Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, seemed to throw his team off a cliff following their Super Bowl loss to the Buccaneers in 2002. They not only suffered the following season, but never recovered. Davis, who has been criticized due to his team’s lack of success, has hit rock bottom. He fired his head coach, Lane Kiffin, when the team wasn’t in horrible shape. They were still an average team, but when Davis finally cut Kiffin loose, the team fell off the map faster than ever.
Following Jon Gruden’s departure to Tampa Bay, the Raiders decided to hire Bill Callahan as their new head coach. Callahan took the team all the way to the Super Bowl in his first season, 2002, when him and the Raiders had home-field advantage and easily ran away with the AFC conference title. However, Callahan didn’t get too much credit for getting his team to the Super Bowl because his success that season was really built off the team that Gruden built. Ironically, Gruden faced his former team in his first season at the helm in Tampa Bay.
This was the beginning of the decline of the Oakland Raiders organization. Fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, the Oakland Raiders hoped to continue their success. Instead, they went on to win four games that season, leading to the firing of Bill Callahan. The Raiders have had five head coaches since the beginning of the Callahan era, with none lasting more than two seasons. Callahan lasted two seasons, Norv Turner lasted two, Art Shell lasted one, Lane Kiffin was just fired after lasting one season and a few games into this season, and finally Tom Cable is the current interim head coach.
I don’t know what Al Davis is doing. He hires a coach and fires them a year or two later. These coaches are given horrible teams and are expected to turn the around. Al Davis should make some moves to help out his coaches instead of firing the head coach, who has no control over free-agent acquisitions or trades. It is not always the coach’s fault. Sometimes it is Davis’ fault for hiring them.
In a stunning, but not surprising with how Davis has acted in recent years, move, the Raiders fired head coach Lane Kiffin. Kiffin is in the process of filing a grievance against Davis, who he believes treated him unfairly time and time again.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Davis cut one of his best players. After signing DeAngelo Hall to a seven-year, $70 million contract this past off-season, Davis released him. How stupid can you be? You don’t hand a player a huge contract and tell him to get lost a few weeks later. That is unprofessional.
However, the good news here is that Hall is rumored to possibly head to New York to play for the Giants. Although I want him to play for the Giants and believe he would be a great acquisition, Giants’ General Manager Jerry Reese is just too cheap for free-agents. He does a great job with the draft and believes that is the way to build a team. It has been proved over the course of the past few years that Reese wants nothing to do with free-agency.