Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Jan 2008

Davis Wants Kiffin to Resign, Coach Refuses

Well, when the owner gets your name wrong at your introductory press conference, it's probably a sign that you don't have much job security. ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that Oakland owner Al Davis is pressuring head coach Lane Kiffin to resign after only one year. Davis and Kiffin have had disagreements over the makeup of the coaching staff, most notably regarding defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who Kiffin wanted to let go. Kiffin would forfeit the remaining two years on his contract if he resigned, so he is resisting Davis' request. The early rumor is that Dennis Green will be the favorite for the job if or when Kiffin leaves.

Posted by: Sean McCormick on 25 Jan 2008

62 comments, Last at 29 Jan 2008, 7:11am by theosu


by RobM (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:17pm

Wow. Just wow.

by Dwight Cans (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:22pm

Dwight Cans has sent correspondence to the Raiders on this issue. Dwight Cans has advised the Raiders to bring in Dennis Green.

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:24pm

Dennis Green? Oh, god no. That means they'll have more press conferences for those god awful Coors Light commercials.

On the plus side, it means tons of "the Raiders are who we thought they were!" jokes that can be used on Raiderjoe.

by David S. (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:24pm

Al Davis is who we thought he was!

A crazy old man.

Wow, I really hope this is able to be rectified because I was a little upbeat about the Kiffin regime. He had them playing well and they just needed maybe two more offseasons of clear headed decisions before they were a competitive team.

I really can't take much more of Al Davis. If this results in Kiffin being fired for DENNIS F'N GREEN(!) then I'm done. Favorite team tryouts will be conducted via Madden 09.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:27pm

Hey, here's a crazy thought - why not just promote Rob Ryan to HC?

by Doug Farrar :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:28pm

"This Week in Quotes" will be supremely embiggened. Hire him, Al. Don't let 'em tell you that you shouldn't!

by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:37pm

Raiders still good. Al Davis just think L Kiffin not right man for job. Maybe you remember D Green coached VIkings when D Culpeper sit on bench for most of rookie season and then play great in second season. Very similar to J Russell situation.
A Davis made some bad moves but that is all. Raiders on rebound now. Too many grat players to not make playoffs in 2008 no matter who coach

by Fisher (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:39pm

I guess the Raider emblem has earned a second eyepatch.

Thanks Al, for the continued "Commitment to Excrement."

Raider fan since '75

by selfnoise (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:40pm

This is the hardest I've laughed all week. Thank you, Al Davis.

by Gerry (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:42pm

I'm always for recruiting-- any Raiders fans who are disillusioned and looking for a new team for which to root, might I suggest the New York Football Giants?

by Glenn (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:43pm

This is the hardest I've laughed all week. Thank you, Raiderjoe.

by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:44pm

Raiders have more SB wins. No reaSON TO ROOT FOR gIANT.S

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:49pm

#7: Can we please, please make a deal? If Dennis Green becomes head coach, and the Raiders finish with a losing record next year, you'll post saying "the Raiders are who you thought they were!" If they finish with a winning record, I'll end all of my posts for the 2008 offseason with "P.S. Raiderjoe was right."

by Vincent Verhei :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 7:49pm

I guess the Raider emblem has earned a second eyepatch.

You win.

by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 8:20pm

Al Davis does more to embarras and discredit the NFL than Pac Man Jones and every Cincinnati Bengal combined.

I'm serious when I say Goodell should take the necessary steps to force Al Davis out. Enough is enough.

by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 8:30pm

A Davis does not beat up women and throw things at strippers. and he doesnt do all the things the Bnegals did. He just have some probelsm in this decade with coaches being hired but as can see most were good moves to fire them B Callahan, A Shell, and maybe L Kiffin all not right man for job. Davis knows when to fire them.

Will post that if D Green coach Raiders and Raiders dont make playoffs. Porbably won't have to as Raiders strong possibility to go 10-6 and make playoffs

by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 8:41pm

Turner also crappy. Davis was genius to fire him.

by Mike Y (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 8:45pm

Wow, Al Davis really is a real life Montgomery Burns.

by Sisyphus (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 8:50pm

Kind of sad really, Davis was at one time a dynamic force in the NFL and he has become a joke. It will be unfortunate if this becomes his legacy in the history of the game.

by Mike (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 8:51pm

15: The question is if the average fan is more scornful of drugs, DWIs, and domestic abuse, or losing seasons.

by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 8:53pm

Raider Joe- as a Raiders fan, how can you not agree with me?

A league has to have credibility to succeed. I am serious when I say that Davis hurts the NFL's credibility.

I'm serious when I say this, and I'm not trying ot be mean or funny: when we get to a certain age, our capacity to do certain things deteriorates. My late grandfather once coulkd operate a motor vehicle as well as anyone, but the day came when my Mom and his doctor got together and had his license taken away. My grandfather didn't like it, but they did the right thing, and thankfully they did it before he killed someone.

Goodell should do the same thing with Davis.

by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 8:55pm

20- It's not about losing seasons. But I think you already knew that.

by peachy (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 9:08pm

I was rather hoping Kiffin would win the power struggle; then Ryan could have come to Jax to replace Smith. Half our defensive starters sport the shaggy-haired run-up-the-black-flag corsair look already - the man would be a perfect fit. (The whole clean-shaven, wholesome corporate thing is fine for offensive players, but defenders ought to have a hard-drinking, brawling, wenching vibe.)

by thestar5 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 9:11pm


You don't like those commercials? I think they're pretty good.

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 9:22pm

#24: Some of them are funny. The vast majority are just godawful. The Dennis Green ones are beyond terrible. The one with him just constantly laughing, especially.

by patriotsgirl (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 9:56pm

25: I like the Jim Mora "Playoffs??!!" one, but that clip just cracks me up so much on its own that it's hard not to laugh.

Linked in my name - more info from the San Francisco Chronicle, including the following:

Said an NFL source with direct knowledge of the letter, "Now you know why that place is such a mess right now."

And apparently, it's partly Randy Moss' fault:
Davis' infatuation with Kiffin soured as soon the 2007 NFL Draft, when Kiffin pushed the owner to dump an uncooperative Moss, who happened to be the owner's prized receiver...

Davis closely monitored the resurrection of Moss, who went on to catch an NFL-record 23 touchdown passes in the 2007 regular season. During the Raiders trip to Green Bay on Dec. 9, Davis and his entourage were riding the press box elevator to the locker room level. They watched Moss catch a touchdown pass on the flatscreen television monitor inside the elevator.

"Dammit - why couldn't he do that for us?" Davis was overheard saying.

by Walter Lawrence (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 10:33pm

The difference between resign and re-sign always gets me. The entire time i was reading this, I thought Al Davis wanted more years of Kiffin. There goes my reading comprehension!

by Otis Taylor 89 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 10:46pm

Kiffin should just tell Al that he will be taking a job at a B&B - Davis will give him a raise.

by Justin Zeth (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 11:18pm

I'm still rooting for the scenario, which inches closer to the realm of possibility with each Raiders-related headline, where every qualified coach in the entire world categorically refuses to coach the Raiders and Al Davis decides to coach them himself.

by Fergasun (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 11:46pm

I don't think Dennis Green will come back and coach. Sounds like he has been enjoying his retirement down in San Diego and making fishing videos.

by Matt (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 12:31am

I'm sure there are lots of guys out there licking their chops, hoping Kiffin resigns so they can get the plum position of head coach of the Raiders.

I know it's an NFL head coaching job, and there are only 32 of them, but it would seem clear that if you want to have success, and be treated at least a little fairly, Oakland is not the place. At the very least, if you take an Oakland job, rent, don't buy.

by Alex (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 3:03am

#24: Some of them are funny. The vast majority are just godawful. The Dennis Green ones are beyond terrible.

Agreed, but I think the "Playoffs?!" one is awesome, and the ones with Parcells are hilarious. Parcells says such funny things at press conferences.

by Guido Merkens (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 3:36am

as a 'Skins fan, I can take some comfort in knowing that Dan Snyder isn't the most embarrassing owner in the league.

by Dave (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 4:15am

If a mediocre African-American coach can be hired out of the old boy network, does that mean we're over racism in the coaching ranks of the NFL?

I am mostly kidding. But Denny Green. Wow. What does Denny Green do for your team?

by Andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 5:20am

When Kiffin was hired from his previous position as USC OC, Davis was already going an extra step below the typical "NFL OC/College HC" position to find someone willing to take the job. What's he gonna do now that even those guys aren't good enough? Start hiring LSU's position coaches? Hire some guy that processes the game film for the Pats?

by Richard (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 8:29am

I really hope Davis ends up firing Kiffin and hiring Green because as a Charger fan, I think that would be a good thing.

by Fred (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 8:45am

Dennis Green deserves another shot. He had a 61% winning percentage at Minnesota, which is on-par with Belichek, Schottenheimer and Holmgren. His current 54% is in line with Gruden and Jimmy Johnson. The vast majority of us have no business saying who is a good coach and who isn't. All we can do is look at is the records.

by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 11:36am

Two eye patches :) if I had any photoshop ability that would be my new avatar/icon

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 12:08pm

Crazy and cheap, now there's winning combo for ya. Why anyone would take this job (obvious Russell/Elway similarities or not) is beyond me.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 12:17pm

Some of them are funny. The vast majority are just godawful. The Dennis Green ones are beyond terrible.

You know you have a problem when the original clip is funnier than the attempt to riff off the clip. The "Playoffs?" rant is a good example of that.

by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 1:19pm

So now hiring a college coordinator didn't work out... who in their right mind would still want to work for Big Al? High school coaches? I hear Gerry Faust isn't doing much nowadays...

by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 2:26pm

Ahhhhh I rushed to this message board when I heard the news, just to see raiderjoe's comments. I am not disappointed.

Thank you, sir, for the glory, and such.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 2:47pm

Dennis Green, when he is paired with a good personnel office, and when he can control his desire for bureaucratic power, is a good NFL head coach. Unfortunately, he won't have a good personnel office in Oakland, and he hasn't been able to reign in his thirst for power in about 12 years.

The notion of Davis trying to convince Kiffin to resign, so Davis dosn't have to pay out the last two years of Kiffin's contract, is hilarious. If I were Kiffin, I'd be tempted to send back a four word reply; "Al, are you drunk?"

Raiderjoe, saying an owner knows when to fire a coach, when the owner is on about his fifth coach in eight years, is known as "damning with faint praise".

by im_no_playa (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 3:41pm

38 - I think 2 eye patches would end up looking like a pair of sunglasses -- but that kinda fits in Cali...and the Al Davis look

by Noah of Arkadia (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 4:51pm

42 lol, me too.

You know, 43, I think the saddest thing about the "know when to fire a coach thing" is, other GMs wouldn't even have hired any of those guys in the first place. Except Gruden. 1 out of a whole bunch ain't bad, is it?

by Alan Milnes (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 4:54pm

Al Davis may be crazy but if Kiffin wanted to fire Rob Ryan then he is even crazier!

by Alex (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 5:23pm

Al Davis may be crazy but if Kiffin wanted to fire Rob Ryan then he is even crazier!

Actually, I think that's right. How wierd is it that, not only is Al Davis not the craziest person in the world, he's not even the craziest person in the Raiders organization?

by Lou (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 6:51pm

hmm, I actually think the Denny Green laughing commercial is the only funny one. The rest are substantially less funny than the source material.

Re. Raiders Logo with 2 eye patches

Link in name.

by mush (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 11:52pm

I love a good coaching sound-byte as much as the next guy, probably more. But count me against the Coors' spots - I think they're pretty cheesy.

I wonder how common it is to see multiple head coaches go one-and-done in the same season. Petrino didn't make the year, Cameron got the ax, and now, likely, Kiffin is out.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Sun, 01/27/2008 - 2:02am

Nice job on the double eye patches, but they DO look like shades. Maybe a more triangular patch shape would give the right impression(father of 3 young boys, all of whom dress as priates from time to time... HEY! Maybe Al Davis will hire my 7 year-old to coach! He likes jailbreak blitzing on every down. If it works in flag football, it's gotta work in the pros, right? Plus, since the Jets fired Joe Walton, there's been a shameful dearth of nose-picking on the sidelines. Let's see THAT in your lame Coors commercials!)

by taxistan (not verified) :: Sun, 01/27/2008 - 3:23am

Norv must be a great coach, he lasted two [2] years in Oakland!

by andrew (not verified) :: Sun, 01/27/2008 - 5:39pm

48 - I rushed off to make one too but you beat me to it...

by Yakuza Rich (not verified) :: Sun, 01/27/2008 - 5:46pm

****Wow, Al Davis really is a real life Montgomery Burns***

Commitment to Exxxcelllent.

by Jon Coit (not verified) :: Sun, 01/27/2008 - 6:31pm

I doubt stuff like this (year after year!) makes much of an impression on the vast majority of fans.

Allow me to draw on my 30 years of Chargers fandom: franchises that are in total disarray erode their own fanbases but don't make football fans into baseball fans. They also have no impact whatsoever on the NFL's "brand" (pardon my use of marketing speak) to nonfans. When sports media highlight scandalous stories of player misdeeds, these do have an impact on both fans and non-fans.

Davis' bewilderment at Moss' year (thanx, patsgirl) is both horribly funny and horribly sad.

Also, the NFL is a cartel; as such, it restricts its members' autonomy only to the extent that those restrictions benefit each of the members individually (unlike Formula 1 racing, which is run by an entity outside the teams' control). The NFL might, behind the scenes, pressure Davis to sell the Raiders, or, at least, refrain from managing the team. But they'd never say anything publicly, much less take any active steps--for fear it might be done to them later :)

by Noah of Arkadia (not verified) :: Sun, 01/27/2008 - 8:50pm

Those two-patch raider logos are way too cool -like someone said, they look like shades, which is a good idea since it's a California team. Easy Rider meets Jack Sparrow, if you ask me.

by starzero (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 1:36am

how old is kiffin again? i think i'm older than that. why can't i coach the raiders? hell, maybe we could get davis to do something really crazy like letting the f.o. staff take over. put those numbers to the test.

by UK-Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 12:03pm

I think that a blindfold would work better than two eye patches and is probably also more representative of reality.

by Are-Tee (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 2:08pm

Can't Al Davis just convince John Madden to come back and coach again?

by Strange/David (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 2:45pm

Why doesn't he just go the whole way and start hiring Murphy Brown's secretaries? Each week, a new HC!

by Daniel (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 4:01pm

What makes you think that Goodell would succeed where Rozell failed? In spite of the questionable manner in whcich Davis became the controlling partner of the Raiders, Rozell was unsuccessful in dislodging him. How can Goodell?

by EyepatchJoe (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 8:34pm

Late to the party, but message board avatar sized.

by theosu (not verified) :: Tue, 01/29/2008 - 7:11am

theory: al davis is the genius behind raiderjoe.