Kelly accepts responsibility after arrest on suspicion of DUI

Updated: September 17, 2008, 9:56 PM ET
Associated Press

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly accepted responsibility for his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence, saying he made a bad mistake.

"I just take it as lessons learned what not to do," Kelly said Wednesday. "I doubt if it will ever happen again, you know what I'm saying? I just probably didn't make the right decision. I just probably should have left my car where it was."

Kelly went out drinking Sunday night after the Raiders returned from a road trip to Kansas City. He was booked at Oakland's Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility on Monday and later released.

"We usually have a driver but that night late when I got over there, that's when I found out we didn't have a driver," he said. "If I knew that beforehand, I probably would have got somebody to come pick me up at the house and we wouldn't even be talking about this right now."

Kelly acknowledged that he is under more scrutiny this season after signing a seven-year contract in the offseason that was worth up to $50.5 million and included $18.125 million in guaranteed money.

Coach Lane Kiffin sat down with Kelly on Wednesday to talk about the situation.

"He just was like, 'You can't take that risk,'" Kelly said. "Don't even do it. He understood. ... It was a dumb decision on my own. If I could go back I would have probably just left my car at the hotel and came back and got it the next day."

Tommy Kelly

Kelly

Depending on the outcome of the case, Kelly could face punishment from the NFL. Kiffin said the team would allow the NFL to handle the discipline.

"He feels bad for the organization and all the fans and the rest of his team," Kiffin said. "It's a mistake for him to learn from and it's just a reminder of what we talk about all the time to our team about making the right decisions. Unfortunately, he didn't make the right decision. He'll learn from it and, hopefully, other guys won't make the same mistake."

Kelly's arrest was only the latest distraction for the Raiders, who are also dealing with the speculation about Kiffin's job security. Reports surfaced over the weekend that owner Al Davis was on the verge of firing his second-year coach and no one from the organization has told Kiffin that those are untrue.

Davis has not made a move yet and Kiffin is preparing the team for its game Sunday in Buffalo. Kiffin said he has not talked to Davis in two weeks and does not know what his status is.

But he's happy with how his players have responded.

"It shows a lot about our group because if you had some different guys, they could take advantage of the situation, all the stuff in the media and the paper, all the reports from our front office that there's going to be a firing yesterday and today, all that stuff," he said. "They could take advantage of that situation. 'We're not listening to you. We've been told, according to the paper, from our front office, that you're being fired. It's just a matter of when.' So, it shows a lot about our guys."

As the team returned to practice following two days off, Kiffin did address the topic with his players, telling them to focus only on what they can control.

The players say the lesson has gotten through.

"I really don't pay attention," Kelly said. "That really is not my business so I worry about whoever I'm lined up in front of. Because the business between them, that's their business. I can't worry about that."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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