Lane Kiffin was never the right fit for the Oakland Raiders, and you know that by simply looking at him. Smartly coiffed, well dressed, soft spoken; he should be employed by the Colts, or perhaps Homeland Security. Now Rob Ryan, there's a Raiders coach. The defensive coordinator is the very definition of disheveled, which meshes more comfortably with the Madden-Stabler-Alzado tradition of the franchise. Disheveled is also a good description of the team to this point, as evidenced on Thursday when Ryan spoke out, blasting critics who say that he and Kiffin don't get along. At the at the same time, he took the blame for Oakland's craptastic defensive showing in a 41-14 loss to the Broncos on Sunday. The Oakland Raiders: One gigantic unmade bed since 2002.
"That's all on me. I put the game plan in, I run the defense, and it's all on me," Ryan said Thursday. "I just want to set it straight because I've been here five years and I don't think people necessarily have the right story." Ryan bristled at suggestions he meets with Davis — the team's 79-year-old owner — on a weekly basis to go over the Raiders' defensive game plans. "I meet with Mr. Davis in the offseason," Ryan said. "That thing is just (wrong), and I want to make sure you got it right. I meet with the owner in the offseason. He's the boss, he's the man that hired me, and that's been well-documented. I don't meet with him on game plans or come up with all this. It's amazing when things like this come out when we have a bad week. Put it on me, that's where it belongs. I'm the man that runs the defense."
On Wednesday, Kiffin had said this:
"Rob and the owner (Davis) are always in communication. For the most part, I let Rob do his thing over there. He has a belief in certain things and he has a conversation with the owner about that. So, that wasn't the way the game plan ended up the other night."
This is one entertaining zoo, all right. The Raiders play the Chiefs on Sunday in a game that Oakland actually has a chance to win. If they don't, the fireworks should be fantastic. We might even see fisticuffs on the sidelines ... don't forget that Ryan is the son of Buddy Ryan, who was never above such things. Who would have thought that watching the Raiders this season would be so much fun? Coach Against Coach Makes For Just Another Day In Raiderland [San Francisco Chronicle] Raiders' D-Coordinator: Blame Me, Not Al Davis [USA Today]