On Friday, [[ESPN]’s Chris Mortensen reported during NFL Live that the Oakland Raiders Owner Al Davis sent head coach Lane Kiffin (pictured) a resignation letter two weeks ago. However, Kiffin refused to sign it, forcing the Raiders to consider firing him. This has its roots in rumors of Kiffin’s desire to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, son of of Buddy and brother of Rex, although they have publicly made up. Ryan has always been a favorite of Davis, who had kept him from going east to serve as the Jets' defensive coordinator.
As a Raider Hater, I usually enjoy poking fun at the struggles that the Raiders routinely endure, but now, I am actually developing some sort of empathy for Raider fans. Clearly, Davis the Dinosaur has gone insane, as he has gone through four coaches in just four years. No coach can turn a 2-14 team into a Super Bowl contender overnight, even if you're Vince Lombardi reincarnated. A coach will need a few seasons and drafts to build a consistent winner that can challenge for a playoff birth.
What are Davis expectations anyway? He fired head coach Norv Turner after two short years. This is the same Turner who led the San Diego Chargers within nine points of defeating arguably the greatest team in NFL history and reaching the Super Bowl. Hiring Kiffin and promising him front office decisions might have been a mistake but you can't turn your back on the rookie coach after just one season. The Raiders have some of the least talented offensive players in the league and its hard to realistically expect a record greater than 4-12.
With Davis's poor handling of coaches, he is essentially ruining his own franchise right now. The great teams in the NFL, Colts, Patriots, Giants, and Packers, all have stable front offices. On the other hand, the teams at the bottom, 49ers, Raiders, and Lions, all have major front office issues. An owner must be capable of hiring great personnel and expressing patience during rebuilding projects. However, Davis continues to prove that he is incompetent in both categories. Too bad you can't fire an owner.