWAYS updating us but the season is over, It was Christmas and New Years and he deserves a vacation. Keep that 49er crap off of this blog.

  • Rayden

    By offseason, I mean FAs…

  • B’s ain’t S but H’s & T’s

    get that 9er crap outta here NOW!

  • Rayden

    Huff24,

    I happen to be both a Raiders and 49ers fan. But I liked the Raiders way before. I started liking the Niners because of Jerry Rice. If a Player can play for both the Raiders and Niners…why can’t a fan like both teams?

    I am not direspecting Jerry, I love this website and I enjoy Jerry’s articles. But I realized Matt is more often upto date with his information. He constantly writes on his website…every single day…several times a day, even after the season is over.

    If its Christmas Eve and New years and jerry deserves a vacation, what about Matt? Same goes for him and he still writes for his fans to read.

    Its been a few days…and still NO WORD from Jerry. We hear from OTHER websites about Ryan being fired and about Sapp retiring…but where is jerry? On vacation, yeah. lol

  • Huff24

    Maybe Maiocco doesn’t deserve a vacation? Jerry is going to wait until he has all the facts straight before he starts blabbing out a bunch of B.S. unlike Maiocco. I’d rather have accuracy over anything at all.

  • Rayden

    Well, thats where we’re different buddy. I like to read, even if it may not turn out to be a fact. Why do we even bother to come to a website and read things? Well, most people do it to kill time and entertain themselves by reading something interesting.

    By the way….Ryan being fired is not a “bunch of B.S.” information, it happens to be a fact which was reported on NFL network by that midget Adam. I know jerry has some information to post on here…but he is on his vacation, lol

  • Rayden

    When a blog posting reaches over half a thousand, it is time to post something FRESH. Damn it Jerry, where are you?

    Hey jerry, don’t you own a nice laptop with good wireless internet capabilities? You should own one and log on to your account and do your job (even if you are on vacation) and at least post something for your dear fans…you know Jerry, without us reading your blog, you really wouldn’t have a successful career.

    It’s us, the readers, that helps you get a pay-check and have those “paid vacations” LoL.

    Write us something Jerry! Updates on Ryan please? And who will be replacing Ryan? And is Sapp really retiring?? Thanks Jerry

  • KoolKell

    I’d like to see the Raiders get bigger and faster at Running Back. Like a Michael Bush, if as advertised. I probably wouldn’t make a big deal out of Fargas or Rhodes

  • http://none GRIM

    Hey B’s- How bout you stick your head up your ass. Better yet, why don’t you pull it out.

  • Rayden

    Hey Jerry, if you are too busy, maybe you can call your buddy, Matt Maiocco, and he can probably post some things about the Raiders on his website. Yeah? Come on Jerry :)

  • Once upon a time in the west

    Let me clear up the term Compensatory pick. To many of us throw this term around without understanding what it means.
    Compensatory Picks
    In addition to the 32 picks in each round, there are a total of up to 32 picks dispersed at the ends of Rounds 3 through 7. These picks, known as “compensatory picks,” are awarded to teams that have lost more qualifying free agents than they gained the previous year in free agency. Teams that gain and lose the same number of players but lose higher-valued players than they gain also can be awarded a pick, but only in the seventh round, after the other compensatory picks. Compensatory picks cannot be traded, and the placement of the picks is determined by a proprietary formula based on the player’s salary, playing time and postseason honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor. So, for example, a team that lost a linebacker who signed for $2.5 million per year in free agency might get a sixth-round compensatory pick, while a team that lost a wide receiver who signed for $5 million per year might receive a fourth-round pick.

    If fewer than 32 such picks are awarded, the remaining picks are awarded in the order in which teams would pick in a hypothetical eighth round of the draft.

  • Memo

    I can see Monte going to Oakland. The man is 68 so maybe a few years with his son might be an ideal way of retirng

  • Dakota

    WHAT! THE CURSE OF PETRINO! McFadden just announced he is returning for his senior year! Why the hell would he do that? Now we will be stuck drafting Little Howie and trading D. Burgess…talk about treading water.

    Bummer.

  • Memo

    so Compensatory picks are based off the FA salary & not by performance? So if Fargas is gone, the Raiders will get a 5th RD pick?

  • Rayden

    Memo, that is a wishful thinking. You see, as fans, thats what we want….Monte and Lane, working together.

    But lets be realistic here. The problems are:

    1)Monte as a DC is making more money than Lane as a HC. Knowing Al Davis, he won’t accept to offer Monte or Lane more money any time soon.

    2)Monte’s Defense style (zone specialist) is TOTALLY different from what Al Davis (man-to-man coverage)prefers.

    3)The raiders might be on a short-time leash, meaning if there is some good DC available there right now, they might go after him…and won’t be able to wait for Monte to finish the playoffs. I mean who knows…the bucs could win their first two games and go to the superbowl…you never know.

  • Raider Raul

    Kiffin would incorporate so many ways to use McFadden. He could line up as WR/RB anytime!
    However, I believe that Big Al will target the young Long, and bring the prodigal son back to Oakland! Perhaps trade down with the Jets (if McFadden is stll available) and still get Little Howie (actually, CL is bigger than HL by 1 inch & 10 pounds!)

  • JB

    lefty 12

    Q. What’s better than M.Bush, a bigger,breakaway speed and a TD machine in college?

    A. Two TD machines, Bush & McFadden, both big touchdown machines. They will be our Deuce McGallister/Reggie Bush backfield. What a pair to draw to. McFadden is also an accomplished receiver than can & does lineup as a wideout.

    Grim

    You are without a clue regarding our drafting of McFadden. Unless Dorsey or C. long are available, McFadden will be a Raider. I’m not even sure they’d pick little Howie over McFadden. Put simply, he’s a blue-chip playmaker. The likes of whom rarely turn up. When you’ve got a shot at a player like this, you take it. You can’t afford not to.

  • Huff24

    POSTED 5:05 p.m. EST, January 2, 2008

    BENGALS FIRE BRESNAHAN

    A league source tells us that the Bengals have fired defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan.

    Bresnahan spent three years in the position. His predecessor, Leslie Frazier, was fired after the 2004 season.

    It’s unknown whether the decision to fire Bresnahan was made by head coach Marvin Lewis, or by upper management.

    On Monday, Lewis defended his staff. “I’m very pleased with what our coaches have done this year,” Lewis said. “They’ve gone through some trying times with new players and injuries. It’s very difficult each and every week to look at a different group of guys, moving guys from position to position. I thought they handled that very well.”

    (Another GREAT former Raider Defensive Coordinator LOL)

  • Once upon a time in the west

    Memo, Performance is part of the formula.You have to be one of the Park Ave [In N.Y. NFL office]suits to understand this. I hope this helped.

  • ChargersWillChoke

    Sorry to see you go Coach Rob, the defense this year ws just not feared by any team, they were not aggressive enough, not sure if that was your design or Al’s, next year if the defense doesn’t blitz more then it will be the same old result at year end.

  • KoolKell

    There’s alot of GM hiring and firing today. Maybe a omen for the Raiders.

  • JB

    Dakota

    Where did you see that regarding McFadden? It makes absolutely no sense. College level players are there for one reason – to make it to the NFL and the big bucks. If he comes out, he’s achieved the goal. Why play one more year at the college level and possibly get hurt to the extent that his value lessens or worse he is permanently damaged an undraftable. Like I said, this makes NO SENSE.

  • B’s ain’t S but H’s & T’s

    Grim -

    don’t look now but your lack of intelligence is showing. First a comment about Suggs being a MLB and then you suggest McFadden be a defensive lineman?! I know the McFadden thing was supposed to be funny but you missed the target completely. It takes a smart individual to make a joke, which explains why yours wasn’t funny!

    dumba$$!

  • The Answer

    McFadden is tired of coming in 2nd for the Heisman and he intends on winning it next year.

  • R8R_ERN

    Does anyone think Jerry J will give up 2 first round picks to move to numero uno.

    We surely need to shore up our O-line and D-line, then get a WR with hands and speed. Jrock needs a good WR to stretch the field.

  • RaiderDogg

    R8R_ERN -

    I believe Jerry Jones was only going to do that if McFadden was available. If McFadden stays in college then I highly doubt that Jones will try to move up, but you never know.

    Raiders for Life…I’m In!

  • http://Fixthebold.com Terrapin

    The only way McFadden is drafted, if available, is if Fargas is not re-signed, Rhodes is traded, and LJ is traded or released (given). If Fargas gets re-signed you all can forget about McFadden. Seriously.