Ryan barks back

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan had some choice words for critics who hammered away at the Raiders following the 41-14 loss to Denver and in an obvious shot at head coach Lane Kiffin denied reports that he meets with owner Al Davis to go over the team's weekly gameplans.

A day after Kiffin distanced himself from the defense following the Raiders' 41-14 loss to Denver on Monday night, Ryan took to the podium following practice Thursday and proceeded to go on an 18-minute, obscenity-laced rant.

The theme of Ryan's rage: Blame him and no one else for Oakland's disappointing defensive performance.

"That's all on me," Ryan said. "I put the game plan in, I run the defense and it's all on me. I just want to set it straight because I've been here five years and I don't think people necessarily have the right story. I'm disappointed but I just wanted to tell my side of the story for once because there's so many other things that come out where I have to read it and take it and I just want the truth as I know the truth."

Ryan was adamant that he and Davis don't confer about the weekly gameplan, contrary to a quote from Kiffin on Wednesday that suggested the two men meet regularly. He also defended the team's decision not to blitz as much as critics and players might prefer.

Denver quarterback Jay Cutler passed for 299 yards and two touchdowns but wasn't sacked once nor was he ever pressured. The Raiders didn't register a single quarterback hurry nor did they knock down one pass.

"If I don't blitz then there's a reason for it," Ryan said. "If I do there's a reason for it. If we get beat for a damned touchdown during an all-out blitz, well then obviously I had a poor call. If I hit them for a safety or whatever, all right, it was a good call. But everything I do up here is educated. It may not look like it when you give up 41 points but it's the truth. I'm doing the best job I can and I know it's good enough to win with.

"Did last week look like the (bleeping) ‘85 Bears? No, you know we didn't (bleeping) look like the ‘85 Bears. But maybe it looked like the (bleeping) Patriots when we won the Super Bowl and went out there and laid an egg against Cincinnati at Cincinnati, who had a (bleeping) team and beat the (crud) out of us the first game. Maybe it looked like that."

Ryan worked himself into a mini-lather as he went along, saving his harshest criticism for the reports that he meets with Davis to work on the weekly gameplan.

"Not on a week-to-week basis, absolutely not," Ryan said. "When I deal with Al Davis it's in the offseason. And here's the thing: Al Davis knows football. I'll have four-hour conversations with him in the offseason about everything in this league. About offense, about players, about scheme, about everything. But during the week I don't have time to talk to my wife. That's the truth. I literally had one conversation with Mr. Davis last week and it was about Fred Wakefield."

On Wednesday Kiffin told reporters that he could not answer for the team's defense. "Rob and the owner are always in communication," Kiffin said. "For the most part I let Rob do his thing over there. He has a belief in certain things and he has a conversation with the owner about that."

Yet shortly after Ryan finished talking to reporters, a team spokesman went into the press room to tell reporters that Kiffin -- despite his insistence otherwise -- is consulted about the defense.

Whatever the case, it's clear the rift between Kiffin and Davis continues to grow while Ryan is willing to go along as the loyal company man. The worst part is that the situation between the three men is likely to get worse before the season ends.


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