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When Lane Kiffin took over the Oakland Raiders after the 2007 season, he said that he would bring change and a winning tradition to Oakland. And you know what, he tried. He really did.
Kiffin tried to draft Calvin Johnson over JaMarcus Russell, he also tried to replace Robb Ryan with Monte Kiffin. More than anything he just didn't think that the players on the team were winners and that very few were even any good. He was right.
The Oakland Raiders from 2006-2008 may have been the worst collection of Oakland Raiders ever. To his own admission, players like Warren Sapp took plays and practices off because they knew that Al was in charge and that he was loyal to his players to a fault.
Fight as he may, Kiffin eventually lost his battle with Al and now where he should have been in the first place, coaching at USC with his Dad.
So, what was it, or even more appropriate, who was it that decided to run this franchise, ever since the benching of JaMarcus Russell last season in the appropriate decision?
Did Tom Cable listen to people who were around when Chucky was here, including some of the writers here on S&BP who detailed how Gruden would communicate with Al in order to get Al to agree with him?
Are either John Madden or Chucky working with Al behind the scenes?
Is Tom Hanson the puppetmaster?
Or, has Al Davis tired of coddling the whiners, underachievers and paycheck stealers and began to run things like he did the last time he built this Organization in the late 60's? With grit determination and with youth.
In speaking with Jim Otto he made it very clear that in order to win a Championship you had to have a great defense and that defense had to have a great Middle Linebacker. This year, they addressed that need by drafting Rolando McClain. McClain can be the man in the middle for the next 15 years.
Players and coaches alike have ripped into Russell for being a lazy bum and not taking his role seriously. The team acquired Jason Campbell, thank you Bruce Allen, and today cut JaMarcus Russell instead of standing to lose 6 million more dollars this season, and 21 million overall on a player that only got into shape once his meal ticket was on the line.
Tom Cable has said that this draft and off-season was about acquiring football players, and Campbell is a football player. Russell is a meal ticket. And I think that his ticket, as well as that of his entourage, just got punched. (Insert random Tom Hanson joke here)
I am waiting for the overhead projector to be rolled out by Uncle Al. I don't know if it will be today, but I await his explanation. I also wonder if he will fire him for cause and try and recoup some of his lost JaMillions?
Stay tuned Raider Nation. This drama has just begun...