Blog Entry

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Posted on: August 26, 2011 9:38 pm
Lane Kiffin took shots at his former boss, Oakland owner Al Davis (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Raiders owner Al Davis is an easy figure to mock.

His organization’s obsession with drafting speed -- Exhibit No. 1,240: Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the supplemental draft -- can be laughable. His press conferences, though very infrequent at this point in his life, are fascinating as much for his physical appearance as what he’s actually saying. And his decisions on the coaches who will lead his team are … well … questionable at best (Art Shell again? Tom Cable? Lane Kiffin?).

People forget that he was a well-respected Raiders coach in the 1960s, and many of the ideas he brought to the game (or, you know, took from others) were influential into making the NFL what it’s become today.

But could anybody make an argument that Davis’ time hasn’t passed him by?

Kiffin certainly wouldn’t, as he makes perfectly clear in this ESPN interview when asked whether it was impossible to win in Oakland.

“It is almost impossible,” Kiffin said. “I don't know why I didn't listen, [because] so many people told me that. That's why, if you ask [Steve Sarkisian], he didn't go. He had a chance to go. You're just so far behind other clubs. You're waiting for [Davis] to wake up and come to work at 2 o'clock in the afternoon to make decisions that the rest of the league is making at 6 o'clock in the morning. You're still running videotapes over to the hotel so he can watch practice at night.”

Kiffin was also asked about Davis’ use of an overhead projector at the presser to announce Kiffin’s firing and if that was a metaphor for the way Davis runs his team.

“It was sad, really, to see somebody who's accomplished so much in his career and been such a powerful figure in the NFL ... to see that was actually pretty sad to watch,” Kiffin said. “But you're exactly right, an overhead projector -- that describes the pace that you're dealing with of the way an organization is being run.”

Of course, you have to consider the source, considering Kiffin flaked out at the University of Tennessee before taking the head coaching job at Southern California and then tried to hire a Titans coach behind Jeff Fisher's back. And though some of what he says comes off as cruel, he’s not necessarily wrong.

But remember, when Davis fired Kiffin, he held a news conference in which he basically ripped the hell out of Kiffin and pointed out all his deficiencies, saying, “I think he conned me like he conned all you people.”

Kiffin, I’m sure, hasn’t forgotten that. And, like I said, Davis is not a hard figure to find if you want to take your shots at him. It's actually pretty sad that Kiffin has decided he wanted to pick on his 82-year-old former boss.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:17 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 1:15 pm
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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 10:16 am
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Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: August 28, 2011 11:45 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

when Davis was mad AFL commisioner, it was not to handle the merger, it was because of his aggressive personality.  One of the first things that Davis did was start to poach players from NFL teams,  not just draft them and then try to get them to sign with the AFL as had previously been done.  This started a wage scale war between the NFL and AFL that later led to talks behind Davis' back about a merger.   It was Lamar Hunt of the Chiefs who as founder of the AFL began the talks to merge the two leagues.  Al Davis was so angry that they had gone behind his back to do these talks that he resigned as commisioner of the AFL.

Since: Aug 27, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 7:09 pm

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

I'm Bitching already - but mostly because of your inability to spell.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2011 6:02 pm

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

This is getting old !! We know everyone hates USC and Kiffin and now that you all found out that other schools have worse coaches and have done far worse things than USC ever thought about doing you have to come up with this crap about poor al davis being picked on by that big mean Kiffin. I don't think it will happen but I hope to God USC is the only undefeted team,then you will have something real to bitch about. AND BELEAVE ME YOU WILL BITCH !!

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 5:02 pm

Kiffin is right

Kiffin may be the most unctuous coach in college football, but he is spot on about Davis.  When your face turns into Dorian Gray's reflection, it's probably a good indication that you are too old to run a football team on a daily basis.  Davis and William Clay Ford should both be in a nursing home goosing the help.  

Since: Aug 27, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 4:38 pm

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Al may be slipping in his old age, but at least he WANTS to win- unlike a majority of owners
that are concerned with profit only( ie. Ralph Wilson). Kiffin on the other hand is just a dirt-
bag that makes excuses. I'd rather be a "has-been" than a "never-was" like Kiffin. Everytime
Kiffin opens his mouth it's to blame others for his failures- Face it Lane(nice name for a loser)
you are a nothing and always will be, they could hire you in New England or Pittsburgh and you
would still find a way to screw it up!

Since: Aug 27, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 4:07 pm

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Though it is true that Madden didn't win the Super Bowl in the 60s, the only season he coached them in that decade the Raiders did go 12-1-1 and humiliated the Oilers 56-7 in the first round of the playoffs.  I'd call that winning.

Since: Aug 27, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 3:59 pm

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Al Davis was coach of the Raiders from 1963-1965 seasons.  In the first three years of the AFL the Raiders were truely the laughing stock of the league going 6-8, 2-12 and 1-13.  Davis' first season as head coach of the soon to be most despised team in professional football they were 10-4.  They proceeded to go 5-7-2 and 8-5-1 for his remaining time as head coach.  If memory serves he was made AFL commisioner to handle the AFL-NFL merger negotiations on behalf of the AFL, though he personally wanted no such merger. 

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