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Davis-Kiffin-Cable highlights

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 at 8:38 pm in Oakland Raiders.

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.

The statement was as follows:

“Earlier today, Lane Kiffin told members of the Bay Area media that he intended to hold a press conference on Wednesday, October 1, to address his departure from the team. In light of today’s events, we have advised Lane to cancel all future interviews for the time being.’’

– But not before Kiffin went on ESPN and refuted much of what Davis had claimed, including the now infamous letter. Kiffin said that just because it was printed on paper and shown on an overhead projector, “doesn’t make it true.’’

– Is it just me, or does it finally seem to be sinking in that the image of Davis’ precious franchise has been seriously damaged over the last five years?

There was less bluster, not nearly as many references to the “Greatness of the Raiders.’’ Most rare was the admission of a mistake in the hiring of Kiffin.

“It hurts because I picked the guy,’’ Davis said. “I picked the wrong guy.’’

– Later, harkening back to the days when Davis was told there were sellouts at the Coliseum only to find out there weren’t, he said of Kiffin, “I think he conned me, like he conned all of you people.”

Kiffin said he watched the press conference with his wife, called it “hurtful” and said, “That’s something I wasn’t proud to be associated with. I was kind of embarrassed for him.”

– Davis was asked if he was responsible for not only the Kiffin hire, but the fact that the Raiders have gone through Bill Callahan, Norv Turner and Art Shell as well since 2003.

“I bear the responsibility. It takes a toll on me. It sure does,’’ Davis said.

– Kiffin, Davis said, would have been fired if he were 3-1 instead of 1-3.

“It was a cumulative thing. The pattern just disturbed me,’’ Kiffin said. “The first question he asked me when I said you would be fired or was relieved for cause was, `Are you going to pay me?’ First question. There are a lot of people who believe in this organization that he wanted to be fired but he wanted to be paid.’’

– Kiffin said his first question was about the status of his assistants, and was pleased to learn they were all keeping their jobs.

– Asked if Kiffin was daring the owner to fire him, Davis said, “That’s a good question. I don’t know what he was doing but he got me to fire him.’’

Responded Kiffin to ESPN: “There is no way I was trying to get fired.”

– There were a few instances of misdirection when asked about a specific problem. A query about the lack of continuity and number of coaching changes brought a reminder that the Raiders have been to the Super Bowl more recently than the Cowboys and are the last AFC West team to make it.

– If you’re keeping score on all the offseason “rumors” regarding the Kiffin vs. Davis, the Raiders owner confirmed that Kiffin wanted to bring in his father to be defensive coordinator, Kiffin didn’t want to draft JaMarcus Russell, Kiffin wanted to fire Rob Ryan, and that a resignation letter drafted on Kiffin’s behalf did indeed exist _ although Davis said it was at Kiffin’s request.

– Another one _ Davis said Kiffin wanted to leave for a job at Arkansas last year and was angry when told he had to wait until the end of the season. A high-profile friend at Arkansas (Jerry Jones?) tipped Davis off on that one, and Davis said Bobby Petrino left the Atlanta Falcons early specifically to beat Kiffin to the job.

– The inescapable conclusion is that stories regarding problems between Davis and Kiffin were not the creation of the media, but by Davis and Kiffin.

– Have there ever been two more stubborn men locked in a futile battle of wills, with both claiming the high ground when it’s clearly a matter of money?

It’s clear Davis despised Kiffin for some time, and the feeling was mutual. Yet they went some eight-plus counterproductive months before coming to Tuesday’s unforgettable theater.

– Cable was the most valuable assistant coach on the Raiders staff last year, and if he inspires the kind of loyalty in the entire team he does in his linemen, it can only help.

– Coaching at UCLA, Idaho and Colorado, Cable was also a hell of an offensive coach, his 11-35 record at Idaho aside.

“Everybody has a past, everybody has a journey in life, whether it’s professionally or personally,” Cable said. “For me, it’s been a great journey. Not always successes, by the record I have at Idaho. At the same time, not too many people move the ball like I did in college football, whether it was at Colorado, Idaho or UCLA. So I’m very confident that way, very confident.”

– Cable on Kiffin: “I respect Lane Kiffin, I love the guy. I think he worked his tail off. However, whatever that’s gone on here is between him and Mr. Davis, and I’ll leave it at that.”

– Davis said Ryan was too valuable as a defensive coordinator with the current team to consider elevating to head coach.

– It probably didn’t hurt Cable that he has a grasp of the tradition which has slowly evaporated over the past five years.

“I grew up a Raider. I grew up loving this team from the time I was a little boy,” Cable said.

I asked Cable about how the Raiders go about finishing games when so many players have known nothing but constant defeat.

“How you finish games? You don’t let up. You don’t let up,” Cable said. “You throw the football to score points in this game. You run the football to win it. And you’ve got to find a balance between those two. You’ve got to get your play-makers the ball in their hands, and you gotta be able to do that to finish. Defensively, you’ve got to be able to choke ‘em out.”

Post-press conference notes

A few notes collected from talking with Davis after the formal press conference broke up:

– The investors which purchased 20 percent of the team have no option to buy. A scenario to the one similar to when Chris Cohan purchased the Warriors could not happen, Davis said.

– The Raiders are working with the city of Oakland regarding a stadium _ “Of course we want a new one,” _ but Davis declined to “negotiate” in the media.

– Davis was sold on Russell as the No. 1 overall draft pick, in part because of a recommendation from ex-Raider Tee Martin, who went to the same Birmingham high school as Russell. Kiffin, Davis said, fluctuated between wanting Brady Quinn and Calvin Johnson, and also wanted to trade it for a time.

– It was Mike Lombardi who sold Bill Belichick on the idea of acquiring Randy Moss. It’s clear Davis still rues the day he made that deal, even if most people believe Moss had already mentally checked out of Oakland.

– Regarding Lombardi, who has been taking both subtle jabs and right crosses at the Raiders in his new gig as a columnist for the National Football Post, Davis said, “Mike Lombardi has been fired from every job he’s had. Every job. He can’t get a job. Last year he was fired from a job he was working for for nothing. He was fired from Denver. But he does have ability.”

– Davis said he is looking at a football executive he declined to name who will be needed to help guide the Raiders through issues such as labor, a new stadium

– Mark Davis has been around the facility more this season but Davis said his son has no plans to get in on the football end of things, although he will some day inherit the team.

“Business and stadium. He doesn’t want to get involved in football,” Davis said. “He just doesn’t want to get into that part of it. But he will own it some day. That is… if they let me go to my maker.”

– Davis said his health is fine “other than the quadriceps and a little trouble with the walking, based on total balance, I’m fine. I’m healthy. You’re going to have to have me around for a while.”

– Al still just loves Mike Shanahan.

“When Shanahan left me, he went to Denver. He was there for about four or five years as an assistant and they fired him for insubordination,” Davis said. “Dan Reeves and he had a big battle. He went to the 49ers and he learned their style of football and when Dan Reeves failed in Denver, the first guy they had was Wade Phillips, I think, then he brought Shanahan back. And Shanahan had success. But Shanahan has an asterisk next to those two Super Bowls, because they were caught cheating.”

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  • Hobs Gnarly

    You act as if Kiffin brought the problems, what’s the one constant, Davis
    In that press conf. did Al single out Herrera or Mike Taylor as the leaker to Mort?

  • Hobs Gnarly

    RaiderTay, winning erases everything. I kiss Al’s ring if he won the SB this year with CAble

  • darkknight01

    The PROBLEM with this FRANCHISE LOSING the last 6 years STARTS at the top and the one who is still there.

    AL DAVIS…..IS the problem enough said!

  • Dan

    Hobs -

    Al has done poorly as of late, no doubt. However, he created that Raiders and he’s not going anywhere.

    What I find interesting is that so many people want Al to go yet still claim to be Raiders fans. Would you be happier if Elway used some of his illegally begotten salary, led a financial group to buy the team, changed the uniforms and they won?

  • M

    Hobs Gnarly,

    all Cable has to do is to win 4 of the remaining 12 games and he will have a better record than The Kid. lol.
    is that.250 winning percentage the continuity you were writing about?

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    Thanks Dan, but you’re dead wrong and your comments regarding my fanhood can go into the toilet where they belong……but thanks for trying!

  • alisgod

    yes Al has his issues but winning will not start with a coach…THAT WANTED TO BAIL ON YOU IN HIS FIRST SEASON….but hey I am IN…..LMFAO

  • darkknight01

    M Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I think the Raiders now have a best case scenario. Knapp will do fine calling plays. Robbo somehow has the D playing very well. Cable is a man the team can rally around. I expect inspired play, plus, to my knowledge, Knapp knows J Russ can be a fine quarterback.

    I agree…Knapp will do just fine calling the plays…and Cable has the type of coaching personality the team can rally around. They need to get healthy on offense and the Ryan needs to learn how to close out games and the defenses conditioning needs to improve the next two weeks.

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    darkknight01 Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 10:32 am
    M Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I think the Raiders now have a best case scenario. Knapp will do fine calling plays. Robbo somehow has the D playing very well. Cable is a man the team can rally around. I expect inspired play, plus, to my knowledge, Knapp knows J Russ can be a fine quarterback.

    I agree…Knapp will do just fine calling the plays…and Cable has the type of coaching personality the team can rally around. They need to get healthy on offense and the Ryan needs to learn how to close out games and the defenses conditioning needs to improve the next two weeks.

    Hell why don’t we just start the season all over again!

  • RaiderTay

    One thing is for sure…dont fukc with Al. He will torch you. He has obviously been planning this attack for a while. You can tell that that letter was something he wrote with the intention of others reading it.

    He didnt just want to fire the guy, he wants to make sure he never works again. Regardless of what people think of Al, anybody that hires Kiff has to atleast wonder if they can truly fully trust him.

    Al is a cold, calculated, vindictive, SOB…God bless him.

    Go RAIDASSS!!!!

  • Charlie

    My comments about past drafts are intended to hopefully point out that the problem needs to be corrected.
    As I said, with five coaches in six years and as poor a record as we have had lack of talent has to be the root cause of our problem.
    Coaching only makes a difference when you have enough to work with. We are getting better but the talent must improve in the future if we are to get out of this mess.

  • alisgod

    you’re dead on Dan.

    My worst fear is Al dies and we become the ST. Louis Rams or the Whiners across the bay. Win or lose …. We are always identified as the Raiders. ARE the niners across the bay the same as the niners in the 80′s and 90′s or the greatest show on turf Rams….

    These guys dont get it. Al is the Raiders. How many 79 year old guy can still make reporters stand up and cringe.

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    I said it here and now……Nnamdi will be gone……

  • http://www.Raiders.com Oakglenn

    Mistabrown Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 9:55 am
    KGB Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 9:51 am
    “Pay this man his money.”

    When I was fired from AC Transit last summer I didn’t get any money, why should Lance
    ————————————————-

    LMFAO!!!!!! Well, that explains everything. mistaclown can’t keep a job at the bus yard. Even AC Transit can recongnize a useless POS a mile away. hahahahahahaha

  • The Autumn Wind

    Al Davis was the Raiders in the 60′s….70′s…..80′s….Since that time what has he done to better this team. Fire coaches every on average every 20 games is not going to improve any proffesional sports program, whether you are the so called “GOD” Al Davis or not. Those who think the Raiders would be nothing but a memory without Al Davis are poorly mistaken. I beleive that they would probably not be in Oakland if not for Al Davis but The NFL is not going to change the name and colors of one of its most popular franchises. I’m certain this team would move to a bigger market such as L.A., But Al Davis has already done that so what do we have to lose. This team we always exist in the NFL with Al Davis or not because the NFL makes a lot of money from them and the other 31 NFL franchises.

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    These guys dont get it. Al is the Raiders. How many 79 year old guy can still make reporters stand up and cringe.

    CORRECTION……Al was the Raiders and who cares what he does to the media……I thought he didn’t want to win in the media, but on the field…..or was it in the courts……he is good at that…….he is also good at being a liar to the previous owners of the team when he forced himself into a positon of power………..he is also good at spoon feeding you this stuff because you don’t hear from him all of the time, so you have to believe it is true because the one time in 10 years that he has enough energy to speak, he throws basically the entire NFL under the bus…………

  • http://www.Raiders.com Oakglenn

    BTW mistaclown, just so you know, food stamps are for BUYING FOOD. You’re not supposed to eat them!! LMAO. Maybe you can tell us how Kiff and MR are doing. You probably see both of them in the unemployment line every week.

  • S&B

    Has the commissioner’s plane arrived in Oakland yet?

  • RaiderTay

    Hobs, I was wonderin about that too. It sounded like Al started saying that Herrera or Mike Taylor was the leak, but then he let he kind of said it was Kiff but then said maybe it was a secretary.

  • The Autumn Wind

    Yeah its in Oakland but first he had to stop by Kiffins house

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    Did you see that thing he does with his eyes…….its almost like they were gonna pop out…….by the way, he did make the reporters crings, by three things:

    The way he looked.
    The way he smelled.
    He farted halfway through reading the letter.

  • darkknight01

    nationcollective chaos,

    Thats what this bye week and getting rid of Kiffin and promoting Cable. A chance for this team to start a clean slate with no more stupid distractions from the old man and Kiffin…. and just concentrate on football get a win against the Aints.

  • Scottish Raider

    Darkknight,

    So you don’t think that Quinn would have been better than McClown or Culpepper?

    Longer-term, Russell might be better than Quinn. In terms of 2007 and 2008 (the length of Kiffin’s contract), Quinn was always going to be more ready.

    Brien,

    Of course Kiff wanted Calvin Johnson – but it depended on getting Garcia. Neither Kiffin or Davis wanted to handover the franchise to a prospect like Edwards or Beck so, if Garcia said no, they had to take either Russell or Quinn.

    With hindsight, a draft with Calvin Johnson and Trent Edwards would be looking very smart now.

  • S&B

    The Autumn Wind Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 10:41 am
    Yeah its in Oakland but first he had to stop by Kiffins house
    =======================================================
    Good, well at least he’s there and doing his job. I am sure that after Al turned on the overhead projector, Goodell knew he needed to get out there

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    What is the score going to be for the Raiders/Aints game?

  • http://www.Raiders.com Oakglenn

    Mistabrowns next job is going to be meeting and greeting the tourists down by the Cable Car entry and asking them for change.

  • darkknight01

    The pick was going to be CJ or Russell…taking Quinn #1 overall would have the for sure WRONG move!

    Russell is going to be a better pro than Quinn….just as long as the old crazy man doesn’t screw up his development by bringing in coaches who wouldn’t know how to develop a QB if it hit them in the face. The offensive coaches they have right now are good coaches after the season is over….thats when things can get hairy again….ugh…

  • S&B – Nation Collective

    The Raiders can beat the Saints. Even with all of this Al Davis manufactured B.S. The Raiders will have Fargas back and a healthy DMAC. Cable and Knapp won’t go to seven step drops because they know the roster as well as Kiffin.

    Rob Ryan is on the hook now. He has no place to hide. He has TOTAL control of the defense and Nnamdi will be healthy. He is coaching for his future right now. Raiders defense should do okay with a healthy Warren, Burgess and Aso.

    Oakland 24
    N.O 16

  • darkknight01

    I think Quinn would have thrown more INTS than either QB and would have probably got hurt.

  • S&B – Nation Collective

    Let me know when Roger Goodell’s limo arrives at the complex.

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    S&B,

    So even with that high pass to run ration from NO, you think we can hold them to 16 pts?

    By the way, Nnamdi has a fracture,Burg has a tear and Warren the same, it takes more then 2 weeks to heal all of that.

  • Scottish Raider

    Can we address the Rob Ryan ‘sacking’.

    I believe Kiffin when he said that Rob Ryan approached him about whether he should or shouldn’t take up the offer from the Jets. Ryan has never denied this.

    That means that Kiffin didn’t want to fire Ryan – as Davis is claiming. Kiffin merely agreed with Ryan that a fresh start was best for both parties.

    In relation to DeAngelo Hall and Javon Walker. The issue is not whether we should have signed them and whether or not Kiffin supported the deal. The real problem is the price we paid for Hall and Walker. Hall was never worth giving up a high 2nd round pick for. Walker was never worth the ridiculous guaranteed money.

    And all the financials were signed-off by Davis. He approved all the deals. He cannot excuse himself from responsibility.

    If you leave aside all the emotions and all the bravado, Davis’ polemic is very suspect. I suspect that Kiffin’s advisers are going through Davis’ statement point-by-point, line-by-line. If, as I think probable, Davis has said things he cannot substantiate, then this is far, far from over. The Commissioner and the other 31 owners will take a very dim view of Al Davis if it is proven that he has willfully misrepresented the facts.

  • vegas raider

    Do you guys really think that agents were calling Al complaining about Kiffen?

  • http://www.Raiders.com Oakglenn

    Brien(bye kiffin) Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 9:58 am
    Mistabrown……..what bus yard you worked for? I hope it aint bus yard 4

    ——————————————————-

    Brien, he didn’t work that’s why he got fired!! LMFAO. Or maybe he was too stupid to figure out how to use the broom they hired him to push.

  • darkknight01

    Cable and Knapp will not change any of the playbook or terminology, (thank god) but I think they will better play callers inside the red zone and will not be afraid to throw the ball more.

    As long as they get consistent pressure on Brees, then our CB’s should be able to blanket there WR’s especially since they don’t have Colston.

    Ryan needs to put T Howard as they spy for Bush.

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    Vegas…….I wouldn’t doubt it.

  • RaiderTay

    Did you guys hear Kiff’s interview on ESPN. A few quick points.

    1. He didnt directly deny any of Al’s accusations of him lying. He avoided the question and then he said that he didnt want to go into it.

    2. He said he was embarassed for Al. Are you serious??? You need to be embarassed for yourself you frickin weisel.

  • darkknight01

    If the commish and other owners think and have enough evidence that shows the old man mis represented the facts then the old man will pay Kiffin but can the commish try to punish the old man even more for that type of action??

    Interesting….

  • vegas raider

    If that is true about the agents, than some players, or at least one player, is happy to see Kiffin gone and maybe they won’t blow 4th quarter leads. Glass half full right?

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    RaiderTay Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 10:58 am
    Did you guys hear Kiff’s interview on ESPN. A few quick points.

    1. He didnt directly deny any of Al’s accusations of him lying. He avoided the question and then he said that he didnt want to go into it.

    THATS BECAUSE HE IS GOING TO SUE HIS AZZ AND WOULD NOT WANT TO GIVE UP DETAILS OF THINGS HE IS BRINGING TO THE TABLE.SMART MOVE I MIGHT ADD.

    2. He said he was embarassed for Al. Are you serious??? You need to be embarassed for yourself you frickin weisel.

    I WOULD BE EMBARRASSED FOR ALL AS WELL. SEE POST #471.

  • RaiderTay

    Scottish Raider, DO you really think Al is a sh!t what the owners and the commish thinks of him?

    Even if Kiff sued Al and won it would be worth every penny. Kiff got KOd by an old man. That was so classic.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    M, NO
    the continuity I refer to begins with having the same coach for more than 18 months

  • B-RAIDER

    I’M STILL A RAIDER FAN. …and I like it.

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    Vegas……That one player is the one who appears and disappears during the games.

    His name should officially be

    “My Hammy Hurts”

    kind of like “He hate me”

  • http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh297/vivektnarain/aldavis.jpg Nation Collective-Chaos

    RaiderTay Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 11:03 am
    Scottish Raider, DO you really think Al is a sh!t what the owners and the commish thinks of him?

    Even if Kiff sued Al and won it would be worth every penny. Kiff got KOd by an old man. That was so classic.

    Well there goes the salary of rNnamdi to keep him around…..Crap better go buy more jersies!

  • 805Raider

    I recall it was Art Shell’s fault we drafted Huff. Kiffin did not want to draft Russell. Why does Shell get to draft who he wants but Kiffin doesn’t?

  • Hobs Gnarly

    Dan, I have been a Raider fan a lot of years, I remember watching in the 70′s so do not give me what a Raider fan is or isn’t. I used to love him but he lost me with Gruden, he wanted to be right more then he wants to win and that’s just how I see it. I am not an owner fan, the Raiders were there before him and certainly will be there without him. Yes he did create the Raiders we love but that time hasn’t been there since the early 80′s

  • RaiderTay

    Cmon Nation, Do you really think Al cares about being sued. If half of what Al said was correct, Kiff deserved to be fired.

  • The Twerp

    THE AL & REALITY ACCORDING TO THE TWERP

    Clown Nation, you believe that old pathological liar, Al Davis?

    During the press conference Davis was asked about his new head coach. He turned and said, “Do you have the PR sheet on Cable cuz I don’t know much about him?”

    TWERPING TRUTH

    Your team is toast, Clown Nation.

    Any thinking person recognizes that when a NFL franchise goes through 6 head coaches in 7 seasons it is ill to the core.

    The Raider organization is a dog chasing its tail.

  • RaiderTay

    On KNBR they talked about a sick Silver and Black bracelet that AD had on. They said it said “Al” in diamonds.

    Supposedly the bracelet was given to AD by Jimmy the Greek and it was passed down to him from Al Capone.

    Classic.