If there is anyone Al Davis really doesn’t like it is Tim Kawakami, sports writer for the San Jose Mercury News.
Tim’s articles take consistent pot shots at Al and the Raiders. In fact, much of what he writes seems to either be fabrication or he has a really good inside source. I tend to think what he writes is just his opinion and speculation.
The bottom line with Kawakami is he does nothing at all to help the cause of the Oakland Raiders. His latest blog entry offers his “advice” for a head coaching change, tossing up Steve Mariucci as a good fit.
What really sucks about this is Mariucci really is a great fit and would be a seamless replacement for Tom Cable. Only now, because Kawakami even mentions it, Al will never do it.
It seems ridiculous that a sports writer can have that kind of effect on Al Davis but trust me, out of any writer, Kawakami reigns as the biggest thorn in Al’s side. Chris Mortensen is a perfect gentleman compared to Kawakami.
It was Kawakami, you may recall, who almost drew Raiders front office honcho John Herrera into a row during a press conference in 2008. Any other franchise and Herrera would be fired but because this was Tim Kawakami doing the baiting, Herrera gets a slap on the back.
Not that the Raiders needed a lawsuit or that violence ever solves anything but Al would not flinch if Kawakami was laid out by Herrera that day.
As for Mariucci, he is a great fit because he is already well acquainted with much of the existing coaching staff. Specifically Ted Tollner, the closest the Raiders have to an offensive coordinator and John Marshall, the reigning defensive coordinator.
Mariucci is an innovative offensive-minded coach, is very much an easy-going personality, knows how to motivate players, has tremendous respect for Al Davis, and would represent the franchise in good standing. Despite not achieving much as head coach of the 49ers and Lions during his tenure with those teams, rebuilding the Raiders and establishing a firm direction is something Mooch can do.
I’d go as far to say the Raiders need Mariucci.
Though, in all fairness, Tom Cable has the respect of the current Raiders roster. If not for some obvious character flaws that stand out against Cable and JaMarcus Russell’s poor play for much of the 2009 season, we might be singing a different tune right now.
Cable will just hand over the play calling to Tollner (my speculation). With a strong first and second-string QB in place (JaMeatloaf must sit or earn his keep), Cable just might achieve something in 2010.
I don’t expect Cable to be let go but if that were to happen, Mariucci is the right man to step into the job. Not coincidentally, he has made statements to the effect he would like to get back into coaching. The timing could not be more direct.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Jim Harbaugh is not leaving Stanford with his sweet financial package and program on the upswing. Winston Moss is really just a Rooney Rule candidate. He doesn't have the experience to make the leap to head coach. Jim Fassel has already been turned down for the job twice before. Kevin Gilbride has also been passed over before. Marc Trestman has a good thing going in Canada, eh.
Mariucci would be a breath of fresh air on all fronts.
Who knows, maybe he could even make a winner out of JaMeatloaf.
Coaching quarterbacks is Mariucci’s forte but thanks to Tim Kawakami’s sabotage, it’ll never happen. Not even Jerry McDonald’s well intentioned follow-up blog can salvage this one.
This was deliberate sabotage on Kawakami’s part because he knew by even mentioning Mariucci’s name, Davis would balk.