He has been continually undermined by team owner Al Davis, who clearly has not been a supporter of Kiffin. Though other than signing his name to paychecks, his opinion isn't exactly valued in NFL circles.
Below is video of Davis, speaking about his decision to fire Kiffin.
Gross. I probably should've warned that the footage of the decrepit owner wasn't safe for work. A real class act, that Al Davis. He didn't even fire Kiffin in a face-to-face meeting; it was done via telephone. And now, a letter to Kiffin - from Davis - has surfaced, explaining the possibility of a firing with cause. Or, more specifically, without pay.
And I have that letter.
Well, ESPN.com had the letter, as do numerous other sites on the web, and I've copied and pasted it for you on this site. Note that it is the real, actual letter Kiffin received
Over the past months, you have made a number of public statements that were highly critical of, and designed to embarrass and discredit, this organization, its players and its coaches. I left you alone during training camp in hopes that you would cease your immature and destructive campaign.
However, you continue to make public statements that are critical of the organization, its players as whole as well as individual players. Such statements constitute conduct detrimental to the Raiders and I will no longer stand silently by while you continue to hurt this organization.
Further, your contract is quite clear that you work "subject to the direction and supervision of the General Partner" and that the General Partner has "the exclusive right to do all things, which in its sole discretion are necessary to maintain and improve the Club, the football organization and their activities."
I realized when I hired you that you were young and inexperienced and that there would be a learning process for you. Your mistakes on player personnel and coaches were overlooked based on our patience with you. But I never dreamt that you would be untruthful in statements to the press as well as on so many other issues. Your actions are those of a coach looking to makes (sic) excuses for not winning, rather than a coach focused on winning.
For example, with the exception of Gibril Wilson, you were involved in recruiting all free agents and determining salaries for them and you were explicit about your desire to sign Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall amongst others. All were a must to sign in your eyes, Hall, in particular, because he played for Greg Knapp in Atlanta and Knapp gave him high grades. Do not run from that now.
I do realize that you did not want us to draft JaMarcus Russell. He is a great player. Get over it and coach this team on the field, that is what you were hired to do. We can win with this team!
In regards to your recent fabrications about the defense, during the final cuts you made every cut on offense and every cut on defense except for (Fred) Wakefield on defense and (Seth) Wand on offense. Furthermore, during the game Monday night (defensive coordinator) Rob (Ryan) played your Cover-2 defense and we got killed on an approximately 50-yard touchdown pass and an approximately 70-yard gain that led to a field goal.
You meet every week with the defensive coaches to go over both the past game and to get a general feel for what will happen during the week in practice. You have the ability and authority to provide your input during those meetings and the preparation of the game plan. I do not have weekly meetings with Rob -- you do.
During the week no one has ever told you what to do on either offense or defense. In addition, no one has ever told you during a game what to do on either offense or defense and you call every play on offense. During a game if you want to blitz more, all you have to do is let Rob know what blitz you want and he will do it.
Although you continue to use the media to express your dissatisfaction with others, no one has publicly pointed out to you that in four preseason games and one regular-season game played this year, your offense has scored one first-half touchdown. That put tremendous pressure on the defense.
I know that you wanted to bring your father in to run the defense and that Monte told me that he wanted to come here even though he as (sic) under contract to Tampa. However I did not want to tamper with another team. In any event that was over seven months ago. Do not now also run from the defense and your responsibilities.
This letter constitutes notice that if you further violate any term of your contract, in any manner whatsoever, you will be terminated for cause. I trust that this will not occur.
Though Davis attempts to demonstrate that Kiffin is the sole reason for the Raiders troubles, all I see is the most naive owner in the history of sports. My personal favorite is Davis's blaming of Kiffin for poor player acquisitions, then saying he could win this team. Riiiiiiiight...
And how awkward does this letter make things for JaMarcus Russell in the Raiders locker room?
The following is video of Kiffin's reaction to the circus that was his firing.
Again, Lucky Lane. Wherever he surfaces next will surely be better than the situation Oakland.