Part of the Bay Area News Group

A Kiffin miscalculation?

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, January 28th, 2008 at 12:51 pm in Oakland Raiders.

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.

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  • Dakota

    Dell,

    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

    Dakota…

    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)…

  • Dakota

    LMN,

    Nice thought, who the hell knows, it could be true.

  • Raider Raul #53

    Why wouldn’t Lane consult with or make a recommendation to Crazy Al before firing Ryan??
    It just doesn’t make sense!!

    I have observed that ever since Lane came aboard, that the Raiders have actually been MORE secretive than ever. Lane plays that role perfectly. In fact, this is the first year I can remember where reporters have made stuff up out of thin air. In the past, quotes always came from “a source close to the team” who was usually Allen, Lombardi, or a coach. With Kiffin and Trask, things are ultra-secretive now. A part of me doesn’t believe ANY of the crap I’m reading these days!!

  • RaiderDell

    Dakota

    Wait a minute, did OakGlenn,Terrapin or Marley talk you out of this.

    I observed at the Senior Bowl/East West Shrine game enough position players that we can find a DT to help our D-line out.

    Do we draft a game changer or rotate in every 56 plays a DT to help stop the run.Let’s also considering the cap charge for a d-lineman.

  • http://Oakglenn Oakglenn

    Will I don’t know why it’s so hard to understand. With Kiffin you’re not bringing in someone with ANY type of track record in the NFL. None. No head Coaching experience at any level. None. No final Personnel experience. None. You’re gonna entrust this guy with the health of the entire franchise for possibly decades to come??? If Davis did that, he WOULD be senile and crazy. It’s not like you’re bringing Jimmy Johnson in here and Al Davis won’t let him make an outside phone call. And as I said, while I like Kiff, and I want him to succeed, he’s made TONS OF MISTAKES, that right now at least, I would’t flip over the keys to the franchise. JMHO.

  • Michael

    Kiffin hired most of his own staff, Kiff hired Mark Jackson, Kiff got Lombardi out. Why would Davis regret all these decisions? The 4-12 record? Davis himself said “it may take some time, but Lane Kiffin will lead us back.”

    Kiffin for all we have seen, is on the right track. He hit a few bumps his first HC year (play-calling and game managing), but I think we all agree that he got better as the season wore on. Look how we played the Cheifs and the Broncos the 2nd time… Progress was made, despite injuries.

    I think Kiff needs one more year before we can judge him. If he goes 4-12, 5-11, maybe 6-10, then fire him.

  • La Milicia Negra

    Dakota..

    i doubt it, but it could be funny though…

  • raiderwill1980

    glenn, if Davis weren’t this pushy with all his coaches, we wouldn’t have to hire a college assistant with zero experience.It’s tough to watch coach after coach come through here with the same old song

  • RaiderDogg

    RaiderDell Says:
    January 28th, 2008 at 2:11 pm
    RaiderDogg

    Your a fellow Govt Mule bro.

    I am not going to tell you what to do, just some advice
    and by no means “I don’t blame you for your actions”

    KK is what he is, and you are just playin into someone
    goating you into his fantasy world.

    Just to let you know, I believe your better than that.

    It’ just not worth responding to anymore.

    It’s up to you, as always.

    As you can see I haven’t responded to Soul Patrol 2, Revenge of Moses and all the other user names he uses, it’s just not worth the time.

    Just some friendly advice.”

    Raider Dell -

    I appreciate the sage advice. You are right. The thing is KoolKell and I have an agreement. I acknowledge his existence and he lives on. It’s entertaining. You’re right though.

  • Kiffin in?
  • RaiderDell

    Glenn

    So is Saunders coming in for an interview or was that another rouse.

    And what media guy gets credit for spreading that rumor.

    So as of today, kiff is HC and Lofton is where?

    Just curious about the placement of coaches.

  • http://none Bob Marley

    ”Former San Diego receivers coach James Lofton met with Lane Kiffin and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp today.

    He wasn’t hired today, but will continue talks with the Raiders.

    Kiffin wasn’t happy with the play of the receivers this season, which is why Charles Coe’s role could change in 2008. Lofton is a former Raider, Hall of Fame receiver, and did a good job with the Chargers’ receivers, I thought.

    That he’s been a candidate for the head job with the Raiders apparently wasn’t an issue for Kiffin.

    How this plays out remains to be seen. Will Kiffin quit? Will he be fired? Is Lofton the coach in waiting? Who really knows.

    As of now, Kiffin is still the coach.”

    J. Jones, sacbee.com, 5:56 today.

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  • RaiderDogg

    see new post ;)

    nothing definitive on Lofton except that Kiffin was part of the interview process.

  • Kiffin in?

    Tim K. was on KNBR – he thinks they are negotiating a buyout (around 2 million)& the next head coach would may be Saunders or Lofton. Hope that’t not true! AL, you need to keep Kiffin & sign him to ext.

  • RaiderDell

    RaiderDogg,

    You provide some sanity around here, I rather here your take on issues than deal with others.

    Although, your right it is entertaining.

  • http://Oakglenn Oakglenn

    Will, believe me I’m with ya. I’m more tired of this that you can imagine. Gruden wasn’t the best personnel guy, and I don’t think he’s that good a coach based on what’s been happening in TB the last few years. I think we’ve righted the ship here with Kiffin but there are clearly some rough waters we’re gonna have to navigate.
    Dell, Saunders is here, I’m not in the meeting rooms unfortunatley so I don’t know. They might be dicussing old times, current league trends, might be interviewing for head coach. I honestly don’t know. This I do know tho. K-rock picked up on my post yesterday and remember you heard it here first, the rumour I’m floating out there is Greg Knapp isn’t happy here. So Lofton could be receivers coach, which would be an upgrade or OC. Knapp is a SF guy, and as OC I’m sure he wanted play calling duties, which Kiff took.
    Honestly, what I think is gonna happen is Lofton comes in as receivers coach, Saunders as OC, and Kiff gets Millard out as DL coach as a compromise. At least on the offensive side that would be a BIG upgrade in my mind.

  • http://insidethebayarea raiderhomey

    Just like I tell my own dad, who will be 76 in July, somebody NEEDS to tell big Al, comes a time when old people do what they are told, period, end of story.

  • http://none Bo Jackson’s Hip

    If we keep changing coaches and playbook each year…we will:

    1. Ruin Russells career
    2. Continue to be ineffective offensively
    3. No Free Agents will want to come here…

    Think of all the good offensive teams…they have been together for awhile….they have trust in each other and they know the playbook inside and out…the new players come in and buy in to the system.

    SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS!

    The more you win, the more players want to join you. They don’t want to join a team with no direction and never knowing when their coach is going to get fired.

  • napa raider

    Yeah let’s all speculate as to what the Raiders need in the way of a draft pick(s). You name it and they need it, and don’t get to excited because it probably won’t be what you want and if it is the player that you’re jazzed about he probably won’t play til the middle of the season because they can’t figure out a fricking contract!! This whole team blows.

  • Florida Pete

    parameters…

    that is my word of the day…

    if Mr Davis allows young Kiffen to stay, Kiffen must understand that word and make it his own…

    no one is going to hand the reins of a billion dollar corporation to an unknown without parameters…

    like:

    you may not fire management employees without consulting the General Partner…

    you may not sign a free agent for more than X for longer than Y without consulting the General Partner…

    you may not draft anyone that would command a signing bonus of greater than X without consulting the General Partner…

    et cetera…

    parameters…

    i own my own business… and all of my managers and supervisors have parameters…

    it let’s me make the important decisions… and i like making the important decisions… because it is my company…

    if a manager came to work for me and i gave him free rein of the place… and he fails… it is I who will pay the price…

    he’ll just go look for a new job…

    this is Al Davis company, we are his customers… we do have a choice whether we want to continue…

    for me, i do have faith in Mr Davis… and i am anxious to see how this plays out…

    Kiffen needs to pledge his loyalty to the silver and black… earn the respect he needs… earn the priveleges that are usually bestowed on favored and trusted management…

    personally, i would tell the kid to take a hike… and find someone who understands the privelege of working for a legend… and for the silver and black…

    parameters…

  • Zymurge

    Florida Pete nailed it perfectly. This is a business just like any other, and the GM, Head Coach, Coordinators and Assistants are part of the management infrastructure. In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t run any different.

  • GLOAT

    If Kiffin leaves i am done with the Raiders and the NFL (the NFL because i am sick of shallow, greedy, imature, classless, characterless, etc etc people like Randy Moss)until Good Ole Al passes away and takes his proper place “down below”. I have been a fan since the 60s and am so sick of Al’s idiotic moves and narcasistic personality. Have any relatives or limited partners tried to have him declared imcompetent? God knows there’s an unlimited amount of evidence to support it!

    If anyone on this site was serious, we would hurt Good Ole Al the only way possible – his pocket book:

    BOYCOTT ALL GAMES IN 2008 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ray dr4 lyfe

    First and foremost learn how to spell for Christs sake,some of you people make us look like a bunch unedjucated presidents. Some of what is reported may be inaccurate to some degree, but this is a symptom of a greater ill. Al Davis!. If anyone who cannot see through rose tinted frames, may he be blind in his own vision.
    Al is a dinosaur, and for him to be unable to realize that his best success is appointing a individual with vision, strength, vitality, fortitude, and focus,is a telling tale as to how far he has fallen grace. It is not my intention to belittle a man so devoid of substantive issues in regards to Raider successes, but rather to see him realize that his greatness and legacy must now be orchestrated by the achievements of those he would surround himself with.
    I hear remarks about Kiffins youth, arrogance, and his audacious behavior. Then lets look at what he is trying to do for our Raiders. A. creating a offensive philosophy that inflicts it’s will with a dominating running game, while trying to save Robert Gallerys career(62 mil)and starting Barry (turnstile)Sims at the all important left tackle posiiton. Remember Gallery has had 5 position coaches in four years.
    B. Attempting to devise an areial attack with moderately talented recievers.
    C. Developing continuity on a roster with A level and D level talent, and few B’s & C’s inbetween.
    Lane is not being a smartass, he is trying to win. Als interferance is evident every game we watch as a nation; evidence in Rob Ryans inability to run the 46Zone or the multiple zone 3-4 he would like to run with the defensive philosphy in which he was raised(buddy Ryan). Al does not like to blitz!. 1976,1980 and 1983, Raider Super bowls won with the 3-4 defense. Al seems to have forgotten that pressure breeds fear, and fear breeds losing. Were any of you happy watching Alvis Whitted catch 1 in 2 passes, he was a Al guy, Tyler Brayton is a Al guy, Fabien Washington watch his 4.3 speed chase down his assignment into the end zone or for a first down, another Al pick. Other Al decisions to be noted; Mo Collins, Matt Stinchcomb, Sebass, Darrell Russell(RIP), Dennis Gibson, Phillip Buchanan, oh! let’s not dismiss TODD MARINOVICH!!!, a pick that put us back 5 years.
    As much as I think Chuckie was a prick, he was a good coach for the Raiders, maybe Lane can be as well, or maybe not, but let’s at least give him enough rope to hang himself. What was a better descision, Al wanting Jeff George or Grudens choice Rich Gannon.
    We all need to look a the reality of the situation, and the state of the Raiders. Al has alienated a vast number of Raider players, why?. Why not hire a young phenom, let write his own song singing your anthem. I will kill someone if Kiffin goes to coach the Skins, Rams or the Lions and becomes the great coach that got away.
    Al is 78 right now, and I hope The ESPN’s of the world are wrong as to the depth of this rift between Al and Lane, but Lane must stay! and that is final. I phoned to Commisioners office in regards to the leagues possible interference in this matter. The commissioner backed by a 2/3rds majority can suspend Als power if it is deemed detrimental to the state of the NFL. No one in the Nation wants to see Al brought to this fate, mad at him or not.
    If you believe i’m an A-hole so be it, But I am a Raider Bleeding a silver and black death. We deserve better than the treament and torture we are getting.
    We deserve winning, for the loyalty we have shown this team. Al is not the Raiders, players come and go, it is us the RAIDER FANS…RAIDER NATION…WE ARE THE RAIDERS!!!!.. we pay the bills, and without US! the RAIDERS are nothing!!!.

  • shawnraiders81

    Love Lane Kiffin but Al does own the team, should consult befoe you fire anybody. If it’s my car you ask before you take it out for a spin.

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  • ray dr4 lyfe

    if you give the keys don’t tell me how to drive!, or tell me who’s riding shotgun!.

  • http://MaddenRaider MaddenRaider

    Jerry, I love ya, but stop being a wuss, man. “Tactical error”?? More like ballsy move that needed to be done.

    By doing so, he put Al in a position to either get him the DC he wants, or make an ass out of himself by firing a coach everyone knows the team needs.

    It was a revolutionary move. Al is exposed, now. He has to buy out Kiff’s contract and he is now officially the undisputed dunce of American pro sports owners. Bidwell, step aside.

    Kiffin is going to be fine. Al and his team are going to suffer for years for not letting Kiffin get a real defensive coordinator. Watch. I’m serious. Someone here let me know when this team breaks the 8 win mark in a single season. I guarantee you it’s not happening until at least 2012.

  • Big AL’s GOON

    Huff said:
    Big Al’s GOON – You can blame all the coaches you want but what excuse do you have for Al Davis? He’s an owner who hasn’t won a Superbowl since 1983. How can you explain that? How can you defend that? You can bring up 2002 but you can’t even defend Al Davis for that as well.
    ———————————————————
    AL is an owner that has built one of the winningest franchises in pro sports up until the last few years. There are plenty of owners around the NFL who haven’t won a freak’in thing. The Chargettes, the Detroit Lion cubs, the Seahumps, Ariz., ATL., etc. Many things have occurred since that 1983 Championship. We have endured; players have been killed, Stacey Toran. Players have sustained freakish career ending injuries, Bo and Nap McCallum. Pro-bowl players getting addicted to drugs and eventually killed in car crash.D.Russ. Players have lost their minds the night before the Superbowl, B.Robbins. We have been cheated by the officials, Tuck Rule. We have been cheated by players from other teams, fat Goose of the Ravens. These are just some of the hardships the Raiders have had to endure since 1983. And you blame AL? I know we got blown out in the 2002 Superbowl, but the fact still remains we were there and along the way we picked a few AFC West titles and an AFC Conference Championship. How many teams can say that since 2002?

  • B-RAIDER

    JUST GO DEEP!

  • outtamojo

    Last!

  • napa raider

    Dear RayDr 4 lyfe before you jump all over us about our spelling, check your own post. You mispelled “uneducated” in the first sentence, and there’s several other words in your statements that are wrong. Also learn when to use “a” and “an”. It must be embarassing to screw up during your English lesson. Other than that I thought you had some interesting topics that true Raider Fans should be aware of.

  • ajokeofateam

    The Raiders are the biggest joke of the NFL.Al Davis is running your team into the ground. The last 15 years, the game has passed him by. The one good move he has made in the last 15 years was hiring Gruden…then when Gruden turned things around Davis trades him because Gruden was recieving the credit and not Davis(you can spin it anyway you want,Davis ran him out of town for petty reasons). Nice job with the draft picks you got from Gruden trade too. As long as Al Davis is running this team, you can count on being the joke of the NFL.

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