ALAMEDA — Raiders coach Lane Kiffin and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan walked off the field together Wednesday engaged in a private conversation.
It is unclear what was said. However, Ryan made it clear Thursday that he is tired of reading about cornerback DeAngelo Hall being torched by the Denver Broncos in Monday's night season-opening loss, hearing about how he and Kiffin don't get along and that he is inflexible in terms of his defensive philosophy.
"I'm man enough to stay up here and say, 'I didn't have a good game,' " Ryan said in an 18-minute diatribe. "That's kind of (expletive) obvious. "... I've seen a lot of things out there, written, and there are styles of play that are different. Our style of play is putting our players, which we have a strong belief in, (in position) to win one-on-one matchups. That's how we're best."
Ryan acknowledged that the Raiders weren't at their best in a 41-14 loss to the Broncos in which his defense yielded 441 yards and allowed Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler to complete 16 of 24 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns without being sacked.
The defensive shortcomings had far more to do with the play-calling of Broncos coach Mike Shanahan and Ryan's game plan than it did with Ryan's players' performance, Ryan said.
If fans want to boo, fine, he said. "I kind of got the message."
But don't think things would have been any different if the Raiders had blitzed more or that Raiders managing general partner Al Davis had a hand in the game plan.
"I put the game plan in," Ryan said. "I run the defense, and it's all on me. "... I don't meet with him on game plans. "... It's amazing when things like this come out when we have a bad week."
Part of that owes to Kiffin on Wednesday saying Ryan and Davis conspire on all things 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. So, that wasn't the way the game plan ended up the other night."
Ten times the Broncos reached third down. Five times the Broncos converted those plays into first downs. Not once did Cutler face any discernible pressure.
"Yeah, we had 10 third downs, and we didn't pressure him one time," Kiffin said. "So, it's something that we're looking at and it's something we'll look at versus Kansas City this week, and, hopefully, we'll do some more of it."
Ryan said some of his game plan for Sunday's game against the Chiefs emanates from a conversation he had with Kiffin.
"We've had good communication this week," Ryan said. "He talked about a (defensive) front that I'm actually running this week. We talked about (how) this could be a good front to run against Kansas City."
The lack of pressure Monday stemmed from the Broncos' formations, Ryan said. Their alignments weren't conducive to committing extra defenders with little hope of reaching Cutler.
Ryan and Davis espouse a philosophy that the defensive line should be able to generate adequate pressure, with the cornerbacks playing man-to-man coverage and the safeties and linebackers left to concentrate on run support and pass coverage.
"I'm going to blitz, but I'm going to blitz when it's smart to do it," Ryan said.
For the record, the Raiders blitzed only 74 times — on run and pass plays — in 16 games last season, tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the fewest.
"We just don't do that," Raiders free safety Michael Huff said.
Hall said it didn't take long for him to learn how things operate here.
"That's not the way this defense is," Hall said. "We're a four-man-pressure kind of defense."
And, more times than not, Ryan said, that's good enough to get the job done.
"Everything I do (out) here is educated," said Ryan, whose father, Buddy, was a longtime NFL defensive coach and whose twin brother, Rex, is the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator. "It may not look like it when you give up 41 points, all right, but it's the truth. I'm doing the best job I can, and I know it's good enough to win with. My legacy is going to be with this Ryan name, we've been in six Super Bowls, won five of them, five different teams. That's no accident."
Contact Steve Corkran at firstname.lastname@example.org.