Just a week ago, Oakland Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin was declared by many in the media to be all but finished with the silver and black. Here's 15 reasons why letting go of Kiffin and replacing him with anyone is a bad idea.
Kiffin was sent a letter of resignation from team owner Al Davis. If he signed, it was reported that the 32-year-old would be replaced by former Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green.
Here's 15 reasons why letting go of Kiffin and replacing him with anyone is a bad idea.
15. In 2006, Oakland's offense finished dead last in the NFL in total yardage with 246.2 yards per game. With Kiffin calling the plays in '07, the unit ranked seven spots higher, at 294.8 yards per game.
14. The team scored, on average, one touchdown more last season than it did two years ago. To be exact, 7.2 more points per game.
13. Oakland's turnover differential in 2006: a horrible minus-23. Oakland's turnover differential in 2007: minus-11. Not very solid, but two-times better.
12. Minutes with the ball (per game) under Art Shell: 28 minutes, 13 seconds. Under Kiffin: 31:27.
11. Raiders quarterbacks were sacked a league-worst 4.5 times each game the season before Kiffin came to Oakland. After he joined the team, that average dropped to 2.5 sacks per game.
10. Oakland gained a half-yard more each play last season than it did in 2006, improving to 4.7 yards, up from 4.2.
9. The $61 million man, quarterback JaMarcus Russell, spent all last season observing and being a part of Kiffin's offense. He doesn't need to repeat the process with a different head coach in 2008.
8. In all of 2006, the team's offense reached the end zone just 12 times. Last season, the 'O' more than doubled that, crossing the goal-line 28 times.
7. Passing production went up by a modest 13.2 yards per game, but interceptions also dropped by four and passing touchdowns rose by 10. The team's average quarterback rating rose from 56.2 to 70.9.
6. Rushing production didn't see a modest improvement, but a major one. Yards per game on the ground went up by 35.5, while TDs saw an increase of six.
5. 20-plus-yard passes in 2006: 28. 20-plus-yard runs in 2007: 31. Better.
4. 20-plus-yard runs in 2006: four. 20-plus-yard runs in 2007: 13. Way better.
3. In what should be the primary method for picking up short first downs, the Raiders rushed past the markers just 73 times in '06. In '07, they did so 111 times.
2. Kiffin was the first coach of four to ignore the big names and high contracts, and instead recognize and utilize the talents of soon-to-be sixth-year running back Justin Fargas. Fargas gained 1,009 yards in 14 games last year (72.1 yards per game). Prior to that, he had 1,016 yards in 52 games (19.5 yards per contest).
1. Six head coaches in eight years is a sure recipe for six consecutive losing seasons.
Anthony Carroll can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org