His own coach
Raiders' Kiffin won't be pushed around by anyone
Posted: Tuesday March 27, 2007 3:21PM; Updated: Tuesday March 27, 2007 3:21PM
PHOENIX -- Very impressive performance by Lane Kiffin this morning at the AFC coaches breakfast here at the NFL meetings. (Each year the AFC coaches meet the press one day, the NFC coaches another. They sit at round tables, eat some fruit or eggs, chug coffee and update the world, usually carefully, about their teams.)
Kiffin, 31, might be the youngest coach in the modern era of the NFL, but sitting across from the Raiders' new leader 50 minutes this morning, I got the distinct impression he's not going to be a pushover for anyone. Not even for Al Davis. And certainly not for Randy Moss.
He tiptoed around a few Moss-related subjects this morning, like how hard he tried last season. He said he had a productive 15-minute conversation with Moss when he took the job, and said the conversation was not the way it was portrayed in some corners of the media -- a contentious talk with Moss saying he didn't want to be with Oakland. He said in a situation in which a player might not be giving his full effort, he'd want a coach to say to him, "Hey, this is what I expect of you,'' instead of yelling at him for loafing. And he thinks he can get Moss to play all-out. If, of course, Moss is Kiffin's problem at all this year.
"Do you think Randy Moss will be on the Raiders this year?'' I asked Kiffin.
"I think he'll be on our team ... '' he said. "As of right now, he's on our roster, and I'm looking forward to working with him.''
Kiffin already has had an impact on the Raiders. Instead of being willing to just inherit the coaching staff as is, Kiffin says 16 of the 21 Raider coaches are new. That's going to be vital to any chance he has. Kiffin will be very interesting to watch. I can't wait to go to Raider camp this summer and see whether the players buy into him.
Onto your e-mails.
DAVID CARR NEVER HAD A CHANCE. From Tom Surber of Avon, Ind.: "I read your comments about David Carr, where you listed his won-loss record, QB ratings and total offense rankings since he's been in the league. While they are all very poor, how good should they be with the pathetic talent he's been surrounded by in Houston? This isn't tennis, boxing or golf. Any QB must have some help and a decent defense to win games. When has Carr had either?''
The question, Tom, is not who should be most at fault here. The question is, how long do you go with a guy who doesn't show the instincts to play the position that his quarterback-savvy head coach thinks he needs? When the Texans hired Gary Kubiak, they were hiring a guy they trusted, obviously, to make decisions on the most important player on the field. And when Kubiak saw Carr making the same mistakes he'd seen him make on film and thought he wasn't going to get appreciably better, he had to make the tough call to jettison him and go with Matt Schaub. I respect that, because there's no reason to continue along that path if your gut feeling is the guy isn't going to make it?
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