Win or lose, Kiffin has right attitude to endure pressures as Raiders coach
Lane Kiffin could wake up Monday celebrating a Sunday victory -- but out of a job as Raiders head coach. Kiffin's "What, me worry?" approach is a wise one to take, Jeffri Chadiha writes.
It was a predictable response to a question Kiffin had to know was coming from the minute he stepped to the podium for his postgame news conference. The Contra Costa (Calif.) Times reported earlier in the day that Davis was ready to fire Kiffin, possibly as early as Monday. That story merely confirmed what had become obvious to anybody who follows this team: Kiffin and Davis have reached the point where they simply can't coexist anymore. In fact, the only thing that seems to be keeping Kiffin in Oakland is Davis' apparent reluctance to fire a coach who still has two years left on his contract.Still, it's hard to see money or anything else keeping Kiffin in his current position much longer. Even though the Raiders played relatively well against the Chiefs, there wasn't substantial evidence that the 41-14 loss to Denver in Week 1 was an aberration. Sunday, the Raiders just took the opportunity to pounce on a weaker, less-talented team. They probably won't have that luxury again until the Chiefs come to Oakland later this season.
Kiffin even admitted he accepted that he'd probably be a short-timer in Oakland during a teleconference with Kansas City media. "You have to look at the history," Kiffin said. "History is what it is, that [Davis] doesn't keep people very long. We don't have a general manager. Everything goes through [Davis]. That sets up a difficult situation at times. Knowing who the owner is, you know from day one there's no job security."
It's definitely strange, but Lane has to look out for himself like we all have to look out for ourselves. I wish him luck, but I don't know what's going to happen.
-- Raiders DB DeAngelo Hall on head coach Lane Kiffin's job security
Kiffin's players, for the most part, seem happy to stand on the sidelines in this dispute between head coach and team owner. They were basking in the afterglow of rookie Darren McFadden's 164 rushing yards against the Chiefs, the primary reason the Raiders evened their season record at 1-1."A lot of guys didn't know what was going on," defensive back DeAngelo Hall, one of Davis' high-priced offseason acquisitions, said of the Sunday newspaper report. "It's definitely strange, but Lane has to look out for himself like we all have to look out for ourselves. I wish him luck, but I don't know what's going to happen." The larger question is what happens to the Raiders once Davis dumps his head coach. The names that already have been thrown around in media reports -- people like Ryan and fellow Raiders assistants James Lofton and Tom Rathman -- don't inspire much confidence. It's also unlikely somebody who actually has some sort of reputation worth protecting would throw his hat in the ring. That leaves the other usual suspects (like former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel and current Raiders scout and longtime NFL assistant Paul Hackett) trying to resuscitate their careers. The next Raiders coach should pay close attention to Kiffin's current actions, because Kiffin's comments say as much about the current work environment in Oakland as they do about the head coach himself. What Kiffin basically has been telling us is the Raiders' job is only good for people who don't have much interest in spending much time in Silver and Black. And at this point of his tenure, it's hard to argue with that kind of logic. Jeffri Chadiha covers the NFL for ESPN.com.
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