Going against what it seemed Raider Nation in the end wanted, Raiders owner Al Davis today pulled the plug on coach Lane Kiffin, ending what seemed like weeks of speculation about the coaches future. Kiffin was 5-15 in a season and a half with the Raiders, as the team showed a severe tendency to blow leads, as they had leads in 11 of those 15 losses.
The final blow likely came Sunday, as the Raiders were up big against the Chargers, only to again blow a double digit fourth quarter lead in a 28-18 loss in the Black Hole. Of course Davis being Davis, he is saying that the firing was “made for cause”, meaning they will likely try not to pay Kiffin for the remainder of his contract.
The coach, who was just 31 when Davis hired him, signed a two-year deal worth about $4 million with a team option for 2009 when he took over last year. There was word that Davis met with assistant coaches yesterday to see which one would take over for Kiffin. Up for consideration are WR coach James Lofton, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, and maybe even running backs coach Tom Rathman.
Kiffin will be back, as he’s young enough and just like when David fired Mike Shanahan years ago, you can bet that Kiffin will get another shot somewhere. Oakland has an NFL-worst 20-64 record since the start of the 2003 season, a stretch spanning the tenures of Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell and Kiffin.