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Monday, January 29, 2007

Rumor: Randy Moss Told-Off Coach Lane Kiffin - Oakland Tribune

The Oakland Tribune's Jerry McDonald's scored one, it seems. The ink isn't even dry on new head coach Lane Kiffin't contract, and already, rumors circulate that star Wide Receiver Randy Moss will not talk -- respectfully -- with Lane Kiffin.

The story making the rounds at the Senior Bowl is that Lane Kiffin's first attempt at establishing a rapport with Randy Moss didn't go too well.

Think Shell vs. Porter.

That confrontation, in the office of the head coach some 10 or 11 months ago, was the first crack in the foundation of the Shell regime.

Kiffin, by contrast, supposedly had trouble reaching Moss by phone. When he finally did, as the story goes, Moss told him in a pointed, profane terms he wasn't interested in talking.

It's been reported on a pair of ESPN radio interviews, and a source at the Senior Bowl confirms Kiffin vs. Moss was indeed a topic of discussion among coaches, scouts and personnel men in Mobile, Ala.

It's worth noting that no one has gone on the record with this story as of yet. Like the party game in which a story is whispered in the ear of one and passed down the line until it ends up being something completely different or exaggerated, maybe it's not as serious as it sounds.

But considering the way Moss acted last season, it certainly sounds possible.

The history of the Raiders new coach is that he addresses situations decisively, choosing a course of action then moving ahead, confident in his convictions. That he can sell an idea and is confident enough (some call it arrogant) to make it work.

I've spent the last few days researching and writing a profile on Kiffin, attempting to chart his path from a football savvy youth to, well, an NFL coaching youth. It will run in Monday's ANG Newspapers.

(That's at least part of my excuse for not filing blogs the past few days _ although it should be noted that with Kiffin hired, I won't be filing every day in this forum. Your own thoughts, however, are always welcome).

Family members, as well as friends and colleagues, have the utmost confidence Kiffin is up to handling even the most difficult veteran players.

David Watson, a USC assistant coach who went to high school with Kiffin, said his friend has dealt with all manner of personalities with the Trojans.

John Reaves, a former Florida quarterback who played nine years in the NFL and happens to be Kiffin's father-in-law, said Kiffin will have no problem taking a problem player "to the woodshed.''

Kiffin has two choices with Moss. He can either keep working to make nice, or tell Al Davis that the highest-salaried player on the team threatens to undermine his program before it starts.

If Moss indeed cursed Kiffin right off the bat, he may be doing the Raiders a favor. It's better for Moss to create an impossible situation and attempt to force at trade early than for him to show up, pretend to care, then turn off the spigot at his leisure.

It's possible that to have Moss insubordinate and uncooperative from Day 1 could be the first big break of the Kiffin regime becuase it could spur Davis to get rid of him.

The problem is Davis wants top dollar for top talent, and Moss has been so indifferent his value is at an all-time low.

If Kiffin didn't yet understand what it meant to be head coach of the Raiders at his press conference, he surely does now.

SF 49ers Rumored To Have Talked To Raiders About Joint Stadium - Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross

There's one flaw in this story: teams can't double up on G-3 money from the NFL for a stadium. The pool is limited.

49ers may be looking to team with Raiders on a joint stadium
Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross
Monday, January 29, 2007

Here's the latest twist to the Bay Area's topsy-turvy stadium politics: Word is the San Francisco 49ers have informally approached the Oakland Raiders about building a new home -- together.

The stadium, which would be shared by the two rivals, very well could be in Santa Clara, where the Niners are pursuing new digs next to Great America.

Niners executive Jed York, the son of team owners John and Denise York, said that while a joint stadium idea has merit, there has been no contact with the Raiders on the subject.

"I think it's a good idea, but we haven't gone down that road yet,'' he said. "First we need to work on Santa Clara, and make sure we can actually get a stadium down there.''

That's not what we are hearing from inside the Raiders organization, and from others in the know who have contacts with the Niners.

Those sources tell us John and Jed York approached the Raiders management in a casual setting in the latter half of the football season about the possibility of teaming up.

Raiders chief executive Amy Trask said only, "We are enthusiastically focused on the 2007 football season, and don't believe this is an appropriate time to discuss stadium opportunities. ...We are playing in a nice stadium, which our teams and fans enjoy.''

Wild as it may sound, the economics for a Forty-Raider stadium just could make sense for both teams.

For starters, the 49ers -- after nearly 10 years of trying -- still haven't found a stadium plan that pencils out financially given that football is only played about 10 times a year.

Hooking up with the Raiders for a stadium would instantly double the usage and could make financial sense.

Plus, the teams could get a big boost from the National Football League, which this past season agreed to kick in $300 million to the New York Giants and Jets to build a joint stadium at New Jersey's Meadowlands.

The thinking goes that if the Niners and Raiders could get a similar handout from the NFL -- and that's still a big if -- it would go a long way to helping them get over the stadium money hump.

As for the Raiders, their current 16-year-lease at the remodeled Oakland Coliseum is set to expire in four years -- or about the time the Niners hope to have a new stadium built.

The Raiders, despite upgraded football digs, are still unhappy about playing in Oakland -- but currently have few real prospects for moving out of the area again.

What's more, owner Al Davis -- who only recently was forced to spend a bundle to buy out the unhappy heirs of a silent partner -- doesn't have the cash to build a stadium on his own, sources say. And given his past battles with the NFL, he doesn't appear to have many friends in the league looking to do him any big favors.

"It really may be the one option for the Raiders that makes sense,'' says one NFL insider, who asked not to be named.

I remember Ken Kavanuagh & Roosevelt Brown

The last two years have seen Hard losses to the Giants Family in the way of long time employees of the organization. Mr. Brown Passed away awhile back. Mr. Kavanuagh left us last week. I remember when the Giants held Camp at FDU's Madison NJ campus, and before that at Pace University's main Westchester NY campus. Mr's Kavanuagh, Brown, Current scout J. Davis would set out lawn chairs on thesidelines and watch practices with an acute eye towards the talent they had found. They were always approachable to the fans and media types alike, spending time with fans and such. Kavanuagh was a Football Legend, spending 8 years as a Bears player before and after WW II, before Joining the Giants as an asst. Coach in 1955. From 1971 until he retirement in 1999(at Age 82!!!) he was a fixture in the scouting dept. for the Giants. I once heard him address a small group of fans at camp. "You will always attain your goals if you work hard" he told that group of kids.....Smart man.

Miami Herald's David Neal's Racial Brainwash - Think's It's OK To Hire Lane Kiffin, But Not Mike Tomlin

Here's an example of racial brainwashing, if not outright racism: the Miami Herald's David Neal and his take on Mike Tomlin versus Lane Kiffin. He think's that the Steelers should have hired Russ Grimm because he has more years in the league that Mike Tomlin, and thinks that Tomlin was a Rooney Rule hire. In otherwords, he was selected because he's black and not because he's a good coach who's right for the Steelers.

But this person who to me seems to have some real race issues, can't wrap his mind around the idea that the Oakland Raiders selection of Lane Kiffin -- who had just over a year as offensive coordinator at USC -- was not right and that the Raiders could have hired a young black NFL assistant like Tomlin. He seems to think that the Raiders hiring of Art Shell -- and is blind to their pattern of seeking out young white assistants for their head coaching positions.

How do I know this, because of our email exchange. Apparently, he's fixated on someone being Jewish, whereas I am not. Here's the thread:

Me to Him...

From: zenabraham@aol.com [mailto:zenabraham@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, January 26, 2007 4:56 AM
To: Neal, David
Subject: Mike Tomlin v. Lane Kiffin - Racism In Action


I read your column "All minorities not ready for NFL head coaching jobs" and wondered with what kind of glasses you were looking at the World around you.

You some how and without explaination overlooked the fact that the Oakland Raiders hired a 31-year old-assistant-to-an-assistant of a college program -- and who USC fans wanted fired -- to be a head coach in the NFL, who's white. But amazingly you write a column that dares to question Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin's credentials versus Russ Grimm, and suggest that Tomlin was selected because he's black.

Well, I've written that Kiffin was selected because he's white. See, what is evident in the World around you is that it's ok for someone like Lane Kiffin to be who he is: young, confident, and white and male, but when America's faced with the Black equivalent, they can't handle it. Blacks who don't fit the "black" stereotype are shunned much more often in sports front offices. Whites who are not qualified are picked because -- as Al Davis put it -- he (Lane) is confident.


Why in hell -- it can't be heaven -- did you ignore the Raiders hire of the under qualified Kiffin? This is a hire that comes as "Affirmative Action for Young White Guys" but hey, that's ok, I guess, huh?

Well, it's not OK.

Please have the intellectual courage to really see -- and write -- about problems like these, rather than what was a rather clumsy attempt to maintain the status-quo.

Racism is a terrible thing. It prevents the flow of capital to its most efficient points, and causes people to even think less well that they are capable of doing (This is a proven fact.) Please examine your values and change your thinking to advance society.


Zennie Abraham, Jr.

Him To Me

In a message dated 1/29/07 7:29:48 AM, DNeal@miamiherald.com writes:

Before you ring up the Raiders, let's take a look at that organization:

Headed by a Jewish kid from Brooklyn; hired the first Hispanic head coach (Tom Flores); hired the first black head coach of the modern era (Art Shell, in 1989); hired Shell again last year after he was out of coaching for several years; and are grooming Amy Trask to be the first woman to head an NFL organization.
So, forgive me if I think the Raiders shouldn't be questioned about diversity the way other organizations should be.

But I didn't think of Lane Kiffin because the column was about taking a look at the situations of Rivera and Tomlin and what those situations said about the willingness of organizations to give minority coaches a shot, something the Raiders did long ago. That's all the column was.
Two years ago, I questioned whether the NFL should have the "Rooney Rule" on the theory that if teams want to exclude excellent minority candidates from their hiring pools, let them -- those teams will be dealing with a smaller talent pool and will suffer the consequences, the same way any business in a highly competitive atmosphwere will if they limit their talent pool because of race, gender, religion, etc.

And the glasses I'm looking through are those of someone who has been black in this country for 39 years, married to someone who has been black and Jewish in this country for 48 years (when her parents were married, it was illegal in 36 states); and both who have had a foot in "black America" and in so-called "mainstream America" their whole lives.

Talk to me about racism in this country, pal. I don't have to march on the front lines of that battle. I've been living there.

David Neal
Miami Herald

Me to Him

But out here, where the Raiders are, the tune is different...I'll not soon back off on my position regarding Lane. Plus, tokenism does not make true diversity. You've never been to the Raiders headquarters; I have. Many times.

Plus, I don't see being Jewish as bringing the same baggage. That's a hard call. There are many people of Jewish extention in NFL front offices. Plus, my last name's Abraham....

Also, I'm black.

Finally, given what you wrote about your significant other, it's all the more diappointing that you took the stance you did. It's unreal, really. Why did you do that?


Zennie Abraham, Jr.

Him to Me

Gee, guess I'm not allowed to have an honest opinion that Tomlin's resume wasn't exactly the strongest for being THE hot head coaching candidate among coaches whose teams aren't still playing. And if I'm Pittsburgh, unless there's a huge discrepancy in interviews or something seen over the years from Grimm being in the organization, I'm definitely taking Russ Grimm over Tomlin. Tomlin might be the next Don Shula or Tom Landry. But on the black and white of coaching credentials, Tomlin didn't have as many.

(Another NFL reporter I was talking with minutes ago agreed wholeheartedly, but said, "That's a projection hire. Tomlin's going to be a star.")

And my wife, not always a fan of my writing, certainly understood my point -- when a Hispanic guy would be the hottest head coaching candidate if his team weren't still going and a brother who has one year as a DC for a defense that was overall good but not great gets the job over the entrenched white guy, that speaks well for opportunity knocking.

The Tomlin situation reminded me in a roundabout way of a review of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" in which the reviewer said what's the big deal? Sidney Potier's character was such a good-hearted renaissance superman, Spencer Tracy would've had to have been the grand wizard of the local KKK to reject him as a son-in-law. The reviewer said Tracy's final speech and the movie would've said more had Potier's character been far from perfect. (Speaking well of Potier's ability as an actor, it's fun to imagine "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" but with Potier's character having almost-concealed anger and contempt of Potier's Virgil Tibbs in "In The Heat of the Night").

If you want to call the head coaching hires of Flores and Shell "tokenism" by the Raiders, after both had been players and assistants in the organization for years, OK. Seems rather a rather convenient opinion, however.

I think you meant "Jewish extraction." What's "Jewish extension?" A Long Island blond with a Hasidic curl weave?

Miami Herald


" A Long Island blond with a Hasidic curl weave?" Dd I read that correctly. This is a guy with some massive issues who writes for a large newspaper in a major city, Miami.


Note the text he writes, totally peppered with racial references that make my skin crawl. And this part really pissed me off:

And my wife, not always a fan of my writing, certainly understood my point -- when a Hispanic guy would be the hottest head coaching candidate if his team weren't still going and a brother who has one year as a DC for a defense that was overall good but not great gets the job over the entrenched white guy, that speaks well for opportunity knocking.

The Tomlin situation reminded me in a roundabout way of a review of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" in which the reviewer said what's the big deal? Sidney Potier's character was such a good-hearted renaissance superman, Spencer Tracy would've had to have been the grand wizard of the local KKK to reject him as a son-in-law. The reviewer said Tracy's final speech and the movie would've said more had Potier's character been far from perfect. (Speaking well of Potier's ability as an actor, it's fun to imagine "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" but with Potier's character having almost-concealed anger and contempt of Potier's Virgil Tibbs in "In The Heat of the Night").

See, David Neal's writing that Ron Rivera, the Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator, wasn't a hot head coaching prospect until the Bears hit the Super Bowl. WHAT A RIDICULOUS TRAIN OF THOUGHT. Rivera was hot last year, but David Neal's not paying attention to that, I guess. All the better for him to cry about blacks and Latino's getting a chance to be head coach.

Plus, he didn't tell his wife about Lane Kiffin. I'd love to see her reaction after she's informed about his selection as the Raiders coach!

See, in David Neal's world, it's jus fine to be a very young and green head coaching selection -- as long as you're white like Lane Kiffin. But Blacks like Mike Tomlin need not apply.

This is an example of the racist media in action. Makes me sick to my stomach.

NY Giants Hire a QB Coach for Eli Manning

My comment at the end of this short piece.....

Giants hire Palmer as QB coach
Newsday Staff Writer

January 29, 2007

The Giants have hired Chris Palmer as their quarterbacks coach. Palmer, 56, has a long NFL coaching resume, having spent last season as the Cowboys' quarterbacks coach after five seasons as the Texans' offensive coordinator.

Most attractive to Tom Coughlin were the two seasons (1997 and '98) Palmer was the Jaguars' offensive coordinator under Coughlin. Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell went to the Pro Bowl both seasons.

Palmer was the Browns' head coach for two seasons, compiling a 5-27 record from 1999-2000.

Ok,..so you know you need a new QB coach for Eli Manning, since you made his former QB coach The Offensive coordinator.
So you go get another ex-head coach and coordinator to be the Kid's QB coach. Chris Palmer has a long resume, true. he's had some success, true. Buit we have to go back to 1999 when he worked in Jacksonville under Coughlin as the Offensive coordinator to see that success(Mark Brunell voted to two strait Pro Bowls) Seems to me Coach Nails is Loading up on ex-head coaches as assistants.....

David Shaw - Why Didn't The Oakland Raiders Look At A Young Black Offensive Mind?

No matter how it's turned, Lane Kiffin, the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders, comes off reading like a college offensive coordinator and not a head coach. His youth is a constant focus, but far less so is how the Raiders have ignored the idea of looking for young black coaching minds.

The Oakland Raiders have NEVER reached out to a young black offensive mind and they're out there. I'm sick to my stomach of this stupid idea that it's OK for young white men to be smart and agressive, but black men in this category are considered a threat.

People point to Lane's father Monte as a good start for him, like Jerry McDonald of The Oakland Tribune.

BUT Hell! Willie Shaw, an African American who was once the defensive coordinaor for the Raiders, has a son David who was quality control coach for several years for the team and is still coaching -- offensive coordinator at Stanford.

HA. Why not hire him? He's probably chomping at the bit about this, don't you think????

Look at his background!

Shaw was a four-year letter winner (1991-1994) at Stanford as a receiver. He was a member of Stanford's 1991 Aloha Bowl team, coached by Dennis Green, and the Cardinal's 1992 Blockbuster Bowl team coached by Bill Walsh. Shaw, whose father, Willie, was an assistant coach at Stanford from 1974-76 and again from 1989-91, caught 57 passes in his Cardinal career for 664 yards and five touchdowns. Shaw spent nine seasons in the NFL before joining Harbaugh as his passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach in 2006. Shaw coached with the Eagles in 1997, Raiders from '98-'01 and the Ravens from '02-'05.

When I bring this up, Raiders fans point to Art Shell, who's become the token hire that makes it OK for the Raiders to continue a pattern -- Davis himself, Madden, Gruden, Kiffin, -- that has an obvious young white male bias.

Sorry, but to me this is a perfect example of what's wrong in our society and how much we do need to change. A study was conducted by labor economist Dr. Janice Madden.

Dr. Madden determined that:

· the black coaches averaged 1.1 more wins per season than the white coaches

· the black coaches led their teams to the playoffs 67% of the time versus 39% of the time for the white coaches

· in their first season, black coaches averaged 2.7 more wins than the white coaches in their first season

· in their final season, terminated black coaches win an average of 1.3 more games than terminated white coaches

· the black coaches inherited teams with an average of 7.4 wins per season and, during their tenures, increased the average wins for their teams to 9.1 per season.

Statistical analysis thus demonstrates that by virtually every objective criteria, black head coaches in the NFL have outperformed their white counterparts. So with this, you'd think that teams like the Raiders would break their pattern of bias, but it's not happened.

Some say that the Oakland Raiders didn't think in terms of color -- but my argument is that they did and its evident in their hiring and interview patterns -- they're hard-wired such that they have an image they want to follow and that's one of a white coach. That's not good. Not at all.

Remember that Art Shell was not the Raiders first coaching choice last year. They went after Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino and didn't get him. They also talked to other coaches who fit the "Gruden" bill in other words young and white -- then settled on Shell as a Raider Legend coming home again. But he was also the only black candidate. It's like the Raiders seem to not want to think of a Black coaching candidate unless he's a Raider legend, but it's OK for whites not to be.

I do wish that they, and other teams in sports, would put an end to this habit. It really does show the World that racism -- institutional racism -- still exists. It is also an example of why a diverse society must be achieved, so that we all know each other as individuals; thus when a position like head coach of the Oakland Raiders opens up, many qualified candidates of all colors are evaluated and the person's picked from that process.

That's the way it should be.

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