Even though Lane Kiffin remained head coach of the Oakland Raiders long enough to meet with the Bay Area media Monday, the process of replacing him has begun.
According to a source, Raiders owner Al Davis scheduled one-hour meetings Monday evening with three members of the coaching staff -- offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, offensive line coach Tom Cable and longtime NFL offensive coordinator and current Raiders consultant Paul Hackett. The meetings, according to the source, were to discuss the possibility of replacing Kiffin, who has yet to be informed of any potential change.
Kiffin declined comment Monday evening when contacted. During his Monday news conference, he told the local press he was no longer going to discuss any of his conversations or meetings with Davis. It is believed Davis has not talked to him about a possible change.
"I just feel we're going to open up too many things, and those are conversations that I do or do not have with him that should stay between him and I," Kiffin said in his news conference.
The Raiders, off to a 1-3 start, have had leads of 12, 13 and 9 points over the past three games, but have won only one of those games. The Raiders are in a bye week, which is a natural time for a potential coaching change. In 1989, Davis fired Mike Shanahan during a bye week after a 1-3 start and Art Shell finished what turned out to be an 8-8 season.
"At times we're playing as well as anybody in the league. I know that sounds strange for you guys to hear, but look at the numbers," Kiffin said in his news conference. "Look at the way we're playing in the first three quarters of the last three weeks in a row; we're playing good enough to be on a three-game winning streak. All that being said, we're 1-3."
The 33-year-old Kiffin is in only his second season as head coach of the Raiders. His record is 5-15, but the team improved its offensive scoring by a touchdown last season, going from a little more than 10 points a game to 17. The Raiders have been using a run-oriented offense for first-year starter JaMarcus Russell, and so far he has thrown only one interception in four games, that interception coming off a deflected pass.
Davis has told Bay Area reporters he may speak to them at some point this week. Once he settles on a possible replacement, Davis could then inform Kiffin and make a change during the bye week.
John Clayton, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame writers' wing, is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.