"Holy Toledo!"

September 30, 2008

Al Davis Holds Court – Finally Fires Kiffen, Hires Tom Cable

Filed under: NFL — Bill @ 4:06 pm

**Updated Wednesday morning**

The Lane Kiffen plug was finally pulled, thankfully it’s over. Or is it? Because Kiffen was fired “for cause” Davis will not pay Kiffen’s remaining salary. According to Davis he could no longer take the “propaganda, lying, he was detrimental to the organization.” Lawsuit to follow…

Meanwhile former offensive line coach Tom Cable was introduced as “interim” head coach. When asked what Cable needed to do to remove the interim label Davis had a one word answer, “Win.”

Tom Cable is highly regarded as one of the premier line coaches in the NFL, and the Raiders rushing totals since Cable’s arrival tends to prove it’s true. Perhaps the most important task for Cable will be to bring discipline to the most penalized team in the NFL over the past 10 years. When asked why he chose Cable Al Davis said, “I’ve watched him work, I see how he leads. I think he can dominate the locker room.”

The press conference ended minutes ago and my immediate reaction is that I was optimistically impressed by Tom Cable. He seems like the kind of man who can lead and enforce discipline, he’s a tough guy. On the other hand one has to wonder about anyone who would accept a head coaching job under such circumstances.

Before coming to Oakland in 2007 Cable spent time in Atlanta, where he led his group to the #1 rushing attack in the league. Before that Cable worked at UCLA and was once the head coach at the University of Idaho.

Perhaps the best thing to come of all of this is that the Lane Kiffen era, and the circus it had become, is over.

Now there is only one thing left for Tom Cable and his young Raiders to do, “Win!”

— Press Conference Notes:
– Al Davis still drips charisma. Anyone watching or listening had to be riveted by his captivating presence. He may no longer have a winning team but he can still command a press conference.

– Davis chose to use the press conference as his attempt to beat Kiffen in the court of public opinion. He called Kiffen “a flat-out liar” as he presented his case to the A-list of Bay Area media.

– Reading between the lines it was easy to figure out that the final straw for Davis came the day after the Monday night loss to Denver. That was the day Kiffen launched his public attack on Rob Ryan “and the owner.” Everything after that date (September 9th) was all about building Davis’s case against Kiffen.

– Al confirmed that Kiffen was the main influence in the signing of DeAngelo Hall & Javon Walker, both potential busts were given huge free agent contracts.

– Davis also inferred that he didn’t want to trade Randy Moss, but that the trade was recommended by Kiffen. What that has to do with today’s proceedings I have no idea. On TV during the break former Raiders administrator Mike Lombardi (who was on the staff at the time of the Moss trade) said, “You have to remember that only one team was interested in Moss because Green Bay had backed out.”

– Mike Lombardi, Vince’s son, is the guy that Art Shell referred to as an informant to ESPN’s Chris Mortenson. Davis said about Lombardi “he’s been fired from every job he had.”

– Davis referred to Mortenson as “a paid liar” and hinted that Kiffen often leaked information to Mortenson.

– Regarding Kiffen wanting to fire Rob Ryan: Davis said that Kiffen wanted to bring in his father Monte Kiffen to lead the Raiders defense. Monte, in case you don’t recall, is the architect of the Tampa Bay defense that destroyed the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

– Re: Kiffen’s $$:
It is customary for a fired head coach to receive any remaining salary left on his contract, however Davis is going to dispute it. Kiffen’s next step is to file a grievance with the union, then a hearing is held to decide the issue. Might I remind you that in 1989 Mike Shanahan won his hearing vs. Davis, he is still waiting to be paid!

– Not once did Al Davis refer to Lane Kiffen as “Lance” – which he did when introducing him as the head coach just twenty months ago. I guess Davis finally learned his name.

– Things will get interesting Wednesday when Lane Kiffen will hold his own press conference in order to tell his side of the story.

– Truth is Raiders fans don’t care about Kiffen or Al’s money, they just want the team to win


  1. As far as I’ve researched it, Mike Lombardi is not Vince’s son. Vince Jr. is his only son. Just don’t want Mike Lombardi being extended branches (and any “integrity” that family name carries in the NFL) from that family tree.

    Comment by dovi67 — January 1, 2009 @ 10:34 am

  2. You are correct, my mistake, thanks for letting me know.

    I found this quote directly from Mike Lombardi:

    “I was hoping and praying that I was related,” Mike admitted,. “But as far as I can tell, I’m not.”

    This just goes to show you can’t believe everything you hear on TV. Once again thank you for the correction.


    Comment by Bill — January 2, 2009 @ 10:44 am

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