Tarver could be returning to the NFL in a coordinator capacity.

Raiders Expand Defensive Coordinator Search to College Ranks


With the ease at which Dennis Allen replaced Al Saunders with Greg Knapp the defensive mined head coach of the Oakland Raiders must have thought doing the same for Chuck Bresnahan would be even easier. After all, he already had a man in mind in the form of Richard Smith whom Allen coached with in Denver.

At least that was the plan until the Donkeys denied the Raiders an interview with Smith. Same goes for Bill Johnson who the Saints gave the same non-stamp of approval for interview.

No worries though because Greg Manusky was available and had ties to the Bay Area. Too bad he chose the Indianapolis rebuilding project over the Oakland renovation for his choice of employment.

All those closed doors have left a couple names floating through the rumor mill both of which have ties to Reggie McKenzie and the Green Bay Packers. That’s a little like being unemployed and your best bet at finding work are all friends of your parents.

Dennis Allen has already had three strikes in trying to hire NFL defensive coaches so that’s why he’s turning to the NCAA specifically Stanford University.

According to reports, the Raiders are looking at Stanford co-defensive coordinator Jason Tarver to become the lone defensive coordinator of the silver and black.

Tarver was a fixture in the 49ers organization as an assistant working in a multitude of coaching capacities before joining David Shaw in Stanford last year.  Tarver is also a NorCal native so he knows good and well the Raider traditions which lately have been an inability to stop the run and a penchant for penalties.

Perhaps hoping to capitalize on the Jim Harbaugh magic that swept through the other side of the Bay, the Raiders are clearly exhausting all possible avenues to find a defensive coordinator. Ironically it was Harbaugh’s hire of Vic Fangio whom he brought from Stanford to The City that allowed Tarver to go from the 49ers to the Cardinal.

No matter the specifics the facts are the Raiders have yet to fill out their coaching staff with the bulk of the open positions on the defensive side. Allen arrives with a defensive pedigree yet is finding life as a head coach to be difficult when you’re of the first year variety. Here is where having Al Davis and his hire-my-own-damn-staff philosophy comes in handy.

Not many teams are interested in allowing their coaches to talk to a rookie head coach. But when a legend like Mr. Davis would come calling teams had no choice but to at least listen. Of course in the end Davis would just hire whichever puppet best fit his marionette strings. So I guess this process isn’t entirely different except that after the dust settles I’m guessing we’re likely to see some new blood as defensive coordinator instead of an NFL retread.

Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Al Saunders Bill Johnson Chuck Bresnahan David Shaw Dennis Allen Greg Knapp Greg Manusky Jason Tarver Jim Harbaugh Reggie McKenzie Richard Smith Vic Fangio