ALAMEDA – Today was Lane Kiffin’s last press conference. He said a decision on Rob Ryan’s future would be made soon.
He also conceded there’s a lot of work to be done, maybe more than he anticipated when he took the job.
Here are some of the areas Kiffin will need to address:
1. Defensive staff: If he doesn’t keep Ryan, he must move quickly to bring in a defensive coordinator of his choosing that can fix the problems with the run defense.
2. Free agents the Raiders need to keep: Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is the top priority. Kiffin would like tailback Justin Fargas back, but the team’s inability to activate Michael Bush complicates things because the Raiders don’t know what he can do. Retaining Jarrod Cooper is another thing the team needs to do.
3. Who to let go?: LaMont Jordan is an obvious. Kiffin conceded the Raiders might have held on to some players too long this season and keeping an unhappy Jordan is the reason Bush didn’t play this season. The team needs to figure out if it will try to resign Jerry Porter, too. The team was expected a lot more out of Ronald Curry and there will be a big void at receiver if Porter leaves.
4. The Draft: The Raiders will pick third or fourth in the first round after a coin flip with Atlanta. Players that might be available that could step in play immediately (which Kiffin wants) include Virginia defensive end Chris Long and Michigan tackle Jake Long. If the Raiders trade down, USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis would fit.
Kiffin said Warren Sapp has already decided whether to return or retire, but he’d let Sapp announce that. Odd are Sapp won’t be back.
Michael Huff might be moved to free safety next season. Kiffin liked the improvement Huff showed, but wants more out of him.