Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rob Ryan and Lane Kiffin are out of synch

It's hard not to like Rob Ryan. As frustrating as the Raiders defense has been at times throughout his stay as Defensive Coordinator, the guy projects well. He looks and acts the part of Raiders coach. There's something about his presence that makes me want to place my faith in him.

Those qualities are overshadowed now. The larger issue is he is showing why he isn't head coaching material by ranting to the media. Maybe this type of approach explains why Rob Ryan was not promoted to Raiders head coach.

He interviewed for the job at least once but maybe twice for the job in the past and for whatever reasons Al decided not to give it to him. To most team decision-makers if you have head coaching aspirations you can't risk a guy making undisciplined statements to the media.

If Al had this notion in mind though, he had no way of knowing Kiff would end up the way he has. Lane still hasn't even tried using coachspeak to not be so accurate in statements to the press. By doing so he apparently made Rob Ryan upset who in turn tells us to "put it on me."

Ok then, the main questions about the defense have not been answered. Mainly, why you are transparent in your tactics and formations. Other teams have the book on your defense because there is no variation from year to year- or at least none detectable enough to fool anyone.

Sure, we agree, it's just one catastrophic game to be 0-1 on the season. It is hard to just flat out admit "I was schooled" so we'll give credit/sympathy where it is due. We have no choice but to move past the Monday Night game even though the topic will remain unanswered for eternity. Just like so many other Oakland Raider issues, comings and goings. Or maybe things stay just as bad and then we really have some problems.

As far as acquiring coachspeak the Raider way, learn from the downfall of Bill Callahan. Bill did ok until he went off the deep end a little bit with his dumbest team in America comment. He let the pressure get to him and he cracked. You have to have a thick skin in that line of work.

A lot of people are down on Jon Gruden. I think he's one of the best head coaches in the NFL based on his incredible commitment to the game and the fact that he is wired to go on hardly any sleep so he is hours ahead of everyone all day. Even with no sleep, you would have to admit Gruden's coachspeak is pretty good. Give him the players and the full authority as far as staff and complete game planning he will be successful. I have no doubt if he was given that latitude he would have won Super Bowls with the Raiders.

Anyway, for future coaching gigs around the NFL, Kiff and Ryan have done themselves a disservice thus far in their working relationship as "head coach" and defensive coordinator. It must be hard for Kiff to stand there with his hands in his pockets. I bet he did not envision his role as head coach would be to"oversee" everything as he stated today.

You have to show some awareness of your situation and maturity to the media. You don't have to be guarded and salty but your mission really should be not to stir up controversy on your own team. Notice, it's not the players rocking the boat. The last thing you want to see are your coaches getting on each other which is what is happening right now. It's hard dealing with the media but you need it as part of the coaching skill set. Otherwise, you don't look real good to the fans.

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