The DeAngelo Hall trade happening today wasn’t a surprise, but this was:
The coach spoke.
For the first time this offseason there was a quote from Lane Kiffin about a signing.
The Raiders’ press release on Hall hit my inbox about 8:30p.m. (I was playing cards) but I was able to see this nugget from the coach (though many in the media joke these statements could be an intern just typing something that sounds good):
“We’re very pleased about the acquisition of DeAngelo Hall to the Raiders. This, following offseason signings of Tommy Kelly. and Gibril Wilson, we feel have one of the most talented defenses in the league.”
Many have wondered if Kiffin was just a puppet, sitting back while Al Davis ran the show.
I’ve received several emails asking why Kiffin has had nothing to say about Wilson, Kelly, Justin Fargas, Javon Walker, Drew Carter or new receivers coach James Lofton.
It’s a contrast from last year when Kiffin had statements on just about every major move by the team and promised to be available this offseason.
Instead he hid at the NFL Combine and has said nothing until this evening amid speculation he had no say this offseason.
Sure, this doesn’t mean that’s not the case, but at least this is an acknowledgment from the organization Kiffin isn't just pouting in his office.
The Raiders also had the following quote from Hall:
“I met with Mr. Davis, Lane Kiffin and the defensive coaches and I’m excited to be joining the Raiders. To come out here and see all of the Hall of Famers walking around, their photos posted on the wall, the championships, it’s an amazing feeling to be a part of that history and be a part of making history. I’m also looking forward to playing with the talented players already there, Nnamdi (Asomugha), Stanford (Routt) and also coming in with Gibril (Wilson). I look forward to making a contribution to the success of the Raiders.”
I hear from D. Orlando Ledbetter and Steve Wyche, the Falcons beat writers for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Hall is a pleasure to work with and always has an opinion. He’s not malicious in his talk, I’m told, but always fun.
If that’s the case, it should be fun having Hall around.
I’ll be sure to ask Kiffin about that.