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.

September 12, 2008

By Hand Delivery and Federal Express

Dear Lane:

Over the past months, you have made a number of public statements that were highly critical of, and designed to embarrass and discredit this organization, its players and its coaches. I left you alone during training camp in hopes that you would cease your immature and destructive campaign.

However, you continue to make public statements that are critical of the organization, its players as a whole as well as individual players. Such statements constitute conduct detrimental to the Raiders and I will no longer stand silently by while you continue to heart this organization.

Further, you rontract is quite clear that you work “subject to the direction and supervision of the General Partner’’ and that the General Partner has the “exclusive right to do all things, which in its sole discretion are necessary to maintain and improve the Club, the football organization and their activities.’’

I realized when I hired you that you were young and inexperienced and that there would be a learning process for you. Your mistakes on player personnel and coaches were overlooked based on our patience with you. But I never dreamt that you would be so untruthful in statements to the press as well as on so many other issues. Your actions are those of a coach looking to make excuses for not winning, rather than a coach focused on winning.

For example, with the exception of Gibril Wilson, you were involved in recruiting all free agents and determining salaries for them and you were explicit in your desire to sign Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall amongst others. All were a must to sign in your eyes, Hall in particular, because he played for Greg Knapp in Atlanta and Knapp gave him high grades. Do not run from that now.

I do realize that you did not want to draft JaMarcus Russell. He is a great player. Get over it and coach this team on the field, that is what you were hired to do. We can win with this team!

In regards to your recent fabrications about the defense, during the final cuts you made every cut on offense and every cut on defense except for Wakefield on defense and Wand on offense. Further more, during the game Monday night Rob played your Cover 2 defense and we got killed on an approximately 50-yard touchdown pass and approximately 70-yard gain that led to a field goal.

You meet every week with the defensive coaches to go over both the past game and to get a general feel for what will happen during the week in practice. You have the ability and authority to provide your input during those meetings and the preparation fo the game plan. I do not have weekly meetings with Rob _ you do.

During the week no one has ever gold you what to do on either offense or defense. In addition, no one has ever told you during a game what to do on either offense or defense and you call every play on offense. During a game if you want to blitz more, all you have to do is let Rob know what blitz you want and he will do it.

Although you continue to use the media to express your dissatisfaction with others, no one has publicly pointed out to you that in 4 preseason games and one regular season game played this year, your offense has scored one first half touchdown. That put tremendous pressure on the defense.

I know hta tyou wanted to bring your father in to run the defense and that Monte told me he wanted to come here even though he is under contract to Tampa. However, I did not wan to tamper with another team. In any event that was over seven months ago. Do not also run from the defense and your responsibilities.

This letter constitutes notice that if you further violate any term of your contract, in any manner whatsoever, you will be terminated for cause. I trust that this will not occur.

A.D. Football, Inc.

By: (Al Davis signature)


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Raider Dell


  • RaiderFan in Oakland Says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 8:41 pm
    I believe Al, someone who has a lot more NFL experience and is a Hall of Famer, rather than some college QB coach who couldn’t get the “O” down the field enuff with his conservative azz playcalling…
    AND MEMO to you Gruden fans…
    same thing..Al basically told Gruden to stop “dinking and dunking” down the field and attack thsoe guys…you have Tim Brown and Jerry Rice and the league’s No. 1 rushing attack..attack and blow their azz out..!
    But Gruden wanted to dink and dunk and play the time of possession game

    So isn’t that what we are trying to do now….Do you hold onto leads by throwing the ball 70 yerds every play and stop the clock on incompletions? No you play to extend the drives and “keep the defense off the field”…..I thought that is what most of the complainers of his offense in here say?Gruden ran the offense that stayed on the field. Dinking and Dunking it may have been, and it won us the AFC West and the got us deep in the playoffs for the years he was here…….

  • ShawnRaiders81


    Then you would know that you don’t spell english with a capital E at the end of a sentance smart guy.

  • RaiderFan:

    Al admitted it, and accepted the criticism, and expects it. But he even stated its over.

  • Einstein go back to the basement. Your mom is calling.

  • Kiffin= terrible time clock management


    ALisgod- point taken- Nnamdi sure sounds like this was a BS move. Al said, “We will win,……We will win…” have’t heard THAT in the last 5-6 years.

  • TownRaider510

    The nation is divided so much now, we need to come together and support our team. The Lane Kiffin Era is over, we need to worry about what we are right now. Kiff is the past y’all. Tom Cable is now.

  • #471. Agree wit u. Al was probably goin over everything wit his lawyers. Maybe that’s why the press conference started so late.


    Nation Collective-Chaos is right- dink and dunk may seem boring, but by now 3 more SB rings would be a hell of alot better than going on another coach!

  • Jim

    Over the years Mr. Davis as been running this storied club into the ground. A few years back the LA Dodgers had Milton Bradley on the team and one night during a game he went out of control on the field and dugout. Vin Scully on the air said that “Bradley has lost it”…Change the name…”Al has lost it” Coach Mike in Denver has taken pleasure in kicking the crap out of Oakland for years and Kiffin will do the same with another team… this club has turned into the “BLACK EYE of the NFL”

  • K-Rock

    Chrisco Says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Meanwhile teams with the same coaches that have been in place for years go on to win superbowls…


    Who would that be?

    Giants, Eagles, Colts, Patriots, Broncos coaches have been around awhile, but who else?

    Steelers – HC’s 2nd season
    Chargers – HC’s 2nd season
    Cowboys – HC’s 2nd season
    Redskins – HC’s 1st season
    Ravens – New Coach
    Saints – HC’s 3rd season

    Who are these long term coaches that keep winning Superbowls?

    Bill with the Pats is really the only one I can think of.

  • Spider

    ShawnRaiders81 Says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 8:29 pm
    Now your getting just plain stupid.

    1) You use Marty S. early today and agree with him like he has a No spin view of the Raiders cause he loves this org.

    2) You say no coach will come here yet we just had one fired and then hired another WELL RESPECTED coach.

    3) Your contradict yourself with everything you say now you have to talk about my girl, can’t use the one brain cell so make it personal…..

    I don’t respect Cable as a HC. He might be a decent line coach but there has to be a reason that his only gig as a HC was with Idaho. NO ONE WANTED HIM AS A HC, EXCEPT YOUR SENILE PAPPY. How many REAL coaches do you think will be knocking at grease balls door when the season is over? Be honest now!

  • John

    Kiffin will coach KC next year—I mean it.

    The letter was written by Trask I’ll bet. She may think that cover 2 is something you get at Bed Bath and Beyond, but she is a good lawyer.

    Is anyone bothered that Al was so intent on not paying Kiffin that he was willing to tank the beginning of the season with all these distractions to save $4 mil. And this after pissing away all the money on Javon Walker. What the hell is going on? If this were the sixties again, I would swear this was one big LSD trip.

  • Chrisco

    Exactly…Belichick learned to be a good coach through experience and then found a solid organization that was willing to back his gameplan for success…unlike the Raiders who have to look for a coach who will actually take the job and then tell him to execute his gameplan with a bunch of left over parts from previous coaches regimes…the raiders don’t have a chance to keep good players or good coaches with Al running the show b/c they all bolt for the door nowadays.

    Don’t forget Al offered the HC job to Sean Payton a few years back and he said no thanks, now look at him…if you think Kiffin was bad, just wait til you see the reaches Al brings in once Cable is fired…no one with a bright football future will ever take this job while Al is in charge.

  • buster

    scumbag,turncoats,collective sh-t disturbers,good nite,dont let the AL bite!

  • buster Says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 9:10 pm
    scumbag,turncoats,collective sh-t disturbers,good nite,dont let the AL bite!

    and his name is buster folks…he will be here all week!

  • djohnnyg

    I’m so sick of all you supposed Raider fans calling our new coach “retarded”, and talking about how you wish Al Davis would just die. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE????

    You guys have stuck with this team for the past six years and NOW you want to sell out because the face of the Raiders and one of the NFL’s greatest figures of all time, dared to fire some punk from USC who has had NO RAIDER LOYALTY and wanted to leave anyway, and was USING US AND YOU to pad his resume, and mind you blew 7 4th quarter leads in 2 years, and you guys want to take HIS side??? Are u guys frickin’ kidding me?

    Show some respect for an NFL hall of famer. Some respect for the guy who created this team you CLAIM you love, some godd%am respect for a guy who wants to win as much as we all do…AL FREAKIN’ DAVIS.

    Sure take a guy like Lane Kiffins word over the man who brought us 5 Super Bowl appearences and the last one only 6 years ago. Go ahead and follow the great Lane Kiffins career. Have fun with it. I’m stickin it out, NOT seeling out for some geek who could care less about Raider tradition or anything else Raider. How could you guys take his side over Al Davis? Where is your loyalty?

    Quit talking about ow we suck and how we’ll never win and all that crap and let’s get excited about what’s coming next, or go buy your Chiefs hat becuz I could care less.


  • Can’t wait to see what Cable does. He was my favorite. Even though the Alameda paper said Brian was.

  • buster

    post519,yes SIR,got to give COACH CABLE a chance,we will be rewarded with this choice,cant wait for no/bush/brees

  • Richard

    #519 “What the hell is wrong…” Wake up! 5 coaches in 6 years is whats wrong! And FREAKIN AL DAVIS knows how to pick a coach? Whatever. I’ll be at the OAC Coliseum loyally. If Alice could only remember is that tomorrow.. next week, Sunday, Saturday,….. he didn’t even remember whether he was talking about “yesterday” or some other day. Reeaaalll nice!

  • buster

    Brien just called,says he will be working with the Oline,has some pointers for Grove,Harris,and Gallery.Cant wait for NOrleans,kick that a-s

  • Richard

    #519 “please show some respect for a hall of famer”. Hall of fame BSer for the last 5 years.

  • Chrisco


    not sure how far back you went for those teams and I’m not sure I explained properly, how many Head coaches have won in their first 2 years as a head coach or in just 2 years with a single team…not many, only 2 since 1990 have won SB with less than 2 years HC experience;
    year – coach – years w SB team – years as a HC in NFL
    07 – Coughlin – 4th yr – 12 yrs as HC
    06 – Dungy – 5th – 11 yrs as HC
    05 – Cowher – 14th yr
    04 – Belichick – 5th yr – 10yrs as HC
    03 – Belichick – 4th yr – 9yrs as HC
    02 – Gruden – 1st yr – 5th as HC (Oops #3 Al.)
    01 – Belichcik – 2nd yr – 7yrs as HC
    00 – Billick – 2nd yr
    99 – Vermeil – 3rd yr – 10yr as HC
    98 – Shanahan – 3rd yr – 5yrs as HC(Oops again Al.)
    97 – Shanahan – 2nd yr – 4yrs as HC (Oops Al.)
    96 – Holmgren – 5th yr
    95 – Switzer – 2nd (handed keys to a SB team.)
    94 – Seifert – 6th yr
    93 – Johnson – 5th yr
    92 – Johnson – 4th yr
    91 – Gibbs – 11th yr.
    90 – Parcells – 8th yr.

  • John Lewin

    Not defending Al Davis, who has been a terrible owner for the last 10 years, but giving negative press releases about your organization should get you fired. If you are unhappy, you resign; you dont gossip in a way that insults the managment.

    If you dont beleive me, give it a run at your current place of work and see how it works our for you.

  • GW

    Al Davis is the worst owner in all of the NFL he should either die or sell the team because he has no clue on how to run a NFL team anymore. The facts are that you have had 4 new coaches in 6 years. What issues does he have???

  • Reggie Lewis

    Al Davis loves The Raiders more than any of you clowns do.

  • BuffaloBill

    How do you like the Coach killers? Last 2 teams The Bills have played have fired their coach.

  • Al davis hater

    Ok first of all kiffin was not problem. Yes he might be a little conservitive with calling the plays but still look at what he did in one year with this team. Art shell brought this team down and kiffin revived it. Al has fired so many coaches that i lost count, the problem is not the coaches it Al, he doesn’t give the head coach any authority, and yet he is making up excuses saying that kiffin had all the authority as a head coach, are you kidding me, this is freakin Al Davis were talking about here, everyone knows Al makes all the calls. Personally I hope kiffin finds another job and be sucessful with it so he can show Al Davis what a retard he is for letting him go. The letter totally sounds made up, he was just pulling S*** out of his a** to make himself look good in the press, hell he could never look good if even tried wrinkly bastard. Plus this makes it harder for Jamarcus because he now has to pretty much start all over again thanks to Al. I don’t think Al thought this through pretty well, he is hurting the organization more than helping it. I’m a huge raiders fan and don’t get me wrong but with this happening i think were in for another double digit losing season again.

  • Tony

    I don’t know who typed/wrote that “letter”, but whoever it was was either senile and demented, or completely unprofessional.

    With so many ridiculous typos, I find it hard to believe someone got paid to do that. More like Crazy Al just decided to type it up last minute and hasn’t heard of spell checker.

    Course, he’s so old, I’m surprised he even knows about computers.

  • Ken

    That letter was made rather hastily and explicitly for the press. Does Al Davis believe the public to be a bunch of fools? Does he expect this letter to serve as an article of evidence of cause? Yes and yes! Regardless, old man Al is the one who is the fool in the eye of the people, including Raider Nation.

  • zepp

    Until Davis gives it up and lets someone else have a little say.. The raiders will suck which in that case Al live till your 150

  • Jon

    5 coaches in the last 6 years! You all have problems and it starts from the top. I don’t care whose lying or not, there is a pattern of disfunctional relationships between Al and his head coaches. Has it been the head coahes every time? Why doesn’t any other franchise have this pattern? In the NFL, if you don’t perform then you lose your job, but were not talking about performance. Has any head coach for the Raiders gotten along with Al Davis? I’m just saying that he might just be the issue.

  • rkamm08

    How can anyone believe what al davis said in his press conference. You have had previous coach’s wanting out because he meddled to much and they had no say in what players they wanted not to mention how he treats his players when they disagree with him. examples of this would be Marcus Allen and John Grudden. I don’t see any proven Coach in the NFL wanting to take the HC job as long as al davis is running the team. One of the things that good teams have is a good chemistry among the players and coachs and that will more than likely not happen when a coach has his coaching staff and players forced on him. To say that Kiffen had any real say in what players were brought in I don’t believe. Yes he could say yes he wants this person or no he doesn’t but in the end al will do what he wants even if that goes against what his Head Coach wants.

  • WouldCouldShoulda

    Why is it that every time Al Davis fires a coach, he makes it seem as if the problem is all the fault of the coach? The Raiders have been terrible for a long time. The only constant in that time is Al Davis. The problem with the Raiders is not Lane Kiffin, or any other coach (except clueless Art Shell). The enduring problem is Al Davis. But he will never admit it. That is why the Raiders won’t improve until he is somehow out of the picture. The next news conference is on the clock. You know, the one where Al Davis blames the Raiders’ problems on Tom Cable.

  • I liked what Kiffen was doing . He had us playing hard & we had to just learn how to closeout games. As far as Davis goes, he hired this man then denied hiring him then went as far to write Kiffen resignation letter so if anyone hurt this team it was him & his tactics. WE ARE A GOOD TEAM JUST LET US PLAY RAIDER FOOTBALL !!!!!!!!!!!

  • bbrowning84

    If you take what AD says as the truth, and I tend to take more of what he has said in the interview than what Kiffin has said, he has reason to fire Kiffin. Now, most in the media have been on Kiffins side of this but it is Kiffins responsibility to talk to the owner. That is his boss. I had the same type of situation in my past job where I didn’t get along with my boss and I didn’t communicate with him and it ended up costing me my job. When I look back on that time, I realize that I was in the wrong for not taking responsibility for my own action and opening up lines of communication with the man who was paying my salary. Kiffin should have made more of an effort to do that and not been so immature about this.
    How much authority did he expect to have as a brand new coach with no track record? Did he really think he was on the same level as a Belichic or Parcells? He had a losing record. Sure, the players liked him but he made coaching/time management mistakes that cost the team wins. That cannot be overlooked. I know that he will be a better coach because of it and I think AD said that he knew Kiffin would make some of these mistakes but was going to overlook them because he had faith that he would learn from them.
    I think AD did the right thing by bringing this into the media because it can shed some much needed light on this subject. Lets get it all out on the table. The Raiders and AD have taken a lot of heat for not being media friendly in the past. This is what you wanted. Eat it up.

  • daaraiders

    Can someone post a link of the full interview with Al Davis and the Media? I didn’t see it and I would like to see the whole thing. Thanks

  • raiderfaninshock

    I can’t believe what I just witnessed yesterday, like I have said before Mr. Davis doesnt talk this whole time throughout these couple of months and when he talks he messes it all up. Not only do we not have a proven coach but we also have a owner who is desperate. Even if it were true about Lane Kiffin which I really doubt it was true, but if it were true he should not have fired him that way. Espn did a segment last night of coaches and players that have been let go by Mr. Davis and where they have been after the firing, and they have done very well for themselves. Come on Mr. Davis you dont expect us to believe that Kiffin did all the decision making. Everybody know that you make all the shots in this organization. You have embarrassed all you loyal raider fans yesterday with what you did. Kiffin was headed in the right direction, if it was his call he would have had his dad in our side calling defense, but no we kept ryan who has blown the past two games. Not Kiffin. He showed that he was improving our team, with what he had, meaning with what Mr. Davis gave him. I think the next firing should be the owner, and all the raiders fans vote on his firing,because we are the owners of Mr.Davis. In my eyes YOUR FIRED MR.DAVIS!!! If we put up a projector with a powerpoint about your mess ups we would be here all day.That was a low blow about Jamarcus Russell and how kiffin didnt want him, kiffin kept it low key, just like every coach, it was clear when you would hear kiffin talking that he wanted jamarcus russell. Mr. Davis you have embarrassed your fans. You put Cable in a situation where he knows he’s not going to produce like a head coach because the season has started. I hope cable does a really good job not for you but for his loyal fans. As for kiffin he was a good coach and was only going to get better, kiffin is going to get his money,just watch, and he’s going to take a nfl coaching position and just our luck its going to be Kansas City Chiefs postion, and hes going to ram it down our throats because of our old clueless leader,Mr.Davis.

  • Rob

    I have never known Al Davis to lie when he speaks. I am not so sure about Kiffin not wanting Jamarcus Russell though. Kiffin did say at last seasons ending press confrence that Jamarcus Russell would be the starting quarterback. It all makes sense that Kiffin was going to Arkansas. Kiffin now will at best be an offensive coordinator for a few years because he did lie about things. If I were head coach, I think everytime Al would try to meddle in my plan, I would be like damn it Al, what the hell. The Raiders are actually a good football team too. I think they will play just as hard for Cable as they did for Kiffin. I just hope we can get more than 6 wins this season.

  • 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.

  • darkknight01

    Norv Turner still stinks…the only reason why Turner is doing well supposedly is because the Dolts have far more TALENT and they have LT!

    Turner SUCKS as a HC!

  • darkknight01


    What has the old man done for this franchise the last 5 years??

    NOTHING but embarassment…the old man doesn’t know when to just LET IT GO!

    Stop being a Davis LapDog!

  • prudog45

    prudog45 Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 11:31 am
    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”””””

  • John

    How do we as Raiders expect to believe the mess that is going on it’s like the congress.Look I been here a Raiders fan since 1972 and back then it was for the love of the game now it money. We have to look at the situation we have leads and we still make mistakes that kills us. Deangelo Hall First game late hits we was already beat.And the offense is scoring with the Kiffin sceme. But with all the talent on defense we can’t stop the ball they {San Deigo} scored 25pts in less than 7min. now we could not stop the run before Kiffin came and who was the defensive coach ROB RYAN, he is not his Dad or His brother. So when Kiffin as to fire him he was right. I think Mr Davis Hired Lane Kiffin and after that Mr Marty Shotimer became available and it was too late so he then. Keep Ryan so Kiffin would fail and he get rid of him and try and get a legit coach. Bad Mangement. So Kiffin was doing good but these guys are getting paid and not producing Hall,Walker and the front line give up too many sacks and who we now have as a head coach the offensive line coach scrap another year. I am a true fan but like congress Mr Davis what about the fans? Remember the days we pound the ball and we demanded respect with fear today if you go around some of the old receivers and just say Jack Tatum they wet there pants. Now it’s pretty boys there was only one Deion Sanders. So lets get physical. Or I am out of Raider Nation until!!!

  • Venom

    You know I was an Al Davis basher too, until I heard what he had to say. He was thinking the same thing I was thinking and have been thinking the past two weeks. Stop hand-cuffing the best arm in the league!! The guy can heave for 60yds. off his back foot!!!! At least try to air it out. And the waning seconds of the first half of the game against the Chargers was the perfect opportunity to do so. Instead we kicked a 75 yard field goal???? WTF? Let Russell do what he came here to do. If you are one of those Faux fans and you say we don’t have the recievers, look at Favre he threw six TD’s last week. And he did it with WORSE recivers than what we have with the exception of Cotchery. Favre just makes nobodies into viable threats. It can be done!! And from what I have seen Russell has the arm to do it. Kiffin, though I liked him, was too conservative for me. Throw the damn ball. See what the kid can do. And for God’s sake get McFadden more involved. He can do a lot of things. I surely hope we didn’t draft him to run between the tackles. We have backs for that. McFadden can offer another recieving threat if utilized correctly. Kiffin failed to do that. Hopefully Cable will realize that we CAN win right now!!! But McFadden’s role will have to change slightly to do it. Somehow I don’t think he would have a problem with that. You would think Kiffin(being an OC at USC) could have used McFadden similar to the way he used Reggie Bush in the Trojan offense but no. These are the things that can get us over the hump. I can’t be the only one who sees it…