INDIANAPOLIS – Since Lane Kiffin is still MIA (several Raider employees say he’s here, but no one has seen him) there’s still more with Rob Ryan to share along with other Combine tidbits.
*Ryan said, “It pissed me off” to see he was fired on television but said he was never told he was fired.
*Ryan would like to see Derrick Burgess bulk up a little at defensive end. Burgess’ run defense was underrated in his first two seasons in Oakland, but his production against the run fell off a bit in 2007.
*He said Gerard Warren was playing at a Pro Bowl level before his hamstring injury.
*Then there’s always the complex topic that is Michael Huff. His play looked solid, but others think he’s a bust, pretty harsh after two seasons. No decision has been made to move Huff to free safety yet.
Here’s Ryan on Huff:
“That position is tough. One of the toughest spots in our defense is strong safety. You have to be able to cover the best tight ends in football. We ask him to sit in the run against the off tackle. Those two things alone are tough enough. Then we ask him to be able to play high in sub safety. I think Michael’s done a good job at a very tough job. We wish he could make more plays, sure but you cover Gates and Gonzalez on a consistent basis. And remember before we got him they were catching 11 balls by halftime. Now they’re catching three a game. So he’s done a good job, no question and I’m sure he’ll be even better.”
Other Raider-related items and other Combine tidbits:
*The team is still trying to re-sign defensive linemen Tommy Kelly and Chris Clemons. Kelly could end up with a big payday because he’ll be on the open market and will garner interest.
*JaMarcus Russell is due back in Alameda in early March to get started on his workouts for 2008.
*NFL owners will almost certainly void the final two years of the CBA. That means 2009 would be the last year with a salary cap before an uncapped 2010 season.
Expect a labor standoff before the 2010 season if a new deal isn’t reached. The players won’t play with a cap again if they go into 2010 without one.
*Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall is available for the right price in a trade and that had the media room buzzing.