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Lane Kiffin

In one of the most shocking announcements since Darth Vader told Luke Skywalker about his daddy, the Oakland Raiders have fired Lane Kiffin — according to sources gathered by Chris Mortensen, who looks like he actually beat Jay Glazer this time.

The details were about what you’d expect from Al Davis — Kiffin was told he was getting a phone call from Davis and would be fired, Kiffin isn’t allowed to speak to the players before he leaves, Davis was mad Kiffin showed interest in a college job and so on and so forth. What no one seems to be worried about, except the San Francisco Chronicle apparently, is the development of JaMarcus Russell.

The environment fostered by Davis isn’t exactly ideal for an up-and-coming quarterback who needs a stable franchise supporting him. Oakland is about the exact opposite:

The single biggest obstacle to the proper development of JaMarcus Russell is the current instability surrounding the Oakland Raiders. A player needs proper coaching to transition from the NCAA level to the NFL. As it stands, to describe the Raiders coaching situation as tenuous would be stretching it. It has the makings of a disaster that rivals the Hindenburg. The Raiders need to figure out what they are going to do, and allow this young team time to grow up together.

Now that Davis has taken care of his latest nemesis, perhaps he can give Russell the appropriate surroundings, complete with a coaching staff he trusts and smart, useful draft picks — and maybe I’ll be the overall top pick next season.

According to Mort, one of the following is expected to replace Kiffin: offensive line coach Tom Cable, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and Paul Hackett. There was no mention of James Lofton anywhere in the report.