With the draft over and most of the free agents signed, it's time someone took a look at the Oakland Raiders' new coaching staff.
Last year, the Raiders fired head coach Lane Kiffin after just four games. The replacement was offensive line coach Tom Cable.
Cable did a stellar job during his stint as the team's offensive line coach, introducing a zone blocking scheme and helping the team to become the league's sixth-best rushing attack in 2007, followed by the 10th-best in 2008.
Cable was made the team's official head coach on Feb. 3. With a head coach in place, it was time to start building a new coaching staff.
To replace former offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, the Raiders decided to just make Ted Tollner the team's passing game coordinator.
Tollner has 46 years of coaching experience at the high school, college, and professional level. His most notable experiences were tutoring Jim McMahon at BYU in 1981 and being the head coach of USC from 1983-86, leading the team to a 26-20-1 record and a Rose Bowl victory, along with a Pac-10 title.
The Raiders made Paul Hackett their new quarterbacks coach, giving him the responsibility of shaping JaMarcus Russell into the franchise quarterback they expect him to be.
Hackett spent last year working on special projects for the Raiders' coaching staff. He has 40 years of coaching experience, recently as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coach from 2005-07, working with new Raiders quarterback Jeff Garcia in the 2007 season.
He was also the New York Jets' offensive coordinator from 2001-04, leading them to the playoffs in three out of four seasons. In 2004, the Jets had the 12th-ranked offense in the NFL, which included the third-ranked rushing attack with running back Curtis Martin leading the league in rushing that year.
Replacing Cable as the offensive line coach will be Jim Michalczik, who has coached the offensive line at the University of California for the last seven years. During his time there, Michalczik mentored seven first-team All-Pac 10 selections. He also helped produce seven 1,000-yard rushers while at Cal, including J.J. Arrington, who rushed for over 2,000 yards in 2005.
John Marshall has been chosen to replace Rob Ryan as the team's defensive coordinator. Marshall is entering the 30th year of his NFL coaching career, which has brought him two Super Bowl rings. His most recent stint as defensive coordinator came with the Seattle Seahawks from 2005-07, helping the team reach Super Bowl XL.
Marshall also coached the linebackers at USC from 1977-79, helping the Trojans to win two Rose Bowls as well as a National Championship in 1978.
Following Marshall from Seattle is Dwaine Board, who will coach the defensive line in Oakland as he did for the Seahawks from 2003-08. In Board's first season with Seattle, he helped bring the league's worst rushing defense up to 19th in the NFL. That's the kind of turnaround the Raiders need right now.
The Raiders seem to have built themselves a very experienced new coaching staff. All of these new coaches have had success somewhere and will look to bring that success to Oakland.
The experience and knowledge these coaches bring can only mean good things for a very young team. It seems this year the Oakland Raiders really have made a commitment to excellence.