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MORNING BRIEFING

Raiders toe the line on head coaches

October 02, 2008|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

For a team that goes through coaches like Kleenex -- and basically goes nowhere on offense -- the Oakland Raiders seem to be stuck on a way of doing business that -- how should we say this? -- doesn't work.

The Raiders, who are breaking in their seventh coach in 10 years four games into this year, pole-axed Lane Kiffin even though they're improving by ranking 15th in total yards after being ranked 25th last year and last in the NFL the year before.

But what has remained the same is Al Davis' insistence about the type of coach who stands on the sideline.

Check it out: Joe Bugel, former offensive line coach; Jon Gruden, offensive strategist; Bill Callahan, former offensive line coach; Norv Turner, offensive strategist; Art Shell, former offensive line coach; Kiffin, offensive strategist; now Tom Cable, offensive line coach.

"You see the pattern here," wrote Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News.

Yeah, losing games.

Trivia time

What was John Madden's coaching position before becoming head coach of the Raiders in 1969?

Wild cards

Upper Deck, which makes trading cards, is getting vice presidential candidates Joseph Biden and Sarah Palin into the act, or on the cardboard.

Biden is shown as former Senators pitcher Walter Johnson. Palin is on the basepath in a dog sled, holding a fishing pole and wearing a tiara.

Homers

Yes, the Milwaukee Brewers play at 41,900-seat Miller Park, about 4,000 seats larger than Fenway Park, but given the fact they hadn't been in the playoffs in 26 years, it's remarkable to note that the Brewers out-drew the Red Sox this season (barely): 3,068,458 to 3,048,250.

Matt-matical

If Aaron Rodgers' shoulder injury keeps him out of the Green Bay Packers' home game against the Atlanta Falcons, the quarterback matchup will be rookie Matt Flynn against Falcons rookie Matt Ryan.

Wonder if Matt Cassel of the New England Patriots and Matt Leinart of the Arizona Cardinals know anything about this.

Trivia answer

Linebackers coach in 1967-68.

And finally

From Raiders' owner Davis, to team executive John Herrera, after Davis announced Kiffin's firing as head coach, according to the San Francisco Chronicle: "Did I call him a liar enough?"

--

thomas.bonk@latimes.com

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