Now begins the countdown to reveal the rumor of all Raiders' rumors as either fact or fiction.
John Czarnecki has apparently had enough of this "peaceful stuff" going on in Oakland.
About a month after ESPN caused commotion by reporting that 32-year-old head coach Lane Kiffin had been asked to resign from his position with the Oakland Raiders, the FOX Sports writer and Hall of Fame selector decided it was time to re-stir the pot.
"There is still a chance that Raiders owner Al Davis will fire head coach Lane Kiffin and replace him with James Lofton, who was fired as the receivers coach of the Chargers," Czarnecki stated in an article on Thursday, entitled "Talk isn't just about college stars at combine."
Lofton was hired as Oakland's receivers coach on February 6th after interviewing with Kiffin and the team's offensive coordinator, Greg Knapp, a week before.
Some reports, however, claimed that Davis personally hired Lofton without notifying Kiffin in another attempt to undermine the young coach's authority. Yet, if all Raider-related reports were spot-on this offseason, Kiffin would be the new coach of some NCAA team and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan would be wearing New York Jets apparel right now.
True or not, Czarnecki's report is nothing new. It's been said over a hundred times that Kiffin will be, may be, or still might be fired by the Raiders at some time. So, yes, there is "still a chance."
It is the second portion of his statement that is utterly novel.
Yes, he spelled "assistants" incorrectly, but that's beside the point.
The fact that this rumor is "no secret" is rather surprising, considering he's the first and only person to report it. You certainly have to dig deep to find a rumor that is truly fresh when it comes to the Raiders.
The statement presupposes that two years from now, Knapp and Rathman (the team's running backs coach) will leave the Raiders to join ex-Atlanta Falcons head coach Jim Mora with the Seahawks when he takes over for Mike Holmgren in 2009. That means approximately 557 days from now, both of the current Raiders assistants will be dressed in Seahawks gear for Week One of the '09 regular season.
Yes, Czarnecki is predicting that will be happening about 48 million seconds from now.
I'll follow up in about 45 weeks to let you know if this one actually comes through.
Anthony Carroll can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org