Rob Ryan & Monte Kiffin News and Notes


I thought this whole Rob Ryan thing was done with, but then I read from a third Inside Bay Area writer, Jerry McDonald.

"As much as I respect the opinions of colleagues Monte Poole and Carl Steward, I don’t see Monte Kiffin joining Lane in Oakland.If you are a defensive coach for the Raiders, you answer to the owner, and while this owner knows football, Monte Kiffin has answered to no one in Tampa Bay for more than a decade _ and done it at more than $2 million per year in a place with no state taxes.Jon Gruden is smart enough to let Monte Kiffin do his thing.More likely, Kiffin’s target as defensive coordinator would be someone like himself _ a young up-and-coming coach who would be fine with taking the job if it meant having the title of defensive coordinator."

I enjoy reading the opinions of all the men and women who write for the newspaper and blogs at Inside Bay Area, and above all Mr. McDonald, but like always, I’ve got to add something.

Monte Kiffin is 68 years old, and with maybe 2-5 years left coaching, and I hate to say, not to much longer alive, I think he’d take a pay cut to coach with his son.  Secondly Al Davis has an incredible amount of respect for established players and personnel across the league, and just like when he signed Warren Sapp after facing him only a year earlier in the Raiders worst loss ever, Super Bowl XXXVII, he could easily sign Kiffin.  One thing that Davis saw that day was Monte’s cover-2 scheme dismantle the #1 offense in the league.

But quickly back to the admiration Davis has for the great people in football.  The Raiders and Pittsburg Steelers were the two dominate teams of the 1970’s, and the truth is, the Steelers got the best of the Raiders more times than not during that time.  But when Hall of Famer, and Steelers great, Terry Bradshaw retired Davis made a phone call.  Davis called Bradshaw to wish him well, and to ask him if he needed anything, money, a job, etc.  I’m sure this wasn’t the first or last time Davis made a phone call to show his respect for someone outside of his franchise, but this phone call shows me a man that not only respects many of the great football figures in the league, but holds the men that have hurt his team the most in the highest regard.

The pay-cut that Papa K would have to take alone would deserve more control than Davis normally relinquishes.  Davis seems to trust Lane Kiffin, and has showed it by the amount of power he’s given him.  Kiffin showed this power by letting Ryan know that he was no longer going to be around before (from what I understand) talking things over with Davis.

"As news is slow to leak out of Alameda regarding staff and personnel changes, a few things worth remembering:Even if Lane Kiffin wants quick action, he still works for Al Davis. Davis is known for accumulating information, seeking out support and dissent, and then making a decision.– McDonald"

"Sources indicate Ryan was told before the Raiders’ final game, against San Diego on Sunday, that he would not be returning in 2008 Carl Steward, Inside Bay Area"

Kiffin must have felt (might even been told) that he has the power to make these kind of decisions, and we (the fans and media) just aren’t in the loop.

There’s also reason to believe that this whole thing is just on hold because they still want to, and have to interview a certain number of people, and or, due to the fact that there are many candidates that are a part of an NFL team that’s in the playoffs.  In other words, there are a hundred ways to look at this, but denying any information by anyone is useless.

Steward may be right and Ryan’s in New York right now and the Raiders are just waiting to talk with Monte Kiffin before anybody else.  McDonald may be right and nothing has developed, and neither will anything as fantastic as a father-son duo.

I believe a combination of the two; that there are many things that Davis still wants to discuss, but Ryan is gone, and Kiffin told him before the final game.  I think Baby K and Papa K have spoken about Pop’s upcoming free agency (i.e. Christmas and New Years), and know exactly where they stand.  I think there’s a real interest; why, because this rumor has been brewing for nearly 4 days and the Raiders head coach has yet to deny anything.  Monte has denied interest, but until the season ends, and he signs a contract with another team, there’s still room for discussion; especially because of one comment by the Bucs D-coordinator, “I love my son, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”  He might like the Bucs, but he may love the idea of coaching along side his son. 

I want Monte Kiffin to be the Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator, but I understand if the Raiders end up going with a “young up-and-coming coach who would be fine with taking the job if it meant having the title of defensive coordinator.”  I do think that if the Raiders don’t sign Monte, they should go young, because the respect between a young coordinator and the Raiders 33 year old head coach would be easier to establish than with an older veteran.

It’s a fantastic rumor that holds many twists, and although this whole issue could be squashed in a second by just one quote from Lane Kiffin or the Raiders front office (Monte can’t contractually speak about any interest he may have while his season continues), it’s still fun to debate, because it’s a rumor, and until someone comes out and denies it, it should still be discussed.