As it turns out the firing of Hue Jackson and subsequent hiring of Dennis Allen was just the tip of the iceberg. Reggie McKenzie’s desire to make this team his is proving to be anything but an understatement. Unlike the Al Davis theory on coaching hires, McKenzie is allowing Allen to create his own staff from the ground up.
With all of the movement on the staff it is becoming difficult to keep track of who is staying and who is going. Of course, with only a couple of coaches staying put (as of now) it is much easier to start with the men that don’t have to clean out their offices.
Kelly Skipper has received high praise for his work with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. That’s why it was a done deal for Allen to retain the services of Skipper as the running backs coach. Both Bush and McFadden have a great deal of respect for their position coach as you’d expect from two men that have featured prominently in Oakland’s offense.
Stefen Wisniewski got high praise during his rookie year. Playing both guard and center during the season the New Wiz showed plenty of promise. Therefore it is just good business sense to keep his 8-time All-Pro uncle Steve Wisniewski on the coaching staff.
While Wisniewski is staying the man he answers to is gone. Bob Wylie might have done the best coaching job of any member on Oakland’s staff last season. His offensive line allowed the 4th fewest sacks in the league and was by far the biggest surprise of the season for the Raiders. However Allen has allowed Wylie to move on, choosing to replace the O-line coach with Frank Pollack. Pollack comes over with Greg Knapp from the Houston Texans.
Another unit that performed well for the Raiders last season is seeing a coaching change. Special Teams has been a strength for the Raiders under the coordination of John Fassel. When Fassel first arrived his unit displayed some mixed results but in the last couple of years the special teams has been impressive. Now he’ll get the chance to impress in St. Louis where he’ll join Jeff Fisher’s staff. Taking over for Fassel will be Steve Hoffman.
Meanwhile the defensive coordinator position remains open with only a couple of names being leaked at the moment. Greg Manusky surfaced as an early favorite but he’s since been appointed to the same position with the Indianapolis Colts. Now there are reports that McKenzie might be bringing over one of his Packer buddies.
According to reports the Raiders have asked for permission to speak with Packers cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. regarding the defensive coordinator position. After least season’s poor performance by the secondary it is no secret that the Raiders could use a new voice in the locker room. Perhaps Whitt is just that man. Time will tell.
One thing that is becoming abundantly clear is that Allen has no plans to keep Al Saunders on his staff in any capacity. Saunders is said to be interviewing for the OC position with the Kansas City Chiefs where he had so much success previously.
Eventually all this dust will settle and the newest era of Raider football will be underway. Until then, JBB will help you keep track of all the new names.
Topics: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured, Al Saunders, Bob Wylie, Darren McFadden, Dennis Allen, Frank Pollack, Greg Knapp, Greg Manusky, Hue Jackson, Jeff Fisher, Joe Whitt Jr., John Fassel, Kelly Skipper, Michael Bush, Reggie McKenzie, Stefen Wisniewski, Steve Hoffman, Steve Wisniewski