Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lane Kiffin Out, Tom Cable In as Head Coach of the Silver & Black

In a stunning move today, Oakland Raiders Owner Al Davis fired his Head Coach Lane Kiffin after a twenty month relationship. While the move itself was expected, the way it finally went down was reminiscent of a bitter “he said/she said” public divorce.

After being criticized over the past couple of weeks for his media silence, Davis held a no-holds-barred candid media news conference to rationalize the events that led to Kiffin’s firing.

Davis explained that Kiffin was fired for “propaganda” and “lying” that had gone on for months. Kiffin was “bringing disgrace to the organization,” Davis said, calling Kiffin on multiple times a “flat-out liar.”

Davis went on to read from a three-page letter given to Kiffin before the Week Two game against the Kansas City Chiefs, a letter that prompted by Kiffin’s comments that he has no involvement in the defense, and that coordinator Rob Ryan works directly with Davis on this point.

The rift apparently arose seven months ago. Davis said that “Kiffin wanted to his father, Monte Kiffin, to run the defense, and that Monte Kiffin wanted to do it” . Davis claims that the Raiders opted not to pursue the elder Kiffin because he was under contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Davis claims that Lane Kiffin wanted to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after the 2007 season. “I can’t win with this guy,” Kiffin supposedly told Davis.

Other shell-socking tidbits were that Kiffin did not want to draft former 2007 #1 draft pick QB JaMarcus Russell, he interviewed and wanted the Arkansas head coaching position (later going to Bobby Petrino), and he was trying to get fired by the team for the past seven months.

Davis went on to answer questions regarding his 2008 free agent acquisitions, the goals of his organization and the direction he wants the Oakland Raiders to continue. That direction, in the meantime, will fall on the shoulders of newly promoted Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable to intern head coach.

Cable, a man who was a former head coach of the University of Idaho, then took the podium and said, “The bottom line is it’s up to us to win football games. … This is a good football team.”

With a BYE this week, Cable will have his first chance to right the ship in the Raiders Week 6 match-up against New Orleans on October 12th.

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