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Kiffin Breaks Silence

Ending months of silence with the media, Raiders coach Lane Kiffin, right, addressed his relationship with Oakland managing general partner Al Davis and other team issues April 1 at the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach, Fla.

The Raiders went 4-12 in the 2007 season, Kiffin’s first as Oakland coach. In late January, team officials denied published reports that Davis asked Kiffin to resign following the season.

Kiffin, 32, described his relationship with Davis, 78, as “very unique.”

“You have an owner who is hands on. An owner who prides himself on his knowledge of football, especially on defense,” Kiffin told reporters. “He has done a lot in this league — coach, commissioner, owner.

“Look, coaching the Raiders is not the easiest job. There have been people who have even left because Al is very demanding. He has opinions on things.

“Are we going to see eye to eye on everything? No, I don’t think anybody is, especially when you have two people who haven’t worked together very long and have an age difference.

“But in the end, we come out together and do the best we can to put ourselves in the best position.”

Kiffin denied reports that he wanted to dismiss defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after the season before the team (i.e. Davis) decided to retain him.

“It was an in-house decision to keep Rob,” Kiffin said. “Rob and I get along really well. We’ve never had an issue. I think Rob’s defense performed at a high level before I got here, and obviously last year, we did not meet those high expectations.”

Kiffin told reporters that he was “very involved” in Oakland’s offseason moves, including trading for cornerback DeAngelo Hall and signing safety Gibril Wilson, center John Wade and wide receivers Javon Walker and Drew Carter.

“As a staff, we target players we think would fill a need,” Kiffin said. “We give our evaluation of the player and how he would fit in our system. And in the end, Al decides how much to pay them. I don’t think anyone could’ve anticipated the amount of money we spent. I’m just excited about the players we got.”

Updated: 4-1-2008


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