Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 4, 2009
Al Davis unplugged

ALAMEDA - There's a lot to cover from today's press conference.

I'll post a lot more later since I hear the television networks didn't show the full press conference.

But I'll leave you with some tidbits from Raiders owner Al Davis for now from his chat with reporters after the television cameras stopped recording.

Davis remains one of the most fascinating people to speak with in sports and someone I enjoy listening to whenever he speaks.

On if Lane Kiffin was paid the money he sought in his grievance:

"F*** no."

When a reporter mentioned that Davis has a lot of input on what happens on the field:


Why didn't the Raiders use younger players earlier?

"Because (Kiffin) wouldn't do it. That's why he had to get fired."

Why didn't young players play immediately after Cable became the interim head coach?

"Tom tried to start breaking it in but there was resistance from certain assistants and they're not here. There was resistance and there's always resistance when you have a veteran who's there, who knows you, who's been with you. But yeah I wanted to go young, I really did."

Did going young make sense to you?

"I'm not worried now whether it made sense or not. The idea was to go young because we were young. We had good young players. Not everyone believes our players are good. Someone the other day said we gotta go get a receiver. Who was it who said we should have drafted Calvin Johnson instead of JaMarcus Russell. He didn't show up today but their record was 0-16 last year with Calvin Johnson. Then they said we should have drafted Larry Fitzgerald but the year we didn't draft Fitzgerald we drafted a guy who was considered the best offensive lineman in the draft and we had Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Jerry Porter, who everyone had thought had greatness in his future."

Davis on his health:

"What happened was in San Diego (in December) I went down. Now whether I was tripped or whether I fell, I went down, got up, start walking around and my right leg swelled up on me and to get the swelling out I couldn't go on the trip. But I'm fine now. I'm back again."

Do you wish you would have made a coaching change before the 2008 season?

"Naw. I tried to reason with the guy. I thought we could get something out of him and I wanted to push it through to see if I could push it through. I guess it was my stubborness too but he was bad. He was a liar, flat out, which I told you. I've never broken away from it. They know it. The players know it. He would lie to them about things and all he wanted to do was get out of here, get his money. If I had made the move at the start of the season I'm not sure I would have had cause."

On the Raiders' chances in 2009:

"I do like to win Super Bowls but I'm also realistic. I know where we are. We can win the division. We have to do a little bit more to win the division but winning Super Bowls, no, I don't think this team is ready yet. We may be a year away from putting another good group together. And of course No. 2 (JaMarcus Russell) that's a formidable thing. I really think (Paul) Hackett can handle him."

On Warren Sapp's criticism of the franchise:

"Well, you figure that one out. I gave Tommy Kelly $40 million and didn't give it to him."

On Rich Gannon's criticism:

"Rich played the greatest game in Super Bowl history in (2003). Just joking. Rich was very nice to us on TV in that last game when we beat Tampa wasn't he? He writes me notes he'd like to assist. More ex-Raiders who'd like to come back and work here than you can imagine."

There's more to come later. But here are some more notes from today.

*Russell might need ankle surgery. Davis said there are "chips" in his ankle that might need to be removed. Russell is already back in California.

*Derrick Burgess was also spotted at the facility. That's news because Burgess usually works out in Mississippi.

*Cable's coaching staff is complete with the exception of an offensive line coach. That's no big deal because Cable will help in that area.

Ted Tollner will be the passing game coordinator.

*Cable will continue to call plays on offense.

*Davis said he's not against sharing a stadium but would need to know more details such as how it would be paid for before sitting down with the 49ers. CEO Amy Trask oversees business ventures like that. Davis said he doesn't believe the Raiders are in discussions to extend their lease that expires in 2010.

--Jason Jones

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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.

Raiders stories on

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31