Updated media response below, post by: TheRaiderWay on 5/24/2008
Yes Raider fans here we go again. In what is now looking like one of our very best off seasons in recent memory, one that is void of all those indiscretions and cheating accusations that are popping up with so many of the other NFL teams, we get this hater rubbish from what at first appeared to be Steve Corkran but now is showing to be Bay Area beat reporter Gary Peterson. (note, if it actually was Steve Corkran I might be concerned):
Kiffin down for the count with Raiders
Column by Gary Peterson
Article Created: 05/22/2008 08:00:41 PM PDT
Does demeanor count for anything? Because Lane Kiffin, future former coach of the Oakland Raiders, watched his future former team at Thursday's minicamp with the appearance of a man marking time.
Certainly he looked nothing like the wide-eyed, fresh-faced kid who blew into town 16 months ago extolling the virtues of exhausting, sweaty, manly physical labor.
"They will play happy," he said then, referring to his future former players, "and they will play hard. The game will become easy to them because practice will be hard."
Kiffin walked the walk last summer. Or, more accurately, he sprinted it. He was a dervish during training camp, clapping his hands, calling out encouragement and instruction, getting his hands all over the product. He worked himself right into a case of mononucleosis.
Does body language count for anything? Because Kiffin spent much of Thursday's session standing apart from the action, arms folded, watching his future former offense scrimmage against his future former defense.
His assistant coaches, one of whom he was forbidden from discharging at the end of last season, interacted with the players. Kiffin didn't interact with much of anyone. He consulted a sheet of paper from time to time, and clapped his hands every now and then.
He looked like a fellow emotionally detaching himself from his job in preparation for the professional
detachment that is sure to follow.
The difference between last year and this? Simple - when Kiffin took the job, he foolishly believed he was the Head Whistle In Charge. When he tried to exert himself within the organization the way HWICs in other organizations do, he was called to the big office for a rousing game of "I'm Al Davis and You're Not."
Kiffin wanted defensive coordinator Rob Ryan gone. Davis wanted Ryan to stay. Ryan was on the field Thursday, coaching up the defense.
Davis wanted to add James Lofton, whom he had twice interviewed for the job Kiffin now holds, to the Raiders staff. Kiffin had nothing to say about it. Lofton is on staff and ready to serve.
There were reports that Davis requested, in writing, Kiffin's resignation. The Raiders have denied the reports. The Raiders also have denied most of the 1990s.
In any event, it is safe to assume Davis would like Kiffin to leave but doesn't want to pay a coach who isn't on site. And that Kiffin would love to be rid of the Raiders but doesn't want to walk away from the remaining two years and $4 million guaranteed in his contract.
It bears noting that Kiffin, speaking with reporters after practice, still sounded like a head coach - aware, in control, if not particularly enthused. JaMarcus Russell, looking good "... Gibril Wilson allows Michael Huff to play on the flex side some "... another minicamp coming up "...
The anecdotal evidence - sorry, can't name names - suggests the players are hip to what's happening. The Raiders tend to operate in a leadership vacuum anyway. But while they're used to the sight of dead men walking, this appears to be a new twist on the dynamic - a disinterested future former coach watching.
Do logos count for anything? Shortly after his troubles with Davis began, Kiffin (and his staff) coached in the Senior Bowl. While his assistants wore Raiders apparel, Kiffin opted for conspicuously generic gear.
From a distance Thursday, it appeared he had relented in this regard. His black pullover T-shirt seemed to have a small Raiders shield below the front collar.
A closer look after practice, however, revealed not a Raiders logo but a rounded triangle, inside which was written: Equipment NFL.
Does that qualify as looking too closely for signs of the apocalypse? Maybe. After all, it was only last month that Kiffin appeared at the NFL's league meeting wearing a Raiders golf shirt.
Then again, maybe not. At that meeting, Kiffin addressed the situation between himself and Davis. "Where there's smoke, there's fire," he told reporters. "Obviously there was something."
Since then he has addressed the subject by saying he's already addressed the subject. And, assuming this counts for something, by how he acts and what he wears when he's working his future former job.
Contact Gary Peterson at email@example.com.
I mean with ONLY positive news out there to report on the Raiders from the OTA's with noticeable improvement from the defense, JaMarcus and Darren to name a few, we get the above crap from this "brilliant" reporter who wants to feed football hungry Raider Nation with old quotes, unsubstantiated rumors, coaches body language and coaches wardrobes instead of what is going on on the field. I glad he left his email address because I think it will fill up after this trash!