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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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  • daaraiders

    Can someone post a link of the Al Davis media conference. I didn’t get to see it and I would like to see the whole thing. Thanks

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    post 381 on the money

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    Anyone notice that pu$$y kiffin cancelled the presser becuz he has been exposed as a little rat?

  • RaiderTay

    “….But Shanahan has an asterisk next to those two Super Bowls, because they were caught cheating.”

    Does anyone know what Al is talking about???

  • http://cctimes FIRE CABLE

    fire the cable guy, hire a real coach!

  • http://cctimes FIRE CABLE

    raider tay, get with it. they were stripped of draft picks and had fines imposed for salary cap violations

  • Mr. Mult-Box

    Hey Lance (oops…Lane) All you had to do was to submit to authority.

  • Mistabrown

    Kurgan Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 8:56 am
    “The odds on Kiffin now going on to win a Super Bowl just went from 27:1 and are now at 4:1.”

    Put the crack pipe down and hand it back to OakGlenn. You guys are so stupid!

  • DirtyBathWater

    Cable says no one was able to move the ball like him in college…………well I don’t know if he is saying we will move the ball, if he is the I can’t wait to see what he’s got…………LMFAO!!!!!!!!

  • Hobs Gnarly

    He didn’t cancel it, his attorney did

  • RaiderDogg

    RaiderTay Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 9:39 am
    “….But Shanahan has an asterisk next to those two Super Bowls, because they were caught cheating.”

    Does anyone know what Al is talking about???”

    The Bronco’s got busted for circumventing the salary cap in 1997 & 1998, the 2 years that they won the Super Bowl. They “deferred” salaries up to $29 Million, which at the time constituted almost 1/3 of the salary cap. They were fined twice for over $900,000 and 2 draft picks.

  • DirtyBathWater

    I love what he did with the oline hopefully he can have similar susess on the offense

  • http://cctimes FIRE CABLE

    cable guy is going to eat the ball!

  • KGB

    Pay this man his money.

  • Mistabrown

    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?

  • darkknight01

    Man…the old man does look like the Emperor.

    It sucks that he will be in charge until he passes basically…he said it himself. Now the only way this franchise gets turned around completely is when he his son takes over…and even Davis said his son has no interest in football, just the business side of things.

    So that means if Mark Davis inherits the team one of two things will most likely happen.

    1. He cleans house and HIRES a GM and head of player personnel and hires a whole new scouting department and then they can make all the decisions.

    2. He sells the team to someone who will make the necessary changes to get this organization and team back on track.

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    Kiffin’s attorney represents him so yes Kiffin cancelled it

  • KGB

    Did you have a contract Mista?

  • darkknight01

    Not letting Monte Kiffin coach the defense here was another IDIOTIC move by the Old Senile Man….why would anyone in there right mind not want Monte Kiffin coaching the defense of this team??

    More proof the old man lost his marbles…

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    Mistabrown……..what bus yard you worked for? I hope it aint bus yard 4

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    Screw both Kiffins

  • darkknight01

    The Broncos did cheat to win those Super Bowls and get jus like and just like the cheating Patsies they got a slap on the wrist….

    The NFL is corrupt!

  • EMRaider

    So I guess having Tom as the HC will give a whole new meaning to the phrase “laying cable.” lol…

  • Ottocrat

    I gotta admit. I have been just as hypercritical of Al Davis as everyone else. And, I still blame him for alott of the team’s problems. But, Kiffin isn’t some innocent babe in the woods. Regardless of how terrible it may be to work in Alameda, he broke a couple of the unwritten rules of football.

    1) You don’t go public. (Well Documented)
    2) You don’t bring it onto the field (See 76 yrd FG attempt)

    He did both things. Many of us defended this guy, and now that the other shoe has dropped, it’s not as clear as it once was. It’s not all Evil Al anymore. Either way, I like Cable. He’s a positive guy, who has given us results. The O-line’s not perfect, but it’s much better than it was before we hired him. He gives me somthing to root for. And, if we can manage to get a win in NO after the bye, watch out. If that happens, all bets are off .

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    Darkknight- dont forget the 94 49ers cheating as well…………..the NFL has always been corrupt just like most big busniness. Remember since the salary cap era the team that win the big game for the most part had owners who were on the NFL financing committee. The shhhhit is so doctored up and al knows that. That is why he does these games with people becuz he knows they will never let him win a title again. The Super Bowl was so BS and I’ll never believe the official bi polar nonsense

  • Al’s Jogging Suit

    Every time I want to blame the failure of the Raiders to win, I end up EVENTUALLY, reluctantly, blaming AL, especially when it comes to coaches. Yesterday ended all of that forever. I will never again question Davis.
    Sure, Gruden coached us to a lot of wins. But I think that had more to do with Gannon. Just look at the Buccaneers. Are they relevant since 2003? They dissapeared after the COLTS came back on them on Monday Night Football. Super Bowl 37 doesn’t count in my mind, because the Tampa defense knew all of Gannon’s cadences. Period end.
    Callahan called us the “Dumbest Team In America” on national television. What other professional would have done that?
    Turner, Shell, Bugle, White: They didn’t win.

    And what has Shanahan done without Elway concerning championships? I’ll tell you what…he got rid of Plummer, a quarterback that took them to 12-plus wins a year, and replaced him with a hothead who has a tendency to throw interceptions.

    LANE KIFFIN SAID TO AL: “WE CAN’T WIN WITH THIS TEAM.” And that is all I would have needed to hear.

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    Ottocrat? Everyone? Speak for yourself. I’ve never been against Al. I was on his side the whole way through

  • M

    Damn, I guess it was too much to hope that Kid Lane would’ve taken all the whiners on the blog with his whiny self when he left. would’ve needed a big ol’ school bus.
    Guess he’s got bigger worries though. Perhaps The Kid can call up Sprewell for advice on how to feed his kids.

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    post 426……..thank you for getting out of the matrix

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    M= lol sprewell

  • KPFan

    An unfortunate display for raiderland….

    Anyone know where to see the entire press conference?

  • DirtyBathWater

    Lol post#413

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    Al’s jogging suit…..super bowl 37 doesnt count from Gruden because Dungy’s defense was installed for 8 seasons already and that team was already damn near there. Thhat was why I was happy for Dungy after 2006. Gruden has done nada and blew the AFC title game in 2000

  • darkknight01

    Scottish Raider,

    How in the hell can you tell me that the Raiders would have won more games with Brady girlie Quinn??

    26 OTHER teams passed on Quinn in that freakin draft besides us!

    Quinn still isn’t starting for the lowly on hit wonder Brownies and when he does he will be a deer in the headlights….Quinn is another Joey Harrington!

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    Al Davis= will make your ass famous

  • Brien(bye kiffin)

    “Lane Kiffin, you are not ready to work for Al Diddy”

  • darkknight01

    Brian,

    Oh yeah….thats the thing that makes me hate the NFL…is that is corrupt just like most big business in this country are….and thats why this country is in deep crap!

    Crooks in suits being in leadership positions…trying to make themselves more money!

    I’m only 33 and I have seen the evils of how this country is run….not good…

  • darkknight01

    Man…the old man does look like the Emperor.

    It sucks that he will be in charge until he passes basically…he said it himself. Now the only way this franchise gets turned around completely is when he his son takes over…and even Davis said his son has no interest in football, just the business side of things.

    So that means if Mark Davis inherits the team one of two things will most likely happen.

    1. He cleans house and HIRES a GM and head of player personnel and hires a whole new scouting department and then they can make all the decisions.

    2. He sells the team to someone who will make the necessary changes to get this organization and team back on track.

  • alisgod

    I just have one question to all you Kiffin backers…

    Let’s say the content of Al’s letter is incorrect, HOWEVER, Kiff did receive the letter. Then why did Kiff went on the record to say him and Al have not discussed the issue? Many folks have been blasting Al for sitting on the sideline of this thing. However, regardless whether the accusations in the letter were true or not, Al did send Kiff the letter. Therefore Kiff has been checkmated that he lied.

    So Kiff’s was cornered by Trey Wingong from BSPN on the letter and he said he didnt want to get into it. THE MAN FLAT OUT CONNED THE PRESS AND YOU DUMMIES. HE WANTED TO BAIL ON YOU DURING HIS FIRST SEASON. HE NEVER DENIED HE WANTED TO BE IN ARKANSAS.

  • Hobs Gnarly
  • Charlie

    After sifting through yesterday’s wreckage there are a couple of things that are clear:

    The relationship between Davis and Kiffin was destroyed and a change needed to be made.
    In the end Kiffin new who the boss was when he took the job. Kiffin is the one that needed to go. I think Kiffin helped us but I wish he had demonstrated more maturity.

    With the fifth head coach in six years and as poor a record as we have, the problem is lack of talent not poor coaching.

    If we draft better, the talent problem lessens, good coaching starts to make a difference and winning starts to lessen the criticism of the Raiders.

    Davis is the boss and yesterday he clearly shouldered his share of the blame. Other people in the Raiders organization provide significant input to Davis in preparation for the draft. Those people need to do a much better job.

    I continue to support the Raiders but we must draft better to build this team. As Mr. Davis said, it was a regrettable day but let’s move forward and support Cable who imo was an excellent choice.

  • Dan

    Why does anyone think Kiff will win?

    Reality is Al finally spoke up and his words were specific and damning of Kiff. Al did what had to be done Kiff fired back on BSPN with generalities.

    Al was fantastic in my opinion, and answered all the questions.

    Why didn’t you talk to Kiff? “We did speak after Buffalo game, in front of coaches.”Why did you wait so long? “He was young and I wanted it to work out/give him a chance..” What about badmouthing of players by Kiff: “Kiff had a hand in every signing except Gibril”. What about Jmac: “Kiff NEVER WANTED JMac!”

    I felt sorry for Kiff, but not anymore. The only reason people liked him was b/c he popped off against Al. And rightly so, people blamed Al for our poor performance. I still fault Al for that, but Kiff should get $0 and he has done nothing to prove he’s a good coach.

  • alisgod

    Kiff was so good that he pocketed those 2 timeouts so that he could use it in yesterday’s BSPN interview and today’s cancelled press conf.

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

    SouthTexasRaider Says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 10:36 pm
    all this hate on a man that barely was given the chance to change around an organization…..how sad.

    WITH CABLE WE WILL BE ABLE (I will finish for you!)

    WITH CABLE WE WILL BE ABLE to really expose the tyrant for the senile, lost, corrupt, washed up, pee pee and poopoo diaper wearin, wasted talent hiring,no good rootin tootin loser that the Tyrant is!

  • RaiderTay

    As crazy as all this is…this team needs to win some games. That will put all of this in the past real quick. Winning will heal all this crap.

  • M

    Yes, and the Portland Trail Blazers could’ve drafted Michael Jordan. And the Warriors could’ve drafted Kobe.
    When people bemoan past drafts of could’ve had CJ, could’ve had Thomas, could’ve had Quinn y’all sound like Coach Boy who just left the building. Complaining about what is not here rather than addressing what is.

    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.

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

    Just my opinion though!

    Hey BRIAN….Whats up?

  • Dan

    Alisgod -

    Right F’ing on. Kiff didn’t directly answer any questions about his lying. However, as Al pointed out, b/c he doesn’t talk to the press, most of these points never come up.

    In Cable I trust.

    Kiff fans are not Al fans, that’s clear given the animosity b/w Al and Kiff. Al created and owns the Raiders. Therefore, Kiff fans are not fans of the Raiders at this point.

  • Hobs Gnarly

    It’s not so much Kiffin, but the fact that Al’s had 5 coaches in 7 years and how many before that in the last twenty. Dude it’s about continuity, we are tired of this crap with Al, he’s the one that needs to go.

  • Dan

    Chaos -

    You’re clearly not a Raiders fan anymore given your comments. Thats your perogative. Good luck with your next team.