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Instant Raiders

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Barnum & Bailey & Al & Lane & Tom Cable

I’m sitting here, a couple hours after Al Davis stopped speaking to an enthralled mob of reporters, and it’s difficult for me to explain what I just witnessed. For the first time in my career as a sportswriter, I saw the owner of an organization present a detailed case against a coach he just fired, a point-by-point presentation of the coach’s lies and misrepresentations, aided by a three-page letter of warning on an overhead projector. And for the first time,… Read More »

Davis reportedly interviewing Kiffin’s successor

Has the end finally come? ESPN is reporting that Al Davis has scheduled Monday-night interviews with three staff members – offensive line coach Tom Cable, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and advance scout Paul Hackett – ostensibly with the idea of promoting one of them to fill Lane Kiffin’s shoes as head coach. We’ve seen so much disinformation lately (especially from ESPN) that it’s hard to take anything as gospel. But this time it was John Clayton doing the reporting, and… Read More »

Coming up: Lane Kiffin’s press conference, and then dwarf wrestling

Talk about Groundhog Day. Here we are again, waiting either for Lane Kiffin’s head on a silver (and black) platter, or for Kiffin to take the podium at 2 p.m. and tell us, in 38 different ways, that he doesn’t worry about what he can’t control, and as far as he knows, is still coach of the Raiders, and let’s prepare for the Saints. And as we all know by now, it’s what happens after the Raiders’ Monday press conference… Read More »

The Raiders are wearing white!

Urgent bulletin to all long-time Raiders fans. I need to know if this team has ever worn white jerseys for a home game, as it is today. I have been to every game since the start of 2003. I went to just about every home game in Los Angeles from about 1985 to 1994. I have watched most other televised games beyond that, dating back to the early 1970s, and certainly highlights from most games I did not attend. And… Read More »

Happy endings

Almost anything can happen to the Raiders over the next few days. Even some things that haven’t happened yet, and the last couple weeks have been pretty bizarre. By Monday morning, the Raiders might have a new coach and perhaps a new coordinator on one side of the ball. They could be celebrating a huge win over the Chargers, or licking their wounds at 1-3. The players might be feeling a sense of relief, or rueful bewilderment. There are an… Read More »

Could Al Davis be the victim of a coup?

As things continue to deteriorate in Oakland ” off the field, anyway ” you’re starting to hear a question that is heresy to some long-time Raiders fans: Could Al Davis be stripped of his command? Davis is not in great health these days, but it’s safe to say he will never voluntarily give up the reins while he has a breath remaining. But could control be wrested from him, either by the Raiders’ minority owners or by the NFL?One blogger… Read More »

Lane Kiffin’s last words. Or not.

Here are some residual tidbits from Lane Kiffin’s Monday press conference. As we keep telling you, week after week after week, this could be his last, so pay attention! First of all, the coach didn’t make any excuses for veteran safety Gibril Wilson, who was ejected from the Buffalo game in the fourth quarter for giving Josh Reed an open-handed slap to the facemask after a Bills touchdown: “From what I saw on the film, Gibril deserved to be thrown… Read More »

Thomas Howard on his Uncle Lane

Linebacker Thomas Howard said he often talks to teammates such as Kirk Morrison on the flight home from away games – to dissect that day’s performance, go over possible solutions and just shoot the breeze. After Sunday’s heart-rending 24-23 loss at Buffalo, Morrison got a surprise visit. “Even coach Kiffin came to the back of the plane,” he said Monday. “We just talked about how can we get better in the fourth (quarter), you know. Just talking as buddies do,… Read More »

New territory for Lane Kiffin

After the Raiders’ 24-23 loss at Buffalo, a dejected Lane Kiffin told reporters: “We went into the fourth quarter with two scores, but we weren’t able to hang on to it. It kind of reminded me a little bit of last year. We had a lot of these last year, so hopefully we’ll keep improving and finish better next time.” Kiffin was wrong, though. He didn’t experience anything quite like this during his 4-12 rookie NFL season. In 2007, Kiffin’s… Read More »

Fargas, McFadden and Bush: good, but not close to greatest ever

In case you were too distracted by the Lane Kiffin Termination Watch to notice, the Raiders have a game at Buffalo this weekend. And their position of greatest strength, running back, is in flux. Justin Fargas has a groin strain and Darren McFadden has turf toe. Fargas didn’t practice today, and McFadden was limited, so no one knows for sure who will be able to go against the Bills, or how the carries will be divided. Of course, injuries are… Read More »