By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, January 28th, 2008 at 5:57 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders finished a day-long interview with James Lofton for an undisclosed position and senior executive John Herrera had no announcements other than the interview went well and there could be a resolution in the next day or so.
Lofton, fired last week by the San Diego Chargers, twice interviewed for the head coaching job with Al Davis. His interview this time was with coach Lane Kiffin and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, according to Herrera, indicating Charles Coe could be on his way out as wide receivers coach.
Having Kiffin and Knapp involved in the hiring of an offensive assistant means any differences the head coach has with owner Al Davis regarding makeup of the defensive staff appear well short of Kiffin either resigning or being fired in the near future.
While stories run rampant of what has gone on behind closed doors since the end of the season, the one I’m certain of is that Kiffin wanted to change defensive coordinators and Davis did not.
I was told today Kiffin’s problem with Ryan is not of a personal nature but one of philosophy. The statement released by Raiders spokesman Mike Taylor was essentially a rebuke to Kiffin.
(Taylor disagrees with this. He called to say Kiffin’s later comments in Mobile about Ryan being under contract and being “excited” about Ryan’s return refute my contention. To me, the key part of that quote was “Rob is under contract.”)
In any event, the fact that Kiffin returned to work and is in the process of making staff changes is the second indication he wants to stay _ the other being his postgame response following the Senior Bowl.
When asked after the game if he would be coach of the Raiders in the fall, Kiffin said, “I hope so.”