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Archive for September, 2008

Davis-Kiffin-Cable highlights

Quick hits from the Raiders press conference with Al Davis outlining the reasons for firing Lane Kiffin and hiring Tom Cable, plus a few notes from Lane Kiffin’s counterpoint on ESPN:

– The Raiders case was detailed in a letter Davis said was sent by Federal Express on Sept. 12 and can be found at the above link or in the previous blog post.

– Kiffin won’t be holding a press conference as he told TV reporters earlier today. After Davis’ performance, Gary Uberstine, Kiffin’s agent and attorney, told his client to clam up.
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Posted on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
Under: Oakland Raiders | 567 Comments »

Letter from Davis to Kiffin

A copy of the following letter was displayed on an overhead projector as owner Al Davis outlined his reasons for firing coach Lane Kiffin. Davis said the letter was sent following the Denver game and served as evidence as communication between the two. Kiffin said the two had not talked since before the Broncos game.
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Posted on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
Under: Oakland Raiders | 557 Comments »

Asomugha has fractured elbow

The injury which has minimized the practice participation of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha this week is a fracture of a small bone in the right elbow.

Coach Lane Kiffin never used the term when discussing the injury the past two days, but Asomugha did when talking about it on Friday.
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Posted on Friday, September 26th, 2008
Under: Oakland Raiders | 402 Comments »

Warren, Carlisle hurting

Aside from the continuing saga of coach Lane Kiffin, the most significant news had to do with injuries which could cost the Raiders two starters for their game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday at the Coliseum.
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Posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Under: Oakland Raiders | 607 Comments »

Kiffin still here

Reports by ESPN.com and Fox News to the contrary, Lane Kiffin appeared at his weekly press conference Monday, addressed the issue of his job secrurity again and said he has no intention of quitting.

Kiffin said he will continue coaching the Raiders until told otherwise by Al Davis.

More to come later . . .

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Posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Under: Oakland Raiders | 435 Comments »

McFadden as change-of-pace back?

Quick hits from Lane Kiffin’s press briefing following Friday’s walkthrough as the team began boarding buses the airport for their trip to Buffalo:

– Rookie running back Darren McFadden did very little in practice and will need a pain-killing injection to face the Bills Sunday, Kiffin said.
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Posted on Friday, September 19th, 2008
Under: Oakland Raiders | 456 Comments »

Russell content handing off _ for now

Quick hits from Thursday’s media window and locker room availability, with quotes relayed from Medianews beat writer Steve Corkran:

– Interesting take from Bills quarterback Trent Edwards Wednesday about the philosophy of playing it safe and avoiding turnovers, comparing his own experience to what JaMarcus Russell is going through this season.
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Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2008
Under: Oakland Raiders | 655 Comments »

McFadden, Walker suited up

Working from home today, but Medianews beat writer Steve Corkran reports that running back Darren McFadden and wide receiver Javon Walker went through warm-ups and drills with the team and are preparing to practice.
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Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2008
Under: Oakland Raiders | 483 Comments »

Investments take a dip

Quick hits from Wednesday’s late afternoon practice and media session:

– Not a great day for some of the Raiders most high priced investments.
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Posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
Under: Oakland Raiders | 493 Comments »

A Raiders win is a must for Kiffin

A wise man, or maybe it was colleague Carl Steward, once reasoned that if you’re talking about “must win’’ games early in the season, then the season is already lost.

That said, when the Raiders face the Chiefs Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, it is about as close as you can get to a must win in early September.

Anything remotely similar to 41-14 face plant Monday night against the Denver Broncos could have severe ramifications.

When the team’s public relations department dispatched defensive coordinator Rob Ryan Thursday to refute what coach Lane Kiffin said the previous day, it can be taken as a sign that the coach one columnist called “frat boy’’ is at the very least on double-secret probation.

My feeling all along , based on the Kiffin-Al Davis postseason standoff, was that the coach was in trouble if the Raiders hit the bye week 1-3 or worse.

The across-the-board failure in Week 1, which took place in front of the team’s new investors, may have sped up the process.

If the Raiders were to lose convincingly to a very mediocre Chiefs team Sunday, Kiffin may not make it to Buffalo for Week 3.

This was Kiffin’s assessment on his standing with the Raiders when asked about it on a conference call with Kansas City media:

“Knowing who the owner is, you know from Day 1 there’s no job security,’’ Kiffin said.

It’s not much different than what Kiffin said the first day of training camp, but it takes a more ominous tone given the Monday night debacle and the coach’s 4-13 record.

As poorly as the Raiders played against Denver, it was a game they had a reasonable expectation of winning. They were at home, playing a team they beat convincingly last year in Oakland. I talked with a few fans on my Southwest flight to Kansas City, including one who takes a few road trips a year and goes back to the pre-Coliseum days.

He was convinced the Raiders would win. I thought enough of their chances to write the ill-fated “10 reasons the Raiders will beat the Broncos’’ blog.

At the time, taking into account a win at Arrowhead last season, it was within the realm of possibility the Raiders would be 2-0 and have a boost of confidence heading into difficult games in Buffalo and at home against San Diego.

Instead, they’ve got a chance to be 0-2, and considering the opposition the next two weeks, it could well be 0-4.

It’s worth considering that the Denver game was a mulligan and will have no carryover. That seems to be the prevailing hope both in the locker room and with the coaching staff.

It’s not exactly, “Commitment to Excellence,’’ but the slogan for this week was something along the lines of, “We’re not that bad _ honest.’’

Coaches and players took turns accepting responsibility. Kiffin said it was the job of the coaches to get a team that looks good “on paper’’ to play well on the field. Ryan took the blame for the defense.

DeAngelo Hall said it was his fault, and other defenders said they had communication errors which turned into a death spiral.

Hall will get his share of chances to redeem himself Sunday, because it looks as if Nnamdi Asomugha is in for another lonely season at right cornerback. Kiffin was engaged in conversation with defensive tackle Tommy Kelly both on the way to practice and again after practice Friday.

I’m guessing the name “Larry Johnson’’ came up more than once.

Ryan described the Raiders defense Friday as a system which puts what he believes to be great players in position to win one-on-one match-ups.

The same could be said for Oakland’s offense, which will live or die with hits ability to run the ball with quarterback JaMarcus Russell playing his first game at Arrowhead, his blind side likely protected by first-time starter Mario Henderson.

An 0-2 start is no time to panic, but an 0-2 start for a team with an unprecedented five-year run of losing and a coach who exhibits an air of defiance toward his employer could make this a must win for Kiffin.

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Posted on Saturday, September 13th, 2008
Under: Oakland Raiders | 499 Comments »