Oakland Raiders Add Two Former Players to Coaching Staff


Jan 16, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Jack Del Rio poses with helmet at press conference to announce his hiring as Oakland Raiders head coach at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Del Rio’s coaching staff grew by two today, as it was announced that former NFL players Rob Moore and Bernie Parmalee have been added as Wide Receivers coach and Running Backs coach, respectively. Currently, four of five offensive assistants are former players: Bill Musgrave, Mike Tice, Moore and Parmalee, with only QB’s coach Todd Downing having no NFL playing experience. Counting Defensive Backs coach Marcus Robertson and Del Rio himself, six former NFL players are now on the Raiders coaching staff.  The six combined have over 50 seasons of combined playing experience in the NFL.

Rob Moore was taken in the first round of the Supplemental Draft in 1990 by the New York Jets, where Bruce Coslet was the head coach. He lined up alongside Al Toon and caught passes from Ken O’Brien in his first two seasons, totaling 114 receptions over those two seasons. He remained in New York through the 1994 season, which included two years catching passes from Boomer Esiason.

In 1994, Pete Carroll was his head coach, and he led the team in receptions for the first time, earning a Pro Bowl berth with 76 receptions for over 1,000 yards and 6 TD’s. Moore signed with the Arizona Cardinals in free agency after the season, to go play for Buddy Ryan.

In 1995, Moore finished second on the team in receptions behind fullback Larry Centers (the greatest receiving fullback ever). In 1996, under new head coach Vince Tobin and OC Jim Fassel, he was third on the team in receptions behind Centers and a young Frank Sanders, but led the team in receiving yards and yards per reception average, as the team’s top deep-ball threat. He was also central to the 1996 film Jerry Maguire, in which Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character Rod Tidwell wore his number and game footage of Moore was spliced into the film.

In 1997, Moore had his second Pro Bowl season and his first All-Pro season, hauling in 97 passes for a league-leading 1,584 yards and eight scores, seven of which came from rookie quarterback Jake Plummer. Moore stayed on in Arizona for two more years, during which time Marc Trestman was his offensive coordinator. After a 37-reception season in 1999, during which he missed time due to both injury and being passed up on the depth chart by David Boston, Moore retired from the NFL with 628 career receptions for 9,368 yards and 49 TD’s.  He also appeared in three career playoff games.

As a player, Moore was an early example of the big-body wide receiver that has come into vogue in today’s NFL. Moore, at 6’3″, towered over most cornerbacks of the era. While he weighed in at a svelte 205, his long build allowed him to move well vertically – he ran a 4.4 second 40 yard dash – and get up above defenders on deep passes with his 45 inch vertical leap, making him a valuable deep threat for the Jets and the Cardinals.

Moore began coaching in 2009 for the Junior College Phoenix Bears, before returning to his alma mater Syracuse in 2010 to be the WR’s coach there under Doug Marrone. He held the job for four years. In 2012, Wideout Alec Lemon finished at the top of the Big East in receiving yards with 1,070 on 72 receptions. Before the 2014 season, Marrone added Moore to his staff with the Buffalo Bills. Moore was tasked with developing fourth overall pick Sammy Watkins and 2013 2nd-round pick Robert Woods, who headlined the Bills very young, unheralded wide receivers group.

Under Moore’s tutelage, the young duo of wide receivers both hauled in 65 receptions on the year. Moore, who was as a player not the same type of athlete of either the 6’1″ Watkins or the 6’0″ Woods, turned the two young receivers into consistent route runners and pass-grabbers in his year with them. Watkins, the bigger and faster of the two, amassed nearly 1,000 yards on his 65 receptions and six touchdown receptions. Woods managed nearly 700 yards and five TD’s. Fourth year man Chris Hogan, who was generally the third wide receiver for the Bills, quadrupled his career total in receptions, having 41 receptions in 2014 after having 10 for his entire career. It was a very successful year for the three young wideouts under Moore’s coaching.

Moore will join fellow former Bills assistant Todd Downing on the Raiders staff, and will be tasked with developing another young group of wideouts, though not quite as young.  He will likely be charged with developing a rookie wideout as well.  It will be interesting to see how Moore works with Rod Streater, Brice Butler and Andre Holmes, who are all tall, rangy players similar in build and athletic profile to Moore in his prime.

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Bernie Parmalee is another veteran player of the 1990’s NFL, having spent a nine year career as a running back with the Dolphins and Jets. His road to the NFL was an interesting one: he was not drafted, and was discovered at a Dolphins tryout event while working for UPS. He spent most of 1992 and 1993 being used as a special teamer, returning 14 kickoffs in 1992. He found himself in the starting lineup of Don Shula’s Dolphins after a string of injuries to the backs ahead of him in 1994, and over the course of the 1994 and 1995 seasons he carried the ball 452 times for a total of 1,746 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. He added 73 receptions and nearly 600 yards receiving over those two seasons, as well. Parmalee returned to his backup role when Jimmy Johnson took over as head coach of the Dolphins in 1996 and the team drafted UCLA running back Karim Abdul-Jabbar (not that guy).

Parmalee was used mostly as a receiving back for his last three years in Miami, though he only amassed 70 receptions over that three-year span. He spent his last two years with the Jets, where he played for Bill Parcells and Charlie Weis.

Parmalee began his coaching career in 2002 back in Miami, where he became the Tight Ends coach and Special Teams assistant for Dave Wannstedt and Norv Turner. In Miami he worked with a young Randy McMichael, who had his career year in 2004 in his 3rd year working with Parmalee. He also worked with a rookie return specialist named Wes Welker in 2004, and Welker scored his first NFL touchdown on a kickoff return that year.

After Wannstedt’s firing, Parmalee spent 2005 – 2009 at South Bend working for his old Jets OC, Charlie Weis. In his five years with the Irish, Parmalee was involed in working with current NFL Tight Ends Anthony Fasano, Jon Carlson and Kyle Rudolph, as well as dangerous returner Golden Tate.

In 2010 he was named Tight Ends coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, where Charlie Weis was the new Offensive Coordinator and former Jets assistant Todd Haley was the head coach. He worked with rookie Tony Moeaki, who had the difficult role of filling the shoes of the legendary Tony Gonzalez. Moeaki caught 47 passes for 556 yards and 3 TD’s as a rookie but missed 2011 with injury. Leonard Pope contributed 28 receptions in 2011.  Moeaki returned in 2012 to catch 33 passes and a single touchdown. When Andy Reid came in in 2013, Parmalee was out and has not coached since.

Parmalee, despite spending nine years as an NFL running back, has only been a tight ends and special teams coach in his coaching career, yet the word out of Oakland is that he has been hired as a running backs coach, apparently replacing veteran backs coach Kelly Skipper. Parmalee doesn’t have a lot of background with Del Rio, or offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, but his playing experience, and time playing for and working with some very good coaches is a strong asset.

It will be interesting to see what affect Parmalee has on young running back Latavius Murray this year, if indeed he is the running backs coach. Both new Raiders positional coaches have NFL experience that is nearly a prerequisite to be on the Oakland coaching staff, time will tell if that pays off, but for now Del Rio has added two interested coaches to his nearly filled staff.