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: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: August 27, 2011 10:09 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Kiffin really is a BSer but I do agree with him. I think that Al let's his coaches coach and run practices but buts his nose too much into personell and overall plans of the franchise. It is sad. I think the Raiders have become that neighbor with the crappy house on your block. They don't cut the grass or plant flowers and fix the windows but they have a new BMW in the driverway. POS stadium, behind the times owner and no coaching stablity. As a lifelong Pats fan I didn't think I realized how much difference good owners can make until the Krafts took over in 94. The Raiders will be a bottom fedder until they move into a new stadium in LA or Al let's go.

Since: May 11, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2011 9:50 am

R.I.P. Al

Al died years ago. Leave him alone.

Since: Aug 10, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 9:45 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

I love Al Davis, look at his evil smile in the background of the photo.  Could that guy be anything other than a Raider?  I couldn't see him doing anything else.  I think that jacket he's wearing in the photo is older than most of us!  

Since: Jun 9, 2007
Posted on: August 27, 2011 9:25 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

I go back to 1960 or so with the NFL and so have seen some great Raider teams, even though I was always a fan of their opponents so, I tended to 'hate' them, especially when they were considered to be a dirty team. And I don't know how thugery got mixed up with the Raiders .... at some point, a small subset of their fans became 'dirtier' than the team. But, even as a Charger fan, I think it's an NFL tragedy that Mr. Davis has hung on so far past his prime because it has had a bad effect on a lot of people and is bad for the game. The latest example is his retooling of last year's team, one that was in a cleat uptrend -- finally -- and played hard and well for its -- former -- coach.

Anyway .... I expect to see the Raiders take a significant step back this year while this guy still plays the bad puppet-master.

Since: Nov 22, 2009
Posted on: August 27, 2011 8:54 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Madden only coached 1 year in the sixties. 1969, had 12 wins but the other 123 odd wins came all in the 70s. That sheds some light on the problem in Raiderville? John has actually retired from 2 careers. Al is still at his desk waiting to hire Madden back...

Since: Nov 22, 2009
Posted on: August 27, 2011 8:47 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

  No, Hawkman he won in the 70s.

Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: August 27, 2011 8:32 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Yeah and this Kiffin is a real professional. 

Since: Jun 9, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 7:32 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

The problem with Al Davis is that he's trapped in the 1960s and continues to use ideas that have long since evolved. The game of football has moved beyond the days of "big dumb lineman" and "do or die" skill position players who would rip their guts out to win a championship. Players are bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter. They need a system in place that is going to maximize their abilities and maintain a competitive edge as they continues to evolve. Davis needs to back-off and let a real GM come in their take over the Raiders. I'm not a huge fan of the Raiders, but I know they are a team in desperate need of direction. They need to bury Freddy Krueger, I mean Al Davis, so the Raider's nightmare can end.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2011 2:57 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Kiffin's absolutely right. Everyone in football knows this. The best thing to happen to the Raiders would be the death of Al Davis.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2011 2:06 am

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Do you seriously think Madden won in the 1960's?  You really don't know the game's history. 

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