Looking Into the Oakland Raiders' Future
Much has been made over the last couple weeks about a certain Raiders' head coach and his job security. The gist of all the reports is that Lane Kiffin' has treaded on the fingers of more than a few front office employees with his blunt (although accurate) assessments of the team's roster, management, and the owner's daily involvement in gameplanning, to the point that Al Davis is ready to fire him at any moment.
So this begs the question: What would happen if Al Davis fires his latest head coach?
Some Raider fans are voicing their opinions on various Internet message boards and forums, and some of the media are even sharing in that sentiment. But more importantly, firing Kiffin will do two things that will have disastrous consequences for the Raiders
First, a new head coach means starting over...Again. If this happens, it would set back the team another two years (years that Al has no patience for, which would inevitably lead to another coaching change).
A new system would most likely be put in place, rendering all of the development of QB JaMarcus Russell useless and destroying any progress made under Kiffin.
It is apparent that Kiffin has changed he locker room and the overall attitude of the Raiders.
If this scenario were taking place in 2006, Warren Sapp and LaMont Jordan would be sugarcoating the whole situation, Andrew Walter would be bluntly stating the obvious, Randy Moss would be on the sidelines moping, and the rest of the players would have no leadership of any sorts, instead going about their agenda without caring about anything but their paychecks.
In 2008, the players came together, beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead (a place they seldom win), and vouched for their coach. That kind of progress is something only a competent head coach can achieve. But Al Davis seems desperate to get rid of that for the simple fact that Kiffin holds his ground against Al's meddling.
The second thing that would happen would be far more devastating to the Raiders organization: a fan and player revolt.
There is a Web site that Raiders fans have created in an effort to keep Lane Kiffin as head coach of the team, where they threaten to boycott the team should he be fired.
No head coach, free agent, or fan would take the Raiders seriously anymore. Any new head coach would know for sure that he is hired to be a puppet. Any free agent would scoff at signing with a team that is run like this one is. And no fan would follow a perennial loser that has no hope of improving.
The players would most likely revert back to the 2006 mentality without an authoritarian figure and leader like Kiffin. They would see another, puppet much like Norv Turner and Art Shell were.
If fans stopped attending games, finances might become an issue. And if it isn't already, "Just win, baby" would be a punch line.
So Al, for your own organization's good, swallow your pride, hide your ego, and keep the kid around a little longer. You just might get some wins out of it in the process.
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