The 2010 Oakland Raiders Coaching Staff: Head Coach Need Not Apply
As former Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable is ushered out of Alameda, owner Al Davis will begin his excruciating, long process of finding the next head coach.
By early March, the new (or retreaded) "yes man" coach will be announced as he takes the helm of this once proud organization in a ceremonious whitewash of redundant rhetoric heard over the past seven seasons.
As predictable as a defensive back with 4.4 speed being drafted by the Raiders, Al Davis will greet this new lackey with preassembled coaching staff, hand-picked by the man himself.
Of course, this won't come as a surprise to the hired guy, because throughout the interview process, Al Davis told candidates he was picking the staff and if they did not like it, then tough Al poo, they could leave the office.
With a sense of expediting the whole process, I thought I would offer some advice to Al Davis on whom he should bring in for this new coaching staff. Once Al takes my advice and this fantasy staff is assembled, then ol' Crumbly can worry about hiring a coach after the NFL draft and can free himself up for this afternoon's Geritol-laced oatmeal and naptime.
Since the Raiders will not see a GM until Davis is gone, the next best front office fix for the Silver and Black would be to bring in some type of consulting team that acts as an intermediate between Davis and the coaching staff.
I would bring in John Madden and Tom Flores for this purpose. Both men are familiar with the organization and have brought success to the club.
These two factors alone may be enough to gain Al's trust and offer suggestions into improving the team. More importantly, they can run interference between the coaching staff and Davis' meddling ala Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden.
With the front office in place, the next staff hire would be offensive coordinator.
Although it would be appropriate to bring in someone who is familiar with running a modern offense like Mike Martz, this OC has to work with JaMarcus Russell. Because of this handicap, promote Paul Hackett to OC and have Ted Tollner operate as an offense quality control/assistant OC.
Out of necessity of keeping the ball out of Russell's hands, the running game must be effective. With Cable and his zone blocking gone, a solid replacement would be Mike Tice, available once the coaching staff at Jacksonville is blown up.
Goodbye Sanjay Lal, hello Tim Brown (or Jerry Rice) as the wide receiver coach. This team needs someone who has played WR in the modern era of football to help to develop these young players.
The Raiders lost a great special teams coach in Brian Schneider. If this guy doesn't return a phone call asking him to join the club in 2010, then a call is immediately going out to Bobby April, formally of the Buffalo Bills.
April, who was voted Special Team Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2008, would immediately improve the Raiders.
In April's stay with Buffalo, the Bills were No. 1 in kick and punt returns in 2004 and 2005, and consistently ended in the top 10 in special team return yards.
Unfortunately, April is being courted by the Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin as well as Washington Redskins' owner Dan "Deep Pockets" Synder. So Al, get on that rotary phone and dial up April and make an offer he can't refuse.
On the other side of ball, Jim Marshall will most likely survive the Great Flushing. I like Marshall as defensive coordinator. He does need help in personnel, and would get it by bringing in former New York Giants defensive line coach Mike Waufle.
A former DL coach with the Raiders from 1999-2003, Waufle's numbers were decent, with his DL ranking in the top 20 against the run during his stay. Despite his resume with the Raiders, it was his work with the Giants that led to Al Davis remarking upon wanting the same DL play as the 2008 Super Bowl Champions.
If Marshall is shown the door, Mr. Davis should place a call with Jim Mora Jr. for DC. By installing Mora, the Raiders would get a coach that understands modern day defenses. Although his numbers as San Francisco’s DC are not impressive (neither was the talent), his 20 years of experience with creating units that are be prepared to attack modern offenses is.
Additionally, Mora's connection to Ray Rhodes might land this defensive mind as a defense quality control coach.
Lastly, while waiting on a return call from Brian Schneider, Al should be placing another call into Darren Perry for another stint as a defensive back coach.
Although it wasn't apparent this week against the Arizona Cardinals, Perry has turned an average secondary of the Green Bay Packers into a top-notch squad, sending Charles Woodson (CB) and Nick Collins (FS) to the Pro Bowl.
So there you have it, Mr. Davis. Now it’s up to you to get these coaches, pay them, and settle in for a long interview process with the likes of Jim Fassel, Dennis Green, and Mike Leach.
Or Mr. Davis, with the coaching staff I've assembled, just go ahead and hire the building maintenance man and skip the agonizingly slow process; however, if at all possible, make sure you announce it during the week before the Super Bowl for the originality and unpredictability you're known to have.
Now go on ahead, because your oatmeal is getting cold.
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