Oakland Raiders Add Two More Coaches in Tracy Smith, Bobby Johnson


Jan 16, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Lombardi trophies of the Oakland Raiders victories in Super Bowls XI, XV and XVIII at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders have added two more assistant coaches to Jack Del Rio’s coaching staff, filling a special teams assistant role and the role of Tight Ends coach by hiring Bobby Johnson, formerly of the Detroit Lions, and Tracy Smith, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers.

The two hires get away from the trend of hiring veteran coaches and former players by adding two relatively young coaches with no NFL playing experience to the staff. Smith, who turns 33 next month, has been a football coach since a stint at Stephen F. Austin in 2004. He was on Les Miles’ staff as a GA in 2005 and then spent 2006-2008 as the Tight Ends coach at Utah State. Smith’s first NFL job as a special teams assistant for the Cleveland Browns, where he first worked with Special Teams Coordinator Brad Seely. Smith worked with Seely in Cleveland for two years before spending 2011 on Pete Carroll’s staff in Seattle as a coaching assistant. Smith was re-united with Seely in San Francisco in 2012 and has now followed him over to the Raiders staff.  Smith is also the son of Seahawks’ QB’s coach Carl Smith, who was Jack Del Rio’s offensive coordinator for three years in Jacksonville. Smith will continue on under Seely as a special teams assistant.

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Bobby Johnson was also announced as the new Tight Ends coach of the Raiders, joining Mike Tice, Todd Downing, Bernie Parmalee and Rob Moore on Bill Musgrave’s offensive staff. Each offensive position group now has one coach assigned to it. Johnson, who played college football for Miami of Ohio, started his coaching career as a defensive line assistant at the University of Akron in 1995. He worked in the college ranks until getting his first NFL job in 2010 with the Buffalo Bills staff under head coach Chan Gailey and Offensive Coordinator Curtis Modkins as an assistant to offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris. In 2012, he was hired by Mike Mularkey as the Tight Ends coach of the Jaguars, working with OC Bob Bratkowski, working with Marcedes Lewis. Lewis had the second most productive year of his career in 2012. In 2013, he re-joined Curtis Modkins on the Detroit Lions staff, where he also worked alongside current Raider QB’s coach Todd Downing.

Johnson spent the last two seasons with the Lions, working with tight ends such as Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Fauria, despite catching only 18 passes as a rookie in 2013, recorded seven TD’s that season while Pettigrew caught 41 balls for two scores in an injury-shortened year. In 2014, Pettigrew missed time with an injury while Fauria sat out the entire season and rookie TE Eric Ebron snagged 25 catches and a touchdown. Johnson will work with a young group of tight ends that includes the promising Mychal Rivera as well as blocking TE’s Brian Leonhardt and Nick Kasa. Both coaches add to a Raiders staff that is now mainly missing a defensive coordinator hire, expect that to be hopefully announced before the end of the month, but it appears that Jack Del Rio is taking his time naming his chief defensive assistant.