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Kiffin will talk with Goodell

October 02, 2008|Sam Farmer; | From Times staff and wire reports

Fired Raiders coach Lane Kiffin will be talking soon, but it won't be at a news conference.

Kiffin, who was fired by Raiders owner Al Davis on Tuesday, had planned to meet with reporters Wednesday. Instead, Gary Uberstine, Kiffin's agent, said his client would first talk to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Goodell may end up being the mediator between the Raiders and Kiffin because Davis made it clear when he announced the coach's firing that he didn't plan to pay Kiffin the remaining $3.5 million on his contract.

"When Lane initially thought it would be appropriate to address the fans and the situation it was before Mr. Davis gave his press conference," Uberstine said in a telephone interview. "In light of Mr. Davis' statements, we advised Coach Kiffin to cancel the intended press conference and instead refute the allegations specifically in a more appropriate venue, which would likely be, among other things, a grievance with Commissioner Goodell."

Davis seemed to anticipate Tuesday his decision to withhold pay would be challenged. Asked if his stance would hold up, he said, "I wouldn't do it unless I was going to prevail."

Kiffin did appear on ESPN in the aftermath of the Davis news conference, after the owner called him a "flat-out liar" guilty of "disgracing the organization."

The coach, who went 5-15 in little more than a season, said he and his wife watched a broadcast of the news conference and were hurt and saddened by what they heard from Davis.

"It's something that I wasn't proud of being associated with," Kiffin said. "I was kind of embarrassed for him, to be honest with you."

Kiffin added that Davis denied his request to have a final meeting with his players before he left the Raiders facility for the last time.

"I got to run into a couple of players [Tuesday] and told them, 'Guys, you're right there. We're so close to winning these games. Just keep pounding away and keep practicing hard and good things will start happening,' " Kiffin said. "It's close to turning. Very close to turning."

-- Sam Farmer

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The New Orleans Saints brought back Joey Harrington as their third quarterback.

Harrington, a former third overall draft choice by Detroit in 2002, first joined New Orleans on Sept. 19, shortly before a game at Denver, but was released last week when injuries left the Saints short at other positions.

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Arizona Cardinals standout wide receiver Anquan Boldin has a fractured sinus as a result of what he acknowledges was the worst hit he has received in his football career.

Goodell suspended New York Jets safety Eric Smith for one game and fined him $50,000 for the helmet-to-helmet hit on Boldin during the waning seconds of the Jets' victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.

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Despite a sprained right shoulder that limited him to a light workload in practice, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he'll do whatever it takes to start Sunday's game against Atlanta at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers sprained his shoulder in last Sunday's game at Tampa Bay, and was limited to handing off a few times in practice Wednesday. Rookie backup Matt Flynn will start if Rodgers can't.

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The Packers put defensive end Cullen Jenkins on injured reserve because of a chest injury, ending his season.

Jenkins was hurt in Sunday's game while attempting to sack Buccaneers quarterback Brian Griese.

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Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young practiced for the first time since spraining his left knee Sept. 7 and sparking concern after police were called to help search for him.

He was limited but took a few snaps with the scout team and the first-team offense.

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Receiver Chris Henry rejoined the Cincinnati Bengals in practice, his first workout since he served a four-game suspension for misconduct.

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