Lane Kiffin
Lane Kiffin
ALAMEDA — USC offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin joined Trojans assistant coach/quarterbacks coach Steve Sarkisian at Raiders headquarters Thursday in a move that further portends Sarkisian being named the next Raiders coach.

Kiffin, 31, met with Raiders managing general partner Al Davis and other team officials, a person close to Kiffin said, about being Sarkisian's offensive coordinator.

This isn't something uncommon for Davis to do. Once he identifies a coach he likes, he takes things a step further by checking out the candidate's preference for assistant coaches.

It also offers further evidence that Sarkisian is Davis' choice to replace the fired Art Shell and that an offer is imminent.

The Raiders didn't issue any details about Kiffin's interview, per team policy. Sarkisian did not return several phone calls. Kiffin could not be reached for comment.

Kiffin has been a hot commodity since USC's convincing victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl. He interviewed for the University of Minnesota coaching vacancy and received a call from new Alabama coach Nick Saban about joining his staff.

Kiffin's father, Monte, is the longtime defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He arrived in Alameda on Thursday andfrom Sports 1

joined Sarkisian in a meeting with Davis. Sarkisian, 32, also met with Davis at length Wednesday.

Both are expected back in Southern California today, unless Davis offers them a job, to take part in the Trojans' big recruiting weekend.


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Kiffin also coordinates the Trojans' recruiting program.

Coincidentally, Sarkisian and Kiffin were in Alameda on a day when New York Jets coach Eric Mangini was named AFC Coach of the Year. Mangini turns 36 today. That isn't lost on Davis, who has said he wants to hire a young, innovative, offensive-minded coach.

Davis made runs at Mangini and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, 43, in recent years but was unsuccessful in luring them away from the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys, respectively.

San Diego Chargers wide receivers coach James Lofton reportedly is scheduled for a second interview with Davis, perhaps as soon as today. A person familiar with the process said he is unaware of Lofton being invited back.

Lofton met with Davis on Tuesday and sounded optimistic about his chances. He said at the time that he expected to meet with the Raiders later this week.

Lofton did not return a phone call.