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Lofton interview concludes

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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.”

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • in too Deep

    you got to be kidding me Jerry finally let me back in. I’ve been blocked out ever since I went off on ad several weeks ago, this is too funny, I was getting use to not being in here but I did sort of miss it. i’m going to pace myself. I must admit there is no other Raider blog like this one, believe me I’ve searched!

  • Blackholepriest,

    It might come as a surprise to you but it just so happens that some of us actually watch the games, so stop trying to BS us. We NEVER blitz. Never. I have at least parts of every game this season still on tape. I can watch any of them right now, 2 or 3 series, and I’ll bet you I won’t see one blitz. 4 pass rushers, man coverage. And, sure, our linebackers will play zone at times. Doesn’t matter if we’re getting killed on the outside one on one. It’s still man coverage. Zone coverage is a primarily zone defense, which we do not run.

    Stop assuming people here don’t know football.

  • Jerry writes:

    (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.”)

    ………

    You see a lot of that going on in this comments section, too, Jerry. People using statements as “proof” that something is or isn’t. John Madden says he loves Al Davis? Well there you have it, Al is the best owner to coach for.

    Seeing Taylor pulled the same rouse with you, you can bet that either some of the fans have caught on to this spin tactic, or that perhaps some of these “fans” commenting here are in fact Raider employees doing a little damage control in cyberspace.

    Pathetic. If the organization only put this much effort into building winning teams, we’d have a rack full of Lombardis.

  • G

    I like Kiffin, let him coach.

  • bishop916

    Ok, I got it figured out.
    Remember he said that one thing, back at the beginning of the year…? something about the past glory of the raiduhs, then we saw Lane Kiffin at practice making up new slogans, and again saw him NOT playing Jamarcus Russell? (hmm maybe paybacks?) – and omg he DIDN’T WEAR A RAIDER HAT like Nolan wore a Niner cap! ..and little know fact is that the IS A WALKER behind THE PODIUM!.

    LANE KIFFIN IS AL DAVIS!

    Call Adam Sphincster I think I’m on to something…

  • bishop916

    btw what is that Football » Comment on Lofton interview concludes by… thing – it is frikkin annoying. Runs up the post count oo.

    Weird.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    Can’t we all just get along.
    I am still in the Al must go part of divided nation. Let’s see if the Raiders make any real attempt to get real free agents in here and not the LJ’s of the world. Lord knows they have cap space, what are they waiting for? Make a run at Haynesworth, he can be bought. IF they don’t sign any noteworthy fa’s then I can assume my theory is correct and Al just wants the money and the lip service.

  • Weaselbit

    Media made most of this up.
    There’s some truth there.
    A little.
    Saunders is not impressive.
    We don’t need Redskin table scraps.
    Offense was good.
    Passing and receiving was the weakest part of it.
    Lofton could fix that.
    Wait till Russell gets his legs.
    You can kill teams and punish chronic blitzers with a short pass offense.
    And then destroy them deep with Russell’s rocket arm.
    Defensive line sucked.
    Cable showed the difference a great coach can make.
    New defensive line coach would do it.
    Linebackers are good.
    Dbacks are adequate, but we need a Tatum-like punisher.
    Kiffin knows how to call plays.
    He’s a smart guy.
    He’ll only get smarter.
    These coaches will all be best buddies if they’re winning.
    If he performs next year, Al will give him whatever the hell he wants.
    I think once he gets the right coach in there he’ll start to faze himself out.
    Even Al has to realize that his current ineptitude is legendary.
    His family’s probably already working on getting him to recede into the background.
    We hope.

  • Back from vacation:
    I posted about a week and a half ago about information concerning the Raiders and there future state. I mentioned I worked for the city of Oakland in my uncle’s office and also have a step brother working in the production department for the Raiders. I went back and read some comments, some good and some bad. In no way did I ever claim to have “sources”. I pick up on “crumbs” of info and will continue to pass it along to my fellow fans. Its up to each individual to obtain there own opinion of my posts. I posted that the city of Anaheim was pushing for the Raiders to move back in 2011, for now, fans in Oakland are safe. Curt Pringle has had recent visits to the city of Oakland and I figured he was visiting Mr. Davis in Alameda….. I was wrong. Mr. Pringle ( Mayor of Anahiem ) was in town on different matters not concerning the NFL. While on vacation in L.A the past week I did some research and talked to some people and apperently the city of Anaheim is interested in the Jacksonville franchise. If Jacksonville does not fall through then the NFL will grant expansion in So Cal at or before 2014. So Cal had enough of Mr.Davis ( shocking ) and want nothing to do with the Raiders. As for recent events, I really beleive the media jumped the gun and blew it. People I spoke to said Kiffin was gone from Alameda for a total of 6 days after the end of the season along with the rest of the coaching staff. There might have been a dissagreement between Kiffin and Ryan but it was over Millard and Perry along with philosaphy but nothing more. I wish I could say I got that from a strong source but the truth is its just word around the campfire. As for Kiffin not wearing Raider gear at the All star game, If I’m not mistaking, Nolan only had on his 9er hat on for about a quarter before putting on an Under Armour beenie the rest of the way. I’m not a big supporter of Mr. Davis ( used to be ) but proof the media spins things out of control in the East Bay…… The ’07 Falcons lost there star player Micheal Vick to a jail term before the season stars in one of the worst player scandals in recent NFL history, also there HC quits in the middle of the season only to take another job before Arthur Blank could blink yet nothing was ever mentioned about Mr. Blanks ability to run a team. Can you imagine if J. Russell was arrested and convicted on dog fighting charges before the season started and Kiffin quits 10 games in and takes a job at Arkansas?!?!?!?!? The media would proclaim Mr. Davis as senile while they made out Mr. Blank as the victim. I know my Raiders have had problems over the past 20 years, but other teams have been through worse and it is ludicrous how the media spins things in the bay area, especially with the Silver and Black.

    Keep the faith
    Stay in.

  • Washington Raider

    so not to be a downer. i read this every day but rarely post. i am a huge raider fan, but also a journalist and the comment that said why doesn’t al sue ESPN is ridiculous. i’m sorry, but don’t be ignorant.

  • Mistabrown
  • So the long and the shrt of it is that as with all organizations not populated by YESmen, there was some disagreement and it worked itself out.
    Lofton may replace the WR coach with an eye toward developing Higgins, a draft choice and getting Curry back on track. This is essential for Kiffin’s “open it up” plan and Russell’s development.

    So when will NFLN fire Adam S for having a record resembling Cam Cam?

    “Much ado about nothing…”

  • I’d like to say something about some of the Raiders fan sites out there; Great members, and I mean that.

    But the mods, on the other hand, must have missed the buss to the police academy. That about sums some of these sites up.

    If any of you blowhard mods happen to read this, understand something: Being a mod of a sports fan site is not the equivalent of being a sworn peace officer. It’s not even as important as being a substitute teacher. It’s not even as important as volunteering to sell snow cones at a little league baseball game.

    If someone’s making threats or something, I can see playing Sgt. Badass and laying down the law. But for bashing Al Davis and calling out some goofball for invoking the USMC’s “Semper Fi” slogan in a shameless attempt to rally fans into ignoring the BS going on with this team right now? Get real.

    And, good luck trying to convince your members the team is not in complete shambles. Perhaps if your guys’ overall editorials on the team were a bit more honest, as opposed to the complete spin jobs they are, you wouldn’t have so many members quick to step up and say what needs to be said about this organization. Just a pointer.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    Coach Kiffin:

    An amazing thing happend, you had the overwhelming support of Raider Nation over the Godfather of that nation. We backed you, now it’s time for you to back us. I am not talking X’s and O’s but rather making a committment to the Raiders and meaning it. Whether that is for one year or ten. Yes yes that goes both ways and the organization should do the same towards you, but there is no controling certain individuals.

  • NC Raider

    Why not package Lamont Jordan and Andrew Walter (who I think will be very good in the right system) together for draft picks? Or, if Sauders becomes OC, that might be an argument for keeping Walter. I have mixed feelings about Sauders … he knows the AFC West, runs a killer offense sometimes, but it’s also the most notoriously complicated system in the league. So we may be looking (if he’s hired) at yet another long transition for the whole offense to learn a new system with the world’s longest playbook. One it takes, though, that could really be something …

    But for the continuing Ryan experiment, I agree with several posters here: draft on defense. Give Ryan some run stuffing DT’s and then we’ll see how the year goes.

    Hope stability is returning Raider Nation and we can all move on.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    I read Saunders is talking with the Rams

  • KY Raider

    WHAT IF… Kiffin really did get the cart before the horse and “fired” Ryan. Al probably freaked out, 1. why didn’t you consult me 2. who the heck are you going to hire? My guess Kiff wanted the Tampa assistant and then figured out after the fact that he couldnt have him (due to his contract) 3. Al likes ryan
    I do have a feeling that if Kiffin stays beyond next season and there is not a hugh improvement in the D Ryan will be gone.

  • Just a thought about the draft.

    There’s been much talk about Chris Long with the Howie connection etc.

    But we all know that one of the biggest tests for Mr Davis is how players look “getting off the bus.”

    In this respect and maybe also in terms of total upside, I would think Al would be more interested in Calais Campbell, of Miami, than he would Long.

    Campbell goes 6-8, 282, i.e. a Julius Peppers style of build.

    Of course, there’s nothing to say Al will go D-Line.

    He’s prolly had Lane Kiffin in his office whinging about us not having good enough corners to play the Al Davis defense.

    Now, how might Al answer that?

    If he thinks there’s a corner out there who has elite potential, Al may very well draft him and ignore all our more pressing needs.

  • Florida Pete

    imagine being the owner of a business that is not doing as well as it once had…

    you understand that what is needed is a bright, young energetic manager who can get your business back on track…

    you interview him and he is impressive… smart, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and respectful…

    he agrees to come on board and turn things around…

    and while you don’t agree with everything he has done… you can see that he has got the place moving in the right direction… not as quickly as you hoped… but definately in the right direction…

    and you’re thinking… okay… we need to talk about this… make our plans for the next phase…

    and then you discover he doesn’t view being a part of your organization as a long term situation… that he really is just padding his resume and looking for a better deal…

    you’re thinking… hey… nobody knew about this kid until i found him… things get worse…

    your customers are telling you to step aside and turn the whole thing over to him… he starts acting as though he no longer works for you and can do as he pleases including dealing with other management without consulting you…

    and you see a situation slowly getting out of control…

    you realize this kid can trash your company and walk away and you will be to blame…

    so what do you do with a manager who is looking for a better job???

  • I don’t get it. Why would JJ want to trade up for McFadden. Unless Fred Taylor retires or is traded I just don’t see it happenning.

  • Big AL’s GOON

    Florida Pete,

    Good post. That’s probably closer to the truth of the situation than anyone is willing to admit. However, remember people have been calling for AL’s job for years. AL doesn’t care about these fair-weather screamers. As soon as were back on top they all will shut-up and go back to cheering AL and Raider as if these sown times never happen.

  • Florida Pete

    i think Mr Davis is in a no win situation…

    he will not get credit when the Raiders do well…

    but he will definately get the blame…

  • LA Dave

    the faction of our raider nation that maintains “as soon as we’re back on top, all of the screamers will shut up and go back to cheering big al…..” are dreamers. you’re asking an increasingly lame (physically and mentally) 78 year old to bring energy and vitality to the job of building your castle without the aid of power tools. oh, and since his main talent is alienating others, he isn’t going to get good people to help him.

  • Charlie

    I have followed the Raiders for 42 years.
    Davis has acknowledged that he needs better players. He admitted as much when he stated that Kiffin’s knowledge of college talent was impressive and an important factor in his hiring.
    The 2006 defense was a mirage created when opposing teams were rarely behind and played ultra conservative.
    Kiffin is a talented guy, but for him not to see that is a big miss and a reason why he needs to work WITH Davis. Davis is an extremely knowledgable football man. You will never tell Davis what to do but he can be influenced. That is how you have to work with ANY boss.
    Kiffin seemed to be doing pretty well with this concept until now. Kiffin should be focused on getting better defensive lineman. This is not a Rob Ryan/Keith Millard problem.

  • Just Win Baby

    Aren’t you guys glad you bought into all this B.S. hype for the last week. You must have ADD or something if you think any of this Raiders speculation is anything more than media folks having nothing elso to talk about until the draft. Go to the beauty salon with your mother if you want gossip. I prefer to process things after they actually happen.

  • Big AL’s GOON

    Winning cures all and AL knows how to win in the NFL. When we get back on top whether some that absolutely hate AL will give him credit won’t matter to AL. Being on top is credit enough. Just 5 years ago AL and the Raiders had the entire league and all the AL haters eating crow. We lose the Superbowl and out comes all the fairweather screamers whinning, crying and screaming about nothing. We can’t be on top all the time, but we’re still one the more successful franchises in the NFL. Some here act as if we’re the Arz.Cardinals or the Det.Lions.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    LMAO, This wasn’t fair weathered fans my friend, it was practically the whole Raider Nation except for the yes man. Nation backed kid Kiffin and I bet that just kills you Al athletic supporters, so you gotta try and degrade us.
    I agree Al could not care less, fans are just necessary evils for him to make money off that are controlled by the media.

  • Big AL’s GOON

    To know that the Raiders will be back on top is no dream. To know that AL will have a guiding hand in that process is no dream. To think that a stubborn individual will admit that he/she is wrong especially when the topic concerns Big AL just might be a dream.

  • K-Rock

    When will the Raiders get back on top? If they do, people will give credit to the coach first, then Al. Kraft always get mentioned 2nd behind Belichick. If Al could handle that, Jon Gruden would still be our coach.

  • Big AL’s GOON

    LOL!!! Please. You’re trying to validate some obscure poll vote on a web page. Yeah, AL is shaking in his boots over that. And whether AL cares about the fans, I don’t know. But I do know that AL wants to win and win badly, right now. There are plenty of real examples of owners around the NFL that truly deserve that title of only caring about money not winning. That fact is proven by the same teams continuing to fail year after year; decade after decade.

  • Florida Pete

    speaking for myself…

    i have not degraded people who do not like Mr Davis…

    although i have come to wonder why you bother to be a raider fan…

    Al Davis has been the guiding hand behind this franchise for 45 years… he might know a thing or two…

    but as time goes on, character becomes an increasing issue… not just with Al Davis, but with every other owner…

    these days it seems loyalty doesn’t mean much… and so many people are supporting a newcomer with questionable loyalty to the Raiders over a man who has been the Raiders for 45 years…

    i don’t know…

    but it is bothersome to see the Raider Nation taking a newcomer’s side based on so little…

  • Jay

    You people amaze me. The team goes out of its way to produce a spasmatic front to indicate “everything is OK, move along” and you all take it hook, line and sinker. Meanwhile, the offense improved last year and the defense regressed considerably…BUT THE RAIDERS BRING IN NOT ONE BUT TWO OFFENSIVE ASSISTANTS FOR INTERVIEWS. Al is still just being a meddling fool.

  • Big AL’s GOON

    Credit is credit what order is relative. When the Raiders were on top during the Gruden era, Gruden was given credit resurrecting the team and AL was credited in hiring Gruden as well as “helping” to bring in the players he wanted and needed. And the Raider will be back on top sooner than you think.

  • ATLRaider

    Rob Ryan must be thanking his Lucky Mullet that Big Al stepped in to prevent Kiff from dropping the Axe on him. The Mullet thinks he could get a job in 2 seconds?? Yeah right.

  • LA Dave

    you keep cheering for al, goon. there’s allot of us cheering for the raiders, and whatever it takes to make them better. we don’t see big al as helping in that regard, not at this point in his career.

  • K-Rock

    Florida Pete…

    I for one am not taking Kiffin’s side over Al’s side. I am taking the Raiders’ side over both of them. I want to see the Raiders be a dominant team again. Period. Kiffin needs dedicate himself fully to the Raiders (That is a Given. Al, however, needs to start doing things the right way, not Al’s way. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again each time expecting a different result.

    That is what people want to see from Al. The willingness to put his own ego aside for the good of the team. Try new ways of doing things. Try to copy some of the ways other owners have managed their teams.

  • Dishing on Al Davis by the press, what a hard thing to do. Feels like all the media is Fox News(propaganda) & Davis is Obama/Clinton/Edwards, fill in the blank. That would make Belicheat Reagan who did no wrong or maybe Nixon which the media says “everyone does it he just got caught”! Roaring back is the voice of reason saying “Kiffin, you’re 32 yrs old, you didn’t check with the GM. WHICH IS ME!”
    Now my hope is Al Davis is as petty as the rest of you say & will fire Ryan & say “Kiff, you were right of course but I wanted to do it.” This way EVERYONE gets what they want. Kiffin, Davis, Ryan, & the media gets it’s licks in on what a F*cked up owner Al is because he wants to be the boss over his OWN team. Maybe the media should buy their own team to run, hell, give them Arizona they’re just a tax right off as fars as I see. They’ve been to 1 playoff games in 30yrs? Shame on you loyal Raider fans, you could be Cardinal fans after all! GO ARIZONA MEDIA CARDINALS!!! yeah, right.

  • Albuquerque Raider

    Man! Chris M. (ESPN) and Adam S. (the famed rumor monger from NFL net.) really sent the nation on a major head spin with all their BS. The raiders senior exec. issued the following statement to set things right:

    Herrera insists the Kiffin-Davis feud isn’t the juicy story ESPN’s Chris Mortensen made it out to be.

    “It’s not an issue. Lane’s the coach. It’s not an issue,” Herrera said. “I think the one accurate thing he said is that James Lofton will be interviewed. He will be _ as a position coach _ and he will do it with Lane on Monday because that’s when he gets back from Mobile and the Senior Bowl.”

    And this is exactly as it’s happened. Herrera also mentioned somewhere that “all these false reports about the raiders were unconscionable, and that these reporters should be held accountable” for all the crap they report. I agree, this is exactly where the nation should be focusing all it’s energy…instead of slamming Al, or Kiffin…go after the people who put out this garbage.

    -Pissed at the media!

  • K-Rock

    Please TW….

    If you are going to make political statements on this board, at least take the time to educate yourself that you may respond properly.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    I wonder why you yes men are a Raider fans. Have some passion dare to think outside the box. Al’s committed to winning in the last five years? Sorry, he’s either lost his way or thrown in the towel and decided it was better to make money. If the Raiders start winning again it will be because Al butt out and let the coaches coach and broke the MO of scouting and dumped the dumbest projects for smart football (notice I said played football, not track) players

  • bishop916

    “Talk of Kiffin’s demise premature…”

    Thanks for reporting nothing.
    So it’s to be expected that ANG is going to be a parrot organization for BSPN?

    I expected better coverage, but all we got was worship of BSPN and NFLN crap regurgitated for us to chew on.

    “Make of it what you will, then, but Kiffin coached the North team in the Senior Bowl on Saturday in a black Under Armour jacket, while his assistants sported gear adorned with the Raiders logo.

    Don’t mistake that for a coincidence in light of Raiders managing general partner Al Davis reportedly drafting a resignation letter almost two weeks and sending it to Kiffin’s representatives for Kiffin to sign.”

    good call.
    real good call.

    so I guess I will group ANG in with the rest of the crap media sources. I will have to look for more direct lines of info instead of locations more interested in big headlines and the worship of the almighty dollar.

  • K-Rock Says:Please TW….
    If you are going to make political statements on this board, at least take the time to educate yourself that you may respond properly.

    Obviously a Fox/Republican fan.

  • K-Rock

    Not really. I read my news on the net. Not from Fox either.

    Lets keep the politics in another place and keep this board for the Raiders.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    K-rock you are right players come and go, the team goes and comes and maybe goes again, but I will still root for them. No one not even Al is bigger then them. They existed before him and I am pretty sure they will exist after him. Yes yes, he is the Raiders but all good things have to end sometime. It’s better to end on a note where you are still loved rather than what he is closely becoming. Lombardi was the Packers and they respect him today but they don’t dwell over him, them move on and so will the Raiders
    My point was people not some poll, every site I went on back Kiff over Al on this issue.

  • Big AL’s GOON

    LA Dave,

    Nice cheap shot. What other gems do you have for those that disagree with your position? My love and loyalty to the Raiders has been and will always be life long. With that and because of that AL can not be ignored.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    K-rock can’t we combine them? I really hit the politcal blogs hard as well and it sure would make my life easier, lmao

  • Hobs Gnarly

    sorry about the type o’s

  • Just using an analogy, if you can’t handle it politically that’s fine but maybe you don’t know what an analogy is. But then maybe you’re an authoritarian republican oversteping his boundries who has to police this blog for everyone else.

  • K-Rock

    Man, this board would go south real quickly if politics got in the mix.

    Not to mention giving me a headache.

  • ATLRaider

    Another flaw of Rob Ryan’s is not holding players accountable…how else can you explain the lack of tackling ability by almost every single member of the defense.

    Our LB’s may be good in coverage, but Morrison & Howard aren’t much better that Stu when it comes to tackling. It all starts at the top…with King Mullet.