Oakland Raiders: Coaching Staff Overhaul, Who Should Go and Who Should Stay?
With the promotion of Hue Jackson, Hue and the Raiders now have a few decisions to make.
Before the team can decide what to do with free agents and the upcoming draft they first must fortify a solid coaching staff.
The Raiders have reportedly been interviewing and evaluating members within the current staff and will need to make decisions on who stays and who goes.
Here's my take on who should go and who should stay
John Marshall, Already Gone
Though it hasn't been confirmed. Word is that it was John Marshall's personal decision to retire after 31 years of coaching in the NFL.
Stress, old age and maybe even the Tom Cable situation all very well may have been deciding factors in this decision.
Now the Raiders need to find someone to replace him.
Greg Biekert: Asistant Defensive Coach
Greg Biekert played middle line-backer for the Raiders for nine of 11 of his years in the NFL and is most famously known for recovering Tom Bradys' should be fumble in the "Tuck Rule" game.
In that same game he would also record 16 tackles.
He joined the Raiders coaching staff in spring of 2010, about the same time Hue Jackson came aboard. With just one year of coaching experience his abilities are widely unknown, but he can relate to the players because he has been there.
Verdict: I feel the Raiders should retain Greg Biekert, maybe even have him make the move to linebacker coach.
Mike Hulachak: Linebacker Coach
In 2009, Mike Hulachak made the move from Cleveland to Oakland as a linebacker coach and in 2010 Raider standout Kamerion Wimbley would follow him.
Hulachak has been an assistant coach in the NFL and college ranks for 24 years and has sound experience.
Verdict: It was great that Hulachak may have attracted Kamerion Wimbley to Oakland, but during his tenure linebacker play in Oakland has been unspectacular as players are often out of position.
I feel the Raiders need to let Hulachak go and find someone better.
John Fassel: Special Teams Coordinator
John Fassel joined the Oakland Raiders in 2008 where he shared special teams duties with Brian Schneider. The Oakland Raiders would have a great showing, both in returns and in the kicking game.
Then in 2009 Schneider would leave for USC and Fassel would be promoted from special teams assistant to special teams coordinator.
In 2009, under Fassel's first year with complete control over special teams, the team would have a disappointing year especially in returns and coverage prompting many Raiders fans to call for Fassel's head.
Then in 2010 the Raiders would have another great showing on special teams blocking punts, kicking (except for against Arizona) and returning.
Verdict: It's hard to say, if anything the Raiders have been inconsistent under him and it's hard not to look good with guys like Sebastian Janikowski, Shane Lechlar and Jacoby Ford on your squad.
I say give Fassel one more year to prove himself before making a final decision.
Ted Tollner: Passing Game Coordinator
What is a passing game coordinator? I'm not actually sure, but I would assume they are responsible for keeping the passing game on track.
Ted Tollner has a long and impressive coaching resume dating back to 1963 and has been coaching in the NFL since 1987. So he definitely has a good deal of experience.
Verdict: I say fire him, if only out of pure ignorance (on my part) for what his job entails.
But assuming he has been responsible for the Raiders passing game for the last two years, that alone should be grounds to fire him.
Like Tollner this guy has another long impressive resume dating back to the days when Jesus and the Twelve Apostles wore leather helmets on the grid iron.
Yes this guy is a dinosaur, with 41 years of coaching experience.
Hacket has been credited for developing great QBs like Joe Montana, Rich Gannon and Carson Palmer just to name a few. He has been the Raiders' QB coach since 2009.
Verdict: Though our QB play hasn't been impressive under Hacket and the man is nearly as old as Al Davis, I feel he still may be able to contribute and develop Jason Campbell.
I feel they should keep him, though if they can find someone better I wouldn't complain.
Sanjay Lal: Wide Receiver Coach
Sanjay Lal is currently the Oakland Raiders' wide receiver coach and one of the longest tenured coaches on the current staff.
Sanjay Lal joined the Raiders in 2007 to coach the Oakland Raiders receivers. In 2007 under Sanjay Lal both Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry would post respectable 700+ yard seasons.
But since then the receiving corps would struggle mightily, possibly due to a lack of talent at the position, lack of pass protection and lack of a quality QB.
Verdict: Fire him now.
Both Curry and Porter posted their best seasons before Sanjay Lal arrived and no Raiders receivers (Zack Miller doesn't count) have even come close to matching what Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry did in 2007.
The one constant in the Raiders last four years of a struggling passing game is Sanjay Lal. It is time the Raiders moved on.
Adam Henry: Tight End Coach
Adam Henry played two years in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and has coached as an offensive coordinator for four years with the McNeese State Cowboys.
In 2007, he would be hired as the quality control/assistant receiver coach for the Oakland Raiders. Shortly after he would be promoted to the Raiders' tight end coach.
Verdict: The Raiders receivers have only gotten worse since he was promoted from assistant receiver coach and the tight ends have only gotten better since he has been coaching them. I see no reason not to keep him, hell maybe the Raiders should promote him again.
Willie Brown: Assistant DB Coach/Sqaud Development
Willie Brown is a Raiders great and on again off again Raider DB coach with two Super-Bowl victories to his name.
Willie Brown is currently working in a limited role with the Oakland Raiders. Last offseason he stated that he needed more time for himself, citing other responsibilities like his family and fishing.
Verdict: The Raiders should be thankful for whatever help he gives them. It is unfortunate that he can't coach the Raiders full time, but they should be grateful and take whatever help they can get.
Jim Michalczik: Offensive Line Coach
Jim Michalczik has been coaching the Raiders offensive line for the past two seasons.
Prior to becoming a Raider, he had 19 years of college coaching experience including one year as an offensive coordinator.
Verdict: I don't care if you believe the Raiders' o-line has improved or if you cite the dominate run game, numerous sacks and injuries to our QBs suggest the o-line is not playing up to par.
The Raiders need to find someone who can improve the o-line and help keep our QBs on their feet.
The Raiders should let him go.
Chris Morgan: Assistant Offensive Line Coach
Believe it or not the Oakland Raiders had two coaches for their offensive line.
Jim Morgan has been coaching the Oakland Raiders offensive line for two seasons now and there has been little improvement.
He played college ball under Tom Cable at the University of Colorado.
Verdict: Fire him. He was brought in by Tom Cable and with Cable gone I see no reason to keep him.
Also based on the fact that he is younger than some of the players on the Raiders' roster, he may be too green to coach in the NFL.
Brad Roll: Strength and Conditioning
Brad Roll has 17 years experience and five years experience as a strength and conditioning coach.
Before coming to the Raiders, he held the same position with the Buffalo Bills.
Verdict: No reason to let him go. In my opinion the level of strength and conditioning is more the players' responsibility than a coach's responsibility.
No level of coaching is going to make a player want to be in the best shape of their life.
Kevin Ross: Assistant DB Coach
Ross just finished his first year working with the Oakland Raiders and was brought in to fill the void left when Willie Brown decided to take a more limited role with the Raiders.
He has over a decade of experience playing in the NFL and five years coaching in the NFL, plus an additional year coaching in the UFL.
Verdict: As far as DB coaches go the Raiders are looking crowded. But fact of the matter is the Raiders' young players need a lot of help and the Raiders' man-oriented schemes ask a lot out of DBs.
Ross seems to be a good up and coming assistant and the Raiders need all the help they can get.
Lionel Washington: Defensive Back Coach
Lionel Washington played defensive back for the Oakland Raiders for nine years and has 27 years NFL experience as a player or coach. He is currently in his second year as a Raiders coach.
Prior to coaching the Raiders, Washington was the corner back coach in Green Bay for nine years between 1999 and 2008.
Verdict: Though some of our corners and safeties were often out of position and and gave up big plays, the Raiders boasted one of the top passing defenses in the league.
I see no reason to let him go.
Kelly Skipper: Running Backs Coach
Kelly skipper has 22 years of coaching experience including four years with the Raiders. In 2009 and 2010 he served as the Oakland Raiders running back coach and in 2007 and 2008 he served as the tight end coach.
Verdict: Keep him.
Marcel Reece, Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. In no way can you complain about the performance of these three players.
Not only that but the running game only improved while Skipper was coaching the running backs.
Mike Waufle: Defensive Line Coach
Mike Waufle, in my opinion, is the best assistant coach on the Raiders' staff.
He served as the Raiders d-line coach between 1998 and 2003. In case you didn't know, that was when the Raiders were good.
Waufle's first tenure as a Raider includes all of the Gruden years as well as our last Super Bowl appearance.
After the 2003 season, Waufle would leave Oakland to coach the New York Giants defensive line for six years. In Oakland he would be sorely missed.
Then in 2010, Waufle would return to the Oakland Raiders. The Oakland Raiders would record 47 sacks, second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers who would record 48.
Verdict: Keep Him, do I even need to explain why?
Here's an overview of what I think the Raiders should do with the members on their coaching staff.
Defensive coordinator John Marshall = Already gone
Linebacker coach Mike Hulachak = Fire
Assistant linebacker coach Greg Biekert= Keep, possibly promtoe
Special teams coordinator Jim Fassel = Keep.
Passing Game coordinator Ted Tollner.
QB coach Paul Hackett = Keep.
Wide receiver coach Sanjay Lal = Fire.
Tight end coach Adam Henry = Keep.
Willie Brown = Keep him as long as he wants to stick around.
DB coach Lionel Washington = Keep.
Asistant DB coach Kevin Ross = Keep.
Offensive line coach Jim Michalczik = Fire.
Asistant offensive line coach Chris Morgan = Fire.
Strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll = Keep.
Running back coach Kelly Skipper = Keep.
Defensive line coach Mike Waufle = Keep.