Oakland Raiders  

 

Look back in anger: Kiffin critiques Davis, outmoded Raiders

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Lane Kiffin threw more gasoline on his fiery relationship with his former boss, Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis.

Kiffin recently opened up to ESPN.com about his brief stint as the Raiders' coach in 2007 and 2008, claiming the franchise's sluggish, outdated operations made it an unwinnable situation.

"It is almost impossible," Kiffin, who went 5-15 with the Raiders, said in an interview that was published Thursday. "I don't know why I didn't listen, (because) so many people told me that. That's why, if you ask (coach Steve Sarkisian, who's now at the University of Washington), 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 acknowledged that when Davis used an overhead projector in an October 2008 news conference to discuss the coach's firing, it served as a metaphor for how the owner runs the 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."

Kiffin, hired by the Raiders from USC's staff as a 31-year-old coach with almost no NFL experience, made it through just 20 games before his ugly public firing. At the time, Davis called Kiffin a "flat-out liar" who brought "disgrace" on the Raiders.

Following the Oakland job, Kiffin coached one season at the University of Tennessee, where he accumulated nearly as many NCAA and Southeastern Conference reprimands as victories.

Kiffin then bounced back to USC, surprising many when he was named coach of the Trojans in January 2010, following Pete Carroll's departure for the Seattle Seahawks. Under the weight of multiple NCAA violations allegedly committed during Carroll's tenure, USC went 8-5 in Kiffin's first season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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