Jerry McDonald got his hands on Rob Ryan earlier today. Here are the answers that Ryan gave to the rumors about his departure and his relationship with Lane Kiffin:
"“It was a joke to me, but I don’t care who you are, you get a little upset when you see your name flashed across the board that you’ve been fired. When it’s not true it kind of pisses you off,” Ryan said. “I mean, what you can you do? There’s a difference between fact and fiction, and the fact is I’m with the Oakland Raiders and I want to be with the Oakland Raiders.”"
"He professed to be oblivious regarding reports that Kiffin wanted him out."
"“Everything is fine. I don’t know if there was anything written about that or not, but if there was, whatever,” Ryan said. “Some people get it right, some don’t. Everybody’s got a job to do. You guys have got a job to do, get information, get the story out there, but my job is to coach defense and that’s what I do. I don’t know, some information is correct, some of it’s not, and I don’t know how it gets out there, but that’s not my job to know.”"
The Raiders fought back when the Chris Mortensen credited rumors about Davis wanting Kiffin fired were spread. And they fought the nation-wide rumors about the firing of Ryan, and his presumed move to the New York Jets. McDonald found himself right in the middle of the Lane Kiffin rumor about him hearing of the James Lofton signing through a third party, and that he was never consulted after Al Davis’ ensuing interview (more like a contract negotiation).
I’m starting to think this whole mess is a combination of truth, and lies built off truth. Maybe Kiffin wanted a change at the defensive coordinator position, but a lie emerged when the rumor was spread that Kiffin fired Ryan. Maybe Davis told Kiffin that he wanted Ryan to stick around, and although Kiffin might have pondered quitting, and Davis might have pondered firing Kiffin, no papers were drawn up, and the problem was squashed as quickly any disagreement can. It might not be a perfect marriage, but maybe they’ve reached an understanding.
Then there’s the dreadful possibility that for the umpteenth time this decade Al Davis will embarrass this franchise with another debilitating decision (firing Kiffin). Someone wanting to deface the current Raider administration took in-house problems and took them to the media. Although there maybe truths that were spread that are unacceptable, you need to keep it within the organization; you don’t take down a tyrant like Davis with betrayal.
More of the Ryan interview from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis:
"“The advantage for us we did coach in the Senior Bowl so we feel we know a good portion of the guys, but it’s obviously important. You can’t improve a team more than with personnel.”Ryan said he was optimistic about the club bringing back defensive end Chris Clemons and was ecstatic about the franchise tag given to Nnamdi Asomugha.“Mr. Davis knew he was player when he got him, and he’s such a great player, a great person. It’s great to keep him,” Ryan said.Still no sign of coach Kiffin, who a Raiders team employee said was due to arrive Friday evening."
I mentioned a couple days ago that I’ve been preparing to post my own guide to this years NFL draft tomorrow morning, but I’ve ran into to many problems finding all the video and information for some of later top 100 players. I should’ve known I was going to need the Combine info to assess the players from the small schools that I ‘ve seen too little of (i.e. Appalachian State, East Carolina, Delaware, and Eastern Michigan). I’ll post a daily recap of the Combine, but probably won’t post my guide until it’s end.