Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

May 1, 2008
Kiffin speaks

Since I don’t have SIRIUS NFL Radio, I rely on transcripts to be emailed to me, like the following from Raiders coach Lane Kiffin’s appearance on "Movin' The Chains" with Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan yesterday.

The following are excerpts from the interview.

On Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell:

Lane Kiffin: "[His off-season] has been great. He's working extremely hard. He's here from about 7:30 in the morning until about 2:00 in the afternoon. He starts with football stuff in the classroom and then he goes into the weight room, lifts with the first group, and then goes out on the field and runs with them and then stays out and throws and goes through all the quarterback stuff on the field after that."

On the team's selection of RB Darren McFadden in last weekend's NFL Draft:

Host, Pat Kirwan: "All kind of speculation that you were going to take [Glenn] Dorsey and you were going to do this that and the other thing. When it is all said and done was this the favorite all along for the boss and everybody else over there?"

Kiffin: "Yeah, we weren't doing anything. The only thing we were doing was if Darren was gone we had a couple things pretty much in place to go back, to move down and pick up more picks because we didn't have very many picks. But if Darren was there we were going with Darren. He's a fabulous player and really gives us an added dimension to our offense and so we've got to look at a number of different ways to use him."

Host, Tim Ryan: "Talk about some of those dimensions. Historically, I think the fans immediately start thinking of LenDale White and Reggie Bush from the USC days. Any of that type of stuff, pony backfield or whatever it is? Talk about what some of those possible roles may be for Darren McFadden."

Kiffin: "There are a lot of things to looks at. One would be him back there with another one of our tailbacks. Another would be him outside the formation as a receiver. We did some of that with Reggie. But the thing we don't want to do, and we kind of made that mistake with Reggie - and I think that Sean [Payton] would probably tell you they maybe did their first year with him, too - is with a guy like this there are so many things you get excited about but you don't want to take away from what he's there to do and that is to run the football and be back there in the I-formation. So we'll look at a number of things but we do not want to hinder his progress as a true running back."

On new WRs Drew Carter and Javon Walker:

Kiffin: "Drew Carter is just a fabulous worker in the way he goes about it and the way he's in there watching tape and working. So we're real excited about him. Gives us a big target, a 6'4" guy. And then Javon is so explosive. We think that he's going to be the best he's been in years as far as health-wise and I know he's excited about this upcoming season and to prove a lot of people wrong in his mind. So we think we've got him in a pretty good place right now."

On 4th round draft pick Tyvon Branch:

Kiffin: "He's going to be a safety for us and we hope he's going to be a fabulous special teams player. He's got all the tools to do that and he's done that as he was younger and then also a kick returner, too. So we may look to put him back there as well so there are a lot of roles he can help us with."

On the defensive line:

Tim Ryan: "Not taking Dorsey, how do you feel about your defensive line? Terdell Sands, Gerard Warren, how comfortable are you, Lane, and I guess you must be, that those guys are going to show up and be real consistent for you on the inside?"

Kiffin: "Yeah, they're both here working out now. We're going to need them to step up and play really well and play consistent along with Tommy Kelly. Those are three guys that have done some really good things at times for us. Now we need them to play more consistent and hopefully they can be dominant for us inside."

On the running backs corps:

Pat Kirwan: "Most team would keep three running backs, barring injury. Some might keep a fourth but most don't. Michael Bush must be really ready to go in every way for you to cut Dominic Rhodes."

Kiffin: "Yeah, he really is. And it was a timing issue that helped Dominic as well. We really wanted to make sure that we did the right thing with Dominic. He didn't get much chance to play last year. When he did, we started him two games, both games he went over a hundred yards and played really well for us. The way I look at it, to keep Dominic around just as an insurance policy really wasn't fair to him after the way he played for us and also what he had done with his contract this off-season."

Tim Ryan: "Do you feel like, as the head coach of that football team, in that building, in that organization up there in Alameda, do you guys all feel like you're all on the same page, headed for the same thing?"

Kiffin: "Yeah, we're headed for the same thing. We're trying to win. Everybody here wants to win and so we're doing our best to get that done."

Pat Kirwan: "What's the number one thing you feel like, going into your second year, you learned from your first-year experience?"

Kiffin: "Well, I think that you want everything to be so perfect right away, your off-season workouts and everything and a guy being in shape, a guy coming in a little bit out of shape. And as much as that doesn't mean you still don't stay on everything and look at everything, these guys, their bodies are a little different than college. They know their bodies well. Last year I got discouraged at this time of year when off-season program started because a lot of guys hadn't done anything from the last game of the year. Well, in college that doesn't happen. They're working out the next week. As opposed to getting down on it right away and worrying about your team and your players and stuff you give them more time to get back into shape before you completely evaluate them."

--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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