Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

April 30, 2008
Rhodes on being one and done

A transcript from former Raiders RB Dominic Rhodes' appearance on "Movin' The Chains" on SIRIUS NFL Radio with Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan landed in my inbox.

Here are some nuggets from it:

On being released Monday by the Raiders following the team's selection of RB Darren McFadden in last weekend's NFL Draft:

Dominic Rhodes: "When I restructured my deal it was all in [unintelligible] if they drafted Darren McFadden I was like, 'Listen, I'll restructure but it's got to be to where if y'all draft him I can leave, you know. Y'all let me go.' That's kind of how it went. They kept their word and they let me get a chance to go somewhere else and get my opportunity. I know they like Mike Bush. They just re-signed Justin [Fargas] and I didn't want to have to deal with what I dealt with last year because I know I can play and I know somebody can use someone like me.

Ryan: "Elaborate on that a little bit. Reading between the lines it sounds like at the end of the day that decision to go to the Raiders wasn't a good one. Talk about the year out in Oakland."

Rhodes: "The year out in Oakland was a tough one for me, man, especially coming from, like I said, the Colts which is a great organization. They put together their team in a way with not a bunch of guys that are supposed to be like Hollywood types. They go and get guys like myself who they know can play football and they put them on the field and they win with them, you know? Out in Oakland it was tough, man. I got put into a bad situation. The first thing was my fault by getting the four game suspension but then when I got back, they knew that I was going to have that four game suspension, and when I got back they kind of held it against me, didn't give me my shot to get on the field and do the things that they said they were going to do. That right there kind of let me know what was going on and then I don't see the reason why the Raiders needed to draft a running back, you know what I'm saying? We had like a stable full of running backs that are capable, that ran for a hundred yards, every one of them and we went and drafted a guy that - he's a great runner, don't get me wrong - but I don't understand the logic behind it."

On Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell:

Rhodes: "Right now JaMarcus is working really hard. I've been up here working out with the team and everything and he's here every day. He's working hard. He's getting better every day. I think that he'll have, if they coach him up right which [offensive coordinator] Greg Knapp is capable of doing because he's a great coach, I think that JaMarcus will have a big year."

On head coach Lane Kiffin:

Pat Kirwan: "Does Lane Kiffin have a chance there?"

Rhodes: "You know what, man? I don't know, man. I don't know. It's going to be hard, man. He's put in all these different bad situations to where he don't have a chance, you know? I mean, when you know you need to stop the run and you don't get somebody to stop the run. He just doesn't really have a chance because somebody else is in control all the time."

More on the situation in Oakland:

Rhodes: "Everybody had their own little party going, you know what I'm saying? It wasn't like a big party for everybody. Everybody wanted to do this or that, you know what I'm saying? It was never anybody saying, 'Ok, we're all going to do this together.' It was a whole bunch of just fires everywhere and then, as you see, this off-season kind of blazed out of control. I don't really think that Lane Kiffin wanted to take a running back in the first round, let's just put it like that. He has to deal with it now but I don't think that's what he wanted to do."

This can't exactly be the best public relations day for the Raiders.

It began with Warren Sapp criticizing Al Davis' ability to assemble talent by saying the team has 3-4 personnel on defense but runs a 4-3.

Now Rhodes says Kiffin is put in "bad situations" as Raiders coach and that he doesn't have a chance because someone else is in control.

Again, that's pointing the finger at Davis. And that's only fair. If he gets credit for all the success, he deserves blame for many questionable personnel decisions and the 19-61 record over the last five seasons.

I can't wait to hear what LaMont Jordan will have to say if/when he is released.

If what Rhodes says is accurate (I always found him to be honest and up front) Kiffin's locker room is ripe for one of those Raider player insurrections.

Davis isn't big on chemistry in the locker room, but Rhodes' comments indicate that needs to become a bigger priority.

"Hollywood types?" How can anyone on a team that's been a last-place team be "Hollywood?" As Kiffin would say, he needs more Kirk Morrisons, Nnamdi Asomughas and Justin Fargas -- good, young and level-headed players.

Rhodes' situation last season was confusing. The offense was bad and one of the main free agents brought in to fix it couldn't get on the field and at one point was reduced to returning kicks.

Good luck in finding a good situation, Dominic.

And I'm sure LaMont Jordan can't wait for June 1 so he can find his good situation.

That is, assuming, the Raiders let him ago by then to soften the hit on the salary cap.

After all, many of us thought Stuart Schweigert would be gone by now, too.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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