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Kiffin Turning Heads

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For as much as we have railed against Lane Kiffin while he was USC it is apparent that he learned a valuable tool while coaching under Pete Carroll...Intensity.

It seems that some of the Raiders that Kiffin is now coaching are having a hard time dealing with Kiffin's new approach and intensity.

The Raiders are fond of preaching their commitment to excellence. Apparently, some players feel as if new coach Lane Kiffin is a tad too committed.

That much became apparent Friday, when Kiffin said the NFL had stripped the Raiders of the final week of their organized team activities for violating terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

"I was notified that the (NFL) Players (Association) believes our total commitment to improving our football team has resulted in some violations of rules regarding practice standards," Kiffin said in a statement released by the club. "The union has complained about the high level of intensity, player aggressiveness and fast pace of our practices and as a result, has taken away the final week of our offseason program."

I think its safe to say that the reason that the Raiders have been at the bottom of the standings has a lot to do with that attitude of just getting by. While I'm still not happy with Kiffin's less than imaginative play calling, particularly against ucla, I will admit that it is nice to see that he brought some of that Trojan energy that has made Pete Carroll such a legend of late.

Even Pete Carroll likes what he sees.

Kiffin's practices have been more up-tempo and spirited than those of his recent predecessors, but only a fraction of them were open to the media.

USC coach Pete Carroll told Times columnist Cam Inman last week that the Raiders practice he watched nine days ago stood out.

"The energy at practice is different from most NFL teams," said Carroll, who coached in the NFL for 16 years and had Kiffin as an assistant coach before Kiffin was hired by the Raiders in January. "It separates them already. Turn on the NFL Network and see the (offseason workouts) from around the country."

Several Raiders declined comment when reached Friday. In recent weeks, numerous players praised Kiffin's approach.

I'm happy for Kiffin, good for him! This shows that Pete Carroll has a strong impact on his coaches once they have moved on and that there's a method to the genious that is Pete Carroll. I hope that Kiffin takes what he learned at SC and uses it to make the Raiders winners again.

FIGHT ON!