"Holy Toledo!"

September 22, 2008

Lane Kiffen Soon To Be Fired

Filed under: NFL — Bill @ 1:25 pm

If one were to ever be a sports couch potato this was the weekend to do it. College football, NFL, Nascar, NHRA, pennant races in baseball, the closing of Yankee stadium, the Ryder Cup, and the NHL even started training camp this weekend.

The Raiders & Lane Kiffen –
Young teams will frustrate you, and as if on cue the young Raiders did just that losing a heartbreaking game Sunday to the Buffalo Bills. Johnnie Lee Higgins started things off with a bang running the opening kickoff back 68 yards, but, after a 1st & goal, the Raiders only managed a field goal. The defense was spectacular for 3 1/2 quarters, but seemed to tire at the end. CB DeAngelo Hall should return his paycheck after Sunday’s performance, he was, well, awful. He’s too good to be playing that far off a WR.

Sunday’s loss was another growing experience for the young Raiders. Ultimately the blame can be focused on the conservative play calling of soon to be ex- head coach Lane Kiffen. The offense once again came away with field goals instead of touchdowns, and when they needed just a couple first downs to put the game away they were unable to do so. In the end it was the lack of offense that kept the defense on the field throughout most of the 4th quarter.

Speaking of Lane Kiffen…
I hope you got a good look at him wearing silver & black because you won’t ever see that again. Lane Kiffen will be fired very soon, and for just cause. A coach is suppose to be one who unifies his team, not one who divides them. Granted Kiffen was in a tough situation, but he should have handled his job with much more professionalism.

Kiffen’s comments to the media after the week 1 loss to Denver was inexcusable. A week later he again popped off to the media. He did his best to get fired, and for the good of the team he will get his wish.

On Sunday in Buffalo Kiffen, who is responsible for the offense, chose to be ultra-conservative late in the game when one or two first downs would have iced it. On two successive series Kiffen called unimaginative running plays straight into the line on 1st & 2nd down. For some strange reason Kiffen also left 2 time outs on the scoreboard, perhaps he was saving them for his next job.

The beginning of the end for Kiffen began just before the final game of the ’07 season when he announced his intention to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Kiffen had just cause given how poorly Ryan’s defense played, ranking last in the league in most categories. What Lane forgot to do however is to clear his plan with Al Davis. A week later Ryan was given a reprieve by Davis, and what little authority Kiffen had was publicly doused. A war or words began (apparently Kiffen’s m.o.), and just before the scouting combine Kiffen was asked to resign. Not wanting to walk away from the $4 million left on his contract Kiffen instead asked to be fired. Well Kiffen will be fired, but if history is any indicator there is no guarantee he will collect his money, just ask Mike Shanahan.

Who will replace Lane Kiffen?

Many are expecting Rob Ryan to get the job, but my money is on WR coach James Lofton. The Raiders need an offensive mind and someone with leadership skills. Lofton, a Hall of Fame player, certainly fits that criteria. Another factor to consider is that if Ryan’s defense fails like it did last season, he’s unlikely to return after 2008. The young Raiders are starting to build a nucleus of talent, but they need stability and discipline. James Lofton could provide all of those things.

To an untrained observer the Raiders 2008 season may appear to be just like the previous five seasons. Fret not Raider Nation, and take note Raider haters, this team is on the rise. There are only 4 players over the age of 30 on this season’s roster, and there is quality young talent in key positions. Give them some stability from the head coach, and one more draft to improve a few positions (notably at WR) and they can compete for a spot in the NFL playoffs.

The future looks bright for the Silver & Black!



  1. Not sure how the firing of Kiffin accomplishes anything, unless Davis wants to turn the guy into the next Shanahan.

    Comment by OMAR — September 22, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

  2. Omar, thanks for your reply.

    The most important thing it does is eliminate the distraction. It’s clear Lane wants out & that Al wants to make a change, the only unresolved issue is the money remaining on Kiffen’s contract. Since I’m not paying the money I just want him out.

    I liked Kiffen but haven’t been thrilled with his tendency to flap to the media. He certainly has the right to be unhappy but I think he could have handled this situation with more class (then again so could Al).

    For the good of the team this matter needs to be dealt with so they can move on towards improving. As a Raiders fan that is my main concern.


    Comment by Bill — September 22, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

  3. The organization is the problem.
    When your O/C and your D/C don’t get along, the team unity is gone.

    The Raiders have been unable to build through the draft, and JaMarcus is a prime example. I don’t think he’s really suited to be an NFL quarterback, in that he made terrible decisions with the football in college. I don’t think you can coach a player to read the field. Some people have it, some people don’t.

    As a lifelong Raiders fan, I think it’s time for Al Davis to give up control of the team.

    Comment by OMAR — September 23, 2008 @ 10:00 am

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