Welcome to the first issue of The Raider Review, everything Oakland Raiders.
When the youngest coach in modern history is appointed to your team you are either in for an NFL genius (Mike Tomlin) or an incompetent joke (wait for it...). So when 32 year old Lane Kiffin was given the label by the Oakland Raiders many immediately thought Al Davis had once again struck a gold mine, hadn't he? BEEP!! Wrong answer, thanks for playing.
For a long period of time the new kid on the block had us convinced; Al was the bad guy and he was the super hero. However, there is a reason that this isn't the Lane Kiffin Saga, this is because Coach Kiff wasn't with the Silver and Black for very long. While he doubled the team's win total and seemed to be getting them on the right track things began crumbling down. He was given a resignation letter to sign and many said it was a matter of time. So when Mr. Davis drew the final straw and fired him it seemed a dark day for the Raider organization. Many looked at the situation as an old man past his prime ruining an opportunity with an untouched mastermind. But, now is the time we can confirm they were wrong, and the hero becomes the villain. Lane Kiffin conned the Oakland Raiders.
It seems like Al Davis suddenly realized the mistake he had made and tried to fix it but saw no other option than to fire him. A well-respected and liked man in Tom Cable was named interim coach and Lane went back to college football (where he is doing a fine job of disgracing his name).
Now the "child" is wreaking havoc and punching well above his weight. However, it would not be fair to condemn the man in every way; he did many good things for the organisation in his (short) time. - When everyone was rooting for Justin Fargas to be cut he instead let go Adimchinobe Echemandu. Fargas went on to rush for 1009 yards in 8 starts. - He released Quentin Moses to many people's surprise and kept unknown entity Chris Clemons, who lead the team with 8 sacks. - He traded with the Broncos for DT Gerard Warren, who has provided solid depth. - He drafted the class of '06 with nine of those on the roster. - He implemented the zone-blocking scheme which was an instant hit. - He designed a conservative, sensible offensive scheme. - He pushed for the firing of Rob Ryan, who proved incapable of commanding the defense for another season. - Even in his final games the Raiders were competitive.
Now for the list of "oopsies"! - He released Randy Moss, who would go on to break the record for touchdowns in a season. - Al Davis claims he was against the drafting of JaMarcus Russell and needed to "get over it". - He heavily criticized Offensive Tackle Mario Henderson, who went on to have a breakout year. - With the exception of Tom Cable the staff he signed has been disappointing. - He took numerous opportunities to publicly criticize the owner. - It wasn't until after he was fired that the draft class of '06 truly began succeeding. As you can see the list of positives and negatives are roughly the same only that the negatives are more detrimental to the organization. I admit that when I heard the news of Lane's departure I was disappointed, but now I can truly say. Al Davis got it right.