Why Al Davis Should Hire Joe Lombardi As Offensive Coordinator

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst INovember 28, 2009

Recently, I wrote an article in support of Raiders coach Tom Cable, after I had written an article earlier this season that expressed my discontent with the Raiders coach.

I believe that the Raiders are on the right track, despite the losses, because I do believe that the current players now care when they lose.

The difference is that I think the Raiders have gone from treading water to rebuilding mode, thus to change course with another coach would be another unneeded setback.

Unfortunately, Raider Nation was stuck with the "pathological liar" known as Lane Kiffin from USC, who attempted to orchestrate a coup by colluding with Michael Lombardi to trade Randy Moss; acquiring his friend and mega-flop Mike Williams from USC; refusing to work with JaMarcus Russell; and trying to fire defensive-coordinator Rob Ryan and hire his dad Monte Kiffin.

That is no theory.

Obviously, Raider Nation has been frustrated with circling the waters. We had high hopes for 2009, but we should not be dismayed about the future. We are on the right track, and must believe that this team will and can continue to improve.

I believe that the biggest need for Oakland is a full-time offensive coordinator. The biggest contrarian voice has been, however: No one wants to coach for Al Davis. I see that as an admission of low confidence.

If any coach said, "I won't coach for Davis," I would take that as admission that the coach does not believe in what he can do for a team. 

He's saying that he can't win with an owner that orchestrated three Super Bowl winners and 40 years with the highest winning percentage in the NFL.

Thus, saying, "I can't win with Davis," is just admission that you really aren't that good. 

If you want an answer for the Oakland struggles: Look to Michael Lombardi's bad draft picks and the fact that the Raiders have greatly improved on draft day ever since they canned the Bruce Allen puppet for the fifth time in Lombardi's career; the attempted coup by Lane Kiffin; or the muckraking by ESPN and East Coast media ("biggest post Super Bowl collapse in NFL history", which can be disproven qualitatively and quantitatively).

Who better to be offensive coordinator than Saints' quarterback coach Joe Lombardi?

That's right. The grandson of Vince Lombardi. He has been part of the Saints' offensive coaching staff since 2007, where the Saints run an offense similar to that of the Oakland offenses of yore.

When I look at the Raiders' roster, I see talent, but not vision for how to use that talent. The vision I can see for Raider players is similar to that of the Saints offense.

The Raiders offensive-line has been improving, and could stand mostly depth and an upgrade at right-tackle. Between Chaz Schilens, Louis Murphy, and Darrius Heyward-Bey, I think the Raiders have a trio that could be comparable to Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, and Robert Meachem. 

Meanwhile, Raiders' TE Zach Miller is practically a clone of Saints' TE Jeremy Shockey, if not better.

Though Darren McFadden was not the super-hyped player that Reggie Bush was, I think that they are similar in what type of plays that they should make: Catching the ball on short routes, and running the ball, "east-west". 

I could see Michael Bush in a role similar to Pierre Thomas, and Justin Fargas in a role similar to Mike Bell, with Gary Russell and Luke Lawton to boot.

Lombardi would also have Paul Hackett and Ted Tollner to provide insights, and groom him as an offensive-coordinator.

The biggest question mark has been the quarterback. JaMarcus Russell has all the skills, but seems to lack desire and focus. Bruce Gradkowski meanwhile has given the Raiders a competitor for Russell.

I'm not sure sure as to which quarterback is better suited for the offense, but I do believe that the Raiders have two talented prospects to work with, and that Joe Lombardi would be the perfect match at offensive coordinator to give either QB the chances to make plays.



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