A Kiffin miscalculation?


Interesting sequence of events as reported by Ira Miller of The Sports Xchange, who said Lane Kiffin fired Rob Ryan before first consulting with Al Davis.

Ryan, Miller reported, went to Davis to thank him for the opportunity, with Davis telling Ryan Kiffin had no authority to fire him.

If true, it was a huge tactical error on Kiffin’s part _ the same error Mike Shanahan made when he attempted to fire Art Shell in 1989. Davis rehired Shell, and when Shanahan was fired during the season, Shell became the head coach.

(I’ve been told things didn’t necessarily transpire in this order, but it’s worth mentioning because I have a lot of respect for Miller).

People who say the Raiders don’t have a general manager are in error. They have a G.M., and his name is Al Davis. Davis doesn’t own a rubber stamp. He needs to be convinced a change should be made.

To make a change without his consent is to invite conflict.

Lofton in town

Former Chargers wide receivers coach James Lofton was visiting with Kiffin in his office Monday morning, according to senior executive John Herrera.

Herrera had no information regarding an interview with Al Saunders. The Raiders, Bay Area News Group beat writer Steve Corkran reported, have made contact with Saunders. Bob LaMonte, the agent for Saunders, confirmed the Raiders had talked to the Redskins about speaking with Saunders before he was fired but that to his knowledge no interview had been arranged.

There is a chance Saunders could be hired by the St. Louis Rams as offensive coordinator before anything transpires in Oakland.

There are no press conferences scheduled.

Millard an issue?
One of the rumors making the rounds at the Senior Bowl is that defensive line coach Keith Millard was told by Kiffin he should explore job opportunities during the week.

The Raiders had a story on Millard on their Web site Sunday which detailed his unique perspective as having been involved in the Senior Bowl as both a player and coach.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • M

    System Moderator, again I ask, as I access this site by wireless does that mean that I shall be blocked simply because it is my mode of entry to the site? The wording is unclear as it follows reference to those who have been deemed ill-fit to be allowed access.

  • raiderwill1980

    zymurge… that is exactly the problem with getting a proven coach or getting things turned around with this team, you don’t hire a coach and then handcuff him to changes he can or cannot make, if you feel he isn’t competant enough to handle running the team and getting assistants that can do the job, you as a GM shouldn’t hire the guy. the limitations and accountability demanded on these coaches don’t add up

  • BD

    So; the head coach did a no-no and pissed off the owner. Because of this a new offensive assistant coach is being brought in who wants his job so bad the saliva is dripping off his chin. This same assistant just got fired by his last head coach because he was so popular with the players. Plus this head coach has to now work with a defensive coordinator that he tried to get rid of. Oh, and the defensive players were upset because their 20 minute breaks after 10 minute work-outs were going by-by(OK – an exageration). Just one happy family! The pieces are going to roll into place. 14-2, 15-1, believe it. Lane, Lane; what a mess. How did you manage to do this. You don’t go behind the boss’s back -especially this boss.

    Of course; tomorrow will bring a whole new segment of drama in … “Raider nation; AS THE COACHES TURN”

  • Chargers Hater

    to many posts to catch up…

  • DesertRaider24

    The offices in Alameda are sounding more and more like campaign headquarters for any of the candidates for President…all of the characters involved are putting on their spin for Raider Nation…it’s all about semantics and word choice

    Oh well…it wouldn’t be the Raider front office if it were running like other NFL franchises…nothing really to write about or comment on until the draft…we can’t even fire a guy in a normal way… people in the other 31 NFL clubs simply put out a statement at a press conference, “He’s fired,” and move on…we leak it out first, then deny it…

    We have more leaks than any President’s administration…

  • Andrews mom

    thats a bot and Jerry very rarely replies to anything here. Maybe you can email Jerry at the newspaper he works for.

  • Why the hell would we want Loften…He just got fired from the … “San DEE-AY-GO…..SUPER-CHARGERS!!!”

  • Acey40Deuce

    Andrews Mom is right about the moderator. It’s a bot that is probably triggered by either a banned user or one that is being banned. That’s my guess anyway.

  • M

    Thanks Andrew’s Mom, I did not realize these things.

  • La Milicia Negra


    I cant see how wifi can be a problem. you still get an IP. If you use your laptop home on or at work, you still use only a few ip’s…

    If you got a dynamic IP, and a stationary PC what then? half of the users would be removed then. I guess thats not their intentions.

    I see the Mod post as an eraly warning, until they find a suitable solution

  • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • They edited just a piece of my last post….how did they do it so fast?

  • Dakota

    Testing, Testing, one, two, three, testing…Houston, have I been banned yet?

  • I was making reference to the Chargers theme song…have you guys heard this?

  • Here Will let me repost something I wrote earlier today:

    M, true, maybe it is a trait of the older generation, the Dungys, Cowhers, Shanahans. Maybe it is a mistake that Davis keeps making. He wants a coach here who’s gonna be a Raider for 5-10 years.
    And for you knuckleheads who say Davis is not gonna let that coach do anything, well, he let kiff make his own offensive hires. kiff wanted a mobile QB. kiff wanted Jeff Garcia. Davis told him to go out and get him. When Garcia wouldn’t come here because he knew we were drafting Russell, Davis let him get McCown and Mike Williams. Davis let him draft Zach Miller cause he needed a tight end. Kiff wanted a fullback so he Davis gave him J. Griffith and O’Neal. Davis let him get rid of Randy Moss, Davis’ prized possession.
    I think they have to address the issue of whether Kiff is really here for the long haul. And personally, I don’t think Kiff did enough to justify taking over the defensive side of the ball, at least not until the end of next season. As I’ve said, I think this whole thing is gonna settle down and it’s back to business as usual.

  • Mad Road Dog

    Jerry…thanks again for bringing understanding with this new post. It was one heck of a sedative for the misinformed bloggers.

    BHP…special thanks for going out on a limb. Yours is one of the few post I like to read.

    System Moderator…thanks again for the upcoming infusion of sanity.

  • HERE’s a link to it….they still play this crap…at least they did the last SD-Raider game I went to.


  • raiderwill1980

    Oakglenn, I will never understand that logic, he’s the head coach, either he’s qualified to make changes to the staff, or he shouldn’t be the head coach.Last time I checked, the head coach wasn’t there to make sure the offense ran smoothly and that’s that…His job is to make sure the entire team is going in the same direction. If he feels the defense needs to go in another direction, that should be his call. His job is on the line based on what the entire team does. If the feeling is he’s not qualified to make such a decision, then why in the bleep is he the head coach?

  • Andrews mom

    Good question. Lets ask Mike Nolan and about 26 other head coaches that question

  • Fender52

    And another thing.
    If Al D has such a thin skin when it comes to matters of loyalty, how is it possible that he was so enamoured of Randy Moss? The guy tells the world he only tries to make his plays some of the time, he never produces for us, and he clearly disses the whole organization?? How is it that Davis can think of the guy as his prize possession (as previously described)? And why wouldn’t Davis say, good riddance to bad rubbish.
    Tis a puzzlement!?

  • raiderwill1980

    i hear you andrews mom, but i’m not concerned about the wellbeing of any of the other 31 teams in this league, just the raiders. this doesn’t make any sense to justify a head coach not having the authority to bring in a defensive scheme he feels will better serve our team,then you question his loyalty? who in their right minds wouldn’t look elsewhere when they don’t have the authority to make changes they feel are necessary to produce a better team?

  • will1980…

    I can´t answer your question in a way that would satisfy you. In the Ryan issue, I´m dumbfounded myself, I questioned him before this season even with our ”high”ranking and I have proof, I didn´t just turn on Ryan a couple of months ago.

    All I can give you is a very simplistic observation, in fact, call it a dumb one, but it´s one that I saw with my own 2 eyes, I saw Kiffin and Ryan joking around in the sidelines during the Senior Bowl.

    You rightfully will say, so friggin what?? exactly, I said it was dumb, but if Schefter and Co. can make a national issue of what Kiffin wears or doesn´t wear, then why can´t I post an observation in my favorite blog?.

    Allright, I was rambling…point was, it was hardly the kind of ”body languaje” that 2 guys engaged in the type of serious conflict that a firing implies would be likely to enjoy. Not to mention that reports from that same week claimed they were no longer in speaking terms, So, I can tell you that much, they speak….lol.

    In other words, I don´t know what to make of it.

  • Andrews mom

    I have not seen any proof that Al is pissed off at Kiff about Moss. Its just another rumor started by a two bit reporter who was under preassure to make a deadline.

    Its my opinion that Al would have Marcus Allened Moss like he has done with Lamont but Kiff talked him out of it because he did not want a cancerous piece of low life crap drinking hateraid in the lockerroom.

  • raider4life22

    okay while im not saying the media is always right,but for some of you guys to just think the media made this all up for shits and giggles thats just crazy. So if if lane doesnt get fired that means this whole story was all made up? Ill use this analogy so lets say you and your wife get in a huge fight and she says i want a divorce and then a week later you guys make up and stay together does that mean she never asked for a divorce? If there was no issue at all and all of this was made up, why when the media asked lane if he would be coaching the raiders in 08 would he say i hope so?

  • raider4life22

    if there was no issue he would say ofcourse i am why wouldnt i be?

  • Just Win Baby

    More grist for the mill. You guys are hilarious. Did you hear that Lane Kiffin is the real father to Jamie Lynn Spears’ unborn child? 80% of you probably just put your hands over your mouths and sighed, “Oh my gawsh…”. What a pathetic joke.

  • Fender52

    Andrews Mom:
    I think you’re right. but if that’s the case, how in the world could Al blame kiffin for that?
    and Ira Miller seems to have Al blame kiffin for Turner and Moss doing well in the playoffs? How is it Kiffin’s fault?
    95% of this makes no sense at all which again weighs against the media’s take on all this.

  • M

    Wherever I am travelling I enjoy getting onto this blog and hearing about Raiders football. Often I do not have the ability to see nor even hear the games let alone computer access to anything. The Nation came caling via my father in Frank Youell. (Hell, my mother even owns an original bobblehead from 1960 in the Black and Gold colors. How many of those are around?) I enjoy reading the passion of the fans here but I must say that the hating of Davis or Ryan or Kiffin or whomsoever is a bit hard to take. I suffered through loss after loss in the playoffs during the “glory days” and I am disgusted when the Raiders have been non-competitive, but they are my boys. They have had their flaws over time, but I am not going to run and hide because of that. The fickleness of many a so-called Nationer has reared head in the past few days. As I urged persons to reflect and feel appropriate shame when they have recently called for Mr. Al Davis’ demise, I would also ask them to be quite contrite in their wishing to abandon the Nation because of a rumored departure of Kid Lane. What do people do when the going is a bit rough…?

  • Andrews mom


    I think that is just the way Al is and he has never changed. He use to get it right more often then not and that has not been the case lately.

    All one can do about it is talk about it in here and write letters but I doubt Al cares.

  • In my opinion, if Kiffin were given 5 years to do it 80% his way…we would be in such a better place. Can the Kiffin haters please give me FACTS to discount this? From what I saw this year alone….being a very young 1st time NFL Head coach…the progress was amazing.

    I’m not saying the Super Bowl….but I gaurantee we would be playoff caliber.

  • Andrews mom


    We dont know that Al is blaming kiff for that.
    It sounds like Kiff MAY have put out feelers for a college job and Al MAY be mad about that and things MAY have snowballed downhill from there.

    I agree with Oak when he says……….

    “As I’ve said, I think this whole thing is gonna settle down and it’s back to business as usual.”

    Thats what I am hoping for.

  • Who hates Kiffin?.

    Besides Fire Kiffin of course.

  • Andrews mom

    Not me.

  • Kirk

    Saw this on Silver and Black……..

    Al Saunders Is An Upgrade Over Lane Kiffin:
    By saint
    Posted on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 03:47:10 PM EDT

    Putting your LOVE for Lane Kiffin aside, let’s take a look at what may be in store IF He and his BFF, Mark Jackson, are shown the door.

    FORMER TROJAN, Al Saunders, is interviewing in Oakland today. This is the same Al Saunders who put together the highest rated offense in the NFL in 2004 and put together the 5th best passing offense in 2007 with the unproven Jason Campbell and “Journeyman” Todd Collins under center.

    He believes in getting the ball DOWNFIELD and would be a great tutor for JaMarcus Russell.

    Al Davis is a 100% believer in offensive coaches being Head Coaches. Al Saunders would fit the bill perfectly.

    Dumping Saunders was a HUGE blunder by the Redskins, perhaps as large as the Falcons dumping Cable last year. Now, let’s hope that IF Kiffin is gone Al and Tom will be working together to get the ball downfield with McFadden, Bush and Russell.

    Oops, did I say McFadden???

  • kiffin broke against the cardinal rule: putting the team ahead of al davis. god forbid he try to win football games with HIS guys. if you want to win, you better do it with al’s flunkies. hey lane, why don’t you take your guys and go win games somewhere else. winning games your way is certainly not the raider way, or more importantaly, the al davis way.

    how dare you try to what’s best for the franchise you selfish prick……no one outshines big al.

  • Chargers Hater

    yeah ok that sounds nice… but let me guess JP will be gone for sure… besides butter finger higgins who will have the speed to go downhill to catch those bombs?

  • 2romes

    Warning:The is not for the faint of heart.The big boys upstairs are slugging it out( big boy business stuff). People that suffer from irregular heart beats, fainting spells,and high blood pressure, should reframe from any reports pertaining to the Raiders organization until the 2008 season commences.

    AL is the owner. All decisions should and will be examined by Al before preceeding with operations effecting the Raiders. I personally approve of Kiffin and all he has done for the Raiders so far,but Al gave him boundaries when he signed on as head coach; those boundaries he must maintain with good results. I’M IN. Raiders be with you

  • Dakota

    Lane is out; it’s just a matter of time. Divorces sometimes drag on and on, but we might as well prepare for the aftermath. Even if there is only a scintilla of truth to these rumors the damage has been done and the relationship is likely irreparably damaged.

    If Lane was staying these rumors would have been addressed via a press conference ala Rob Ryan’s press conference.

  • raiderwill1980

    I hear ya marley, I actually remember your posts questioning Ryan, it made me think about it too. I guess I’m just the guy who doesn’t understand Davis’ two way street of hiring coaches. I belive the guy needs to have the authority to make decisions reguarding personell and assistants.I’m sure the media has taken some wild guesses and stirred the pot a little also, but this is deja vu yet again. It’s the same old song with every coach

  • MD Raider

    why is it so hard to believe kiff was shopping around for a new gig? I appreciate what he did for the team but let’s be honest – in today’s coaching climate – he’s got no loyalty to the silver and black. It takes a special person to bleed these colors and lets face it, he was a nobody given the opportunity to be somebody. Can you say with 100% certainty he would stay here if given the UCLA, Arkansas gig? Petrino, Saban -> they exemplify what football coaching is today. You go where you think you can make the most money and be the most successful. I’m not saying he definitely fishing, but can you honestly say he wasn’t?

  • RaiderDell


    “Scintilla of Truth” You do have an expanded word knowledge. Like that!!

    Oh, also agree with you.

  • Zymurge

    1980 says:
    “zymurge… that is exactly the problem with getting a proven coach or getting things turned around with this team, you don’t hire a coach and then handcuff him to changes he can or cannot make, if you feel he isn’t competant enough to handle running the team and getting assistants that can do the job, you as a GM shouldn’t hire the guy. the limitations and accountability demanded on these coaches don’t add up”

    I think that you are mixing up the responsibilities of the Head Coach and the GM. Which is easy to do these days because there are several teams that basically give both hats to one person.

    But that person usually has to be VERY qualified to manage two jobs and in my opinion (and many others I’d venture) the guy is way too green for that yet.

    The Head Coaches job is to run the football part of the team as it pertains to the actual games. Game planning, adjusting to game situations, running practices, etc as well as getting the final vote in all things roster based when i comes to cut downs and starters. The assistant coaches and coordinators run their assigned pieces and report through to the Head Coach. He oversees their work and ensures that they run the program to the expectations of the team management.

    The General Manager runs the team top to bottom. Through the Head Coach, as his direct report, he gives the marching orders for how the football side should be run. He also owns all things personnel including the ultimate selection in the roster, contract negotiations, etc.

    When all is said and done, the GM is the HC’s boss. He can manage at the micro, macroor any level inbetween. If that includes overriding the HC’s wish for things like who his sub-managers are (i.e. DC, OC, etc) and who the non-managers are (ala the players) that is his prerogrative.

    I’m a middle manager and my life is exactly as above, where I play the role of HC and my boss is the GM. I know who I want to hire and fire as the managers under me, but ultimately I have to clear those decisions with my boss, just as they have to clear their personnel decisions with people on thier teams with me. Like the above scenario, I do varying degrees of macro to not-so-macro depending on the experience level of the managers underneath me. I tend to trust the judgement of those that have proven to be good business decisions makers more than those that are more junior.

    So Al is the defacto GM. He is Kiffin’s boss. Given Kiffin’s lack of experience, he is managing him as he sees fit. He gives him a lot of rope on the offensive side, because that is his area of known experience. He gives him less defensively because that’s where he his little experience. Al has not given Kiffin the luxury of total say on the team and is in fact treating him how a traditional Head Coach is treated based on his experience.

    Why people expect Al to treat him as an equal to Bill Parcells is beyond me. When he attains that level of experience then he can be annointed with the GM hat to wear with that of Head Coach. Until then, he works for a GM that has some overriding philosophies that dictate his decisions.

    Just like in my business and pretty much every other one. Why would we expect otherwise here?

  • Dakota

    Fukn’ A Dell.

  • RaiderDell


    You and I along with Jeremy were hoping for DMAC in this draft.

    What happened? Are you out of this derby? What changed your mind.

  • Dakota


    I still want McFadden, but I would not be devastated if we got Ellis…still, McFadden would be a great pick for us. I still have the man-crush, don’t worry.

  • RaiderKen

    Like I say all the time. Long after this coach and that coach are gone I’ll still be a Raider fan. So I never buy into thier BS like “I’m in”. Long after that saying is dead I’ll still be and always have been in. I don’t need a college cheerleader to get me motivated. I’m pissed with losing and when we start winning something else will piss me off like not getting to the superbowl. Just how I am.

  • raiderwill1980

    zymurge says
    The Head Coaches job is to run the football part of the team as it pertains to the actual games. Game planning, adjusting to game situations, running practices, etc as well as getting the final vote in all things roster based when i comes to cut downs and starters. The assistant coaches and coordinators run their assigned pieces and report through to the Head Coach. He oversees their work and ensures that they run the program to the expectations of the team management

    dude, if he feels the defenisvie coordinator isn’t holding up to his end of the program expectations, he should have the say so to get someone in who will meet the expectations, because his job is to manage the football operations, this is my point

  • La Milicia Negra


    see post 55. =)

  • Michael

    I think I’m starting to agree with CoW’s assessment of whats going on. Why the hell would Al send a letter in the first place? He would call Kiff himself and tell him to pack his bags, or call him into his office and dismiss him the same way he did it to Shell…. No letter required.

    And there is no confirmation that Kiffin wanted Ryan out… Kiff took the position knowing Ryan was going to be here and would want to run a man-coverage unit. I presume he still plans on running a man-cover defense because he said Aso (a pure man-to-man cover corner) would be here next season via franchise tag or new contract…. You don’t franchise a corner for if you want to switch to a Cover/Tampa 2 defense (see Colts, who let both starting CBs walk after 2006 season)…