Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 18, 2008
Exit strategy?

Lane Kiffin has had no problem taking jabs at Al Davis publicly since training camp started.

He rips the roster Davis ultimately decides on and makes it known the weird things that make the Raiders the Raiders have nothing to do with him.

If this keeps up, you have to wonder if Davis would take Kiffin's words, assign "conduct detrimental to the team" to them and use it as a reason to fire (and not have to pay) the coach he wanted to force to resign.

Wide receivers coach James Lofton and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan interviewed for the head coaching job back in 2007 and could step in immediately. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has also been looked at by Davis as a potential head coach.

But for now, the Raiders have the candid Kiffin.

Kiffin is no dummy. He knows what he says has to irk a lot of people at team headquarters (even if what he's saying is true).

But the honesty is refreshing. Too many Raider coaches stuck with players who had no business in the NFL and said nothing. They played and even started those players.

Kiffin is in the same situation, except he's speaking his mind.

We'll have to wait and see if Davis responds in his own way.

****
Kiffin is concerned about the lack of depth on the Raiders' roster. So where might he be most worried?

Offensive line

The only position where the Raiders don't have to worry is center with Jake Grove and John Wade.

Everywhere else the Raiders would be in big trouble.

Wide receiver

The only proven possible No. 1 option is Javon Walker. But would you be comfortable entrusting the passing game to him yet?

Ronald Curry and Drew Carter haven't been full-time starters much of their careers.

The most consistent player is an Atlanta Falcons castoff (Todd Watkins), with the rest of the group a mix of young players who need to prove they can be trusted on the field.

Linebacker

Kirk Morrison and Thomas Howard are stars-in-the-making. Ricky Brown will start with them.

How the rest of the unit shapes up is anyone's guess.

Jon Alston and Robert Thomas figure to stick around, but that could easily change.

And I'm still not sure what Ed Hartwell did to be released.

Cornerback

Recent practices have shown how thin the Raiders are here. Nnamdi Asomugha, DeAngelo Hall and Stanford Routt are as good as any trio.

If one of them is injured ... uh oh.

Kick/punt return

Johnnie Lee Higgins, even if he took a step back in Tennessee, is the only viable option right now.

--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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