Yesterday, news spread of Mike Taylor’s (Oakland Raiders‘ spokesperson) statement to the Associated Press:
"“The recent conjecture regarding the removal of Rob Ryan is incorrect and the constant barrage of rumors is irresponsible. The Raiders organization stated that the speculation that Rob Ryan will be relieve of his duties should stop.”"
And with just one statement, all that was thought to have changed, had not. Now let’s look at all the details of the last 5 days.
Monday: Reports surfaced about Lane Kiffin’s supposed want for the removal of Ryan. Today I find out that those reports were based off these weak comments from Kiffin on whether Ryan had coached his final game or not:
"“OK, first of all, we haven’t made any decisions yet. Those will come pretty soon. Just like I said, with players and stuff, we’re still going to get all the information in and get it all together before we make any changes.“Like I said before, we’re going to do everything we can to put us in the best position to win. Whatever that is, whatever we have to look at, we’re not worried about people’s feelings or any of that. We’re worried about winning.”"
There are have also been journalists who have reported that Kiffin had made it known throughout the organization that he wanted Ryan out, but even this information has little merit due to the fact that these comments come from a source-less face in the Raiders front office.
Tuesday: It was New Years day and little was reported.
Wednesday: Reports surfaced that Ryan was on his way to the Jets, and the Monte Kiffin rumors heated up. By Friday, the rumor had switched to Monte’s apprentice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Raheem Morris), and though even I got excited about the possibility, there was little reason to believe the rumor. Monte Kiffin probably only has a couple of years left as a coach, and Morris is already under contract, so why would Monte be grooming Morris to be anything less than his successor?
Thursday: Comments were made by Monte about his want to remain a Buc, and the original unsubstantiated reports about Morris were made. Although I liked the idea of the father-son combo, I was in love with the advantages that I saw with a move to a cover-2 scheme.
Friday: All rumors were squashed yesterday by the statement released by the Raiders. With this news comes many questions: why did the Raiders let the rumors stand during the 5 day period that they were spreading? Why wasn’t there news from the Jets on whether the rumors had any validity? Why didn’t Ryan or the Raiders head coach release any statements to the contrary? All of these questions make the Raiders statement hard to believe, but for the time being that’s all that’s been said by anyone, so it must hold more precedence than any other reports being made; at least for now.
If this ends up meaning what I think this means, then I’m not sure how much longer I can support this franchise. What I mean by that is I’ve got a feeling Mr. Al Davis might have propelled another Raider coaching staff into discontent. If it took 5 days for Davis to convince Kiffin and Ryan to coexist than this staff’s future will end soon, and in dismay. Then again, it might be a complete breakdown in journalistic integrity, and the statement the Raiders made needs to be heard, and reporters must have more substantiated information to back a rumor.