Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 15, 2008
Kiffin addresses his situation

ALAMEDA -- Below is a portion of Lane Kiffin's press conference today. No one really wanted to talk about the last game, which is usually Monday's topic.

Most of the talk was about whether Kiffin would be fired soon, if he was worried about and his relationship with owner Al Davis.


Q: Have you met with Al Davis about your situation?
A: "Not that I know of. I have not spoken with him or I have not been told anything."

Q: Did part of you wake up this morning thinking you were going to be fired?
A: "Not necessarily. I'm worried about what I can control. I've said that now for over a year and a half since we've been here. There are certain things I can control, there's certain things I can't. This happens to be the next one. He has a decision to make. It does me no good to worry about it right now. I was extremely pleased the way that our coaching team and our staff focused. The best thing that can happen for us -- you guys have to do your job and ask the questions -- is the more that we can stay focused as a team, as a coaching staff, and go forward from here, the better we will be."

Q: Is it an issue in the building, among players and assistants?
A: I think you feel it a little bit anytime that there's so much media coverage about something and so many things, and you read something, and 'this comes from the building, and this comes from the building,' anytime that that happens, I think you have some issues. But like I said, that's what I was most proud of our guys, for hanging together and not letting them be a distraction. As long as I'm here, we're gonna have to continue to do that all the time. So this happens to be the next week, and we'll continue to do that.

Q: Do you feel like something is going on with Davis regarding your job?
A: Well, I don't know. I would think so. If every paper that opens up, that they're writing about it, that - whatever the term is that's used around here - a team spokesperson is saying that job security's an issue, or saying there's a press conference today or later today, there must be something. But like I said, I've not had contact, or no one's told me directly about it.

Q: Q: Have you met with Al Davis about your situation?
A: "Not that I know of. I have not spoken with him or I have not been told anything."

Q: Did part of you wake up this morning thinking you were going to be fired?
A: "Not necessarily. I'm worried about what I can control. I've said that now for over a year and a half since we've been here. There are certain things I can control, there's certain things I can't. This happens to be the next one. He has a decision to make. It does me no good to worry about it right now. I was extremely pleased the way that our coaching team and our staff focused. The best thing that can happen for us -- you guys have to do your job and ask the questions -- is the more that we can stay focused as a team, as a coaching staff, and go forward from here, the better we will be."

Q: Is it an issue in the building, among players and assistants?
A: I think you feel it a little bit anytime that there's so much media coverage about something and so many things, and you read something, and 'this comes from the building, and this comes from the building,' anytime that that happens, I think you have some issues. But like I said, that's what I was most proud of our guys, for hanging together and not letting them be a distraction. As long as I'm here, we're gonna have to continue to do that all the time. So this happens to be the next week, and we'll continue to do that.

Q:Want to have this settled by Wednesday, when players return for practice to prepare for Buffalo?
A: I haven't thought about it that way. It's not my call. You've got to go somewhere else to find that answer. We just finished up going over this game in all three phases, and now we're moving on to Buffalo until I know something different."

Q: Regret anything you've said?
A: I don't know that I'd use the word regret. I think you're always learning from different situations and handling them situations. I think, unless you're going to be stubborn and think you have all the answers. I think in any profession, you're going to look at yourself, you're going to evaluate it. The same way that you managed the game yesterday. What are the things we could have done better? Could we have played this guy better, could we have done different things to prepare for during the week? So I'm always in a competitive mindset of how I can get better and handle situations better with players, coaches, management, everything. So I'm always going to look at that.

Q: Do you have the full support of this coaching staff?
A: Yeah, I don't feel a distraction on this team. I don't feel within our coaching staff or within our team any issues. I think that last week was a hard week for our players and for our coaches because there were so many things being said because we played bad. You guys did your job. You attacked the way that we played, some of our players and some of our coaches, and you should because we didn't coach well in the opener. That's why it was good to have a short week. It was good, I said the next day I said one of the best things to happen in a blowout, it's different than when you lose a game because you miss a field goal at the end of the game or lose by a point and say, "Oh, well we had 'em, we would have beat them if it wasn't for that ref's call or we would have beaten them if we made that field goal.' And you overlook some things and there were a lot of glaring things in that opener to get beat the way we did that we had to come back and get to work on. And I thought our staff and our players did a great job. All three phases, the game plans were very successful in what we put in this week and the players performed and played better.

Q: Do you still have a "working relationship" with Davis. If so, di you speak on the team plane after Sunday's game?
A: No, I haven't. But that's not unusual. Don't make a big deal out of it. That's very normal. We don't sit next to each other on the plane. Al's not around as much as he used to be. He's around the office or he's at practice. He wasn't there all last week so I didn't see him. There's nothing new, that's not a result of anything that happened or any issues with him or I, that's just how the setup is.

Q: How bad to you want to remain Raiders coach?
A: I want to be here. I think we have a real good group of players, and there are so many things going in the right direction with a bunch of young guys. You look on offense when you watch the film, there's so many young guys playing that it would be exciting to see this thing grow the right way and be able to do it, and I've said it before, I think the neatest thing that can happen is when a place has been down for awhile and has not won many games, and you come in and you win and you're part of that process, as opposed to going somewhere that's won for a long time and you just happen to be the next group that comes in. We have a chance to do that, we have a bunch of new players that have come in, that would have a chance to be part of that story, and it starts with a quarterback being drafted to a franchise that's been down, now to add the running back to it. It would be a neat thing to be a part of, if we can do it right to get a turnaround done here.

Q: There's been talk of you being fired since the offseason and you dealing with it today. How much is it wearing on you?
A: It's not. It really doesn't. It's probably crazy, I really don't think about it very much, because what can I do about it, it's not my decision. I think it's a good lesson to our players. I even had coach with a different situation talk about it to me this morning. As long as you worry bout what you an control. I know I'm saying the same things over and over again. I talked about it to our team, quit going after the refs on every call, complaining to the refs every time. Hey, guess what? The next time you're not going to get a call if you keep doing that. You're wasting your energy. You're worrying about things you can't control. Well, that's on a smaller stage than this, but it's the same thing. I think you'll do all right, especially in this profession, if you don't let those things, especially as a head coach, don't let those things affect you. The last thing I'm going to do is let anything that's going on with the media or with the owner affect how I prepare this team every day and every week.

Q: Is this job different than you thought it would be?
A: I don't think you ever know everything no matter where you go. There's always going to be things different than you expect no matter where you go no matter how much you know about a place. So there's things different but I don't know if that's different if it would be anywhere else.

Q: Do you regret taking the job and has it been a good learning experience?
A: No, I don't have any regrets at all. I think it's been a great experience so far for me. And to deal with adversity that I've had to deal with and all the different changes on the roster and all the issue that you guys are continuing to talk about, I think it's great for me to have to deal with this at the age that I'm at. And with this team, to be able to hold the team together, if we can continue to play like we did last week and hold the team together, we can stay together in this thing. A pretty good story.

Q: Is it tough just to get ready to coach with all this stuff going on?
A: Everybody's got issues and problems, I don't care where they are. We just may have different ones than somewhere else. Really, after this 20 minutes that we're in here and you guys ask all these questions, I really don't deal with this after that very much.

****
*RB Darren McFadden (toe) could miss practice on Wednesday.

*RB Justin Fargas had an MRI on his injured groin today. Kiffin said results will be in by Wednesday's practice.

--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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