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.

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.”


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • fire williams

    glad kiff decided to shut up… I could not beleive he was going to go off in view of the legalities… Gets ugly when former staff get pitted against current and whoever else davis pays off.
    Kiff is not a conman. He did not con davis who has some inteligence. He does’nt even know gramer. He’s just a good kid who wanted to win football games with his dad. Davis you are not loyal.. And deserve every loss you’ve found and will find. Shame on you!!!! Boycott of the first half!!!!!!!!!
    Love Kiff and the fact that he made respectable the failed….
    eremos un fracaso total………..

  • vegas raider

    We won’t hear Lane candidly into after the upcoming, and you know there will be one, court battle. Until that is in the past, Lane will be pretty tight-lipped as he was yesterday.

  • RaiderTay

    Businesses keep insurance that pays for lawsuits.

  • S&B – Nation Collective

    Let’s not get revisionist on the draft. Russell was the right pick. We are building the offense with the QB. Russell has looked good so far and had the Managing General Partner got the contract done on time, Russell would be even better.

    We are missing a WR. Hopefully, the managing general partner can go get us one before the trade deadline.

    Of course that will have to wait until his meeting with the Commissioner

  • Sup NATION?

    Anybody got the numbers to back up Cables claim of being an offensive Guru

  • alisgod

    The bottom line is this…you paid someone a mil a year to work for you but while taking your money he is interviewing for another job.

    How many of you make a mil per year? None. If you were making a mil per year without a resume to back it up, would you be interviewing for another job.

    I am GLAD Al stiffed him.

  • vegas raider

    How’s your mother. That was so classic

  • Hobs Gnarly

    yes it is

  • Scottish Raider

    805, good point. Kiffin did say that he and Al discussed the Raiders 2007 draft options during his all-night interview. Kiffin told Davis what he wanted to do and what he felt was necessary – and Davis was so impressed that he hired him.

    Al Davis is acquiring a very selective memory but the truth is much more interesting and damaging.

    One question remains unanswered: Who picked John Bowie?

  • Section 142

    I feel comfortable knowing that Mark and or Amy will be taking over the franchise once Mr. Davis “meets his maker”. Mark grew up in this team, and knows the legacy, the past, present and will determine the future. Amy is no “bimbo” as some have stated. She is a competent, and cunning business woman. She dosent need to know the Football side of the business, she will bring in people who do…

  • Hobs Gnarly

    Who do you think? Al picks them all

  • RaiderTay

    It sucks that we have a bye. We have to read about this for the next two weeks.

  • SC

    I lost respect for Kiffin….He sounded like a spoiled little kid that didn’t get his way! He should have manned up and talked to Al regarding this letter that was sent to him via Fed Ex before the KC game. He should have scheduled a meeting with his boss and discuss the issues he had in that letter in person. Then, if they couldn’t have resolved those issues…then part ways and move on. This went on too long. But who’s fault was that? Kiffin’s… Al’s? One of these guys needed to step up…and we all know that Al Davis ego was not going to allow that. He’s the owner Kiffin, should have stepped up and approached his boss Al Davis. All this mess could have been avoided if Kiffin would have kept his trap closed during press conferences and talked to Al personally. They are on the same team.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    Scratch that, it was john herrera

  • JT

    Cable looks tough
    Hopefully we dont have another Joe Buggle
    Who was a good OL coach
    But bad coach

  • Hobs Gnarly

    So who is the exec that Davis talked about bringing in? Is it Millen, cause I am for that.

  • Scottish Raider

    RaiderTay, if the other half of what Davis said is proven to be untrue, then he will pay a very big price.

    Kiffin is so stubborn that he isn’t going to let this go…and Davis has so many enemies who will encourage Kiffin to continue the fight.

  • RaiderTay

    I dont understand how they say that they cant work because they have an owner breathin down their neck and then they say that they rarily even talk to Al. You cant have it both ways.

    You cant say that AL is a micromanaging meddling owner who is never around. That doesnt make any sense.

  • alisgod Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 11:09 am
    Chaos – Lots of people called Al a liar. Even the reporters there yesterday…I am sure he has lied as well. No one ever doubted that.

    However, the Raiders have always been a shady organization. You bitch and whine so much but you forget that you loved a team that has its reputation built on being a shady organization. Because we are not winning now, these fans are whining about Al. When we were winning 3 consec div title and going to the SB, were you whining then? That’s right all that is wrong is Al’s fault. Pathetic isn’t it on your logic.

    Actually yes I was pissed at this time, because he put Gruden on an island that he didn’t deserve. No one can refute what Gruden did, like him or not, he brought the team together and he had a work ethic beyone anyone that is in the org now or has been in there since. The only reason we lost that, The tyrant…..So yes pathetic is in my vocabulary, i just choose to use other terminology to explain my opinion of where this idiot has taken our franchise!

  • Section 142

    Stats: I can look up the NFL stats but the UCLA stuff will take a while…

    2006 ATl: 2939 yards on 532 attempts = 5.5 per play

    Second place that year was JAX: 2541 yards

  • Scottish Raider

    Section 142, you can forget Amy Trask. According to reports on SFgate, she has fallen out of favour with Davis because she pressed for stability and was less critical of Kiffin.

    The axis of evil inside Alameda are John Herrera and Mike Taylor. They are Davis’ closest advisors and the ones who led the attack on Kiffin.

    Which puts Jerry McDonald in a difficult position – considering his friendship with Herrera.

  • is paranoia a symtom of dementia?? i’m not a doctor, and i’m seriously asking. everyone’s always out to get, or undermind al.

    newsflash, mr davis. your once proud franchise is becomming more irrelevent as each day passes. no one cares enough about the raiders for you to as paranoid as you are.

    this man has truly lost it.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    It’s the front office that prohibts a normal working relationship in their rabid protection of Al. They sniff a hint of what they deem unloyal or independence and they all start leaking info. It’s really not a great situation for a hc who needs players respect up front and can’t get it because of the way things are run

  • Andrews Mom

    I havd two big prolems with Kiff going back to last year.
    I think he screwed my boy over and AW should have started over McCown and Pepper.
    He misused the running backs last year and it looks like he was gonna do the same this year. Rhodes, Fargas and Lamont should have all seen some touches in every game instead of pounding Lamont untill he broke, pound Fargas untill he breaks.

    Come to find out he really was upset over missing out on the Ark gig. I never wanted to believe that. I found it hard to believe a bright young man could screw himself when he had the chance to write his ticket to his next job.

  • S&B – Nation Collective


    The Saints have a high pass ratio but I am not too worried. Our defense for the 1st 3 QTRs puts pressure on the QB and our secondary, when not playing 10 yds off, is pretty good. Plus, the Saints do not have Shockey or Colston.

    The Saints are a little one-dimensional with the pass, as long as we are aggressive we should be okay.

    My concern is this team’s capability to finish. They will play tough, but when they get to that 4th QTR and they have a 3 and out or give up a score, will the team continue to collapse

  • JB

    The Associated Press
    Article Last Updated: 10/01/2008 09:37:13 AM PDT

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass.—Patriots coach Bill Belichick is declining comment on a tampering accusation leveled against his team by Raiders owner Al Davis.

    Belichick was asked Wednesday about Davis’ statement and said that the Patriots are concentrating on Sunday’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco. New England wide receiver Randy Moss also declined comment Wednesday.

    Davis said Tuesday that the Patriots tampered with Moss before they obtained him from Oakland in a trade during last year’s NFL draft. Davis made the statement after a news conference in which he announced the firing of his coach, Lane Kiffin.
    Al Davis doesn’t know when to just shut up. This sounds like another lawsuit on the way. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. Hope the Patriots fry his lame old a$$ – right after Kiffin wins his suit for breech of contract/wrongful termination. Al Davis is a paranoid old geezer who belongs in a home for old fuks who suffer from foot in mouth and/or head up a$$ syndrome. Time has passed you by Al, get over it.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    He’s always been paranoid but it’s getting worse

  • Hobs Gnarly

    I was wondering about Amy because Taylor is the lawyer handling things instead of her

  • Chaos, that is actually NOT true. The Raiders run a very very unique organisation that is undeniable. But they do NOT run a shady business, with shady business dealings. That is why Davis has won practically ALL the suits he is ever in. He is almost always the plaintiff, and he almost always wins. One thing he does not tolerate at all is lying. He never has, and no one can come forward and say that Davis lied or put in writing something Davis did not do. Look at Shanahan. He could take him to court over the alleged money Davis owes him, but he would lose. Davis runs a pirate organisation for sure, but the quote is “to live outside the law, you must be honest.”

  • Section 142

    I have a different opinion on Trask and Davis. he even referred to her yesterday in the Presser, he may l;eave something for her or even the team… Why would he make that comment based on your statement that she has fallen out of favour?

    I know that John and Mike are the the current counsel. Thats not exactly a secret.

  • S&B – Nation Collective

    Andrews Mom,

    Stop…AW wasn’t the QB for the scheme. That’s why changing coaches so often hurts the team. The players don’t always match the scheme. AW did not match the offensive scheme that Kiffin and Knapp were implementing

    AW can be successfull, just not here. At least not as a starter

  • Section 142


    Jeff Birren is the Attorney on this, not Taylor.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    Davis is loyal and demands it in return, but I sense something up with their relationship.
    Herrera is pathetic, if you ask me he’s been jockeying to get something and will burn anyone to get it.

  • Andrews Mom, the one thing that has become completely obvious is Kiffin had no idea about personnel at this level. None. Every person he lauded sucked, the ones he didn’t could play. That people here wanted to give him authority over personnel shows what some of these posters know. MR I’m looking at you here.

  • prudog45

    The record speaks for itself 5-15, 11 loses going into the fourth quarter,with leads, this sh&& was above Kiff’s head he just could not adjust in game situations , so GET HIS A## OUTTA HUR”””””GO RAAAIIIDDASS , let’s see what Tom Cable can bring to the table, if the same results continue GET HIS A%% OUTTA HUR”””””

  • Hobs Gnarly

    who specifically do you refer to oak?

  • Oakglenn,

    Please provide some examples, since you appear to be a personnel genius.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    I am begining to think that no one can be the head coach of the Raiders. There is not a person alive who fits the bill that Al thinks he should be

  • Andrews Mom

    He may not have been a system fit, but mcCown and DC were not the answer.
    I think AW earned his shot and did not get it because Kiff wanted to prove something.

  • Hell Raiderrrs

    Sounds to me Davis did this letter to set Lane up for yesterday. Al’s attorneys told him to put his differences in writing so it could be recorded when he mailed it. This will show AL’s intent to fire Lane weeks ago. Which we all new was coming.

    Al mentioned in the letter that these were Kiffins signings other then Wilson. Notice all were Kiffins except for the guy who is actually working out? And if you go back and read the old blogs when these guys were signed Kiffin didn’t sound like a guy who got the shiny new toy he wanted. He pretty much gave Al all the credit.
    Al lied his a$$ off in this letter and I hope he is exposed when this thing goes to court. Unfortunately it will probably be settled out of court and Kiffin will have a gag order with the settlement.
    I’m not one of the AL bashers and I have some criticisms of Kiffin. But AL was way out of line on this and the fans are going to pay for it over the long run.

    I hope the Cable is able chanters are right. But I don’t think you are.

  • darkknight01

    BeliCHEAT at it again with the Tampering with Moss….that doesn’t surprise me at all.

    At least they didn’t get a Super Bowl last year and they won’t get one this year either!!


  • R8ER ONE


  • darkknight01

    Yeah..I agree the letter the old man presented sounded shady as hell. Yeah..okay Al Kiffin wanted to sign Hall and Walker for that much money but didn’t want Wilson??

    Thats BS!

  • darkknight01

    I’m NOT supporting the old man….I’m supporting the coaches, the players, the team, the logo and colors!

  • S&B – Nation Collective


    We will never know if Kiffin would have been a success or not. However, we do know that this team is much more competitive than it was when he started here.

    Kiffin is gone. Trashing him is not productive anymore. Also, don’t forget that Cable and Knapp were brought in by Kiffin.

    Let’s let Cable and Knapp run the offense. And let’s see if Rob Ryan keeps his defense up.

  • Juan Valdez Jr.

    Brien(bye kiffin) Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 10:05 am
    Ottocrat? Everyone? Speak for yourself. I’ve never been against Al. I was on his side the whole way through


  • Hobs Gnarly

    I am a Raider fan, not an owner fan

  • Hobs Gnarly

    Let’s get one thing straight. We are all for the most part Raider fans except for the occasional troll. We are divided however in what is best for the Raiders in that we the “Al Bashers” think it’s time for him to move on that he’s lost his mojo and is now just prohibiting winning by his sheer existence. Yeah we get he is the owner, he is the Raiders (as if we’ve not been aware of that) and some of us have even watched games in their heyday, I remember when they interupted the Heidi game. I think the same thing is happening in the front office and Davis is just too weak in his age to battle it or encourage depending on who your listening to, to stop it.

  • Section 142 thanx for the stats..

    did any1 else catch Al saying he didn’t know much about Cable when he thought his mike was off?? WTF

  • El Davis

    I’m a Raider Fan of the Players, FUQ the Front Office.

    Cable, Knapp, and RR bring us some wins, and NOW!